Beijing Cruises

As one of the largest cities in the world, Beijing is a popular destination for people visiting the Far East and that includes that who are sailing around the region on a luxurious cruise break.

Although not located on the coast itself, the Chinese capital can be easily accessed from the port in nearby Tianjin and is packed with things to see and do – way more than you’ll be able to pack in during your limited time ashore.

For many people, the most popular attraction in Beijing is the Forbidden City; a huge palace complex that is found right in the heart of the city.

Home to nearly 1,000 buildings, the Forbidden City served as the home of countless Chinese emperors through the ages and has been named as a UNESCO World Heritage site because of the many preserved wooden structures that are found within.

The Forbidden City has housed the Palace Museum since the 1920s, with more than a million artifacts – many of which have important cultural significance – waiting to be explored.

Located close to the imposing walls of the Forbidden City is another of Beijing’s most famous sites - Tiananmen Square. The largest public square in the world, Tiananmen Square covers a space equal to 90 football fields and is the place where the symbolic photograph of a lone man standing in front of a line of tanks was taken during protests in the late 1980s.

In the centre of the square sits the Chairman Mao Memorial Hall, which is the final resting place of Mao Zedong; the man regarded as the founding father of modern day China. Nearby, the Monument to the People's Heroes honours those who were involved in revolutionary struggles through the ages.

With religion having a big part to play in the city, the Temple of Heaven – dating back to the early 1400s – and the Lama Temple might also be worth considering for a visit, whilst there are countless museums that cover a wide range of topics.

Those include the National Museum of China, the Beijing Museum of Natural History and the National Art Museum – to name just three.

When it comes to taking a break from the busy city streets, you could head for one of the many parks that are located across Beijing, which include the Botanical Gardens and Olympic Green; the large park that hosted the Olympic Games back in 2008.

You’ll have no shortage of opportunities to check out Chinese cuisine whilst exploring the city whilst you can either visit the big department stores of his the local markets in search of souvenirs to take back home.

If seeking out a bargain in the latter is your thing, then a visit to the Panjiayuan Market is a must, with the huge flea market being somewhere where you can find pretty much anything – particularly on a weekend when the market is at its busiest.

Should you decide to spend some time outside Beijing, the Great Wall of China can be reached with relative ease from the city, with the section of the wall at Badaling around 50 miles away and accessible by both road and rail.

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