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Beijing is China's capital city. This sprawling metropolis is home to 21.5 million people, and is second only in size to Shanghai. Once the seat of the Qing and Ming dynasty emperors, modern-day Beijing is a melting pot of culture and history with 14 districts to explore, each with their own distinct identity.
Book a flight to Beijing with Qatar Airways and visit one of China's most remarkable cities for a stop-off on your tour of China, or a longer break at any time of the year.
With an extraordinary history dating back several thousand years, Beijing has no shortage of tourist attractions, but why not start your trip to Beijing with a visit to Tiananmen Square in the Dongcheng District? It is here you will find the Museum of Chinese History and the Forbidden City, as well as the Chairman Mao Memorial Hall.
No visit to China's capital city would be complete without exploring the wonders of the Forbidden City, which has remained largely untouched by time. Wander around the beautiful palaces and temples or watch locals practising tai chi in the peaceful surroundings.
Most first-time visitors to the city will want to take the one hour train journey to the Great Wall of China. While the Badaling section remains the most popular, better views and a less crowded atmosphere can be found at Huanghuacheng and Jinshanling. For a real taste of old-world Beijing, head for the city centre's Hutongs, ancient alleyways that showcase traditional architecture dating back to the Yuan dynasty. Houhai and Qianmnen are the most popular Hutongs with visitors to the city.
Travel to Beijing and prepare for an assault on all your senses – the city centre's buzzing, vibrant atmosphere is the perfect contrast to the peace and tranquillity of its parks and temples. Escape the city centre and book a cooking class or tea tasting afternoon in a traditional Hutong, or join in with a yoga or tai chi class at a temple. On sunny days, head for one of the city's parks, where you can usually find locals practising calligraphy. The Summer Palace and Beijing Botanical Gardens in Haidian District offer plenty of green space to relax.
An afternoon spent exploring some of Beijing's museums offers a fascinating insight into Chinese history. The National Museum in Dongcheng District and the Military Museum are both popular choices. If you're already in Doncheng District, it is worth booking seats for the Beijing Opera at Chang'an Grand Theatre.
While some of the Chinese specialities on offer in Beijing will surely be familiar to you, the chances are you will never have tasted Peking Roast Duck this good.
Eating out in Beijing can be inexpensive, and street food offers one of the best ways to sample local delicacies. Expect to see savoury pancakes, mutton hotpot and lamb kebabs. Tea lovers should head for the Qianmen district to enjoy tasting sessions and traditional tea ceremonies at one of the many tea houses.
It can be tempting to visit Beijing's department stores for high-quality goods, but a more authentic shopping experience can be found at the city's markets. Hong Qiao Market in Chongwen District and Xizhimen in Xicheng District are popular places to find a bargain, and haggling is essential. Don't be afraid to walk away from a sale as this may often get you the low price you want.
Silk clothing, local fashion and tableware are worth buying in Beijing – check out the Malls at Oriental Plaza in Dongcheng District or The Tea Street in Xuanwu District, where you'll find an extensive selection of fine teas.
Flights to Beijing with Qatar Airways arrive at Beijing Capital International Airport, the world's second busiest airport.
Visa restrictions for entry into the country will depend on your country of origin, length of stay and whether your trip is for business or pleasure. So before you fly to Beijing please check the visa and passport requirements.
Currency: Renminbi (CNY)
Voltage: 220 V 50 Hz
Plugs: Type A / I
International dialing code: +86