Beijing is not one of the most expensive cities in the world but it is always nice spending one (or two) days during your stay in Beijing where you don’t have to worry about your budget, so here’s some ideas that may be useful for having fun on your Beijing trip without having to spend a single coin.

1)      Visit the Tiananmen Square and its surrounding area, in the square you can visit Mao Zedong’s mausoleum where his body is preserved, the Monument to the Pepole’s Heroes and the South door, very similar to the palace in the Disney film Mulan. Near the square and next to the Forbidden City you can see the Ancient Imperial Archives with the famous Jade Book (the Imperial Genealogical register) and the Yongle Dadian and the Daqing Huidan, encyclopedias. You can also see how all the books were stored in ancient times.

2)      Walk along the Hútòngs (alleys) that have formed Beijing since 907, there are more than 2000 but only 360 have a name, in fact there is a Chinese proverb that says: “There are 360 hutong with names and as many nameless hutong as there are hairs on a cow”, There you can see the traditional ways of living in Beijing, they are all over the center of the city until the second ring.

3)      Go for a ride in a bike, if you dare to plunge into the crazy Beijing traffic there is lots of places to go by bike and, despite there is public transport to almost every part of the City, it’s always nice to have your bike because it gives you freedom to go everywhere and at the time you wish. Don’t hesitate and discover the city on two wheels!

4)      Go to the Silk Street Market (Xiu Shui) but don’t buy anything. It’s like a game, just observe how the people bargain and what are the techniques used by the sellers to try to increase the prize and what do the buyers try to reduce it. You may learn some tricks for when you want to buy your souvenirs!

5)      Look for decorative arches in the streets of Beijing, there are a lot of them, normally at the entrance of some Hútòngs, for example the one that leads to Yandai Xiejie, one of the busiest Hútòngs of the city, but there are more and each one is different!

6)      Go for a walk in the Ming Chéngqiáng Gōngyuán (The Ming dynasty wall park)

This is the only part of the Ming wall that is still on foot and it’s a good place to go, the walls are restored in some parts but in other parts you can still see the original wall, even with bullet holes. Surrounding the wall there is a nice park very suitable for having a good stroll.





These are just some ideas to make your Beijing tour more economic. Even if you are not watching your money be sure to include them in your to-do list!


Jack Li
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2 Responses to “Free things to do in Beijing.”

  1. anna says:

    Dear Elena,
    It’s really interesting what you have written today. I’m looking forward to seeing more of your posts. My next destination maybe will be Beijing!

  2. annna says:

    Dear Elena,

    I found your post really interesting. I’m looking forward to seeing your next posts. My next destination maybe will be Beijing!


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