After Class Activities
Our program allows you plenty of time to discover your new country, culture, traditions, and everyday life after your class is over. There are many ways to explore Beijing for example by paying a visit to the Forbidden City and the Tiananmen Square.
Get ready for a trip to Beijing with the links below:
Top Highlights: See What Beijing is Famous For
The Great Wall of China:
Included in the greatest wonders of the world is the Great Wall of China. Only 75km away from Beijing, The Great Wall stretches itself about 6,700 kilometers (4,163 miles) from east to west of China through various landscapes such as mountains, grasslands, deserts and plateaus.
Its history reaches back over 2000 years, therefore some parts are in ruins or even completely disappeared. However, due to its architectural and historical significance, it's still one of the world's greatest attractions.
Located at the heart of modern Beijing, it's been the scene of many historic events. Tiananmen Square was renovated during the first half of 1999, in preparation for the celebrations of the fiftieth anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China.
It now has two green areas, trees and subtle ground-level lighting. Attractions in the square include the Chairman Mao Memorial Hall, where Mao Zedongs preserved body is on display, the Museum of the Revolution, and the Great Hall of the People.
The Forbidden City, or also known as Palace Museum was built in the fifteenth century and home for the 24 emperors from the Ming and Qing dynasties. With its pavilions, gardens, halls and courtyards it’s a tremendous complex, which today contains a vast collection of pottery, bronzes and paintings of ancient times.
Main Sights: Get to Know Beijing
Beihai Park or Jingshan Park:
Beihai Park is located in the heart of Beijing and was established over 1,000 years ago by the emperors of China. This masterpiece of a traditional Chinese Garden has an area of 67 hectare, where more than half of Beihai Park is a lake.
In the middle of the crystal clear water is Jade Flowery Islet. By an arched marble bridge you reach the island and find the Temple of Eternal Peace as well as a Tibetan Buddhist shrine also known as the White Dagoba. Since 1925 the park is open to public and is one of the most famous parks among Beijing citizens.
The Jingshan Park you can find north of the Forbidden City. It's a hill which has been built during the era of the Ming Dynasty by only manual labour and animals. At the top of Jingshan hill you find several lookout points with artistic pavilions and one of them (the Pavilion of Ten Thousand Springs) was once the highest point of the entire city. Furthermore it is the place to be, to see Chinese people practicing their culture, by dancing or singing in the park.
Definitely a place to be seen is The Beijing Zoo, located in the northwest of the city. As its founding goes back to the beginning of the 20 century during the Qing Empire, it is one of the oldest zoos in Asia and home to over 14,000 animals from several continents of land and sea.
Pandas, the national symbol of China, are the most popular animal for many visitors. The buildings in Beijing Zoo alone cover an area of 50,000 square meters, which allows enough space to establish the needs to all the different species. The scenery adheres to traditional Chinese landscaping with flowerbeds, lotus pools, grasslands as well as pavilions and halls.
The Summer Palace is only 15km from Beijing centre and is a masterpiece of classical Chinese gardens, and was declared a World Heritage site in 1998. Throughout the Dynasties, the Summer Palace extended continuously and had become a royal garden of the Qing era for recreation as well as amusement.
Excursions: Explore More of The Region
Half Day Excursion - Tour of Hutongs:
Hutongs are one of Beijing's most popular historical sites to visit. They are a maze of storey houses joining one another in narrow streets forming neighbourhoods. Best is to visit the historic Hutongs by foot or bicycle. Get a rare chance to talk to locals and experience more of China's culture!
Full Day Excursion - Great wall and Ming Tombs:
To visit The Great Wall of China which stretches over thousands of kilometres through the country, Badaling is the closest region to go to from the city Beijing. Open daily (9am – 4:30pm) and with an admission fee of approx. RMB25, you can enjoy some of Chinas most historical sites and be amazed by the width of the Great wall.
Also near Beijing are The Ming Tombs which are the graves of 13 Emperors of the Chinese Ming Dynasty. So far only one of the underground burial chambers is open to public and the graves are reached by the Spirit Way which is guarded by huge status of men and animals. The Ming Tombs are open daily with an admission fee of approx. 20 RMB.
Full Day Excursion - Fragrant Hills:
Located more than 20km (12 miles) to the northwest of Beijing and best reached by taxi, the Fragrant Hills are thickly wooded with pine trees and were popular with the emperors as a hunting ground. Pagodas, temples and pavilions can be found dotted around the park, which is open daily. The summit of the highest peak can be reached by a chair lift.
Architecture: Discover Unique Styles & Structures
Temple of Heaven:
Eventful is a trip to the Temple of Heaven. It was the holy place to Chinese Emperors who would go there to pray and hold yearly ceremonies for good crop. This amazing structure which was first constructed in the fifteenth century represents Heaven and Earth in a very unique way.
The Lama Temple, or also named Yonghe-Temple is in matter a palace of freedom and harmony, before the emperor Qianlong reconstructed it to a Lama Temple in 1744. Today this temple is one of the biggest outside of Tibet. Within its five halls, the hall of endless happiness with a statue that’s 26 meters high and made of only one log of wood is surely the most stunning one.
Drum Tower and Bell Tower:
To experience great historical architecture a trip to Beijing's Drum and Bell Tower is a must. In ancient days of 1272, these towers were built to act as musical instrument, but later the government decided to use them to measure the time of day.
In the morning the bell would ring and in the evening the drum would play. This helped the Beijing residents to live a more regular lifestyle. Both Towers are only about 100 meters apart from each other and the highest ones of their kind in the country.