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Thrifty Traveler’s Guide to Exploring Beijing, China by Subway

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Once I visited Beijing for the primary time, I had an image in my head of a metropolis full of vacationers, overrun with cabs, and full of underwhelming vacationer points of interest.

I used to be mistaken.

Exploring China’s capital metropolis with buddies and wandering round alone made me fall in love with this sprawling metropolis. I beloved the time I spent in every neighborhood of Beijing, as a result of every had one thing totally different to supply. Listed here are my prime suggestions of must-see spots in Beijing, and easy methods to get to them by subway.


Beijing Subway System 

Whereas every neighborhood is walkable, the quickest (and subsequent least expensive) solution to journey to and between the neighborhoods of Beijing is by subway.

Whereas taxis and rickshaws can be found, it may be troublesome to navigate giving instructions in case you don’t converse Mandarin, and the costs usually are not fastened. In case you’ll be in Beijing for various days, I extremely advocate getting a Beijing Transportation Sensible Card (also referred to as Yikatong Card). Load 100 to 150 yuan ($15-$22 USD) onto the transit card and transfer swiftly by means of the general public transportation.

Take a look at a full map of the Beijing subway system, and obtain an app with the Beijing metro map to your telephone for straightforward use when out and about.  I recommend mapping out your must-see points of interest in Beijing and their corresponding subway stops, and planning your days round that. The extra you’ll be able to see with the least quantity of transit transfers every day, the higher! Under you’ll see my prime options of locations to go to in Beijing, with their corresponding subway stops.


Tian’anmen Sq. Space (Beijing subway cease: Qiánmen)

My first cease on the Beijing subway: the Tian’anmen Sq. neighborhood. That is the place fairly a couple of common hostels are situated, so in the event you’re staying at 365 Inn or Leo Hostel, that is your cease, too.


Hutongs of Dashilan District


I’ve stayed at 365 Inn a number of occasions now. It’s only a five-minute stroll from Qianmen subway cease and Tian’anmen Sq. within the coronary heart of Beijing. The 365 Inn hostel managers are so enjoyable and useful, and I just like the low key environment with an hooked up bar and lounge. Not bought on hostels? Learn up on why you must contemplate staying in a hostel in your subsequent journey.

The 365 Inn is tucked in a hutong – primarily an alleyway with plenty of outlets and eating places. There are some nice small eating places within the hutong to cease for some xiao lengthy bao (steamed buns with meat and/or veggies inside), which I extremely advocate for an inexpensive breakfast or snack. It was a energetic and genuine environment; rather more enjoyable than a lodge far out of city!


beijing china

Peking Duck


Don’t depart Beijing with out consuming roast duck at the very least as soon as. Deyuan Roast Duck restaurant close to the 365 Inn hostel is just delectable! I went a number of occasions over the course of my three journeys to Beijing: it’s that good.

Peking Duck is legendary in Beijing and when you get a style, you’ll know why. Take your crispy duck meat and place a number of slices right into a heat rice wrap together with candy sauce, greens, and different condiments, Wrap all of it up and luxuriate in! It isn’t loopy low cost like different choices, however roast duck is by far one among my favourite meals in China.

Proper outdoors of the Qianmen subway cease, you’ll discover Tian’anmen Sq.. On this space, you’ll additionally discover the Mausoleum of Mao Zedong (supposedly the place Chairman Mao is buried) and the Monument to the Individuals’s Heroes. Safety is tight on this sq. due to the Tian’anmen Sq. protests of 1989. Going by way of bag checks, required backpack lockers, safety, and passport checks took up numerous time.

The Chinese language individuals aren’t are allowed to know or study the historical past or political significance of Tian’anmen Sq. riots. So it’s odd that there isn’t a recognition of the riots within the sq. itself.


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The Forbidden Metropolis


Immediately north of the Tian’anmen Sq. lies the Forbidden Metropolis. This was the imperial palace from the Míng dynasty, constructed within the 1400s. It covers an enormous space and is filled with buildings with spectacular historic Chinese language structure. Contained in the buildings are cultural relics and artifacts – a pleasure to wander by means of. The Forbidden Metropolis is open from eight:30 a.m. to five:00 p.m., and I’d advocate visiting early and leaving at the least a number of hours to undergo the buildings and exhibitions.

Tickets are roughly $9 USD. In case you’re a scholar, remember to convey your ISIC scholar low cost card to get a good cheaper ticket. Entrance is reasonable, and for those who can keep away from the crowds, it’s a good way to expertise the dynastic historical past.


beijing china

The Forbidden Metropolis Backyard


On the far north finish of the Forbidden Metropolis, you’ll discover an exquisite little backyard referred to as Yangxingzhai. This park boasts historic gardening types, lush ponds, and really previous timber. Be sure that to stroll throughout the road after you exit this final a part of the Forbidden Metropolis. Simply north of this backyard is the gorgeous Jingshan Park. On this park, you possibly can stroll up the hill to get a 360-degree view of the town. The view of the Forbidden Metropolis from Jingshan Park is spectacular!


