3-Day Beijing Itinerary With Map (2024)

Author Carina Klein
· 6 min read · 0 comments

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You have 3 days in Beijing, we have the perfect itinerary for you!

We have recently visited the Chinese capital on our 2 weeks China backpacking trip. This is what our perfect Beijing travel itinerary for three days looks like:

Beijing 3 Day Itinerary

Beijing China Itinerary Map

We stayed at Beijing Yue Xuan Courtyard Garden International Youth Hostel. The value for money is unmatched and the location is amazing. At the time of our visit, there was only one bathroom for the whole hostel so don’t choose this place if you’re not on a budget.

Itinerary Beijing Day 1 – Central Beijing

Morning – Tiananmen Square and Forbidden City

No Beijing trip itinerary would be complete without these highlights. Start your day on Tiananmen Square.

As you can’t make a reservation for the same day, we strongly advise you to plan your visit in advance! We have written a whole blogpost on how to get access to Tiananmen Square.

Bucketlist2life tip: When we visited, people could head from Tiananmen Square to the Forbidden City but we were blocked from going the other way so really start on Tiananmen Square if you want to see it.
Picture of Tiananmen Square Beijing
Tiananmen Square Beijing

Next, head to the Forbidden City. This is a huge complex which also includes the Clock Gallery and Treasure Gallery so budget at least two hours to see it!

Tickets sell out in a heartbeat so plan your visit in advance! Again, we have written a blogpost on how to get access to the Forbidden City.

Exit the Forbidden City via the north gate and directly head to Jingshan Park if you want to get an overview of Beijing and the Forbidden City.

You can easily buy a ticket for 10 RMB at the ticket office.

Picture of Forbidden City Beijing
Forbidden City Beijing

Afternoon – Temple Of Heaven and Qianmen

You can hop on Beijing’s “tourist” metro line 8 at the National Art Museum and go to Tian Qiao. After a walk through the beautiful park, you’ll reach the Temple Of Heaven.

You can only pay via the Chinese WeChat mini-program at the main entrance but there’s a ticket office around the corner.

Bucketlist2life tip: The park has an entrance fee of 15 RMB, and the temple costs an additional 20 RMB. It closes at 5:30 pm so make sure to have enough time.
Picture of Temple Of Heaven Beijing
Temple Of Heaven Beijing

Afterwards, walk (or take the train no. 8) to Qianmen Street. It’s a historical pedestrian street full of shopping and sightseeing. You can either walk or take a Dangdang Che (sightseeing tram). Don’t miss the Archery Tower at the end as it’s the tallest among all of the gates of Beijing.

Qianmen Street and the surrounding streets are also amazing for dinner. You can either go to a restaurant (Quanjude is the place to eat Beijing duck) or choose snacks from a plethora of street food vendors.

Bucketlist2life tip: Many older blogs still recommend Wangfujing Snack Street . At the time of our visit, it was completely shut.
Picture of Qianmen Street with sightseeing tram
Qianmen Street with sightseeing tram

Itinerary Beijing Day 2 – Great Wall

Morning – Great Wall

We went on a guided Mutianyu Great Wall Day Tour from Beijing. The tour was convenient and great value for money.

We also liked the Mutianyu Section of the Great Wall as it wasn’t too crowded and the views were great.

We have written a whole blogpost about our experience at the Great Wall.

Picture of Great Wall of China
Great Wall of China

Afternoon – Dinner

You’ll be back in Beijing around 4 pm. Most sights in Beijing close around 5 pm so there’s not really time for additional sightseeing – even if you have the energy.

We were surprisingly tired after our Great Wall tour so we just went for a hot pot dinner close to our hostel and went to bed.

Picture of Hot pot in Beijing
Hot pot in Beijing

Itinerary Beijing Day 3 – Summer Palace, Lama Temple, and Hutongs

Morning – Summer Palace

Head to the Summer Palace of Beijing in the morning. This area is huge so expect to spend a couple of hours here.

Bucketlist2life tip: You can easily buy tickets at the ticket office. A general admission ticket is 30 RMB. You have to pay extra for the sights. We chose the ticket package including all sights which is 60 RMB.

There are several entrances. We entered via the north gate. First, we checked out Suzhou Street (mostly worth entering if you want to take pictures).

Afterwards, we headed up the back of Longevity Hill only to learn that we had to walk back down to go up the front of Longevity Hill with the Tower of Buddhist Incense.

We also checked out the Garden of Virtue and Harmony and the Summer Palace Museum because they were included in our ticket package.

There are countless buildings to explore on the premises, you can walk along the lake shore, and even go on boat rides.

Picture of Summer Palace Beijing
Summer Palace Beijing

Afternoon – Lama Temple & Hutongs

In the afternoon, we took the train to Lama Temple, the most revered Tibetan Buddhist temple outside Tibet.

You can easily buy tickets for 25 RMB at the entrance.

If you’re not templed out yet, you can head to Confucius Temple across the street.

Picture of Lama Temple Beijing
Lama Temple Beijing

While you’re in the area, make sure to check out the Hutongs, narrow alleys where you can see local life.

You can either go on a free walking tour or explore on your own. The best area to explore on your own is around Nanluoguxiang Street. The Drum and Bell Tower are two major sights in the area.

You’ll find plenty of dinner options here. As this neighbourhood is only 1 metro station away from our hostel in Dongsi, we can’t help but recommend the amazing Beijing duck (marked on our map).

Picture of Beijing duck
Beijing duck

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