Leisure and Fun

City of Beijing

Beijing, a municipality directly under the Central Government, is the capital of the People's Republic of China and the country's political, economic, and cultural center.

Beijing covers 16,807 square kilometers. Mountainous areas occupy 10,417 square kilometers, accounting for 62% of the city’s landmass. The rest, 6,390 square kilometers or 38% of the total, is flatland. Beijing belongs to the warm tempeerature zone with a semi-humid climate. It has four distinctive seasons, with short springs and autumns, while summers and winters are always long. Annual temperatures average 12.8℃. January is the coldest month with an average temperature of -6.4℃, and July is the hottest with an average temperature of 29.6℃. The city has a registered population of 20 million. People from all of China's 56 ethnic groups can be found in Beijing. The vast majority of the population belongs to the Han ethnic group.

With a long history dating back to over 3,000 years ago, the city is home to a number of world-renowned historic sites. The Great Wall, the Forbidden City and the Temple of Heaven are all on the UNESCO World Heritage List.

 

Recommended Tourist Attractions

Beijing has so infinite variety of people, brilliant history and culture and fascinating destinations that it tempts travelers from all over the world. Considering many of you will be traveling considerable distances coming to China, you might like to take the opportunity to enjoy some of the city's unique attractions before or after the conference by yourself. The following attractions are most popular for sightseeing, and the information below is for your reference only.

 

  • The Temple of Heaven

Opening Hours: 08:00 – 17:30 (Ticket selling stops at 16:00)

Transportation: Take Subway Line 5, get off at Tiantan Dongmen (East Gate of Tiantan) Station and get out of the station from Exit A1.

The Temple of Heaven is located in southern Beijing. It was first constructed in 1420, the 18th year of the reign of Ming emperor Yongle, and was extended and renovated during the reigns of Ming emperor Jiajing and Qing emperor Qianlong. It was the place where the emperors of the Ming and Qing dynasties would worship the god of heaven and pray for good harvest. Covering an area of 273 hectares, it is the largest architectural complex in the world for rituals to pay homage to heaven. In 1998, the Temple of Heaven was inscribed on the World Heritage List by the UNESCO. With profound cultural connotations and imposing architectural styles, the Temple of Heaven is considered a reflection of the ancient civilization of the Orient.

 

  • The Summer Palace

Opening Hours: 06:30 – 18:00

Transportation: Take Subway Line 4 and get off at Beigongmen Station (Beigongmen means the North Palace Gate); or get off at Xiyuan Station, get out of the station from Exit C2 and walk west to the East Palace Gate.

The Summer Palace in Beijing integrates numerous traditional halls and pavilions into the Imperial Garden conceived by the Qing emperor Qianlong between 1750 and 1764 as the Garden of Clear Ripples. Using Kunming Lake, the former reservoir of the Yuan dynasty’s capital and Longevity Hill as the basic framework, the Summer Palace combined political and administrative, residential, spiritual, and recreational functions within a landscape of lakes and mountains, in accordance with the Chinese philosophy of balancing the works of man with nature. As the culmination of several hundred years of Imperial garden design, the Summer Palace has had a major influence on subsequent oriental garden art and culture.

 

  • National Stadium-Bird's Nest

Opening Hours: 09:00 – 19:00

Transportation: Take Subway Line 8, get off at Olympic Sports Center station and get out of the station from Exit B2.

Located in the south of the Olympic Forest Park, the National Stadium (Bird's Nest) has a floor area of 258,000 m2 and a site area of 204,000 m2; and with about 80,000 fixed seats, it is able to accommodate 91,000 audiences. The National Stadium, a special-grade oval building with designed service life up to 100 years, has a longitudinal length of 333 meters, a latitudinal width of 296 meters and a maximum height of 69 meters. The construction of the National Stadium was started on December 24, 2003 and completed on June 28, 2008.

 

  • Water Cube

Opening Hours: 09:00 – 20:00 (Ticket selling stops at 19:30)

Transportation: Take Subway Line 8, get off at Olympic Sports Center station and get out of the station from Exit B2.

National Aquatics Center, also known as Water Cube, is the landmark building of Beijing 2008 Olympic Games. It is axially related to the National Stadium on the north part of Beijing Central Axis and reinforces the historical and cultural features of Beijing city. The National Aquatics Center was the venue for swimming, diving, synchronized swimming and water-polo final during the Olympic Games. The total seating capacity was 17,000 during the Games. 11,000 temporary seats were removed after the Games. Now the National Aquatics Center becomes the venue for various activities such as aquatic sports, swimming, fitness and recreation.

 

  • Silk Street

Opening Hours: 09:30 – 21:00

Transportation: Take Subway Line 1, get off at Yonganli station and get out of the station from Exit B.

Synonymous with a visit to the city, the old Silk Street was a treat for bargain-hunting tourists. Today, development in the area has made way for bigger and brighter things and one of those is the new Silk Street, a composite of the traders and wares of the old alley now spread out on three floors of this comfortable and new building. Despite its name, the Silk Street has much more than just silk. The silk products there are cheap, and therefore popular, but there are also a lot of cashmere garments, down jackets, leather goods, shoes, hats, watches and some handicrafts and trinkets at knock down prices. One of the main things about Silk Street is the fact that none of the prices are set. It is often helpful to bring along a Chinese friend who can help you bargain.

 

  • Wangfujing Street

Opening Hours: All day

Transportation: Take Subway Line 1, get off at Wangfujing station and get out of the station from Exit B1.

Wangfujing Street is the most famous commercial area in Beijing. Ten mansions for noblemen were built there in Ming Dynasty. The street was named for a sweet-water well on the street. Since Dong'an Market was established in 1903, the area has become a commercial center in Beijing. Now Wangfujing is considered as the heart of Beijing, congested with hotels, specialty shops, famous and long-established department stores and also a snack street. Strolling in it, you will experience the highly-appreciated modern life and long-expected traditional culture.