What sights are there to see in Beijing?

March 16, 2010 | Posted by Chris

Long one of the defining features of Beijing, there are numerous sights of historical or cultural significance in the city. Some of the better-known attractions Beijing has accumulated in its roughly 1000-year-long history include: the Forbidden City, the Summer Palace, the Temple of Heaven, the Ming Tombs, the Great Wall, Tian'anmen Square, and the Lama Temple. Modern day additions to this list include the Olympic arenas, notably the Bird's Nest and Water Cube, as well as the idyllic campuses of colleges that were first funded by 19th century missionaries, like Beijing University, which is located in Wudaokou.

However, to visit Beijing is to understand that the city's charm lies not in its major showcase attractions (which can be crowded and difficult to get to), but in the little discoveries you make while navigating this great city. The allure of Beijing lies in interacting with friendly locals and finding cultural gems that are generally unknown, like the tombs of the first Jesuits in China -- Matteo Ricci, Ferdinand Verbiest and Adam Schall -- which rest in an anonymous gated patch of bamboo on the quiet campus of the Beijing Communist Party School.

the Forbidden City in Beijing the Great Wall at Simatai

Major tourist sites in Beijing include, above, the Forbidden City and the Great Wall.

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