PLACES TO SEE
Up there with Times Square, Red Square, and St. Peter's Square, Tiananmen Square is among the world's most famous public spaces. Almost anyone can recognize the Gate of Heavenly Peace—emblazoned with a portrait of Chairman Mao—as a symbol of Beijing. The square is the geographic, political, and tourist center of the city, which makes it unavoidable. Although Tiananmen Square looks like a field of concrete (which it is), you'll want to see it for the surrounding attractions. The Great Hall of the People, Chairman Mao's Mausoleum, the National Museum of China, and the Forbidden City sit on the edges. Plus, taking a picture here is almost required to prove you've been to Beijing. Time: 1 to 2 hours
THE GREAT WALL OF CHINA
Just north of Beijing, you'll find one of the most famous monuments in the world—the Great Wall of China. Although it's unlikely you'll see the whole thing (after all, it measures about 5,500 miles long), you should aim to experience a portion of it. That begs the question: Which section?
Only an hour's drive northwest of Beijing, the Badaling section is convenient, hosts a large souvenir market, and has a gondola to whisk visitors up and down the wall. This creates mob-like scenes that can spoil the trip. Entrance to the Badaling section of wall (not including the gondola ride) costs 40 CNY (about $6.50 USD) in the winter, you can start hiking the Badaling portion at 6:40 a.m., and you must be down by 6:30 p.m. every day. Time: half day to full day
SUMMER PALACE (YIHEYUAN)
When the bustle of Beijing becomes too much for you, do as the emperors would do and retreat to the Summer Palace. Located in the northwest suburbs, this oasis—literally, an oasis with serene Kunming Lake—hosts several attractions. Nearly every gate, pavilion, hall, and tower has a unique history and merits a photo. Despite the palace's historic appeal, most tourists are charmed by what's outside. The Summer Palace possesses the largest imperial garden in China, so you can be sure there is a lot to see. The Seventeen-Arch Bridge stretches into Kunming Lake, providing excellent views of the east bank and South Lake Island. And at an impressive 2,388 feet in length, the Long Corridor garners lots of attention.
Travelers are rarely disappointed by the wonders of the Summer Palace. You can reach the Summer Palace by taking subway Line 4 to the Yiheyuan stop and walking from there. The gates of this UNESCO World Heritage Site are open daily from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. between November and March. However, some attractions don’t open until two hours after the gates open. General admission costs 20 CNY (about $3 USD) in the low seasons and 30 CNY (about $4.75 USD) in the high season, but several "scenic spots," like the Garden of Virtue and Harmony, require an additional fee. Time: half to full day
FORBIDDEN CITY (IMPERIAL PALACE)
Operating under the official title of "The Palace Museum," the Forbidden City (also known as the Imperial Palace) has been a place of wonder and mystery for over 500 years. This massive complex sits on the northern edge of Tiananmen Square at the epicenter of Beijing. Beyond its towering fortifications, you'll find an intricate labyrinth of squares, halls, gates, pavilions, sleeping quarters, and temples. In some of the structures, curated art and historic relics have been placed; however, the greatest achievement is the compound itself. Not-to-be-missed highlights include the Meridian Gate, the Turret, the Antiquarium, and the Imperial Garden.
You must enter the Forbidden City through the Meridian Gate, which is easily reached via the Tiananmen East or Tiananmen West subway stops. The palace welcomes visitors every day from 8:30 a.m. to until 4:30 p.m. from November to March. Admission costs 60 CNY (about $9.50 USD) in the high season and 40 CNY (about $6.50 USD) in the low season. Time: 2hours to half day.
PLACES TO DINE
One of the most exclusive Italian restaurants in Beijing. Three-Michelin-Starred Chef Umberto Bombana created “a modern yet refined Italian restaurant” that matches the needs and sophisticated tastes of the Beijing upmarket crowd. To maintain the impeccable high standard, he uses the art and master skills of top chefs and wine connoisseurs. Opera Bombana offers an imaginative and modern interior to enjoy spectacular Italian cuisine made from the freshest of ingredients. The cocktail bar is another success, preparing some divine pre-dinner drinks, while an expert wine manager will find the perfect match for every dish.
Located on the top floor of the fancy Park Hyatt, China Grill boasts spectacular 360 degree views of the city of Beijing, especially stunning during night time. The menu is largely meat oriented, but also offers a generous variety of seafood, salads, soups and Chinese-inspired dishes. An exhaustive wine list is also available. The open kitchen (a popular feature among high end restaurants in Beijing) adds an air of freshness and vibrancy. China Grill is modern, sleek and super fascinating with its 65th floor views that almost make you feel like you are dining on the clouds. A definite must-have experience for those who visit Beijing.
GANGES INDIAN RESTAURANT
Since entering Beijing in 2005, the Ganges Restaurant in India has been known for providing delicious, authentic Indian cuisine. We are highly praised by mainstream foreign language magazines and Indian diplomats. The Ganges Indian Restaurant is the best choice for you to taste authentic Indian cuisine in Beijing. It includes most of the dishes from northern India, the essence of Southern Indian style, and the new dishes that combine Mumbai's modern style.
The many dishes on our menu may be difficult for you to choose. We have a buffet lunch where you can taste a wide variety of dishes with very little money, which is a good choice!
Dining experience beyond expectation. The concept and design behind the restaurant Lost Heaven is drawn from artistic and cultural elements of minority tribes in Yunnan. The original patterns, handiwork, and embroideries of Tibetan, Yi, Na Xi, Dai, Miao, and Yao tribes are visible in every corner of the restaurant. Inspiration is also gathered from local religious beliefs, ancient poems, song, and dance, and countless stories and legends from the ancient Tea Horse Road.
The founders of the restaurant continuously search for indigenous recipes and cooking techniques from the Yunnan region. They combine what they learn with Western and Southeast Asian cuisine to bring more inspired dishes to their customers. This unique approach has made Lost Heaven a one-of-a-kind restaurant serving Yunnan folk cuisine. It has been heralded by the Shanghai media as a “must-visit” and “landmark restaurant”. What started as a love of the varied culture and food in Yunnan, Lost Heaven has grown into a distinctive attraction and successfully put Yunnan folk cuisine on the map.
The hotel's signature Chinese restaurant, Huang Ting, introduces a new menu based on Cantonese cuisine, which uses a wide range of healthy and seasonal ingredients to cook. The newly-built Huangting Tea Room is adjacent to the main restaurant. It is a magnificent ancient palace decorated with Ming Dynasty dining tables and parasols. The tea room serves more than 50 kinds of Chinese famous teas. A new tea artist will sit and hold a series of seasonal tea parties. Each tea is prepared in front of the guests like the traditional Chinese tea ceremony and all day snacks are served.