The capital of China, Beijing is the political centre of a country which is enjoying an economic and cultural boom. Having hosted the 2008 Winter Olympics, Beijing is an established tourist destination which offers a rich cultural life which is more and more English-speaking and accessible to visitors.
A great imperial capital under the Ming and Qing dynasties, Beijing boasts a number of historic, must-see monuments. On your visit to Beijing, explore the Forbidden City (Gu Gong in Chinese) and the Great Wall of China.
Another major sight, Tian'anmen Square is a must-see. This square, on which you will find the mausoleum of Mao Zedong, was the setting for the 1989 demonstrations for democracy in China and of the massacre of the 4 June which put an end to this movement.
Known for its major universities such as the University of Beijing, the Chinese capital has a dynamic young population and many festivals aimed at the next generation, such as the Jazz-E Festival, the Croisements Festival and even an International Beer Festival!
If you are planning to visit Beijing in winter, don't miss the Ice and Snow Festival which, despite the cold, offers numerous activities for all the family.
Alternatively, discover Beijing in full celebration, visit at the time of Chinese New Year or the Festival of Lanterns.
Find out more about Ancient China and traditional Chinese culture, with a trip to the Temple of Heaven. After tasting crispy duck, a Chinese fondue or steamed dumplings, go and drink some Chinese tea at the Lao She Teahouse where traditional performing arts shows are performed regularly.
And finally, whether you are there as a as a couple, with the family or with friends, pay a visit to the giant pandas of China, who await you at the Beijing zoo!