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Beijing off the beaten path

Print this guide Created by Annie and Hamish
Beijing off the beaten path
If you are lucky enough to see Beijing on a repeat visit or have extra days in your itinerary to fill, there is a lot more to see. As well as day trips there are numerous places within Beijing worth visiting.
Good for: Families, Groups, Seniors, Individuals
Seasons: Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter
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Bell and Drum Towers
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Bell and Drum Towers

This two-story arched wooden structure once held 25 drums which, in combination with bells in the Bell Tower, were once used to indicate the time of day. Only one drum remains today, which is beaten four times a day for 15 minutes.

Fee: Yes      Duration of visit: <1 hour
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Old Summer Palace (Yuanmingyuan)
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Old Summer Palace (Yuanmingyuan)

Located only a few hundred meters from the existing Summer Palace, these ruins used to be a grand palace and park built under the Qing emperors in the 18th century, but was later destroyed by French and British troops during the Second Opium War (1860-1862).

Fee: Yes      Duration of visit: 2-3 hours
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Fragrant Hills Park (Xiangshan Gongyuan)
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Fragrant Hills Park (Xiangshan Gongyuan)

This lovely wooded park is a favourite of Beijingers, especially in autumn to see the maple trees with their striking red leaves ( it’s traditional to collect them). Walk thru the lower areas spotted with pavilions & temples and winding paths to wander around, or take the cable car up to the top for some views of the surrounding hilly countryside.

Fee: Yes      Duration of visit: 2-3 hours
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Peking Former Residence of Soong Ching Ling (Song Qingling Guju)
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Peking Former Residence of Soong Ching Ling (Song Qingling Guju)

Song Qingling was the wife of Sun Yat Sen, she loved China & her former home, on the northern side of Hou Hai lake, houses memorabilia. The gardens surrounding the house a lovely.

Fee: Yes      Duration of visit: <1 hour
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Temple of Confucius and Guozijian Museum
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Temple of Confucius and Guozijian Museum

Originally built in 1302 and used as a place for sacrifices to Confucius during the Yuan, Ming and Qing Dynasties, this former temple lost its religious function during the “bourgeois revolution” in 1912 and currently houses the Capital Museum.

Fee: Yes
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Ancient Observatory (Guguanxiangtai)
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Ancient Observatory (Guguanxiangtai)

Eight huge astronomical instruments are displayed on an elevated platform at this observatory, which was used during the Ming and Qing dynasties, and is one of the oldest observatories in the world.

Fee: Yes      Duration of visit: 1-2 hours
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Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.