7 Unusual Things To Do In Beijing China – 2024 Ultimate Guide

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Beijing, China, is a city rich in history, culture, and tradition. While famous for iconic landmarks like the Great Wall and the Forbidden City, there are also plenty of unusual things to do in Beijing China that offer a unique and memorable experience. From exploring hidden hutongs to trying exotic street foods, Beijing has a lot to offer beyond the typical tourist attractions. Whether you’re a seasoned traveler or a first-time visitor, stepping off the beaten path in Beijing can lead to unexpected discoveries and unforgettable moments.

Explore the 798 Art District

Essential Information

– Address: 798 Art Zone, No.4 Jiuxianqiao Road, Chaoyang District, Beijing, China
– Opening Hours: 10:00 AM – 6:00 PM (may vary by gallery)
– Fee: Free entry to most galleries, some may have admission fees
– Visit Duration: 2-4 hours
– Ideal for: Art enthusiasts, photographers, cultural explorers

Why is it so unusual

The 798 Art District in Beijing stands out as an unusual tourist attraction due to its unique blend of industrial history and contemporary art scene. While exploring this district, visitors can witness artists at work in open studios, creating a dynamic and immersive experience. One of the most unusual activities here is the opportunity to participate in art workshops and classes, allowing visitors to unleash their creativity in a vibrant artistic environment.

Another distinctive feature of the 798 Art District is the abundance of avant-garde sculptures and installations scattered throughout the area. These unconventional art pieces challenge traditional notions of art and invite viewers to engage with art in a new and thought-provoking way. Additionally, the district is home to a variety of quirky art galleries showcasing cutting-edge exhibitions that push boundaries and spark dialogue on contemporary issues.

For those seeking a truly offbeat experience, the 798 Art District also hosts occasional performance art shows and interactive events that blur the lines between art and audience participation. From experimental theater performances to interactive multimedia installations, visitors can expect the unexpected and be part of a one-of-a-kind artistic experience.

In conclusion, the 798 Art District in Beijing offers a refreshing departure from conventional tourist attractions, inviting visitors to explore the unconventional, embrace creativity, and engage with art in a truly unique setting.

Visit the Beijing Ancient Observatory

Essential Information

– Address: No. 2 Dongbiaobei Hutong, Beijing, China
– Opening Hours: 9:00 AM – 4:30 PM (Closed on Mondays)
– Fee: 10 RMB for adults, free for children under 6
– Visit Duration: 1-2 hours
– Ideal for: History enthusiasts, astronomy lovers

Why is it so unusual

The Beijing Ancient Observatory stands out as a unique tourist attraction due to its intriguing blend of history and astronomy. Unlike traditional observatories, this site offers visitors a chance to not only observe the stars but also delve into the rich cultural heritage of ancient China.

One of the most unusual activities at the Beijing Ancient Observatory is the opportunity to view ancient astronomical instruments up close. These instruments, some dating back to the Ming and Qing dynasties, provide a fascinating glimpse into the scientific advancements of the past. Visitors can marvel at the intricate designs of sundials, armillary spheres, and celestial globes, gaining a deeper appreciation for the ancient Chinese astronomers’ dedication to studying the heavens.

Another standout feature of the observatory is the chance to participate in stargazing sessions led by knowledgeable guides. Away from the city lights, visitors can peer through telescopes and binoculars to observe celestial bodies such as planets, stars, and constellations. This hands-on experience allows guests to connect with the night sky in a way that is both educational and awe-inspiring.

For those seeking a more interactive experience, the Beijing Ancient Observatory offers workshops and demonstrations on ancient astronomical practices. From learning how to use a sundial to understanding the principles of celestial navigation, these activities provide a unique insight into the methods used by ancient astronomers to track the movement of celestial bodies.

In conclusion, the Beijing Ancient Observatory stands out as an unusual tourist attraction that offers a captivating blend of history and astronomy. Whether exploring ancient instruments, stargazing under the night sky, or participating in educational workshops, visitors are sure to be enchanted by the unique experiences this site has to offer.

