4 detailed two-day Beijing Itineraries

7 Things to Do in Yonghe Lama Temple

If you are going to spend two days in Beijing, the following itineraries should allow you to have a journey into the past, discover the city’s modern face, delve into the its rich cultural heritage, and experience the breathtaking beauty of nature at the Great Wall sections of Mutianyu and Simatai.

Itinerary 1: Historical Beijing

Day 1:

  • Morning: Start your day at Tiananmen Square, the world’s largest public square. Explore the historical significance of the square and visit the Monument to the People’s Heroes.
  • Afternoon: Walk through the south gate of the square to enter the magnificent Forbidden City, an imperial palace complex that served as the home of Chinese emperors for nearly 500 years. Explore its halls, courtyards, and gardens.
  • Evening: Head to Wangfujing Street, a bustling shopping area, for dinner and to experience the vibrant night market. Try local street food and indulge in shopping.

Day 2:

  • Morning: Begin your day by visiting the Temple of Heaven, a UNESCO World Heritage site. Marvel at the grand architecture and learn about its importance in ancient Chinese rituals.
  • Afternoon: Take a visit to the Lama Temple (Yonghe Temple), a Tibetan Buddhist temple known for its stunning architecture and enormous Buddha statues.
  • Evening: Take a rickshaw tour through the hutongs, traditional narrow alleys, and courtyard residences of Old Beijing. Gain insights into the local culture and history.

Itinerary 2: Modern Beijing

Day 1:

  • Morning: Start your day at the Olympic Park, home to the iconic Bird’s Nest stadium and Water Cube. Explore the impressive architecture and learn about the 2008 Summer Olympics.
  • Afternoon: Visit the 798 Art District, a vibrant area filled with contemporary art galleries, studios, and trendy cafes. Discover unique artworks and enjoy the creative atmosphere.
  • Evening: Explore Sanlitun, a popular nightlife district known for its bars, clubs, and international restaurants. Experience the vibrant nightlife scene and enjoy dinner at one of the many dining options.

Day 2:

  • Morning: Visit the Summer Palace, a beautiful imperial garden and UNESCO World Heritage site. Stroll around the vast lake, visit pavilions, and enjoy the serene surroundings.
  • Afternoon: Head to the National Museum of China, one of the world’s largest museums, showcasing China’s rich history and cultural artifacts.
  • Evening: Enjoy a traditional Peking duck dinner at one of the renowned restaurants in the city. Indulge in this delicious local specialty.

Itinerary 3: Cultural Beijing

Day 1:

  • Morning: Begin your day at the National Museum of China, where you can explore various exhibitions showcasing Chinese history, art, and culture.
  • Afternoon: Visit the Beijing Capital Museum, known for its collection of ancient Chinese artifacts and artworks. Gain insights into the country’s cultural heritage.
  • Evening: Attend a traditional Chinese opera performance at the Liyuan Theatre. Experience the vibrant costumes, music, and storytelling of this ancient art form.

Day 2:

  • Morning: Explore the beautiful gardens and ancient architecture of the Prince Gong’s Mansion, a well-preserved mansion from the Qing Dynasty.
  • Afternoon: Visit the Confucius Temple and Imperial Academy, dedicated to the famous philosopher Confucius. Discover Confucianism and explore the tranquil temple complex.
  • Evening: Take a stroll through the Houhai area, known for its picturesque lakeside bars and restaurants. Enjoy a relaxing evening by the water and try some local delicacies.

Itinerary 4: Nature and Great Wall

Day 1:

  • Morning: Start your day with a visit to the Mutianyu section of the Great Wall of China. Enjoy breathtaking views of the wall winding through the mountainous landscape.
  • Afternoon: Explore the beautiful Summer Palace, a UNESCO World Heritage site. Take a boat ride on the lake and admire the stunning gardens and pavilions.
  • Evening: Head back to Beijing and explore the vibrant Wangjing Soho area. Enjoy dinner at one of the trendy restaurants and experience the modern urban atmosphere.

Day 2:

  • Morning: Embark on a hiking adventure at the Simatai section of the Great Wall. This less crowded section offers stunning vistas and a chance to experience the wall in a more rugged setting.
  • Afternoon: Visit the Fragrant Hills Park, famous for its autumn foliage. Take a leisurely hike to the top of the hill and enjoy panoramic views of Beijing.
  • Evening: Relax and unwind at the Beijing Botanical Garden. Stroll through the various gardens, including the impressive bonsai garden and the rose garden. Enjoy the tranquility of nature before concluding your trip.

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