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These are three of the most touristed sites in Beijing, and with good planning it is possible to see them all in one day or break it up over two days if you are the type to take lots of pictures and examine each detail. The three attractions we’re glossing over here are The Forbidden City, Tiananmen Square and The Temple of Heaven.
The Forbidden City
Anyone familiar with the allure of Beijing will know the iconic presence of the Forbidden City. The historic site has been built, sacked, plundered, rebuilt and changed hands so many times it is hard to keep track of the histories found in its 9,000 rooms spread over 250 acres. There will be quite a lot of walking here and it pays to have some sites picked out ahead of time, so that one is not wandering aimlessly. The Imperial Palace and the Gate of Divine Prowess are some of the top things to see inside. Opening Hours of operation are: 8:30-17:00 with the last tickets sold at 15:00. The cost is RMB 60 with various student and other discounts. This is worthwhile to be your first stop on the list as it is so centrally located and easily accessible by buses and metros.
The argument can be made that being just across from The Forbidden City this is naturally the next stop. This may be true if you have time, however remember this Square is open all day and so you can save it for your way back if you want to get onto the Temple of Heaven during regular opening hours. Tiananmen Square is where you will see tourists and Chinese from all across the country gathered to celebrate their heritage. the Great Hall of the People is here which is the national people’s congress of the People’s Republic of China. The Monument to the People’s Heroes and Chairman Mao’s Mausoleum can be found on the south end. At sunrise and sunset the flag raising and lowering ceremony is worth seeing.
Temple of Heaven
This complex is a very soothing spot in Beijing. The sacredness of the place prevails with its rows of juniper trees, altars to various forces of nature and the many people one will find here relaxing, playing games, singing and exercising. The cost to access the outer grounds is 35 RMB and the daily hours are from 6:00am till 9:00pm. It is easily accessible by buses and metro.