Check out these cheap flights from Chicago to Beijing on United this fall — As low as $514 RT. Valid for travel on the outbound from September – early December. Must purchase at least 3 days in advance of departure. Beijing, China’s capital city, is a vibrant mix of history and modernity. Having served as the capital of the country for more than 800 years, it is home to some of the finest remnants of China’s imperial past. Beijing is brightened by its glorious past, but is by no means struck in the past. Behind its rich and complex historical tapestries, everyday life unfolds with bewildering variety. From the commanding austerity of the Forbidden City to the hectic bar street at Sanlitun, Beijing is overflowing with a unique charm, beckoning visitors from around the world to lose themselves in the furious pace.
Beijing is brightened by its glorious past, but is by no means struck in the past. Behind its rich and complex historical tapestries, everyday life unfolds with bewildering variety. From the commanding austerity of the Forbidden City to the hectic bar street at Sanlitun, Beijing is overflowing with a unique charm, beckoning visitors from around the world to lose themselves in the furious pace. You may list hundreds of reasons to leave Chicago to visit Beijing, but the following reasons should be on the top of the list.
- Aug 29-Sept 5 – Chicago to Beijing – Just $530 RT
- Sept 5 – 14 – Chicago to Beijing – Just $514 RT
- Sept 12 – 18 – Chicago to Beijing – Just $514RT
- Oct 1 – 11 – Chicago to Beijing – Just $514 RT
- Nov 7 – 16 – Chicago to Beijing – Just $514 RT
- Nov 21 – 28 – Chicago to Beijing – Just $514 RT
- Dec 7 – 18 – Chicago to Beijing – Just $514 RT
Here are the departure dates for a 7 night itinerary but save money and BOOK HERE to save $20+ per flight
1. Numerous Historical Monuments
Beijing boasts a history of more than 3,000 years, of which more than 800 years were as the national capital. It has many places of historic interest, including the Temple of Heaven, where ancient emperors performed solemn rituals for bountiful harvests; the Summer Palace, ancient emperors summer retreat; and the Ming Tombs, the mausoleum of 13 emperors of the Ming Dynasty.
The 798 Art District (798district.com), in a sprawling decommissioned military factory compound, allows for a whirlwind tour of China’s lucrative modern art world, one that attracts neophytes and collectors alike. Two standouts: the Ullens Center for Contemporary Art (www.ucca.org.cn) features massive installations and intense retrospectives, and Galerie Paris-Beijing (parisbeijingphotogallery.com) has a generous supply of photographs featuring China’s fierce creative landscape. Eyeing rich Chinese buyers, global commercial galleries have descended on 798, including Pace Beijing (pacebeijing.com), which features a rotating selection of premier Chinese and international artworks. The district is a sprawling warren of industrial relics, galleries and cafes, and half the fun is stumbling upon the absurd, whether it be an old locomotive train that has become a popular backdrop for wedding photos or a two-story bird cage tucked down a side street.
Beijing’s faceless bureaucrats may pay lip service to their nation’s ancient history, but the swift disappearance of the city’s historic hutongs, or alleys, reveal their fondness for the bulldozer. Luckily, a small network of hutongs in the heart of the city remains unscathed, so make sure to add a hutong stroll to your Beijing itinerary. Start off at the Lama Temple and head west down quaint, leafy Guozijian street, named for the imperial academy where Qing dynasty scholars once studied to become officials. The academy and the adjacent Confucius temple are serene places to take in Beijing’s historical significance before facing its modern incarnation as a city of fortunetellers, home design stores and cafes.
Things to See
Things get much more hectic across Andingmen Nei Dajie street, a bustling thoroughfare home to the city’s best dumplings (Xian Lao Man, No. 252; try the tea leaf and pork, and the beef and carrot varieties) and some hilarious Chinglish shop signage, such as “Cherish Lady Herd Living Space” for a store specializing in women’s herbal beauty products. While some of the hutongs, like the tourist-mobbed Nanlouguxiang, are long past their prime, the northern Beilouguxiang Hutong remains largely undiscovered by the camera-laden masses even as it has become a hub of youth culture. Be sure to check out Mai Bar (No. 40), a minuscule cocktail courtyard joint, for some imported bourbon before turning left onto Baochao Hutong, where you’ll encounter the goth boutique Monster and some seriously obscure fashion havens. From there it’s south to Gulou Dongdajie, which is filled with quirky boutiques and is a short walk from the ancient Drum and Bell Towers and the subway.
The ultimate Beijing experience is Tiananmen Square, one of the most surveilled spots on earth. The square, which bears no record of the bloody events of June 1989, is the quintessential totalitarian mecca — a destination built for the masses to venerate the Communist Party at the geographic heart of Beijing. Rub shoulders with peasants from the outer provinces on a pilgrimage to Mao’s mausoleum and do not be surprised if they ask you to pose for photos — you may be the first foreigner they have ever spoken to.
- Valid for travel on the outbound from September – early December. Must purchase at least 3 days in advance of departure.