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Wanderful Women’s Travel Guide to Beijing, China

Start here to plan a trip to Beijing, China. This comprehensive guide offers resources from a variety of women travel experts and influencers to help you plan your trip your way!

Beijing is one of the oldest cities in the world and is home to the Forbidden City, a mind-boggling UNESCO World Heritage Site with the largest collection of preserved ancient wooden structures in the world.

This concentrated capital city is known for having a unique collection of architecture, arts, cuisine, and more. As the second-largest city in China (behind Shanghai) with over 21 million residents, Beijing boasts plenty of hustle and bustle! 

It is said that the best times to visit are May or October because the area is also known for extreme temperatures. Whenever you visit, you must explore the hutongs that are full of art, creativity, and culture. 

If you’re ready to plan a trip to Beijing, start with this curated collection of helpful tips, resources, videos, articles, and more! Thanks to these women travel creators for sharing their expertise and experiences to make planning our own visits that much easier.

Image of the Forbidden City - tips for planning a trip to Beijing, China, from Wanderful
The Forbidden City

What to See and Do in Beijing

Whether you’re traveling solo, with a partner, or with the whole family, Beijing has tons for you to see and explore!

Wanderful Recommendations for Things to See and Do in Beijing:

First, check out Joella’s round-up on her site Paper Crane Stories so you know why you should travel to China.

Next, make sure you download these helpful apps for traveling in China before you go, rounded up by Gayle for The Helpful Panda.

If those weren’t enough, check out Annick’s recommended apps to use in China from her list on The Common Traveler.

Justine, from The Travel Lush, has 12 essential travel tips for newbies to help you plan a trip to Beijing.

Lists of Things to Do in Beijing:

  • You’ll never be at a loss for things to do in Beijing, but Rachel has curated this list of 25 things to do in the city
  • Annick suggests her 11 best things to do in Beijing so you can decide what appeals to you most!

Of course, you have to see the Great Wall of China! Richelle has all the inside tips you need in her Ultimate Guide to Hiking China’s Great Wall: How to Get Off the Beaten Path and Avoid the Crowds.

The temples in Beijing are a must-see and Rachel from Rachel Meets China has a great guide for you if you plan to visit the Temple of Heaven:

Things To Do in Beijing by Timeframe:

  • Do you have a whole month to travel in China? Check out that guide from Claire that includes a trip to Beijing plus plenty more!
  • Lavi from LaviWasHere has a one week itinerary for you if you need some ideas for what to do. 
  • Only in Beijing for a quick stop? Amanda from Goats on the Road has a guide for 72 hours in the beautiful city
  • And Vanessa, from Wanders Miles, has her recommended 3-day Beijing itinerary for first-time visitors.
  • Fran has suggestions for things to do when you’re only in the city for 48 hours
  • Planning to visit in the colder months? Rachel has plenty of suggestions for things to do in Beijing in the winter
  • Still deciding when you want to visit Beijing? Fran shares her opinion of the best time of year to visit
The Temple of Heaven in Beijing
The Temple of Heaven

Traveling with little ones? Jackie suggests the Adventure Zone at Kerry Center to keep them entertained. Jackie also shares the perfect weekend getaway for the whole family in Gubei Watertown. She also has a list of great places to visit that are toddler-friendly and recommends Beijing’s Hello! My Ocean museum for the whole family to enjoy!

Julie from Earth Trekkers has a great guide for things to do in Beijing with the whole family. 

Traveling solo? Fran has an awesome guide to give you ideas on things to do, safety tips, how to meet people, and more.

Vanessa, from Wanders Miles, follows that up with smart tips for solo female travel in Beijing, including her advice on transportation, language, and etiquette.

Ways to Explore Beijing:

  • Richelle, from Adventures Around Asia, recommends you explore Beijing like a local in Wudaoying Hutong.
  • If you plan to explore Beijing by bike, Fran from Culture Trip has got you covered. 
  • Linda from Linda Goes East has a list of the most Instagram-worthy things to do on your trip to Beijing. 

Vanessa has some recommendations on where to stay in Beijing, from luxury to hostels.

And, before you even start packing, Gayle has a really helpful list of what not to bring to China.

Listen: Music, Arts, & Events in Beijing

Beijing’s celebrations are known for being colorful, vibrant, and full of life. No matter what time of year you visit, there’s always something to celebrate. This section has a few experiences and videos for you to explore and experience Chinese culture. 

Wanderful Recommendations for Music & Events in Beijing:

Thia from Thia Luna helps you plan a visit to Beijing during Christmas:

If you’re into bars and nightclub experiences, Fran has a list of places you should visit while in Beijing. 

Planning to visit during Chinese New Year, Katie from the Map Pinners has a video just for you. 

Rachel recommends you celebrate summer by visiting these rooftops in Beijing.

Festival Experiences in Beijing:

Rachel shows us what it’s like to go to a Hanfu festival in Beijing:

Steph from Steph Lew has a video for you to help you plan a trip to Beijing for the famous mid-autumn festival:

Taste of Beijing: What to Eat and Drink 

Beijing is the place to be for new types of food from street food vendors, antique shops and handmade shoes, as well as some cool eateries made for families and active individuals.

Wanderful Recommendations for Food & Drink in Beijing:

Richelle starts us off with 20 foods you need to try when you plan a trip to Beijing.

If you’re looking for a family-friendly bakery, Jackie, from Bringing up the Parks, has two great suggestions for you. Jackie also recommends Jojo’s Bistro for a really cool cartoon dine-in experience you can take the whole family to!

Before you leave the city, you must try the street food that China is well-known for. Fran has put together the perfect guide for you to do just that. 

Beijing offers some very cool 24-hour restaurants in the constantly bustling city; check out those hand-selected best restaurants to visit. 

Rachel offers her favorite 10 restaurants in Beijing so you can check them out for yourself!

Chuan is a popular skewer meat in Beijing BBQ; Fran from Culture Trip has a great suggestion for a place to try the popular food. 

If you’re a vegetarian, Gayle has some helpful tips for avoiding meat while traveling in China.

Understand: History, Culture, and Going Beyond the Tourist Track in Beijing

Beijing has many neat quirks, nooks, and crannies to explore. From traditional Chinese events, to the hutongs around the bend, this section has everything you’d need to get off the beaten path and get to know the city like a local. 

Wanderful Recommendations for Learning About Beijing:

Before you travel, check out Gayle’s list of the best Chinese history books so you know before you go!

Rachel shares her experience learning about the Chinese Yoyo:

Fran from the Culture Trip has put together a list of best-kept secrets Beijing has to offer. 

Rachel also has an article to help you plan your trip to Beijing to explore the narrow streets called hutongs.

Claire, from Claire’s Footsteps, recommends visiting non-touristy cities in China.

Longqing Gorge is a must-visit with its gorgeous, scenic, and calming views.

Acupuncture has been a part of Chinese culture since the Neolithic period. Learn its cultural significance and where you can go to experience it. You may also want to experience traditional Chinese medicine during your trip. 

Connect: Meet Wanderful Women in Beijing

We don’t have a Wanderful Chapter in Beijing at the moment but Wanderful members can get tips from other travelers in the members-only portal.

Other Resources for Planning a Trip to Beijing

  • The Beijinger
  • China Highlights

Image by György Simon from Pixabay


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