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3-Day Beijing Tour Posted by on Jan 8, 2013 in Art, Culture, festivals, food, history, sightseeing, travel, Uncategorized, Vocabulary

I’ve been living here in China’s capital city for over three years now. In that time, I’ve played tour guide on numerous occasions, whether it be for friends visiting, couch surfers, or whoever else ends up hanging out with me and wanting to explore this amazing city. Even after three years, there are still some things that I have yet to see in Beijing; it really is that big with that much to do. That being said, I realize that most people who come here simply as tourists rarely have more than a few days to spend here, before heading off to see other famous sites such as the Terra Cotta Army in Xi’an or the bustling Bund of Shanghai. In an effort to help you plan for a potential visit to Beijing, while also helping you improve your Chinese at the same time, here’s a short crash course guide to the city I’ve called home since 2008. First, here’s the whole itinerary in Chinese:

第一天

早上:你应该早起。先去天安门广场,看升国旗仪式。然后去前门大街吃早餐,休息一下。北京人喜欢吃粥,喝豆汁。

上午: 去北京規劃展覽館,看世界上最大的城市規劃模型。因为我不太喜欢故宫,所以我觉得你应该跳过它。你可以去景山公园。那里的风景很美。你可以看到老北京(故宫)和新北京(CBD)。

下午:找一家饭店,吃午餐。你最好吃炸酱面。吃完饭后,你应该去后海。夏天的时候,你可以坐船。冬天的时候你可以溜冰。那儿有很多酒吧,饭店,和商店。你也可以看北京的胡同。

晚上:先去王府井大街。晚上的时候,那儿有个夜市。你可以买纪念品,吃小吃。然后,你应该去全聚德。那是个著名的饭店。他们做北京的特色菜-北京烤鸭。

吃完饭后,你可以去看京剧或者杂技。

因为明天还要早起,你最好回酒店睡觉。

 

第二天

早上:今天你去长城。毛主席说过,“不到长城,非好汉。” 你可以打车或者坐公交车。我推荐你去慕田峪长城。那儿比八达岭长城好。

下午:回到市里,喝茶,休息。

晚上:去簋街。那儿有很多饭店。你应该吃火锅。如果你喜欢看一下北京的夜生活,你最好去三里屯。去一家酒吧,喝酒,聊天,跳舞。

 

第三天

上午:因为你很累,所以你应该睡懒觉。早餐你应该吃个煎饼。今天你去颐和园。那儿很漂亮。我最喜欢去颐和园。

下午:你可以去798艺术区。那儿有很多艺术画廊和咖啡馆。在这儿看艺术品,吃饭,喝咖啡。下午四点你应该去北京鼓楼,钟楼。

晚上:我的朋友们有一家餐吧在鼓楼的旁边。它叫“四角餐吧。” 在这儿吃饭,喝鸡尾酒,听音乐。如果你是个夜猫子,你也可以去工体。那儿有很多夜店。

Learn some Beijing related vocabulary with this video I made.

 

Now, here it is broken down with pinyin and English translations:

第一天

dì yì tiān

The 1st Day

 

早上:你应该早起。先去天安门广场,看升国旗仪式。然后去前门大街吃早餐,休息一下。北京人喜欢吃粥,和豆汁。

zǎo shàng: nǐ yīng gāi zǎo qǐ. xiān qù tiān’ān mén guǎng chǎng, kàn shēng guó qí yí shì. rán hòu qù qián mén dà jiē chī zǎo cān, xiū xi yí xià. běi jīng rén xǐ huan chī zhōu, hē dòu zhī.

Early morning: You should get up early. First, go to Tiananmen Square to see the flag raising ceremony. Then, go to Qianmen Street to eat breakfast and have a rest. Beijingers like to eat porridge and drink soybean milk.

Start off your Beijing tour here.

 

A 1:750 scale model of Beijing.

A 1:750 scale model of Beijing.

上午: 去北京規劃展覽館,看世界上最大的城市規劃模型之。因为我不太喜欢故宫,所以我觉得你应该跳过它。你可以去景山公园。那里的风景很美。你可以看到老北京(故宫)和新北京(CBD)。

shàng wǔ: qù běi jīng guī huà zhǎn lǎn guǎn, kàn shì jiè shàng zuì dà de chéng shì guī huà mó xíng zhī. yīn wèi wǒ bú tài xǐ huan gù gōng, suǒ yǐ wǒ jué de nǐ yīng gāi tiào guò tā. nǐ kě yǐ qù jǐng shān gōng yuán. nà lǐ de fēng jǐng hěn měi. nǐ kě yǐ kàn dào lǎo běi jīng (gù gōng) hé xīn běi jīng (CBD).

