Beijing holds plenty of ancient historical moments that you can go and visit, but a trip to the city would not be complete without including the Great Wall and the Summer palace. One of the Seven Wonders of the World, the Great Wall lies in the mountains north of the city. If you want a more local approach than the common tours that go to Badaling, then get some comfortable gear on and walk to Muitanyu where you will see the extent of the wall zigzagging across the landscape to disappear in the horizon beyond.
Another lovely well-spent day outside the city can be done at the Summer palace, where its luxuriant gardens and pavilions were once playgrounds for the imperial court. The palace is rendered even more magical by the surrounding Kumming lake that covers three-quarters of the grounds and is a popular spot to get some fresh air.
If you’re keen on retail therapy, one must-see Hutong is Nanluoguxiang. This is a community of restored traditional homes, which has several kilometres of shops, galleries and cafés that range from the chic to the kitschy. The best option is to rent a bike and get pleasantly lost in the back lanes around the Drum and Bell towers.
A great idea to recharge from all these activities is eating some great roast duck, after all what would a trip to Beijing be like without it?! Beijing’s Dadong Roast Duck restaurant is a favourite of Pecking duck aficionados as they are renown for their crispier and less fatty recipes, served with plum sauce, spring onions and pancakes. The perfect end to a busy day of exploring.