Beijing Itinerary 5 Days: What to See & How to Plan

To plan a Beijing itinerary 5 days, you can include the most famous attractions, as well as the folk safaris to the community blocks for shopping, food, cultural performances, and arts, etc. And 5 days are absolutely sufficient to get an overall picture of Beijing. The referable itinerary below will tell you what to see in Beijing in 5 days.

Day 1: Tiananmen Square, Forbidden City, Jingshan Park, Beihai Park, Wangfujing

You may go first to Tiananmen Square and Forbidden City, for they are the best-known landmarks in very city center in Beijing. Taking subway Line 1 to Tiananmen West/Tiananmen East station, or taking Line 2 to Qianmen station, you can get there. Multiple city buses could take you to the place as well.

Walk through Tiananmen Square to the north, you can get to the world’s grandest palace complex – Forbidden City, having numerous Chinese ancient palaces and valuable relics. Getting out of the Forbidden City from its north gate, it is Jingshan Park, which is a popular site to enjoy a panoramic view of Forbidden City on the mountain top inside. Before going inside the park, you are advised to find a restaurant nearby to feed our stomach.  

West to Jingshan Park, Beihai Park is also a noted park, with a quite large lake and a white dagoba. After strolling around the big park, Wangfujing Street, a short distance east to Forbidden City, can be the last destination on the first day of your 5 days in Beijing. There is a snack street, a tributary road where you can try various local snacks for dinner.

Day 2: Badaling Great Wall, Ming Tombs, Olympic Park, Nanluoguxiang

The Great Wall is another important historical heritage in China and Beijing possesses the best sections. Badaling Great Wall, at the northwestern suburb of Beijing, is the best persevered out of all the sections. You can go for a Badaling tour by the bus from Deshengmen, train from Beijing North Railway Station, taxi or chartered car. Getting down from the Great Wall, you may feel hungry and it is suggested to have lunch at its foot. The same as Badaling Great wall, Ming Tombs is also at the northwest outskirts, but closer to the downtown, hence recommended thereafter. There are thirteen mausoleums of the emperors in Ming Dynasty (1368 - 1644 AD), and other tombs of princes, empresses, concubines and eunuchs.

Friendly Tips: On public holidays in China, Badaling will be overcrowded. Thus it’s suggested to go to Mutianyu Great Wall instead on these days. Mutianyu is to the northeast of Beijing downtown, which is also well preserved but has less visitors compared with Badaling Great Wall.

Afterwards you can go back to downown to visit Olympic Park, where you could see the creative venues – Brid’s Nest and Water Cube outsides, at the north close to downtown. At the end of the day, we recommend Nanluoguxiang on your Beijing itinerary 5 days. It is one of the old Hutong blocks that dated back to Yuan Dynasty (1271 - 1368 AD). The abundant restaurants there are good places for today’s dinner. If interested and still energetic, you can also have a cup of wine at the nearby Houhai Bar Street later.

Day 3: Beijing Zoo, Summer Palace, Old Summer Palace, Red Theater Kung Fu Show

For the stay of five days in Beijing, you may want to see the lovely pandas. Today, you can go to Beijing Zoo at the western downtown to have a close contact with these cuties. The zoo also raises plenty of other animals from across the world.

Farther to the northwest, Summer Palace is at the inner suburb. It is the most beautiful Chinese classic garden in the north of China, used to be the royal garden for imperial family to relax. After lunch, you can also visit the Old Summer Palace, the ruins of Yuanmingyuan east to Summer Palace. It was the best garden with countless treasures in the history, and but destroyed in a modern war.

Tonight, we suggest you to watch the Kung Fu Show at Red Theater in Beijing downtown.

Day 4: Yonghe Temple, Temple of Confucius, Guozijian, Prince Gong’s Mansion, Shichahai Hutongs

To continue your Beijing itinerary 5 days, you can explore further on the history, culture, folks, and local life of this city. Yonghe Temple, the prince’s mansion as well as a Lama temple, is the largest Tibetan Buddhist temple in the city. Opposite to the street, Temple of Confucius and Guozijian is not far. Temple of Confucius was constructed for worshipping Confucius – the Chinese great ideologist. West next to it, it is the Guozijian, the only site of ancient Chinese imperial academy that has been maintained completely. Now the two combined sites become a museum, which is the best place to learn Chinese imperial examination system, Confucianism, and architecture in ancient.

Then you can enjoy lunch in the surrounding Hutongs, restaurants can be easily found there. After lunch, you may proceed to Prince Gong’s Mansion in Shichahai, which is the largest ancient complex for a prince. Shichahai Hutongs, the folk blocks with traditional dwellings, is visit-worthy in the afternoon as well. Later, you can ease yourself and witness Beijing nightlife on Houhai Bar Street in the area.

Day 5: Temple of Heaven, Qianmen, Dashilar Street, Beijing Roast Duck, 798 Art District

On the last day of your 5 days in Beijing, you can pick a few attractions missed on the first four days, and find more fun tasting local delicacies.

Temple of Heaven is a vital historical site in this city so that you must list it on your Beijing itinerary 5 days. It is a solemn complex for Heaven worship. Then Qianmen with splendid gate tower. Not far away, you may enjoy shopping at Dashilar Street, an aged shopping street with many time-honored brands.

At noon, Beijing Roast Duck is a nice choice for lunch. In the nearby area, two top roast duck brands – Quanjude and Bianyifang shop there. Quanjude is the best for BBQ roast duck, and its Qianmen branch open at No.30 Qianmen Avenue during 11:00-13:30 and 16:30-19:00, costing CNY 195 averagely per person. Bianyifang Xianyukou branch is on Xianyukou Food Street, a tributary lane east of Qianmen Avenue. It is at an average price of CNY 139 per person, and open during 11:00-21:00.

After that, you may have an afternoon art safari at 798 Art District in the northeast of the downtown, which is our last recommended stop of the Beijing itinerary 5 days. The area used to be electronics factories, but now is in an art vibe. The old factory buildings have been transformed into art museums and galleries, making the old industrial things artsy.

Further Reading:
An Ultimate Guide for Layover in Beijing
Long Layover in Beijing – How to Spend 1 to 6 Days in Beijing?

- Last updated on Apr. 19, 2021 -
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