Xicheng, meaning “West City,” is the central district west of the Forbidden City and the lakes. Beijingers think of this area as a seat of money and learning – both the Financial District and Haidian University are here. Western Beijing is best experienced as a series of half-day expeditions: a visit to the Military Museum with a look at the Millennium Monument afterward, or a trip to the aquarium followed by the Temple of the Five Pagodas. Expect to make liberal use of taxis and the subway.

1. Capital Museum

16 Fuxing Men Wai Dajie, Xicheng • 6337 0491 • Subway: Muxidi • Open 9am–5pm Tue–Sun ...

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