Beijing Overview

Beijing overview can help you have a more comprehensive understanding of Beijing from the basic information, geographical location, climate and so on. 

Basic Information


Beijing lies in the north of China, close to the port city of Tianjin and partially surrounded by Hebei province. It is adjacent to Bohai bay, the Liaodong peninsula on the upper and the Shandong peninsula on the lower, with a total area of 16,410.54 square kilometers. Within the territory, the mountainous area covers 10,200 square kilometers, accounting for about 62% of the total area, and the plain area covers 6,200 square kilometers, accounting for about 38% of the total area. Beijing's terrain is high in the northwest and low in the southeast. The average altitude in Beijing is 43.5 meters. The elevation of Beijing plain is 20-60 meters, while the elevation of mountains is generally 1000-1500 meters. West of Beijing is the Western Hills, a branch of Taihang mountain range; Jundu mountain in the north and northeast Beijing belongs to Yanshan mountain range. The highest peak is Dongling mountain in Mentougou district, west of Beijing, with an altitude of 2,303 meters. The lowest ground is the southeast boundary of Tongzhou district.

More about Geography of Beijing.


Beijing lies in the warm temperate sub-humid region, belonging to the warm temperate sub-humid continental monsoon climate. For four distinct seasons in Beijing, the scenery is beautiful and diversified in different time of a year. The climate is warm and windy from April to May in spring, burning hot from June to August in summer, pleasant and cool from September to October in autumn, and severe cold from November to mid-march in winter. July and August are the hottest months, with highs around 37℃, while January is the coldest, with lows around -15℃. Read more about Beijing Climate.

Best Time to Visit

Beijing is good for traveling all year round. Given the frequent sandstorms in spring and extreme temperatures in summer and winter, the best times to visit Beijing is September and October.

Administrative Divisions

Beijing has jurisdiction over 16 municipal districts, namely, Dongcheng District(东城区), Xicheng District(西城区), Chaoyang District(朝阳区), Fengtai District(丰台区), Shijingshan District(石景山区), Haidian District(海淀区), Shunyi District(顺义区), Tongzhou District(通州区), Daxing District(大兴区), Fangshan District(房山区), Mentougou District(门头沟区), Changping District(昌平区), Pinggu District(平谷区), Miyun District(密云区), Huairou District(怀柔区) and Yanqing District(延庆区). 


Beijing culture includes its history, architecture, food, opera, Hutong, religion, historical sites, ethnic groups, etc, which intermingle and influence each other. So Beijing is a place with multiple cultures. Chinese minority culture, together with Beijing's elegant culture and folk culture, constitutes the unique Beijing culture and has an important influence on the development and inheritance of Chinese culture. As the capital of six dynasties in history, Beijing has always been regarded as the most sacred and concerned city by Chinese people. After the liberation, people from all over the country gathered here and brought various cultures to this treasured place. Inclusiveness is the spirit of Beijing.

More about Beijing Culture


Beijing has extremely convenient traffic, and various modes of transportation is serving tourists at home and abroad. The main modes of transportation to Beijing include plane, train and coach. Beijing is the mainland's most important air, rail and road hub because it has China's largest airport and is one of the centers of the country's rail network, as well as many national highways and expressways radiate out here.

The urban transportation system is perfect. However, as a metropolis in a densely populated country, the traffic in the downtown area is a little heavy, especially during the rush hours at 8:00 and 18:00. During this time, traffic jams are common and can cause serious delays. When traveling in Beijing, try to avoid taking buses or taxis at this time of day, as it can eat up your limited vacation time. To ease the traffic pressure, the local government has taken many measures, including encouraging people to travel on public transport, implementing a license plate lottery system, and restricting traffic by odd-even license plates.

Note: Bus lines have been opened to connect Beijing's major railway stations and airports, which can save unnecessary transfer trouble.

More about Beijing Transportation.

