Beijing is vast. Although you could spend all your time without ever straying too far from the area around central Tian’an Men Square, you would be missing out on a lot. Way out in the northwest of the city is a cluster of sights that includes the unmissable Summer Palace, with the almost equally intoxicating hillside Xiang Shan Park and the haunting ruins of the Yuanming Yuan, or Old Summer Palace, close by. It might be a squeeze to get all three into one day’s sightseeing but it’s worth a try. For fans of contemporary urban culture, the 798 Art District in the northeast of the city is an absolute must, and you can drop in on the markets and bars around Sanlitun on the way back into town.
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