Master Airport Check-In
Previous post

Beijing in a Weekend

Beijing in a Weekend | Always A Foreigner

Caren and Cazzie

Hi, We're Caren and Cazzie and we're Always A Foreigner. Welcome to our travel blog! We hope you find it useful. We love waterfalls, street eats, and anything to do with travel and adventure. We met while volunteering in India, and since then have made it our goal to travel to as many places as we can. Join us on our journey!

Enter your email address to receive updates and newsletters from the blog directly to your email!

Beijing in a Weekend

Beijing

Beijing in a Weekend Trip

Beijing is MASSIVE. My first impression of the city filled me with a small amount of terror that I wasn’t going to be able to fit everything in that I wanted to do. On the car ride to the hotel alone, we passed urban jungle after urban jungle of towering high rises that all looked identical. After we spent a couple days there though, I look back and wonder why I was ever so nervous.

 

Beijing is very manageable if you know how to plan it right. We did Beijing in a weekend, 3 days, 2 nights to be exact. But we packed in as much as we could before we had to travel to our next destination. Beijing has such an interesting mix between new and old, it’s hard to choose what to do.

 

The Temple of Heaven

We stayed at a hotel within walking distance to the Temple of Heaven which made life very simple. Plan for 2-3 hours at this massive complex and you might want to stay all day. It would be really great place to have a picnic if you have spare time. Arrive early if you want to see Beijing locals taking part in their morning routines. There were dance groups, ribbon twirling, tai chi, chess and checkers, and sword wielding going on while we were there. A popular game in China is some form of card playing where aggressive discarding happens every turn. It’s really entertaining to watch!

 

The Temple of Heaven and complex is massive and beautiful. The Temple itself was constructed in 1406 to 1420 and is a beautiful representation of architecture in China during this time. Each one of the 92 buildings has different uses and meanings, so be sure to read the descriptions throughout the park. The Chinese culture relies heavily on symbolism and the Temple was built to conform with this value. The architecture is fascinating and is supposed to have the greatest connection with temple and earth, and was used for many important rituals throughout history. We spent hours just wandering around, marveling at the beautiful ancient buildings. Be sure to find the door that only one person has ever walked through, decreed by

 

The Hong Qiao Pearl Market

Beijing
Hong Qiao Pearl Market

Treat this market as a game, and you will have a great time. Overly aggressive vendors will push all sorts of products on you while you bargain them down. Products range from purses, electronic gadgets, sports jerseys, and many more. The upper floors have nicer quality products, such as true jade and pearl jewelry. Shop for all your souvenir needs, but beware of walking out with more than you can carry!

Beijing
The Red Theatre

The Red Theatre

This was a treat! Dancers perform the story of Kung Fu in a graceful and elegant manner with very fun visual tricks on stage. English subtitles are provided and there are translations for multiple other languages also available upon request. I would recommend buying tickets ahead of time through the website, as it can get crowded at the time of show!

 

Forbidden City in Beijing
Walkway in the Forbidden City

The Forbidden City

Beijing is set up in ring roads, with each ring road expanding from the Forbidden City. The actual center of the sprawling metropolis is an ancient emperor’
s palace turned into major tourist destination aka
The Forbidden City.  Go early in the morning to avoid long lines and crowds. This complex is huge with 980 buildings; each one of the building’s architecture is stunning. This really is a slice of history, smack dab in the middle of China. Super cool!

The Great Wall of China

Located 1.5 hours (depending on traffic) outside Beijing, hire a private car to get here for the easiest option. Our driver was great, spoke English, and took us past the Olympic complex on our way back into town. We chose to head towards the Mutianyu portion of the wall for thinner crowds and a more rustic experience. If you’re able, hike along the wall for as far as you can! The views are stunning and the farther you go the less people there are. There are restaurants and souvenir stands at the bottom of the entrance.

Wangfujing Food Market

So unfortunately our jet lag caught up to us at this point, and instead of heading to the Wangfujing Food Market, we fell asleep L This is one of the things I wish I would have been able to visit because it looks like it would be amazing! We definitely tried all sorts of other food items while in Beijing but if you can make it to this market, definitely go!

Peking Duck

The Peking duck is one of the most culturally significant dishes to come out of Beijing, so we had to try it! Dining in China was still a tad new for us, so the experience was pretty hilarious. The waiters spoke a smidge of English but ended up bringing us an entire duck to split between the two of us. We were stuffed on duck! We were really glad we tried this delicious dish in the city it’s known for.

The Beijing Zoo

Holla for pandas! See these little cuties munch on some bamboo over at the Bejing Zoo. Also houses a lot of regional animals that I haven’t seen before in the zoos at home. I had a good time walking around the zoo. We had read that the Beijing Aquarium was unmissable…but would not go back if we had the option. The tickets are severely overpriced and if you’ve been to an Aquarium, you get the gist of it. Stick to the zoo and you’ll have a great time!

Traffic

Traffic is a very real problem in Beijing. Plan ahead and if you can walk places, it’s much easier than battling the traffic. The metro, although very crowded during peak times, is also a fun alternative to taxis. Plus in the Metro, the names of stations are also written in English so you don’t have to worry about trying to explain where you’re going to a taxi driver!

 

This is only scratching the surface of what is Beijing. Go in with an open mind, and you’ll be sure to have an unforgettable cultural experience like no other!

Written by

4 Comments
  • Hannah says:

    This post was really interesting to me as I’ve wanted to visit Beijing for a while now! As I’m learning Mandarin in school, I’ve also learned a lot about Chinese cities, particularly Beijing, so I recognized pretty much everything in this post! Beautiful photos as well, I especially love the photo of the walkway in the Forbidden City.

