The Forbidden City
Lying at the centre of Beijing, the Forbidden City, called Gu Gong in Chinese, served as the Imperial Palace for 24 emperors during the Ming and Qing dynasties. It is the world’s largest palace structure covering over 74 hectares and has been designated as a World Heritage Site. The complex includes 9,999 buildings and is surrounded by a 6m deep moat and a 10m high wall.
The Forbidden City is located approximately 5 km or 3 miles from the hotel. Travel time is approximately 15 minutes by taxi. It is also very accessible via subway – travel westbound on Line 1 from Yong An Li (the Yong An Li subway stop is nearby the hotel) to Tiananmen East station (5 stops).
Tiananmen Square is located at the centre of Beijing directly across from the main entrance to the Forbidden City. The main features of the square include Tiananmen Tower, Monument to the People’s Heroes, Mao Zedong Memorial Hall as well as the daily national flag raising ceremonies. At 440,000 square meters the square is popular with Beijing residents as well.
Tiananmen Square is located approximately 5 km/3 miles from the hotel. Travel time is approximately 15 minutes by taxi. It is also accessible via subway – travel westbound on Line 1 from Yong An Li (the Yong An Li subway stop is nearby the hotel) to Tiananmen East station (5 stops).
Temple of Heaven
In ancient China, the Emperor was regarded as the “Son of Heaven”, who administered matters on earth on behalf of the heavenly authority. To show respect to heaven, ceremonies of sacrifice were extremely important to the Emperor. The temple was built for the worship of heaven and prayers for good harvests. A double wall encloses the temple. The upper northern half is circular, representing Heaven and the southern half is square, representing Earth.
The Temple of Heaven is situated in the southern part of the city in Chongwen district, about 6 km or 3.8 miles or a 15-minutes drive from the hotel. It is also very accessible via subway – travel westbound on Line 1 from Yong An Li station (the Yong An Li subway stop is nearby the hotel) to Dongdan station (2 stops) and transfer to Line 5; take the southbound train 2 stops to Tiantandongmen station.
This extraordinary palace is situated northwest of Beijing and was built during the Qing Dynasty. It covers an expanse of 2.9 sq km, three quarters of which is water. In 1888, Empress Cixi diverted millions of tales of silver for its reconstruction.
Distance from hotel: 30 km or 18 miles/50 minutes’ drive.
The Great Wall of China
A visit to Beijing is incomplete without a side trip to the Great Wall, one of China’s most important and magnificent sites. Three different sections of the wall are easily accessible from the city, offering the chance to see this spectacular Beijing site.
Distance from the hotel: Badaling - 90 km or 56 miles/1.5 hours' drive; Mutianyu - 90 km or 56 miles/1.5 hours' drive; Simatai - 120 km or 75 miles/2.5 hours' drive. Day trips can be arranged through the hotel’s concierge team.
Heritage Biking Tour
Once upon a time, albeit a very recent time, China was the land of the two wheels. Before cars became the craze the majority of Chinese rode bicycles. In honor of Earth Day and environmental stewardship, Fairmont Beijing is encouraging guests to revisit this pedaling past.
The hotel sits on Beijing's manta thoroughfare near the Temple of Heaven, Tiananmen Square and the Forbidden City, as well as a slew of bicycle routes. The hotel has teamed up with the Beijing Cultural Heritage Protection Center to develop a complimentary self-guided excursion into one of the city's famed and fast-disappearing hutongs, which is within biking distance from the hotel.
The Heritage Biking Tour includes half a day of exploration with a map of the narrow alleys and passageways that constitute Old Beijing. The route is expected to take about 2.5 hours.