Skip to Content

Local Area Attractions

From Tiananmen Square to the Great Wall, experience the sights of Beijing
The Ritz-Carlton, Beijing is conveniently located near the city’s top shopping and dining districts as well as famous cultural attractions, including Tiananmen Square and the Temple of Heaven.

Positioned in the heart of the Central Business District (CBD) near the World Trade Center, our hotel offers convenient access to the Great Wall of China, the Forbidden City, the Silk Market and other stunning Beijing landmarks. Let us help you plan a spectacular adventure when you plan your stay at The Ritz-Carlton, Beijing.

Beijing Ancient Observatory (北京古观象台)

Located on the southwest side of the Jianguomen crossroad in the Dongcheng District, the Beijing Ancient Observatory, one of the oldest observatories in the world, was built in 1442. During the Ming (1368-1644) and Qing (1644-1911) dynasties, this observatory served astronomers in their star-gazing reports to the Emperor, who considered the movements of the celestial bodies to be a highly important affair. The astronomical instruments were also utilized for sea navigation. In 1673, the Jesuit Ferdinand Verbiest supervised the rebuilding of some of the instruments and further developed the observation of the stars and planets with other Jesuits. The main astronomical devices are located on the observatory roof and the exhibition rooms within house ancient star maps dating back to the Tang Dynasty (618 - 907). Opening hours: 9 a.m.-11 a.m.; 1 p.m.-5 p.m. Last Entry at 4 p.m. Closed on Mondays and Tuesdays.

Forbidden City (紫禁城)

Lying at the center of Beijing, the Forbidden City, called Gu Gong in Chinese, was the imperial palace during the Ming and Qing dynasties. Now known as the Palace Museum, it is to the north of Tiananmen Square. Rectangular in shape, it is the world's largest palace complex and covers 74 hectares. Surrounded by a six meter deep moat and a ten meter high wall are 9,999 buildings. The wall has a gate on each side. Opposite the Tiananmen Gate, to the north is the Gate of Divine Might (Shenwumen), which faces Jingshan Park. The distance between these two gates is 960 meters, while the distance between the gates in the east and west walls is 750 meters. There are unique and delicately structured towers on each of the four corners of the curtain wall. These afford views over both the palace and the city outside. The Forbidden City is divided into two parts. The southern section, or the Outer Court was where the emperor exercised his supreme power over the nation. The northern section, or the Inner Court was where he lived with his royal family. Until 1924 when the last emperor of China was driven from the Inner Court, fourteen emperors of the Ming dynasty and ten emperors of the Qing dynasty had reigned here. Having been the imperial palace for some five centuries, it houses numerous rare treasures and curiosities. Listed by UNESCO as a World Cultural Heritage Site in 1987, the Palace Museum is now one of the most popular tourist attractions world-wide. Opening hours: Open daily all year.

Distance: 10 km (one way)/20-25 minutes

Prince Gong Mansion (恭王府)

This grand compound sits in a neighborhood once reserved for imperial relatives. Built during the Ming Dynasty, it fell to Prince Gong, brother of Qing emperor Xianfeng and later an adviser to Empress Dowager Cixi. With nine courtyards joined by covered walkways, it was once one of Beijing's most lavish residences. The largest hall offers summertime Beijing opera and afternoon tea to guests on guided hutong tours. Some literary scholars believe this was the setting of the Dream of the Red Chamber, China's best-known classic novel.

Summer Palace (颐和园)

Situated in the western outskirts of Haidian District, the Summer Palace is 15 kilometers (9.3 miles) from central Beijing. Having the largest royal park and being well preserved, it was designated, in 1960 by the State Council, as a Key Cultural Relics Protection Site of China. Containing examples of the ancient arts, it also has graceful landscapes and magnificent constructions. The Summer Palace is the archetypal Chinese garden, and is ranked amongst the most noted and classical gardens of the world. In 1998, it was listed as one of the World Heritage Sites by UNESCO.

Constructed in the Jin Dynasty (1115-1234), during the succeeding reign of feudal emperors; it was extended continuously. By the time of the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911), it had become a luxurious royal garden providing royal families with rest and entertainment. Originally called 'Qingyi Garden' (Garden of Clear Ripples), it was know as one of the famous 'three hills and five gardens' (Longevity Hill, Jade Spring Mountain, and Fragrant Hill; Garden of Clear Ripples, Garden of Everlasting Spring, Garden of Perfection and Brightness, Garden of Tranquility and Brightness, and Garden of Tranquility and Pleasure). Like most of the gardens of Beijing, it could not elude the rampages of the Anglo-French allied force and was destroyed by fire. In 1888, Empress Dowager Cixi embezzled navy funds to reconstruct it for her own benefit, changing its name to Summer Palace (Yiheyuan). She spent most of her later years there, dealing with state affairs and entertaining. In 1900, it suffered again, being ransacked by the Eight-Power Allied Force. After the success of the 1911 Revolution, it was opened to the public.

