The Chinese capital
The most recent in the esteemed list of summer Olympic host cities, Chinese capital Beijing has taken on a new role in the global consciousness. The bustling modern capital of the People's Republic of China was formerly known as Peking, but in its new guise as Beijing, the city has developed into a progressive, modern high-rise city. The 2008 Olympic Games gave the Chinese fresh impetus to address many of the problems with the city's infrastructure as well as environmental problems such as the heavy pollution that have previously plagued the city. Now truly the capital of a global power, Beijing is a fascinating mix of ultramodern high-rise lifestyle and incredible culture and history.
Experience some of the modern culture of Beijing at China's National Centre for the Performing Arts, an iconic new opera house. Visit The Temple of Heaven, a UNESCO World Heritage Site consisting of a fascinating collection of 14thc Taoist buildings.
As such an exotic and unfamiliar culture to Western eyes, holidays in Beijing are an exhilarating experience where you can experience incredible historical sites, contrasted with and the sights sounds and smells of a modern Asian capital. Book flights to Beijing and expect the unexpected in one of the world’s greatest cities.
When to Go?
Beijing is quite a seasonal city with hot summers and cold winters. Summer temperatures can prove stifling with average highs in the 30s and combined with poor air quality and humidity you can feel much hotter. Humidity in this part of the world is also a consideration. Spring is a good time to go to enjoy milder weather and significantly lower humidity.
How to get there?
Both BA and Air China offer direct flights to Beijing Capital International Airport (BJS), which is about 20 miles northeast of the city centre. Connections to the city centre are available via taxis and the Beijing subway Airport Express Line. Beijing flights from regional airports such as Bristol, Leeds and Newcastle are also available with KLM via Amsterdam. Emirates operate flights to Beijing via Dubai from both Birmingham and Glasgow.
The most famous attraction in Beijing is the Forbidden City, an enormous palace complex with 9,999 rooms that once housed the administrative nucleus of China, as well as being home to several centuries of Chinese emperors. Nearby is the famous Tiananmen Square, the world’s largest city square, which is named after the Tiananmen Gate or “The Gate of Heavenly Peace” in Chinese, the magnificent entrance to the square built during the era of the Ming dynasty. The square gained notoriety in 1989 when Chinese students entered the square to demonstrate against the government.