Things to Do

Beijing is a charming city, with small alleyways, old teahouses, trendy bar streets, and bustling business districts. The infinite modern elements blend with the authentic Beijing flavor, building up the extensive and profound cultural background of Beijing and the orthodox yet elegant lifestyle. The must-see attractions in Beijing are Tiananmen square, the Forbidden City, the Great Wall, in addition, you can make a variety of choices according to your interests and hobbies. 

Essential Central Axis: the Forbidden City, Qianmen and Tian'anmen Square

Attractions in the central city, with the Forbidden City as the core, cover Beijing's stunning royal scenery. The Tian'anmen square, Qianmen and the temple of heaven line up on the south side of the Forbidden City, but it takes more than a day to complete the journey. The best vantage point for panoramic shots of the Forbidden City is Jingshan mountain, just outside the north gate of the Palace Museum, and Beihai park, where you can see the view of the lake of Zhongnanhai, is nearby. 

Near Shichahai

Come out the north gate of Beihai, you can see the very famous "Shichahai Sports School", slightly east is the archway of Houhai Lotus Market. It was once a gathering place for literary youth, but it has been crowded with tourists since it became famous. Especially during holidays, South Luogu Lane is always full of people.

The Hutongs around Shichahai are worth a deep stroll, and the introduction of nearby rickshaws differs from each other. There are many bars in Houhai, and the streets are full of live singing songs after dark. Gulou street is home to artsy shops and some well-reviewed restaurants, and along with North Luogu Lane, you can go to Guozijian. There are also Wudaoying Hutong and well-known Yonghe Lamasery. Ditan park lies on the north side of Yonghe Lamasery. Ditan book market is also one of the most popular activities in Beijing.

Chaoyang District

In the Chaoyang district of Beijing, the CBD of Guomao leads the international business fashion in Beijing, where the highest buildings and the most beautiful night scenes lie. Sanlitun is a gathering place of fashion trends, and the most fashionable young people and a number of international brands promote it as a fashion resort.

The old embassy district, tucked away on the side streets near Sanlitun, is the perfect place to photograph ginkgo in autumn. Although The Place-Beijing Shopping Mall and parkview green are shopping centers, but do not miss these two places if you are fond of photographing. Heading north to the workers' stadium, where Beijing Guoan FC's home stadium is located.

Chaoyang park is a super large area of the city park, in the summer, there are swimming pools to play in, and many couples who shoot wedding photos in Beijing also come here. The 798 art district is also a 15-minute drive from here. The prestigious art district gathers Beijing's best modern art exhibitions and artists, and the coffee shops in 798 art district are also worth a try. Besides, Happy Valley, Bird's Nest, Water Cube and Olympic Forest Park are also here. 

Haidian District

As one of the main administrative districts of Beijing, Haidian district has a very large area. Therefore, there are many scenic spots covered. The most famous are the Xueyuan road and the Summer Palace scenic spot where many universities and colleges gather.

The Xueyuan Road runs through the locations of the major famous universities in Beijing, from Beijing Jiaotong University to Beijing Language and Culture University, People's University near Zhongguancun, and the most famous Peking University and Tsinghua University further north. The campus can be visited by Shared bicycle, but you should not affect students' normal class. On the north side of the old Summer Palace, many visitors would regard it as a profound patriotic education base. The Summer Palace is a bit farther away, but the imposing imperial gardens are definitely worth the trip. Other attractions include the Xiangshan Park, Beijing Botanical Garden and Temple of the Reclining Buddha

Outskirt of Beijing

There are countless green mountains, ancient villages and Great Walls on the outskirts of Beijing. The Badaling Great Wall in northwest of Beijing is the most visited, with the best public transportation and service facilities. If you have plenty of time and want to feel the rough and simple black brick and greystone, Mutianyu Great Wall, Jiankou Great Wall and Simatai Great Wall are better choices. Ming Tombs, Beijing WTown, Beijing wildlife park, Jietai temple and Hongluo Temple are also on the outskirts of Beijing. 

