Why not set yourself the challenge of finding your own 10 best free things to do in Beijing. To be fair, it will not be too difficult to find more than 10.
Beijing, the capital city of China, is full of history, people and stunning architecture. Every corner of the city will have something which will surprise you. Beijing is not a very expensive place, and it is still full of beauty attractions and adventure to keep any visitor occupied. If you are worried about your expenses and are on a budget, well you will be glad to know that there are there are loads of free attractions in Beijing. So, if you are planning to spend some weeks on exploring the different attractions the city has to offer, below is a list of the 10 best free things to do in Beijing.
1) The Great Wall of China
You can visit the different sections of the Great Wall. Amongst the 10 best free things to do Beijing, The Great Wall has to be the number one destination. Badaling is the most visited part, probably because it is more rooted to China’s ancient culture; it is well-preserved and has magnificent sights. You can also choose the Mutianyu or Juyongguan, which are equally famous as Badaling and flocked by throngs of visitors.
2) Window Shopping
You may not have thought that window shopping can qualify as one of the 10 best free things to do in Beijing, but if you are looking for variety then it can be included. There are many markets where you can explore Beijing’s unique fashion. You can try the Wangfujing Shopping Street, which is very popular with both locals and visitors, you can also check out the basement shopping, malls and in summer, enjoy the open air cafés and beer festivals.
You can visit Qianmen Street, which sells a large variety of modern clothes, electronic products and Chinese traditional snacks. Visit the Silk Market to improve your bargaining techniques!
Panjiayuan Flea Market is the largest flea market of its kind, open from Monday to Friday. The market has a classical furniture, modern collection, food service and stone carving area.
A good way of familiarising yourself with the different districts of Beijing is by walking through the Hutongs. These are narrow alleyways popular amongst tourists. If you prefer a swifter means of travel through them other than you walking fast, the there are rickshaw riders, offering their services for a fee. Hutongs will show you an entirely different side of the city and in terms of the 10 best free things to do in Beijing, it has to be up there, somewhere just below The Great Wall of China. Although Beijing has more than 2000 Hutongs, only a few have the names.
Maliandao Tea Street is considered to be the largest hub of the tea wholesalers. You can enjoy a variety of this popular hot drink, including green tea, jasmine, oolong, to name a few. Each and every one of them will come in a beautiful teapot.
There are lots of parks with ancient Chinese buildings and beautifully crafted landscapes. You can also learn Taichi at the Ritan Park. Ritan Park includes ponds and pines, climbing walls and an outdoor gym. Also, you can see the ballroom dance, sword fight and ancient puzzle game called Mah-jongg. There are many other famous parks like Jingshan Park, which overlooks the entire Forbidden City. It’s a beautiful place to escape from the busy streets. Also, you can learn flying kites in the park.
6) Tian’anmen Square
It is where Chinese people go to pay respect to Chairman Mao and one of the best places for people watching. It is the world’s largest public square and for that reason alone, it ought to be included as one of the 10 best free things to do in Beijing. You see the soldiers marching here and flags flying high. The entrance is free, but you have to dress relatively smartly to get in. Slippers, backpacks, cameras are not allowed. Because it is a place where locals come to pay their respect to Chairman Mao, noise must be kept to the minimum. The body of Chairman Mao is on display in the square in the memorial hall, where he is well-preserved in a crystal coffin.
The museums contain influential Chinese history and are mostly free. The most popular ones are the National Museum, which exhibits ancient art, ancient Chinese jade and old Chinese currency.
You can also visit the Beijing Museum of Natural History, which hosts a rich collection of animals, palaeontology and human mysteries. The giant dinosaurs and aquatic animals are a favourite for children.
The Beijing Theater Museum provides the brief introduction to the development of the Beijing Opera. It includes old decoration, books, pictures, various ancient costumes and Chinese architecture.
8) Local Food
Beijing is well known for its local food, but you can try some strange delicacies too in its markets at moderate prices. If you lucky you will get to sample some of what is on offer for free.
Dong Hua Men Night Market, is a nighttime market and one of the best places to spend your nights in Beijing. If you want to try some strange snacks like roast duck face, snake, cockroaches, crickets, scorpion or starfish, then you will get it deep grilled on the Dong Hua Men Night Market.
In Beijing, you can even try the sample food first before ordering anything, which will be safe some cost for you.
The Forbidden City is known for its temples which provide places for those needing some respite from the bustle of the city to find inner peace. You can visit some temples like the Lama Temple, which is an active Buddhist temple. It includes the 10 meters high sandalwood Buddha statue, recorded in Guinness Book of Records.
Temple of Heaven, is perhaps the most impressive temple. It made up of tranquil gardens and temples with numerous shrines. You can even hear the whispering of others near the wall and at Circular Mound Alter.
10) Beijing Zoo
It has the largest varieties of animals species. It features gorillas, panda, dolphins, sharks and elephants. It is a natural garden with a dense grove of trees, grassland and lotus pools. The highlight for many visitors is seeing the giant panda, recognised as China’s national symbol.
The 10 best free things to do in Beijing, which in this article only gives you an idea how much you can do in the city. A visit to Beijing will always be worth it for any traveller. Even on a budget, there is plenty to do if you plan ahead.