Wander through the Panjiayuan Antique Market

Essential Information

– Address: Panjiayuan Road, Chaoyang District, Beijing, China
– Opening Hours: 8:30 am – 6:00 pm daily
– Fee: Free entry
– Visit Duration: 2-3 hours
– Ideal for: Antique enthusiasts, bargain hunters, cultural explorers

Why is it so unusual

When exploring Beijing, a visit to the Panjiayuan Antique Market is a must for those seeking a unique and offbeat experience. What sets this market apart is its vast collection of authentic Chinese antiques, ranging from ancient artifacts to traditional handicrafts. As you wander through the maze of stalls, you’ll come across a variety of unusual items that you won’t find elsewhere.

One of the most intriguing aspects of the Panjiayuan Antique Market is the opportunity to witness skilled artisans at work. From calligraphy demonstrations to traditional painting techniques, visitors can observe the creation of intricate artworks right before their eyes. This hands-on experience offers a deeper insight into China’s rich cultural heritage.

For those with a penchant for the peculiar, the market also boasts a selection of quirky collectibles and oddities. Delve into boxes of vintage coins, rummage through stacks of old postcards, or hunt for unique trinkets to add to your collection. Whether you’re a seasoned antique enthusiast or simply curious about the past, there’s something for everyone at Panjiayuan.

In addition to its eclectic array of treasures, the market is a hub of cultural exchange. Engage in friendly haggling with local vendors, practice your Mandarin skills, and learn about the stories behind each artifact. The vibrant atmosphere and bustling energy make for a truly immersive experience that will leave you with lasting memories of your time in Beijing.

So, if you’re looking to step off the beaten path and discover a hidden gem in the heart of the city, make sure to wander through the Panjiayuan Antique Market. With its blend of history, craftsmanship, and charm, this unconventional attraction promises a one-of-a-kind adventure for intrepid travelers.

Take a night tour of the Beijing Ghost Street

Essential Information

– Address: Dongzhimen, Dongcheng District, Beijing, China
– Opening Hours: 6:00 pm – 2:00 am
– Fee: Free to enter, costs vary for food and activities
– Visit Duration: 2-3 hours
– Ideal for: Night owls, food enthusiasts, thrill-seekers

Why is it so unusual

When exploring Beijing, one of the most unusual and thrilling experiences you can have is taking a night tour of the Beijing Ghost Street. This vibrant and bustling street comes alive after dark, offering a unique blend of traditional Chinese culture and modern entertainment.

As you wander down the narrow alleyways lined with red lanterns, you’ll be greeted by a myriad of sights and sounds that are sure to intrigue and excite. One of the most unusual activities you can partake in is trying the exotic and sometimes bizarre street food offerings. From scorpions on sticks to spicy frog legs, this is a culinary adventure unlike any other.

For those seeking a bit of a scare, the street’s eerie name is not just for show. Legend has it that the street is haunted by wandering spirits, adding an extra layer of mystery to your nighttime stroll. Keep an eye out for the traditional Chinese opera performances that take place on the street, adding a touch of the supernatural to the atmosphere.

If you’re feeling brave, you can also visit one of the many fortune tellers and palm readers that line the street, offering insights into your future and perhaps a glimpse into the unknown. For a more lighthearted experience, you can try your hand at traditional Chinese games or shop for unique souvenirs to remember your night tour of the Beijing Ghost Street.

Overall, this unusual tourist attraction is a must-visit for those looking to step outside their comfort zone and embrace the unexpected. So, put on your walking shoes, sharpen your senses, and get ready for a night of adventure on the Beijing Ghost Street.

Discover the underground city beneath Beijing

Essential Information

– Address: Beijing Underground City, Beijing, China
– Opening Hours: 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM
– Fee: $10 per person
– Visit Duration: 1-2 hours
– Ideal for: History enthusiasts, adventure seekers

Why is it so unusual

The underground city beneath Beijing offers a unique experience for visitors looking to delve into the hidden history of the Chinese capital. Unlike traditional tourist attractions, this subterranean network of tunnels and chambers provides a glimpse into a secret world that once served as a shelter during wartime. Visitors can explore the maze-like passages, underground living quarters, and storage rooms that were designed to withstand bombings and protect civilians.

