Best Things to Do in Beijing, China

January 08, 2013

Peking Opera in Beijing China - singing with fan

What are the best things to do in Beiing, China and can a family travel independently there for a special vacation? 

Does the 21st century belong to China as so many predict about this fastest growing super power? 

“If the 19th century belonged to Britain, and the 20th century to the United States, then the 21st century will surely belong to China.” (Jim Rogers)

Great wall of China -soultravelers3 travel family on China trip

As adventurous, monolingual American parents raising a young trilingual daughter who is fluent in Mandarin, we think there has never been a better time to visit this 5,000-year-old culture and booming, exciting, exotic, warm-hearted country! With more than 3 million overseas tourists visiting Beijing every year, it takes no time to understand why—with its six UNESCO World Heritage Sites, scrumptious food, art and shopping.

Panjiayuan Antique Market in Beijing china

The brand-new, exquisite Four Seasons Hotel Beijing was the perfect place to begin our month-long independent tour, where we mostly stayed with locals for deep language immersion. We arrived on opening day and were very honored to be one of the first guests to be spoiled by the glorious opulence and spectacular service—starting with a limo ride from the airport, which comforted us after a long flight and pampered us as we adjusted to this fast-paced, dramatic city of 22 million.

happy kid eating yummy chocolate in Beijing at Four Seasons Hotel

One of the things that most impressed us about China was the generosity, kindness and hospitality of the people; that we will treasure in our memories forever. Since this was a self-created language immersion trip for our 12 year old, we requested that Four Seasons staff speak to her only in Mandarin. That gave her more confidence as we explored the city to approach and talk to strangers in Chinese.

forbidden palace beijing with happy kid in emperors costume

confucius temple beijing china

How lucky our daughter was to already be fluent in Chinese on her first visit to China. It helped so much for all of us to bond in deeper ways with the people, and be a bridge between East and West. People lit up in delighted surprise to see a little blond girl able to communicate well, as few on the streets speak English.

preparing peking duck in Beijing lesson for child

The Four Seasons concierge arranged a perfect tour of city highlights with Peking duck for lunch at one of the most famous restaurants in Beijing, which enchanted each one of us and gave us a royal start to our China journey.

summer palace dragon boat beijing travel

Here are some of our favorite things to do, tips and "must-see" places around Beijing from this life-changing trip to China which has us wanting to return again for more:

The Great Wall

Forbidden City

Summer Palace

Panjiayuan Antique Market

Peking Duck

Confucius Temple

Tiananmen Square


Peking Opera

Temple of Heaven

Olympic Venues


night view beijing skyline from four seasons hotel beijing

Thanks so much to our sponsor Four Seasons Hotels for three luxurious days and nights in Beijing! What is your favorite must-see place in Beijing?

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