Cheap Flights to Beijing
Beijing is the capital and cultural epicenter of China. This sprawling city offers a unique blend of China's ancient artifacts and architecture with the ultra-modern China of today. As a result, Beijing offers a melting pot of China writ large, with some of the best examples of China's vast and many cuisines in the country.
Attractions in Beijing
Beijing's main attractions are the historical sites of the Forbidden City (the former imperial palace now home to many rooms of historical artifacts), the Temple of Heaven, the Summer Palace and Drum, and Bell Towers of Dongcheng, each of which give visitors a glimpse of the imperial China of old.
One of the biggest pulls, however, is the Great Wall of China. Taxis and tour buses service visits to this fortification’s many wall sections, though we recommend skipping the touristic Badaling for Simatai, Jinshanling, or Mutianyu if you're wanting a more remote and rugged experience.
More recent attractions include the 798 Art District, the central hub for Beijing's art scene, and the hobbled Hutong areas of central Beijing. Hutongs are the alleyway dwellings which once housed China’s elites and, after servicing the working classes following the Revolution, are now home to museums, street food stalls, hip cafés, and craft beer breweries.
Shopping and Restaurants
Dining - Beijing is not only a melting pot of China’s broad and multifarious cuisines, but it is also a regional cuisine and style itself. Notable foods you must try in Beijing are the world-famous Peking Duck, Beggar's Chicken, Napa Cabbage Hot Pot, and Sautéed Shredded Pork in Sweet Bean Sauce.
Shopping - Beijing has everything from ultra-expensive high fashion brands to chic independent clothes boutiques. The Silk Market remains a popular tourist trap selling knockoffs and attracting giggling visitors looking for “Ctarks” shoes. Beijing’s major shopping streets are Wangfujiang, Qianmen, Xidan, Nanluogu, and Xiushui.
Avoid visiting Beijing around national holidays like Chinese New Year, Labour Day (1st May), or National Day (1st October). The crowds can be overwhelming and the attractions difficult to access. You should also avoid cheap package tour buses to attractions as they’ll inevitably spend more time stopping off at “gift shops”.
Flights to Beijing
Beijing has three airports (Capital, Nanyuan, Xijiao) and one under construction (Daxing). If you're an international visitor, you'll likely only have experience with Beijing Capital International Airport, which is one of the busiest in the world. The airport has three terminals, of which terminals 2 and 3 operate international flights, with the bulk of such traffic in the larger terminal 3. Sitting 32km from the city center, the airport is serviced by the Airport Express Line, bus routes and taxis which run to the city center.
More information on Beijing
Beijing's official tourism website has a wide variety of official information on visas and travel guides for the uninitiated. However, visitors will also want to consult more independent resources like Lonely Planet's comprehensive travel guide featuring both star attractions and hidden gems, or Travel China Guide, one of the leading online resources for both area guides, general tourist information and bookable tours.