When making a tourist trip to a big city like Beijing, the capital of China, it is important to have a first vision of what you are going to find when you get there.
It is also important to have a basic knowledge of the history of the Chinese capital that allows you to understand the significance of the main places you are going to visit.
To this end, here we are going to tell you some basic facts and historical curiosities and we are going to give you some tips for your visit to Beijing, a visit that is absolutely essential in a trip to that great country that is China.
1. Ancient Beijing City
The origins of the city of Beijing date back to the first human settlements in 1000 BC. In fact, after being devastated by the Mongol invasion in 1215, a few years later it was rebuilt and came to be considered as the Great Capital.
And when the Ming dynasty expelled the Mongols, after a period in which the capital of China was Nanking, finally in 1405 the third Ming emperor moved the capital definitively to Beijing.
As a curiosity, I will tell you that it was at that time when the impressive Imperial Palace Forbidden City was built, as well as the Temple of Heaven.
2. Modern Beijing City
Nowadays, Beijing is a huge city with more than 17 million inhabitants, the second in the population of China, after Shanghai, so the distances in your journeys can be very big.
Although the city extends with large avenues and highways that cross or surround the city, there is a lot of traffic, and traffic jams are constant.
Luckily, for many trips, you have an underground network, which is very extensive covers most areas of the city.
It is well known that China is a country in a rapid process of development towards modernity.
So, when planning a trip to China, you can say that if you visit Xian or Pingyao, you will see the China of the past.
On the other hand, in Shanghai, you will find a reflection of what China will be in the future.
And in Beijing, you will find the best exponent of today’s China, with a modernization process that reflects a mixture of historical tradition and modernity.
3. What to See on Your Visit to Beijing
As an example of this process of adaptation to modernity, in Beijing, you can visit some of the most important historical monuments in China.
But, also, in your displacements for the city, you will find big areas with neighborhoods of traditional houses.
These neighborhoods are the so-called hutong, some of which have had to be protected due to the advance of modernity.
During your visit to the Hutongs, you will see how people traditionally lived in Beijing, in low houses with a central courtyard, where in many cases several families lived together.
But the current image of Beijing shows completely modernized urban areas, with large and very modern skyscrapers.
Monuments in Beijing
From the monumental point, the nerve center of your visit will be the enormous Tian’anmen Square, where some of the most important monuments of the city are concentrated.
Apart from monuments such as the Monument to the People’s Heroes or the Mao Zedong Memorial, without a doubt, the place to visit is the Imperial Palace, better known as the Forbidden City,
This is where a large part of the history of a country like China is concentrated, and during your visit to this palace complex, you will visit numerous palaces and places of interest.
Temples in Beijing
In terms of temples, the great reference is the one known as the Temple of Heaven, completed in 1420, a ceremonial monument used by Chinese emperors throughout history.
There you will be able to walk around corners like Tiantan Park, the Circular Altar, or the Imperial Vault of Heaven.
Summer Palace in Beijing
Another highlight of the city is the Summer Palace, the summer residence of the Chinese emperors, where you can stroll through extensive gardens, sail on a lake and tour numerous palatial buildings.
In the surroundings of Beijing, you have another visit that must be a must on your trip to China.
I refer to the nearby the Great Wall of China, great construction of the from the capital you can visit several sections with different characteristics.
Another interesting enclave to visit near Beijing is the Ming Tombs, a place that is known were buried up to 13 emperors of this dynasty of emperors, although only three of them have been brought to light.
4. Tours of Beijing in English
For your trip, you also have the option of visiting the Chinese capital accompanied by a guide who speaks to you in English, and the best way is to hire one of the various private tours of Beijing.
Specifically, you can join the Top 3 of Beijing in one day, a tour in which you will visit the Forbidden City.