Distance: 26 km/40-50 minutes


798 Art Zone

798 Art Zone is situated in the Dashanzi area, which is the site of state-owned factories including Factory 798, which originally produced electronics. Starting from 2002, some artists and cultural organizations began to divide, rent out, and re-make the factory spaces, gradually developing them into galleries, art centers, artists' studios, design companies, restaurants and bars.

Distance: 10.3 km/20-30 minutes

Great Wall of China (长城)

The Great Wall is a symbol of Chinese civilization, and one of the wonders that the Chinese people have created. It stretches 6,700 km (4,160 miles) across deserts, grasslands, mountains and plateaus. The Badaling section of the Great Wall, the most representative part, was promoted as a key national cultural relic, protected under the approval of the State Council in 1961. In 1988, it was enlisted in the World Cultural Heritage Directory by UNESCO. July 7, 2007 has once again witnessed the worldwide reputation that the Great Wall gained: it was listed among the New Seven Wonders of the World.

After uniting China in 221 BC, the first Emperor of China, Qin Shi Huang, ordered the building of the wall to connect the existing fortifications along China’s northern border to protect the country against intrusions by the nomadic tribes from the north.Badaling Great Wall is situated in Yanqing County, over 70 kilometers (43 miles) north of Beijing. It is the most well-preserved section of the Great Wall, built during the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644). This section with an average altitude of over 1,000 meters (3,282 feet) is the outpost of the Juyongguan Pass. The mountain slope is very steep and the roads are tortuous. These features made it a military stronghold. Badaling Great Wall is like a strong dragon winding its way along the mountain ranges.

Distance: 80 km/1.5 hours

Hutongs of Beijing (胡同)

People say that the real culture of Beijing is "the culture of hutong" and "the culture of courtyard". How true that is. Often, it is Beijing's winding hutongs that attract tourists from home and abroad rather than the high-rise buildings and large mansions.

Hutong is a typical lane or small street in Beijing that originated during the Yuan Dynasty (1271-1368). "Hutong" is a Mongolian word, meaning "water well". During that time, water well is the settlement around which people lived. There are tens of thousands of hutongs surrounding the Forbidden City. In the past, Beijing was composed of countless courtyards. Hutongs were formed when people left a passageway between two courtyards to make entering them more convenient.

As the symbol of Beijing City, a hutong has its own layout and structure, which makes it a wonder in the world. When taking a bird's eye view of Beijing, you will find the combination of hutongs and courtyards just like an orderly chessboard with delicate gardens, fine rockeries, and ancient ruins. Hutongs have witnessed the development of Beijing. Where there is a hutong, there is a story.

Distance: 15 km/20-25 minutes

Olympic Green (北京奧林匹克公園)

On Friday 8 August 2008 the opening ceremony of the 29th Olympiad was held at The Beijing National Stadium, also known as the ‘Bird’s Nest’. It has a capacity of 80,000 seats for the games. The unique architecture and design of the building has made it an iconic focal point for Beijing. The circular shape of the stadium’s bowl was defined using computer software developed by Arup to allow spectators to have the optimum view.

The blue-colored National Aquatics Center (NAC), nicknamed the "Water Cube" was inaugurated and delivered for use on the morning of January 28, 2008. It took over four years to construct the Olympic venue, which is a new landmark in Beijing. The "Water Cube" was designed with water-saving and environmental effort; the venue can save 140,000 tons of recycled water a year.

Parkview Green(FangCaoDi)

Located right in the heart of Beijing‘s CBD, Parkview Green FangCaoDi is a spectacular piece of modern architecture, made up of made up of 4 buildings, with office towers, a shopping mall, an art centre and a boutique hotel. All buildings are designed with atria spaces, sky-gardens, terraces, link bridges, and together are shielded away from the external environment and provides with an internal environment that is tempered by nature.

