If You Only Have One Day in Beijing…
Beijing has a lot to offer, but if you only have one day there, here is a solid itinerary:
Start the day as early as possible with a quick, simple breakfast of traditional pastries, bread, or cake and milk tea at 85°C.
Take a taxi or bus ride to the Great Wall (Mutianyu Section). If you get there early, there won’t be many tourists and you can see it and go. Take the cable car to Tower 14 and then walk on the Wall back to Tower 6. Then ride the toboggan to the bottom, buy your “I climbed the Great Wall” t-shirt, get back in your taxi and head back to Beijing.
Arrive back in Beijing for shabu-shabu lunch at Honyuan Hot Pot. This is an incredible meal that you cook yourself in your own hot pot. Not to be missed.
After lunch, go to the Temple of Heaven Park to walk off your meal. This is a huge open air park with lots of locals walking, hanging out, playing cards or musical instruments. You can walk for an hour or two and then head over to the Forbidden City for a view of how the emperors lived. From this historical site, head across the street to Tiananmen Square to a site with more modern significance.
Take a taxi to Da Dong Roast Duck Restaurant for a Peking Duck dinner that is both traditional and modern (not to mention delicious).
Head back to the train station or airport for your next stop.
There are many more things to see in Beijing, of course, but these are some of the top tourist sites. If you want to get more personal with the locals, you
will hopefully be staying a bit longer and can take your time. This itinerary is for the traveler that is pressed for time and wants to see the highlights. If you are the type that eschews the tourist crowd, you will want to steer clear of the Forbidden City, as it is packed with people. However, I would still suggest seeing the Great Wall, just go really early. It is worth it.
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