My City Celebrates: David’s Beijing
This year, inspired by our ever-popular “I Heart My City”
series on Intelligent Travel, we’re reveling in the holiday season by asking our readers to share their favorite ways to celebrate in their cities. Today’s city-lover is travel writer David Friesen, a local expert for Nileguide, giving us a glimpse of Beijing.
What to share the things that make your city special?
We’ve put together a festively-themed fill-in-the-blank questionnaire, and we’d love to hear your responses. So cut and paste the list, fill in your answers, and e-mail us your picks at firstname.lastname@example.org.
(Please include links and photos if possible). We’ll be featuring your “My City Celebrates” posts through the New Year, click here for a list of cities we’ve featured so far. Happy Holidays!
My City Celebrates: Beijing
When I need a dose of holiday cheer, I always head to Danger Doyles for some good beer, fun company, and food that reminds me of home.
The best place to grab a cup of cocoa is Sculpting in Time because it’s quiet, cozy, and has a beautifully artistic atmosphere.
If you want to find great sledding you have to head to Nanshan. It’s the best ski resort in the Beijing area and only 60 kilometers from the city center.
Strap on your skates at Houhai and enjoy the view of Drum Tower.
For a classic holiday photo op, be sure to check out the Great Wall of China, which is known for its stunning winter views and beautiful architecture that will make any holiday picture a memorable one. Head to Simatai for the best views of the wall section near Beijing.
A great place to take the kids during the season is the Beijing Aquarium.
It is the world’s largest inland aquarium, and, being indoors, it is perfect for the cold weather. Kids can enjoy the tropical fish displays, shark tunnel, and the dolphin display show.
For all of your gift-giving shopping in one store, check out the Silk Market
(Xiushui). This indoor market is full of affordable souvenirs, clothing, electronics, and much more. A great place to find a bargain, no matter what you are looking for.
Panjiayuan is the best for arts and crafts markets, so be sure to pick up a beautiful jade piece for your wife or girlfriend.
- Nat Geo Expeditions
No holiday meal in my city is complete without the Chinese equivalent of roast turkey–Beijing duck. Your best choice for Beijing duck is Da Dong Roast Duck with its tasty birds, beautiful side dishes, and excellent service.
My favorite holiday tradition in my city is that there are no traditions.
You can create all new traditions yourself, from taking a morning stroll around Beihai Park to having a delicious holiday drink at Zeta.
Locals know to avoid the throngs at Qianmen Dajie and find the real magic at Nanluoguxiang.
The best part about my city during the holiday season is having such a diverse blend of Eastern and Western influences all around me, making the holiday season once again magical and surprising.
Photo: David Friesen