Don’t worry, this is not a blog about the obvious ‘must see and do’ of Beijing. Of course it is worth spending time at the Forbidden City and Tiananmen square, but this huge city has so much more to offer, especially when you have a bit more time on your hands – a good reason to consider teaching English in China. I have been a resident in Beijing for almost one year now, and here a select few top 5 fun things to do in Beijing, which I would consider to be ‘off the tourist track’..

Great Wall in winter

When you learn to accept that Northern China in winter is cold, you learn to embrace it. There is nothing more beautiful than strolling along the Great Wall of China covered in snow, with no one else in sight. Grab your gloves, a thermos of coffee and enjoy an experience that not many others get in their lifetime! For a wild and wonderful day away check out Great Wall Fresh.

Explore the many, many, many parks

If there is one thing that seriously stands out in Beijing, it is the greenery. There are over 300 parks in the Beijing municipality, each one offering something different. Moreover, dancing, yoga, food stalls, ponds, ancient bridges, temples – you name it! Furthermore, in spring the flowers and tree blossom are stunning, in winter enjoy watching the locals brave ice-cold lakes.


Not an activity you expect on your doorstep in China, is it? There are at least 10 resorts north of the city centre, boasting wide runs and cosy restaurants, all at a reasonable price when compared to any resort in Europe. Moreover, I highly recommend Nanshan resort where an entire day (or two) can happily be spent on the snow.

Build a bamboo bicycle

Dashing down roads, whizzing through Hutongs and stopping to enjoy an ice cream overlooking Houhai lake – can you think of a more exciting way to explore Beijing? Well, perhaps ditch the old rusty bike and swap it for one made out of bamboo. Bamboo Bicycles Beijing offer a weekend workshop where you can quite literally build a bicycle from top to bottom before hitting the streets to explore.

Eat eat eat

This might be a given but it doesn’t take away from the fact that the entire palate of China can be tried and tasted in Beijing. If you’re a foody this is the place to be, if you’re not.. you soon will be, I guarantee. Dumplings, hotpot, vegetables, shao kao (BBQ), Peking duck, noodles, rice – spicy, sour, sweet and savory. It doesn’t matter if you could eat an entire cow or prefer no meat at all, Beijing welcomes all. Oh and did I mention eating out is incredibly affordable? A typical Chinese meal will set you back 15-25RMB.

In conclusion, these are just a few highlights of Beijing, there are countless more! If you’ve explored the city and have some recommendations, don’t hesitate to pop them in the comments below 🙂