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All at once ancient and modern, the city of Beijing will carve indelible memories in the minds of visitors...
The capital of the People's Republic of China, and an economic, cultural and political powerhouse, the sprawling city of Beijing attracts business travellers, Chinese families, couples on city breaks, global backpackers, and travellers with a taste for the exotic flavours of the Orient. This means that the range of accommodation on offer suits all budgets and tastes.
Use our guide to discover more about Beijing hotels and the best areas in which to stay...
Just like this dynamic and enchanting destination, Beijing hotels are a mix of the old and the modern, and they swing wildly between basic traditional charm and futuristic facilities. Hotels in Beijing are generally clean and well equipped though, whatever price bracket and style you opt for. You'll find quaint budget hotels set in old hutong buildings, landmark luxury hotels, a good choice of mid-range accommodation, and everything in between.
Tourists in this vast and hurried city usually opt to stay in the areas around Tiananmen Square, which is both central and ideal for visiting some of the city's most notable attractions, including the Forbidden City, plus a number of fine shopping opportunities. Four- and five-star hotels tend to dominate the accommodation scene in the central district. Check out offerings from Holiday Inn, Hilton, Intercontinental, Ibis, Mercure, Novotel, Park Plaza, Renaissance, Westin, Conrad, Crowne Plaza and Grand Hyatt.
Skyscrapers and luxury hotels, mostly catering for business visitors, are found in the Zhongguancun District in the north west of the city, which is a thriving commercial hub.
South Beijing offers the chance to stay in a more traditional residence, while still being close to the tourist hotspots.
Houhai, to the north, is one of the best areas to stay on a budget, as converted ancient homes, often centred on courtyards, present good-value rooms.
The spring and autumn seasons, when the weather is at its most pleasant - neither too cold nor too hot and wet - draw the most crowds. Therefore prices are higher in these seasons; bargains can be found in the long chilly winter and during the hot, sticky summer.
The best attractions see tourists delving into ancient Beijing...
Ancient, beautiful palaces and serene temples dot the landscape in this ever-changing metropolis and provide most of the tourism highlights.
Top five attractions
Also known as the Palace Museum, this vast complex never fails to wow. It was the imperial palace for the Ming and Qing dynasties and is a must see.
Chairman Mao Memorial Hall
The final resting place of Chairman Mao Zedong in Tiananmen Square sees hundreds of visitors queuing up every day to view the former leader.
Originally built as a place for the royals to relax and unwind, you too can escape the city chaos and find peace at the largest royal park in China. It is located in the Haidian District.
Temple of Heaven
Almost 800 years old, this temple once heard the prayers of the leaders of the great dynasties. The temple complex is huge and demands at least half a day to explore.
Great Wall of China
Take a short tour of the world's longest building on a stretch near Beijing, some of which is only 90 minutes away from the city.
Find out what's on when in Beijing with our guide to some of the best annual events...
If you plan to be in Beijing during any of these major events, book your hotel room as early as possible to secure your place at the best rates.
Chinese New Year; January/February: The most important date in the Chinese calendar, there are many public performances to see. Chinese people will travel home to be with their families, which means the public transport system, especially trains heading out of Beijing, are packed.
Lantern Festival; February/March: 15 days after New Year, this normally colourful city becomes even more beautiful when thousands of lanterns are lit to ward off the darkness and bring luck. Dragon dancers entertain during the day.
National Day; October: Festivities are staged across Beijing on this public holiday. Tiananmen Square is a good spot to see the celebrations taking place.