    • alwaysaforeigner says:

      If you’re learning Mandarin right now, you’ll do great in Beijing! The hardest part was the language barrier for us, but the city is a lot of fun to explore. We hope we can go back one day to explore it further because I know we barely even scratched the surface.

  • Love your travel narrations! You really take the reader to the place you travel to! Looking forward to reading more of your blogposts! 🙂

Tell Us What You Think!

Follow Us!
  • Lazy days don't need to be spent inside ☀️
.
We recently received our @soloeyewear sunglasses and absolutely love them! This is a stellar company that uses recycled plastic or sustainability sourced bamboo to make their sunglasses, and are also committed to restoring vision around the world through their profits. They've restored vision to 15,000+ people in need already! If you're in need of new sunglasses, I highly recommend looking at Solo Eyewear...I'm glad we did 😊
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
#liveauthentic #hiking #hammock #travelgram #traveling #adventureawaits #liveoutdoors #gooutside #optoutside #couplegoals #relationshipgoals #camping #wildernessculture #exploretocreate #northcarolina #travelcouple #travelawesome #roamtheplanet #campinglife #getoutstayout #sunglasses  #travelblogger  #hikingadventures #longhairdontcare #findmeoutside #exploretheworld #hikinglife #outdoorsy #natureaddict #eno
  • We were in full leaf chasing mode this weekend, and I had all my spots planned where I wanted to go. I was pretty bummed because a road closure on the Blue Ridge Parkway on Saturday forced us to head to lower elevations where the leaves weren't as vibrant. We found an awesome campsite though, completely secluded in the woods by ourselves. We spent the day slack lining, laying in the hammock, and trying and surprisingly succeeding to light a fire with damp wood. As we packed up in the morning aiming to head back up to my original planned spots...we realized we would run out of gas 😑😑😑 Long story short, we had to head back from where we came from and to be honest, I was really upset. We came around the curve though and were greeted with these blankets of clouds over the mountains, and I instantly forgot I was ever upset at all. Sometimes, things really do turn out just fine. .
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
#blueridgeparkway #blueridgemountains #exploretocreate #exploringtheglobe #hiking #mountains #liveauthentic #liveoutdoors #wildernessculture #northcarolina #wnc #travelawesome #travelgram #traveler #gooutside #travelstoke #roamtheplanet #beautifulplaces #beautifuldestinations #cloudporn #skyporn #fall #mountainlife #travelgram #traveling #explorers #optoutside #artofvisuals #ashevilletrails #asheville
  • When I first met Cazzie, it was in the middle of a crowded and hot room outside of Delhi, India. If you told me five years ago I was going to meet my future husband in India of all places, I would have most likely laughed and called you crazy. And yet here we are....chasing waterfalls, traveling across the world, and craziest of all, planning a wedding. I wish we could just gather up our closest loved ones, hike up a mountain, promise forever and toast the night away. Because what else do we really need? . .
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
#wildernessculture #roamtheplanet #ExploreCarolina #exploretocreate #exploretheworld #exploretheglobe #travelawesome #travelcouple #couplegoals #Fall #hikingadventures #liveauthentic #traveladdict #natureaddict #doyoutravel #hikinglife #outdoorlife #findmeoutside #waterfall #northcarolina #nc #wnc #outdoorsy #adventureawaits #travelgram #gooutside #optoutside #getoutstayout #outside #waterfalls
  • Cazzie always used to brag about North Carolina...always telling me it was the best state with beaches, mountains, and everything in between. I never really believed him. When I thought of North Carolina, I didn't know about the parkway, or Appalachia, or horses running wild near the ocean...I didn't know about pimento cheese, or grits, or North Carolina BBQ sauce. Now I do though. And I can't say it's the best state because I haven't been to all 50, but I can say it's pretty up there. Especially in the changing season. @visitnc .
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
#fall #wildernessculture #roamtheplanet #beautifulplaces #ExploreCarolina #exploretheworld #blueridgeparkway #blueridgemountains #asheville #wnc #visitnc #northcarolina #gooutside #getoutside #mountainlife #travelblogger #travelblog #travel #travelgram #traveling #beautifulworld #naturepic #enchantingvoyages #travelawesome #travelnow #doyoutravel #wanderlusting #hiking #ilovetravel #timeoutsociety
  • Foggy days spent exploring 🍂. .
•
This last weekend we spent our time in the picturesque high country town of Blowing Rock, North Carolina. We chose to hike Grandfather Mountain on Saturday, only to find the further we hiked, the more foggy and ominous the weather became. About a 1/2 mile from the top, we realized that we had hiked smack dab into the middle of a cloud. But even with the dampness, we wouldn't have spent our day any other way. .
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
#hiking #hikingadventures #gooutside #sheisnotlost #mountain #mountaingirls #getoutstayout #optoutside #autumn #ncfalloffame #fallcolors #travelgram #traveling #adventureawaits #getoutside #exploretocreate #adventure #travelcouple #stayandwander #roamtheplanet #northcarolina #asheville #ashevilletrails #wildernessculture #wnc #travelblogger #travelingram #travelbug #outside #outdoorlife
  • When in high country! .
•
We grabbed a @blowingrockbrewingco 6-pack from a local @blowingrocknc grocery store (@foodlion) today, and it was the perfect companion on our hike! The perfect way to celebrate that mountain summit 😊@Mattwoodin @jacobshorthouse @bieschketr12 .
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
#nature #roamtheplanet #beer #beerlover #beerlovers #craftbeer #drinklocal #beerstagram #northcarolina #nc #wnc #hiking #hikingadventures #gooutside #getoutside #autumn #fall #outdoorlife #mountainlife #drinkbeer #nature #natureaddict #trees #visitnc #naturelove #blowingrock  #hike #beertography #naturelovers #optoutside #brewwithaview