Distance: 3.6 km/10-15 minutes

Temple of Heaven (天坛)

The Temple of Heaven is a worthwhile visiting place in Beijing. It is much bigger than the Forbidden City and smaller than the Summer Palace with an area of about 2,700,000 square meters. The Temple was built in 1420 A.D. during the Ming Dynasty to offer sacrifice to Heaven. As Chinese emperors called themselves 'The Son of Heaven, they dared not to build their own dwelling, 'Forbidden City' bigger than a dwelling for Heaven.

The Temple of Heaven is enclosed with a long wall. The northern part within the wall is semicircular symbolizing the heavens and the southern part is square symbolizing the earth. The northern part is higher than the southern part. This design shows that the heaven is high and the earth is low and the design reflected an ancient Chinese thought of 'The heaven is round and the earth is square'.

Distance: 11 km/20-25 minutes

The Confucian Temple

Located at Guozijian Street, The Confucian temple is built in the 6th Year of emperor Dade of Yuan Dynasty. It was the place to worship and enshrine Confucius in three dynasties of Yuan, Ming, Qing. The purpose of Kublai Khan of Yuan Dynasty setting up this temple is to enhance the governance capability and drew over scholars of Han nationality. The area is about 20 thousand square meters.

Distance: 9 km/15-20 minutes

Tiananmen Square (天安门广场)

It is the symbol of the People’s Republic and the center of Beijing’s landmarks. The flagstones of Tian’anmen cover a staggering 440,000 square meters (100 acres), enough space to allow a million people to gather there, making it the largest open-urban square in the world. Used as a massive meeting place since its inception, its flatness is broken only by the 38-metre (125 ft) high Monument to the People's Heroes completed in 1958, and the Mausoleum of Mao Zedong completed in 1977. The Tiananmen Gate Tower sites at the north, the Five-Star Red Flag flies high on the square, the Monument to the People’s Heroes dominates the center, the Great Hall of the People and the Museum of the Chinese Revolution and the Museum of Chinese History to the east and west of it, as well as The Chairman Mao Memorial Hall and the Tiananmen gate, sit in the south of the square.

Hongqiao Pearl Market (红桥市场)

Opening hour: 9:30 a.m. - 7 p.m.. Location: No. 46 Tiantan Donglu,Chongwen.

Contact: 6713 3354 | Distance: 8 km/25 minutes

Sanlitun Yaxiu Market (三里屯雅秀服装市场)

Location: Gonti Beilu, Chaoyang. Opening hour: 10 a.m. - 9 p.m..

Contact: 6416 8945 | Distance: 4.5 km/15 minutes

Silk Market (秀水市场)

On 19 March 2005, Beijing Silk Street High-rise, which draws lots of attentions, is open for business officially. After more than 20 years development, the two characters ”Xiu Shui” have become a famous brand among the sphere of commodity circulation in Beijing. The Silk Street High-rise is tightly near CBD, the total floorage amount to 28,000 square meters, and there are 1,500 stalls in the market. Commodities mainly sold in Silk Street are shoes, bags and cases, leather, famous brand, casual wear, fashion clothing, cowboy series, sports leisure attire, knitted dress, kid's clothing, tie, silk handkerchief, silk wax printing, craft table cloth, handicraft, jewelry, antique, calligraphy and painting, Beijing roast duck and characteristic snack, etc. Location: No. 8 Xiushui Dong Street, Chaoyang. Opening hour: 9:30 a.m. - 9 p.m..

Contact: 5169 9003 | Distance: 4 km/10 minutes

The Panjiayuan Folk Culture Market (潘家园旧货市场)

The Panjiayuan folk culture market is a market in Beijing dealing in secondhand goods of private citizens and art and craft articles. As a market for people to visit in holidays and leisure, it also involves all varieties of goods for collectors in the nation and is China's biggest collecting and distributing center of art and craft articles. Situated in a place of city traffic hub, south of Eastern Third Ring Road and west of Panjiayuan Bridge nearby Second Ring Road, it is very easy for visitors to reach. The market covers over three hectares of land and accommodates over 3,000 stalls open to business. Everyday, many Chinese people and foreigners patronize this market of traditional Chinese styleAddress: No. 18 Huaweili Chaoyang District. Opening Hour: 5:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. (Saturday and Sunday)

Contact: 87772727 | Distance: 7 km/20 minutes

Wangfujing Street

Wangfujing Street is one of the most famous commercial streets in Beijing, the history of which is more than a hundred years. It starts from East Chang’an Street in south to China Art Museum in north with the whole length of 1.5 kilometer. Along the street, you can find many large commercial malls, specialty shops, time-honored shops, restaurants with characteristic flavors and food stores.

Distance: 7 km/15-20 minutes