Planning Your Trip

China’s capital is a bustling metropolis that’s home to more than 20 million people, is the center of much of China’s government and commerce, and is the site of some of China’s most significant historical sites like the Forbidden City and Tiananmen Square. Whether traveling for business or pleasure — or a bit of both — here is what to pack to make the most of the city.

What to Pack

When traveling on business, having business cards on hand is of the utmost importance. Remember to present and receive cards with both hands as a sign of respect.

Business Travel
  • If traveling to Beijing on business, formality is expected whether meeting with government officials or multinational corporations. 

  • Most local businessmen sport a traditional dark blue suit, even when temperatures soar in summer. And in the more conservative Beijing, a tie is expected.

  • Conservative attire is also de rigueur for women — pack more modest skirt suits or trousers and blouses with higher necklines. Make a subtle sartorial statement with a scarf or printed blouse.

  • Most women favor flats over heels, so pack a few formal pairs.
Exploring the City
  • There is much to see in the sprawling metropolis with everything from centuries-old historic wonders to the finest of modern cuisine. Here’s what to bring to make the most of every experience.

  • Whether exploring the Forbidden City or spending an afternoon at a local market, you’ll likely do quite a bit of walking during your visit, so bring a pair of comfortable shoes.

  • In summer, temperatures can soar into the 80s and 90s, but it is also rainy season and can pour heavily without much warning — bring a compact umbrella and a lightweight waterproof layer.

  • Winter can bring temperatures below freezing, so pack a heavy coat. And ski gear might be in order if you’re planning a day trip to one of the nearby ski resorts like Badaling Great Wall or Yuyang International Ski Resort.
Cultural Considerations
  • While Western-style attire is the norm, locals tend to dress more discreetly and with a degree of finish. Pack accordingly.

  • Residents don’t tend to wear clothing that bears a lot of skin, even in summer. Skip tank tops and low-cut shirts in favor of lightweight layers with a bit more coverage.

  • While a smart pair of jeans is certainly a common sight and formal attire is not expected while touring the city, it is not unusual to see locals in more polished attire like collared shirts and blouses.

  • Shorts aren’t common among locals but are more acceptable for visitors to wear. Still, pants are the norm even in high temperatures.
What to Reserve

Beijing is an intriguing blend of old and new — a sea of high-rise buildings in the area surrounding Financial Street just moments from the Ancient City, Tiananmen Square and historic temples. Here’s what to arrange in advance — both inside the hotel and out — to make the most of your visit.


The sprawling capital city of China is also the country’s dynamic cultural hub. Find a staggering seven UNESCO World Heritage sites here — from the Summer Palace and Ming Tombs to the Forbidden City and legendary Great Wall — as well as a trove of ancient relics and modern masterpieces that offer vivid insight into Beijing’s millennia-old history. See traditional Chinese acrobatics, smell the incense at Buddhist temples, taste Peking duck and experience the convergence of the past and future in vibrant Beijing

Cultural Treasures

China’s massive capital city is a study in contrast. Find ancient relics housed in cutting-edge architectural wonders, centuries-old temples sharing a skyline with modern skyscrapers, and narrow, winding hutongs tucked next to wide swaths of cypress tree-lined green spaces. Spend three days savoring Beijing’s cultural treasures, from the enigmatic Forbidden City to the contemporary Arts District and more.

24 Hours

Beijing’s history spans three millennia, and while it’s impossible to take in its complex history in one day, you can certainly get a taste of what makes China’s capital city great. Focus on the heart of Beijing, including Tiananmen Square and the Forbidden City, making sure to pause and revel in the flurry of activity around you. Finish the day with an unparalleled dining experience in a 600-year-old temple complex, and plot your return to this dynamic city.