Cheap flights to Beijing

Cheap Flights to Beijing, China (BJSA)

Why visit Beijing?

Ancient and impressive Beijing has stood as the Middle Kingdom’s capital for centuries, and during its time it has seen the rise and fall of great conquerors and steely dynasties that once tried to rule the vast empire of China. Today, this fascinating country has opened its doors to travellers of all kinds, curious to see the modernity of contemporary China mix with its storied past, and you will find that no one leaves Beijing unimpressed. With all the fixings of a world-class capital, such as an excellent transport system, a fantastic culinary scene, and an interesting nightlife, Beijing also houses some of the nation’s most spectacular cultural sites, and staying here will only have you planning your next trip back.

Things to do in Beijing

Beijing will set any historian’s heart a flutter, and it is no wonder with the treasures it keeps at its core. The first stop on any tourist’s itinerary should be to walk through the important Tiananmen Square, the site of the official founding of the People’s Republic of China in 1949, and the documented protests for democracy in the 1980s. From this historic square you can cross to the Forbidden City, a phenomenal complex of intricate palaces, courtrooms, walk ways, and gardens, from where the emperors of China would rule the kingdom. Pick up the audio tour, and you will discover all the salacious, tragic and romantic details of these dynastic rulers.

Outside of the Forbidden City there is the pretty summer palace, the spiritual Buddhist temple Yonghe, and the Temple of Heaven, where the emperors-of-old would pray for a bountiful harvest.

When you’re done touring the sites, wander through the atmospheric Hutongs, a series small streets cramped close together, where you can see daily life of the city, pick up delicious treats and shop for trinkets of all kinds along the stalls and shop fronts. In the evening, make your way to the Donghuamen Night Market, a food court where you can pick up anything from delicious prawn skewers and corn on the cob, to fried grasshoppers, scorpions and chicken feet!

Lastly, a visit to Beijing wouldn’t be complete without a trip to the Great Wall of China. North of the city centre, this undulating monument to human achievement snakes along the hilly landscape of north China. Once the manned wall that stood between the kingdom and the hordes of Mongolia, today it is where visitors can tread the same paths of the warriors that once protected a nation. There are restored parts of the wall you can visit for the day, or if you are feeling adventurous, do a trek along vast swathes of this incredible world wonder.

Best time to visit Beijing

· March to May and particularly September to October are the most temperate times of year to visit the city, as the weather is comfortable and the crowds aren’t heaving. Expect variations in temperature to be between 10-22°C.

· Summers are hot and humid, with a decent amount of rain hitting the city, and days averaging 25-30°C.

· Winters are very cold in Beijing, and you can expect the temperature to be below zero most days.

Best time to book

· Flights to China are usually at their cheapest when you book around 30 weeks ahead.

Expect to pay

· Chinese Yuan Renminbi (CNY).

· For around 28CNY ($6) you can enjoy a hot cup of coffee in Beijing.

Arriving in Beijing by plane

· Visiting Beijing will see you flying into the Beijing Capital International Airport (PEK). Airlines that fly to this city include Air China, Singapore Airlines, China Eastern, China Southern, Asiana Airlines, Cathay Pacific, Qantas, Emirates, United, Korean Air, Sichuan Airlines, Xiamen Airlines, Air Canada, Air New Zealand, American Airlines, China Airlines, Hong Kong Airlines and Delta, among others.

· Situated 25km outside of the city, and offering lots of transportation options, this is an easy transit hub to fly in and out of. Passengers can also expect access to WiFi, fast food options, shops, and banking services.

· You can fly to Beijing direct from either Sydney (SYD) or Melbourne (MEL). Alternatively you can book connecting routes from other Australian cities.

Visa requirements

· All travellers require a visa to China, and the best place to find instructions on how to apply and where is to visit the Chinese Embassy website. It will give you all the details you need on how to move forward with your application.

Transportation to city centre

· A taxi ride directly into the centre of town will come to approximately 90-120CNY ($19-25). Airport transfers can be booked ahead of time, and meet you at the airport if you reserve a journey online.

· For public transport there are trains and buses that run to and from the city centre.

· Generally when you hire a car, if you do not have a Chinese license you may be subject to hiring a driver too. This can be done easily online using our search tool, or at the airport with a rental agency.

Where to stay in Beijing

· The Wangfujing area is where you’ll find Beijing’s big hitter attractions, such as the Forbidden City, as well as offering good shopping, and hotels that range from the economical to the lavish. Qianmen to the south is also a great spot for seeing the old city and Tiananmen Square.

· Houhai or Nanluoguxiang have all the pre-requisites needed to make a great neighbourhood, such as restaurants, bars, cafes, and shops to browse in. Lots of hostels can be found here, but there are plenty of upmarket hotels you can book into as well.

· West of the centre, in Xi’dan is the place to be if you are looking for mid-range hotels, and you want to spend some time enjoying a little retail therapy.

Useful tips before you go

· In open-air markets, and many smaller stores you can haggle over the price of goods. This is supposed to be a fun and friendly experience, so don’t be shy if you want to see if you can get a better price, as you probably can.

Please note that the information provided above is accurate as of May 2016

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