Best Way to Get to Know Beijing : See the city laid out beneath your feet at the Urban Planning Exhibition Hall .
Best Place to See Contemporary Art : Established by controversial artist Ai Wei Wei, Caochangdi Art District contains some of Beijing’s best contemporary galleries.
Best Art Complex : 798 Art District is the epicenter of Beijing’s ever-growing contemporary art scene. This former electronics factory has been transformed into a series of galleries, cafés, and shops.
Best Kung Fu Fighting : Head to the Red Theater near the Temple of Heaven to watch martial artists in action.
Best Place to Watch Opera : The beautiful Huguang Guild Hall , with its Qing-era decor, hosts regular performances of traditional Chinese opera.
Best Community Show : Watch homegrown, Beijing-based talent onstage at the intimate Penghao Theater .
Most Festive : Falling on the last day of Spring Festival (also known as Chinese New Year) celebrations, the Lantern Festival honors Buddha lantern lightings and fireworks shows across the city.
Best Escape : Ritan Park is a great spot to relax among the flowers, ponds, and trees, admire a Ming-era temple, and learn some tai chi.
Most Historic Park : As well as being a pleasant place to enjoy nature and the site of the Forbidden City Concert Hall, Zhongshan Park contains the emperors’ ancestral temples.
Best Children’s Activity : A trip to the Beijing Zoo provides a reprieve for families who need a change from visting the city’s temples.
Best Tour : Electric scooters are almost as popular in Beijing as the standard pedal bike. See the city like a local with Beijing eBike Tours .