Hutongs Purchasing (Beijing subway cease: Nanluoguxiang)

Additional north of the Jingshan Park – and only a step out of the Nanluoguxiang subway cease – are the most important and hottest assortment of hutongs. Hutongs are conventional slender streets and alleys. The primary alleys of common Nanluoguxiang hutong are lined with small vintage, handicraft, and trinket outlets, in addition to road meals and comfy cafes. Wander away into the aspect streets and also you’ll discover different funky outlets and themed eating places. You can even see the quaint residences on these less-traveled aspect road hutongs. That is one in every of my favourite locations to deliver Beijing first-timers: their eyes mild up once they see all the road meals, souvenirs, and adorably themed cafes!


beijing china


On the finish of the winding Hutongs space lies the Bell and Drum Towers. For reasonable entry, you’ll be able to climb the huge steps to the highest of the tower for an additional nice view of the town. They’ve nice historic info (in English!) concerning the position that these towers performed in preserving monitor of, saying, and understanding time in historic occasions. Additionally they maintain a free drum efficiency each hour that’s fairly spectacular to see.

Lastly, on the best way again from the towers in the direction of the middle of the town is Behai Lake. This space can also be simply accessible by way of the subway cease Shichahai. Alongside the aspect of the lake are many tea homes, memento outlets, and road meals distributors. There’s additionally a shocking temple hugging the proper aspect of the lake. In the course of the winter, the lake is buzzing with each locals and vacationers alike who’ve come out for a day of ice skating, cross nation ski chairs, and ice skate bikes. This can be a fantastic space to cease for a cup of tea or a beer through the summer time as nicely.


beijing china

Behai Lake


Temple of Heaven Space (Beijing subway cease: Tiantandongmen)

In the event you’re trying to get your fill of Chinese language structure throughout your keep in Beijing, take the Beijing subway to theTiantandongmen cease to go to the Temple of Heaven Park. This park homes a number of temples with numerous historic artifacts on show inside. Give your self a couple of hours to stroll across the space and take within the structure and historical past.


beijing china

Temple of Heaven


A brief stroll from the doorway of the Temple of Heaven park is the Pearl Market. Sure, this is among the famed knock-off markets of Beijing! I visited a number of markets throughout my time in Beijing, and I personally discovered the Pearl Market to be a lot higher than the Silk Market. The Pearl Market had a mind-blowing quantity of things on the market on each sq. inch of this mall, from trinkets to electronics to knockoff luggage and footwear. Ensure you convey your bargaining expertise – I obtained most of my purchases for 80% lower than the beginning worth. In fact, with something, ensure you absolutely examine and check out on (or check out) the merchandise you’re buying. Keep in mind that an affordable worth additionally oftentimes means decrease high quality. Nevertheless, I discovered a number of purses, some tennis footwear, and souvenirs for pals again house that suited me for the worth.


beijing china

The Pearl Market


Wangfujing Space (Beijing subway cease: Wangfujing)

Final however not least, I like to recommend first-time guests take a look at the Wangfujing space. For probably the most half, this space outdoors of the Wangfujing subway cease is simply buying malls and resorts. Nevertheless, hidden down one unassuming road marked with a tall purple gate lies one of the well-known meals markets in all of China. Right here you possibly can eat Chinese language specialties resembling dumplings and barbecued meats, noodles, and extra. However most individuals come for the unique meals on a stick!


beijing china

Wangfujing Distinctive Eats


Take your decide of tarantula, cricket, seahorse, starfish, and lots of different choices to be deep fried, salted, and handed to you at a steep worth. I attempted the scorpions, and I need to admit that they had a pleasant crunchy texture.

I like to recommend visiting Wangfujing at night time. It might be packed, nevertheless it’s a enjoyable environment to expertise and an amazing spot to check out some new meals. The costs aren’t low cost, so I like to recommend sharing with a journey buddy or choosing a number of favorites to attempt.

Trying to transcend the town and make a go to to the Nice Wall of China? Learn my information on easy methods to see the perfect a part of the Nice Wall – and avoid wasting cash, too.


Backside Line

These are just some of my favourite neighborhoods to go to in Beijing. Seize your self a Beijing subway cross, make your itinerary with these prime suggestions, and luxuriate in all of the historical past, structure, tradition, and meals this metropolis has to supply.


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Editorial Notice: Any opinions, analyses, evaluations, or suggestions expressed on this article are these of the writer’s alone, and haven’t been reviewed, permitted, or in any other case endorsed by any card issuer.


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