Late morning: Go to the Beijing Planning & Exhibition Hall to see the word’s largest urban planning model. Since I don’t really like the Forbidden City, I think you can skip it. You can go to Jingshan Park. The scenery there is beautiful. You can see old Beijing (the Forbidden City) and new Beijing (the CBD).

View of the Forbidden City from Jingshan Park.

 

New Beijing - the CBD.

 

下午:找一家饭店,吃午餐。你最好吃炸酱面。吃完饭后,你应该去后海。夏天的时候,你可以坐船。冬天的时候你可以溜冰。那儿有很多酒吧,饭店,和商店。你也可以看北京的胡同。

xià wǔ: zhǎo yì jiā fàn diàn, chī wǔ cān. nǐ zuì hào chī zhá jiàng miàn. chī wán fàn hòu, nǐ yīng gāi qù hòu hǎi. xià tiān de shí hou, nǐ kě yǐ zuò chuán. dōng tiān de shí hou nǐ kě yǐ liū bīng. nà’er yǒu hěn duō jiǔ bā, fàn diàn, hé shāng diàn. nǐ yě kě yǐ kàn běi jīng de hú tòng.

Afternoon: Find a restaurant and eat lunch. You’d better eat fried bean paste noodles. After lunch, you should go to Hou Hai Lake. In the summer, you can go boating. In the winter, you can go ice skating. There are a lot of bars, restaurants, and shops there. You can also see Beijing’s hutongs (alleyways).

Drinking and boating is totally OK on Hou Hai.

 

Looking down at one of Beijing's hutongs.

晚上:先去王府井大街。晚上的时候,那儿有个夜市。你可以买纪念品,吃小吃。然后,你应该去全聚德。那是个著名的饭店。他们作北京的特色菜-北京烤鸭。吃完饭后,你可以看京剧或者杂技。因为明天还要早起,你最好回酒店睡觉。

wǎn shàng: xiān qù wáng fǔ jǐng dà jiē. wǎn shàng de shí hou, nà’er yǒu gè yè shì. nǐ kě yǐ mǎi jì niàn pǐn, chī xiǎo chī. rán hòu, nǐ yīng gāi qù quán jù dé. nà shì gè zhù míng de fàn diàn. tā men zuò běi jīng de tè sè cài – běi jīng kǎo yā. chī wán fàn hòu, nǐ kě yǐ qù kàn jīng jù huò zhě zá jì. yīn wéi míng tiān hái yào zǎo qǐ, nǐ zuì hǎo huí jiǔ diàn shuì jiào.

Evening: First go to Wangfujing Street. In the evening, there’s a night market. You can buy souvenirs and eat snacks. After that, you should go to Quan Ju De. That’s a famous restaurant. They make Beijing’s specialty – Beijing roast duck. After diner, you can go to see Beijing opera or the acrobats. Since tomorrow you also have to get up early, you’d better go back to the hotel to sleep.

Mmm... scorpions on a stick.

 

The Imperial Bird - roast duck.

 

The amazing Beijing acrobats.

第二天

dì èr tiān

The 2nd Day

 

早上:今天你去长城。毛主席说过,“不到长城,非好汉。”你可以打车或者坐公交车。我推荐你去慕田峪长城。那儿比八达岭长城好。

zǎo shàng: jīn tiān nǐ qù cháng chéng. máo zhǔ xí shuō guò, “bú dào cháng chéng, fēi hǎo hàn.” nǐ kě yǐ dǎ chē huò zhě zuò gōng jiāo chē. wǒ tuī jiàn nǐ qù mù tián yù cháng chéng. nà’er bǐ bā dá lǐng cháng chéng hǎo

Early morning: Today you’re going to the Great Wall. According to Chairman Mao, “You aren’t a real man until you’ve climbed the Great Wall.” You can get a taxi or take the bus there. I recommend you go to Mutianyu Great Wall. It’s better than Badaling Great Wall.

A video I made about a trip to the Mutianyu Great Wall.

 

下午:回到市里,喝茶,休息。

xià wǔ: huí dào shì lǐ, hē chá, xiū xi.

Afternoon: Go back to Beijing city, drink some tea, and have a rest.