Walking into Hutongs

Hutong culture is the soul of Beijing, seemingly ordinary Hutongs constitute the civil culture under the imperial city. Walking or cycling through these crisscrossed alleys, a single brick and tile records the changes of time. In addition to South Luogu Lane, there are many interesting and characteristic Hutongs in Beijing, such as North Luogu Lane, Yandai Xiejie Street, Mao Er Hutong, Guozijian street, Wudaoying Hutong, Liulichang ancient culture street and so on.

Enjoying the Red Leaves in Autumn

In Autumn, enjoying red leaves becomes the main activity. It is only in October and November that you can enjoy the beautiful scenery. So it is valuable. 


Beijing is China's political, cultural and international exchange center, and is a comprehensive industrial city. Beijing municipal party committee and government put forward the concept of "the capital economy". Following the idea that Beijing's economic development should be based on Beijing, serve the whole country and face the world, adjusting the economic structure and layout, changing the economic growth mode, making the national economy continue to grow rapidly, and remainning the comprehensive economic strength at the forefront of the country. The scale of tertiary industry ranks first in mainland China. In 2018, Beijing's GDP reached 3.032 trillion yuan, an increase of 6.6% over the previous year at comparable prices. The added value of the primary industry was 11.87 billion yuan, down 2.3%; The added value of the secondary industry reached 564.77 billion yuan, up 4.2%; The added value of the tertiary industry reached 2.45536 trillion yuan, up 7.3%.

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Natural Resources

Water Resources

Beijing's natural river runs through five major water systems from west to east: Jumahe river system(拒马河水系), Yongdinghe river system(永定河水系), north canal river system(北运河水系), Chaobaihe river system(潮白河水系) and Jiyunhe river system(蓟运河水系). Most of them originate from the mountains in the northwest, meander through the plains in the southeast, and finally join the Bohai sea in the Haihe river. There are no natural lakes in Beijing, but 85 reservoirs, including Miyun reservoir, Guanting reservoir, Huairou reservoir and Haizi reservoir.

Mineral Resources

In 2013, a total of 67 kinds of minerals, 476 mineral deposits and mineral spots were discovered in Beijing. And 44 kinds of minerals were listed in the national reserve list, including 2 kinds of energy minerals; 4 kinds of ferrous metal minerals and 11 kinds of nonferrous metal, precious metal and disperse element minerals; 7 kinds of nonmetallic minerals as auxiliary materials for metallurgy; 5 kinds of non-metallic minerals as chemical raw materials; 15 kinds of building materials and other non-metallic minerals. There were altogether 300 producing areas, including 49 producing areas for ferrous metals, 35 producing areas for non-ferrous metals, 43 producing areas for non-metallic metallurgical auxiliary materials, 68 producing areas for non-metallic chemical materials, 75 producing areas for building materials and other non-metallic materials, and 30 producing areas for coal.

Plant Resources

The zonal vegetation types in Beijing are warm temperate deciduous broad-leaved forests with warm coniferous forests. Most of the plain areas have become farmland and towns, and only reed, cattails, arrowhead and other low-lying vegetation are developed in the local depressions on both sides of the river bank, but most of the depressions have been converted into fish pondsThe superficial vegetation types of the low mountain belt below 800 meters are Quercus variabilis forest, oak forest, pinus tabulaeformis forest and platycladus orientalis forest. When the elevation of 800 meters above sea level, the forest coverage rate increases. From 1000 meters to 1800-2000 meters above sea level, birch trees increase, and in the areas where the forest community was badly damaged, there are dominant shrubs of lespedeza bicolor, corylus and spirea. At the top of the mountain above 1800-1900 meters above sea level, there is mountain miscellaneous grass meadow growing.

Animal Resources

There are about 40 kinds of beasts, 220 kinds of birds, 16 kinds of reptiles, 7 kinds of amphibians and 60 kinds of fish in fauna of Beijing.