Photograph by Guang Niu/Getty Images
A city in the midst of reinventing itself and continuing to build on the success of the 2008 Summer Olympics, Beijing is a place of frenzied construction. New housing, new roads, and new sports venues seem to spring up overnight. At the same time, the capital of the People’s Republic of China remains an epicenter of tradition, with the treasures of nearly 2,000 years as the imperial capital still on view—in the famed Forbidden City and in the luxuriant pavilions and gardens of the Summer Palace. From the massive austerity of Tiananmen Square to the bustling new business and shopping districts that gleam as brightly as any in the West, Beijing is a city that intrigues, inspires, and rewards.
Get recommendations on the top Beijing attractions (what to see, where to go) from experts at National Geographic.
Visitors are enthralled by the Jiuzhaigou reserve, with its legends as beautiful as its emerald waters.
Even in China—a country known for mass production—some things remain provably real.
Two visions of the future compete for the soul of China's western frontier.
2015 Traveler Photo Contest
Do you have what it takes to win? Submit your best shots today and find out.