You only have one day in Beijing… How to enjoy your 24 hours to the fullest? Whether it is a lay over, stop over or a badly planned trip: Bunch of Backpackers presents this carefully selected One Day In Beijing Itinerary that will help you to experience the most important things in a relatively short period of time. This itinerary is somewhat ambitious, but hey, if you only have one day in Beijing we reckon you would like to make the best of it!

The ‘One Day in Beijing’ Itinerary


Get up early and have some delicious ‘baozi’ (steamed dumplings) and some nai cha at a local vendor.


Head to the beautiful Temple of Heaven Park for some Tai Chi, sports, dance and music. Around this time the park is filled with active Chinese people, both young and old. They may invite you to join a game of badminton or to try some Tai chi moves. Do not forget to visit the sights of the park such as the Round Altar and the Hall of Prayer for Good Harvest. End your tour at the northwestern corner of the park.

One day in Beijing - Near the Lama temple. Copyright Bunch of Backpackers
One day in Beijing – Near the Temple of Heaven temple. Copyright Bunch of Backpackers


Walk to Tiananmen square(about 1,3 km) and marvel at the immense size of this famous square.


At the north end of the Tiananmen square you will see the entrance of the Forbidden City, our next stop. Explore some courtyards and visit the Three Great Halls.


Although you can easily spend one or two days at the Forbidden City, we already have to leave for the Lama temple. To get there take the subway to Yonghegong. Start with a quick lunch before entering the most impressive and fascinating temple of Beijing.


Take the subway (or a taxi) from Yonghegong to Gulou, and walk from Gulou to the Houhai Lake. Start with a hutong tour by foot or by riksja (you will probably be approached by many riksja drivers). When you are lucky you are still on time to visit one of the traditional Chinese courtyards. Unfortunately, the drum and bell tower will probably be closed by this time. After that it is time for some relaxation! Hang around the Silver Ingot Bridge where there are shops, bars and café’s. You can opt to have dinner here or head over to Wangfujing snack street (across the street of Mac Donalds at the southern end of Wangfujing) for some crazy Chinese snacks. Another option is to visit the famous Qianmen Quanjude Roast Duck restaurant for some proper Beijing Duck.

One day in Beijing. Copyright Bunch of Backpackers
One day in Beijing. Copyright Bunch of Backpackers


After dinner find yourself a karaoke bar and head for drinks to Sanlitun (the bar area of Beijing). And if you’re really in for a late night adventure, finish the night at one of the clubs at Workers Stadium.

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 What should not be missed if you only have one day in Beijing? Post your tips below!

Recommended further reading
Rock-climbing the karst hills near Yangshuo, China
The pros and cons of a homestay abroad
Jiuzhaigou, the most beautiful place in China
Photo essay of the Transmongolian Express


  1. Zo leuk, hier zijn wij toen ook geweest. En haha die krekels op ‘n stokje inderdaad(wij zagen ook rat).
    Wij aten in Yang Shuo op een boot van die krabjes gefrituurd met schil en al moest dat. Buikpijn dezelfde avond nog. Maar ze smaakten wel lekker!
    Zou zo weer terug willen naar China, zo een indrukwekkend land met zoveel moois en cultuur en heerlijk eten al die palletten aan kleuren en smaken.
    Leuke post!

    Groetjes en Liefs, Mijntje.

  2. Great stuff, I did nearly all of these things when I was in Beijing. But gosh, I spent a whole day in The Forbidden City – it was just so huge! – though admittedly a lot of it becomes quite samey.

  3. Oh, awesome post! Do you think 1-day trip is enough to explore the Forbidden City? I wanna have a deep insight into the culture and history of China via this giant construction, but I just have three days in Beijing. Need your advice. Thanks so much for your sharing!


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