 

Beijingers love a good afternoon nap.

晚上:去簋街。那儿有很多饭店。你应该吃火锅。如果你喜欢看一下北京的夜生活,你最好去三里屯。区一家酒吧,喝酒,聊天,跳舞。

wǎn shàng: qù guǐ jiē. nà’er yǒu hěn duō fàn diàn. nǐ yīng gāi chī huǒ guō. rú guǒ nǐ xǐ huan kàn yí xià běi jīng de yè shēng huó, nǐ zuì hǎo qù sān lǐ tún. qù yì jiā jiǔ bā, hē jiǔ, liáo tiān, tiào wǔ.

Evening: Go to Ghost Street. There are a lot of restaurants there. You should eat hot pot. If you want to see Beijing’s nightlife, you’d better go to Sanlitun. Go to a bar, drink some booze, chat, and dance.

The red lanterns of Ghost Street.

 

Cook your own dinner at hot pot.

SLT – the place to be for nightlife in Beijing.

第三天

dì sān tiān

The 3rd Day

 

上午:因为你很累,所以你应该睡懒觉。早餐你应该吃个煎饼。今天你去颐和园。那儿很漂亮。我最喜欢去颐和园。

shàng wǔ: yīn wèi nǐ hěn lèi, suǒ yǐ nǐ yīng gāi shuì lǎn jiào. zǎo cān nǐ yīng gāi chī gè jiān bing. jīn tiān nǐ qù yí hé yuán. nà’er hěn piào liang. wǒ zuì xǐ huan qù yí hé yuán.

Late morning: Since you are really tired, you should sleep in. For breakfast, you should eat a jian bing (egg pancake). Today, you’re going to the Summer Palace. It’s very beautiful. The Summer Palace is my favorite place to go.

Start your day with one of these bad boys.

 

A panoramic view of Kunming Lake at the Summer Palace.

下午:你可以去798艺术区。那儿有很多艺术画廊和咖啡馆。在这儿看艺术品,吃饭,喝咖啡。下午四点你应该去北京鼓楼,钟楼。

xià wǔ: nǐ kě yǐ qù 798 yì shù qū. nà’er yǒu hěn duō yì shù huà láng hé kā fēi guǎn. zài zhè’er kàn yì shù pǐn, chī fàn, hē kā fēi. xià wǔ sì diǎn nǐ yīng gāi qù běi jīng gǔ lóu, zhōng lóu.

Afternoon: You can go to 798 Art District. There are a lot of art galleries and cafes. Here, you can look at art, eat, and drink coffee. At 4 PM, you should go to the Beijing Drum and Bell Towers.

An outdoor display in 798.

 

晚上:我的朋友们有一家餐吧在鼓楼的旁边。它叫“四角餐吧。”在这儿吃饭,和鸡尾酒,听音乐。如果你是个夜猫子,你也可以去工体。那儿有很多夜店。

wǎn shàng: wǒ de péng yǒu men yǒu yì jiā cān ba zài gǔ lóu de páng biān. tā jiào “sì jiǎo cān ba.” zài zhè’er chī fàn, hé jī wěi jiǔ, tīng yīn yuè. rú guǒ nǐ shì gè yè māo zi, nǐ yě kě yǐ qù gōng tǐ. nà’er yǒu hěn duō yè diàn.

Evening: My friends have a bar/restaurant next to the Drum Tower. It is called “4 Corners.” Here, you can eat, drinks cocktails, and listen to music. If you are a night owl, you can go to the Worker’s Stadium. There are a lot of nightclubs there.

 

Wow… that was a helluva tour, right? I know it seems like a lot, but it’s totally doable. Plus, if you’re only going to be spending 3 days here, you might as well take full advantage of them and try to do as much as you possibly can. After all, this city has a 3,000 year history, so anything less would be selling it short. I’ll leave you with something that I’ve heard countless times since moving here back at the time of the 2008 Olympics – Beijing welcomes you (北京欢迎你! – běi jīng huān yíng nǐ)!!

 

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About the Author: sasha

Sasha is an English teacher, writer, photographer, and videographer from the great state of Michigan. Upon graduating from Michigan State University, he moved to China and spent 5+ years living, working, studying, and traveling there. He also studied Indonesian Language & Culture in Bali for a year. He and his wife run the travel blog Grateful Gypsies, and they're currently trying the digital nomad lifestyle across Latin America.


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