There’s a mass of attractions in the Chinese capital, but you can narrow it down to a list of must-sees in Beijing so you have a fabulous experience and not feel like you’ve missed out on anything that makes this the incredible city it is. I hate travel clichés but very few places embody the “old meets new” like Beijing. From futuristic buildings like the Bird's Nest Arena to the 600+ year old Forbidden City and an atmosphere unrivaled by many of the world’s great places, the must-sees in Beijing provide a once-in-a-lifetime trip.
1. Great Wall (Badaling)
A visit to China is incomplete without a trek along the enormous winding stone snake that is the Great Wall. One of the main must-sees in Beijing, there are eight major sections within reach of city, the closest of which is Badaling. You can be adventurous and hike an unrestored section, where you even have the option with various companies to camp overnight (often a little risky...perhaps even not quite legal); or you can do how most tourists do the Great Wall, which is with a tour company that also hits up the Ming Tombs, tea rooms and other tourist traps along the way. These companies visit the well-preserved and restored sections, which are easier and safer to climb, often doing the leg-work for you by providing a chair lift up.