Beijing is capital of China and its second-largest city - only Shanghai is bigger. Millions of tourists each year take cheap flights to Beijing to experience this ancient city, home to such famous landmarks as Tiananmen Square, the world's largest open urban square, Summer Palace, Temple of Heaven, the wonderfully named Forbidden City with its Palace Museum and the Great Wall (Badaling section).
Newer landmarks, built ahead of the Olympic Games, are the National Stadium, known as the "Bird's Nest", the National Swimming Centre, known as the "Water Cube", and the National Grand Theatre, the "Eggshell", all cutting-edge and, frankly, stunning.
Taking a tour of the hutongs (narrow alleyways) is a great way to soak up the atmosphere of this fascinating city. Another way is through its food. Peking Duck is reason alone to take a trip. The Houhai Lake district has dozens of dining options. Sanlitun is one of Beijing's most popular bar streets while Gui Jie (or "Ghost Street"), a stretch of restaurants and eateries, comes to life at night when red lanterns sway above the heads of hungry Beijingers.
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