30 May 2024 Beyond words

Beijing tourist attractions in the palm of your hand

Since 9 December 2022, Air Serbia has flown to one city in the People's Republic of China, in its growing network of destinations. You can fly to the city of Tianjin directly from Belgrade on comfortable wide-body aircraft for transoceanic flights. For many of our travellers, Tianjin is just the starting point to set off and discover China. Among the first cities to visit is Beijing, which is only 117 km from Tianjin airport, or about 30 minutes by high-speed train. Our colleague Milena Kasom, brand ambassador for China, presents some of the most popular tourist spots in Beijing with useful tips on how to get there quickest.

A perfect combination of train and metro

Taking the train from Tianjin, you will arrive at Beijing South railway station in about thirty minutes. From there, most of Beijing's tourist destinations are within easy reach as the metro is designed to get you anywhere quickly and easily. If you are preparing to discover Beijing, the Chinese names of locations that I will write below will be very useful for you.

Beijing is a huge city and in one day you can visit at most two to three tourist sites. When planning, be sure to carefully calculate the time you need to move around the city, especially between the subway and the train station, and leave about half an hour to find your way around the station and board the train.

The metro station at the start of your adventure has the same name as the railway station - Beijing South Railway Station, or in Chinese Beijing Nan Zhan北京南. There are two metro lines, number 4 and number 14. To calculate which route is best for you, I can recommended you use the Metroman application.

Key tourist points

The Forbidden City, or the Palace Museum in English, 故宫in Chinese, and the National Museum, are located in Tiananmen Square. To get there, use metro line number 4. You should get off at Xidan station and change to line number 1. After two stops, you will reach Tiananmen East station (somewhere it is also written as Tiananmen Dong). Take exit B. To visit the attractions, you must book in advance online. Tiananmen Square and the museum are free, but there is a fee to enter the Forbidden City. You can buy tickets for all other attractions on the spot.

Jingshan 景山 park, from whose highest tower you can see the entire complex of the Forbidden City, is extremely beautiful, and I also recommend Beihai Park not far away. It is an exceptional place for a walk by the lake, and it is possible to rent a boat. Whichever park you choose, you can quickly walk to the ancient Houhai and Nanluoguxiang streets. If you decide to take the subway, take Line 9 to Houhai 后海, get off at Shichahai Station and take exit A2. Take subway lines 6 and 8 exit E to Nanluoguxiang Street 南锣鼓巷.

You should set aside a few hours for a tour of the Summer Palace 颐和园. It is really big and is far from the city. To get there you will need about an hour by metro. Use line 4, the station is BeiGongmen, use exit D. I recommend you enter the palace through the North Gate and, with the help of the map, walk towards the East Gate. From there you can take a taxi to your next destination, or you can go to XiYuan 西苑 metro station on line 4.

Subway line 5 leads to the Temple of Heaven 天坛东门. Alight at TiantanDongmen station, exit A2, while subway lines 2 and 5 lead to the Llama temple 雍和宫. The stop is Yonghegong, exit F. This is an extremely beautiful part of the city and is great for walking. In the immediate vicinity there are also other famous food places, such as the Confucius Guozijian temple 国子监

If you are interested in the modern part of the city, be sure to visit the Sanlitun district. Sanlitun Soho and Sanlitun Taiguli lie opposite each other and are especially beautiful at night. You can get to them by metro line 10. Get off at Tuanjiehu Station 江法湖 exit A.

The Central Business District is about two kilometres from Sanlitun. Be sure to visit the rooftop garden of the Blue Frog Bar in the China World Shopping Center building. From there, you can see the skyscrapers and the tallest tower in Beijing. To get there, take metro line number 1, exit B or E2, and your station will be Guomao 国贸铁铁站.

Beijing Zoo is extremely old. It is quite similar to other zoos around the world, but here you can definitely see pandas. It can be reached by metro line 4, and the stop you need to get off at is Beijing zoo 北京动物园 exit C1.

If you are planning a visit to the Great Wall of China, be aware that you need a whole day. It is two hours from Beijing and the best way to get there is probably by taxi. I recommend that you leave Tianjin around 9 o'clock in the morning.


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