One of the most unusual activities to do in the underground city is to witness the preserved relics and artifacts that offer insights into the daily lives of the people who sought refuge here. From makeshift hospitals to communication centers, the underground city showcases the resourcefulness and resilience of the inhabitants during times of conflict.

Another intriguing aspect of this underground complex is the ventilation system that was ingeniously designed to provide fresh air and maintain a habitable environment for extended periods. Visitors can marvel at the engineering feats that were employed to create a self-sustaining underground community.

For those seeking a different perspective on Beijing’s history, exploring the underground city offers a fascinating journey into the depths of the past. Whether you are a history buff or simply curious about hidden gems, this unusual attraction is sure to leave a lasting impression on all who venture below the bustling streets of Beijing.

Experience a traditional Chinese tea ceremony

Essential Information

– Address: Beijing, China
– Opening hours: 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM
– Fee: $20 per person
– Visit duration: 1-2 hours
– Ideal for: Tourists interested in Chinese culture

Why is it so unusual

When visiting Beijing, one of the most unusual yet fascinating experiences you can partake in is a traditional Chinese tea ceremony. Unlike typical tourist attractions, a Chinese tea ceremony offers a unique insight into the ancient art of tea preparation and consumption in Chinese culture.

During the ceremony, you will have the opportunity to witness skilled tea masters expertly brewing a variety of teas, such as green tea, oolong tea, and pu-erh tea. The intricate process of tea preparation, from selecting the right tea leaves to brewing them at the perfect temperature, is a mesmerizing sight to behold.

As part of the ceremony, you will also learn about the significance of tea in Chinese history and its role in social interactions. Engaging in a tea tasting session allows you to savor the diverse flavors and aromas of different teas, enhancing your understanding and appreciation of this ancient beverage.

Moreover, participating in a traditional Chinese tea ceremony provides a moment of tranquility and mindfulness in the bustling city of Beijing. The serene ambiance, coupled with the rhythmic pouring of tea and the delicate aroma wafting through the air, creates a peaceful atmosphere that is truly rejuvenating for the soul.

Overall, experiencing a traditional Chinese tea ceremony in Beijing is a unique and enriching cultural activity that offers a glimpse into the rich heritage and customs of China. It is a memorable way to immerse yourself in the local traditions and connect with the essence of Chinese tea culture.

Hike the Great Wall at Jiankou section

Essential Information

– Address: Xizhazi Village, Huairou District, Beijing, China
– Opening Hours: 8:00 am – 5:00 pm
– Fee: Approximately 50 RMB
– Visit Duration: 3-4 hours
– Ideal for: Adventure seekers and nature enthusiasts

Why is it so unusual

The Jiankou section of the Great Wall offers a unique and thrilling hiking experience unlike any other. What sets this section apart is its rugged and unrestored state, providing visitors with an authentic glimpse into the ancient structure’s raw beauty. As you traverse the steep and challenging terrain, you’ll encounter a series of distinctive features that make Jiankou a must-visit for adventurous souls.

One of the standout attractions of Jiankou is the iconic “Eagle Flies Facing Upward” watchtower, known for its distinctive shape and stunning panoramic views of the surrounding landscape. Additionally, the “Zhengbei Tower” offers a glimpse into the architectural ingenuity of the Ming Dynasty builders, with its intricate stone carvings and strategic positioning along the wall.

For those seeking an adrenaline rush, the “Sky Stairs” present a thrilling challenge as you navigate the steep and narrow steps that seem to ascend into the clouds. The rugged beauty of the Jiankou section, with its crumbling walls and overgrown vegetation, provides a stark contrast to the more manicured sections of the Great Wall, making it a truly unique destination for intrepid explorers.

Overall, hiking the Great Wall at Jiankou section offers a one-of-a-kind adventure that combines history, nature, and adrenaline-pumping excitement. Whether you’re a seasoned hiker or simply looking to step off the beaten path, Jiankou promises an unforgettable experience that will leave you in awe of China’s ancient marvels.

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