You adore the buzz of Beijing. Few places offer such an enticing blend of history, modern living, and an upfront mix of cultures. It's exciting to see so many people from all around the world going about their day.
However, sometimes you get desperate for a little peace and need to set aside a few hours of quiet before you dive back into the hum of urban life.
So, here we present six of some the best quiet places to go to in central Beijing:
You will find these peaceful escapes alongside busy streets. They feel like magical escapes with effortless silence. Throughout these "side-parks," you may see people practicing Tai Chi, playing Ping-Pong, walking dogs, or quietly sitting, enjoying nature's beauty. They are perfect spots for some quiet - peaceful yet close to the city's busy streets.
2. THE GRAND CANAL:
Along the Second Ring Road lies just a small fraction of the wondrous Grand Canal, which stretch es over 1,000 miles. The canal was fully elevated in the year 1292. The Zen-like stroll along the water, accompanied by great weeping willows, will keep you in a harmonious daze for days. At times, there's even live classical music played by local Beijingers - the ultimate bonus.
3. TEMPLE OF CONFUCIUS
First built in 1302, the Beijing Temple of Confucius is one of the best places to sit, think, walk, and reflect. Confucious was one of the greatest thinkers in all history, after all. The temple is tucked in a gorgeous tree-lined street in Dongcheng, Beijing. Merely walking down the road toward the temple is quite the peace break. The temple has a sincere contemplative quality, which makes for a tremendously introspective experience.
4. BEIJING HUTONGS
Aside from the long history surrounding them, the hutongs in Beijing deliver a sweet and peaceful escape! There are hutongs throughout downtown Beijing. Hutongs are neighborhoods made up of narrow streets and alleys. Among the lanes are the traditional courtyard residences. They were first established in the Yuan dynasty (1279-1368). They are breathtaking for anyone interested in authentic Beijing living. When you walk down the hutongs, you'll have the opportunity to know the Pekingese's historical lifestyle, and will be surrounded by purely traditional yet artsy architecture.
5. PAGE ONE BOOKSHOP
Page One bookshop is a beautiful English language bookshop in Sanlitun, Beijing. When you enter this bookshop, you immediately feel the escape from Sanlitun's bustling street sounds. The bookshop has a fantastic selection of art, photography, film, history, and literature books. You can spend hours here looking at the different collections while taking a nice respite from the city. There's also a quiet cafe in the bookshop to sit and enjoy your latest book purchase.
6. THE TEMPLE OF HEAVEN
The entrance to the glorious Temple of Heaven is the magnificent circular mound altar that will blow you away. But what comes next when you walk around this historical site might be the most pleasant surprise. Surrounding the temple is a massive park filled with all the green on earth you could ask for. The temple was constructed from 1406-1420 in the Ming Dynasty. In 1918, it was turned into a park and open to the public for the first time. There's something magical and natural about this park. Walking down the park's unpaved paths has a kind of therapeutic effect on the mind.
Whether your idea of a quiet day includes a visit to a historical temple or relaxed walk at a 'sidepark', you will find plenty of serene spots right in the heart of Beijing.