This photo was taken in September 2016, Beijing. I’d recommend staying at Leo Hostel on Dashilan W St, as it’s only a 10-15 minute walk from Qianmen metro station. Staying here gives you (at least) three options:
- Crossing the main road to visit the popular, thriving shopping streets
- Exploring the increasingly-rare and exceptionally intriguing hutongs, which are narrow lanes and alleyways that give you a glimpse into traditional China on a local-level
- Walk for 15 minutes or so until you reach Tian’anmen Square, The Forbidden City and more. You’ll need to go through a bag security check first, but once you’re through, you’ll stand in a spacious square surrounded by tourists with the portrait of Chairman Mao looking out across to you.
All in all, a trip to Beijing can be short but sweet; whilst I recommend staying for longer (you’ll need no more than a week as a tourist, but it’s a great spot long-term for expats), staying in an area like Qianmen allows you to tick off a good few major spots without spending too much time sitting on the metro or trying to flag down a taxi (if you’re on your own it’s probably better just to jump in a tuk-tuk style taxi anyway).
Have you visited Beijing before? What did you think of it? Let me know in the comments below!