Two days in Beijing does not give you an incredible amount of time; however, you still have plenty of time to see the most famous sights.
Day 1: Beijing
The Temple of Heaven constructed in 1420 is the place where the emperors of the Ming and Qing dynasties would worship the god of heaven and pray for good harvest. Begin your Beijing journey early in the morning to avoid the tourist crowds. You will also see local residents, primarily older people performing physical activities – martial arts, dancing, singing, etc. Cost: 30 RMB (5 USD)
The Forbidden City was the Chinese imperial palace from the Ming dynasty through the end of the Qing dynasty. The name refers to the fact that no one could enter or leave the palace without first receiving emperor’s permission. It is home to the Palace Museum, and is located in the center of Beijing. Be sure to bring your passport which is required to purchase tickets. Cost: 60 RMB (9 USD)
Tiananmen Square is the city square in Beijing, and is named after the Tiananmen or “Gate of Heavenly Peace.”
The square is most famous for being the sight of the 1989 protests which became known as the Tiananmen Square Massacre. The People’s Liberation Army killed at least several hundred demonstrators. Read about this prior to visiting as it is an extremely controversial subject in Beijing. Cost: Free
Prepared since the imperial era, Peking Duck is Beijing’s most famous dish. Ask any local, and they will recommend their favorite restaurant. If you do not want to leave it up to chance, you will not go wrong with Deyuan Roast Duck or Bianyifang. Cost: 200 RMB (30 USD)
Day 2: All Day
Most visitors to Beijing visit the Badaling section of the Great Wall (about 50 miles from the city). This section has been refurbished and is overrun with tourists. If you have time, I would avoid this section and make the day trip to visit Huanghuacheng, the only
lakeside piece of the Great Wall in Beijing. This part of the wall is 45 miles away from the Beijing city center, takes roughly 1.5 hours by private car or 2 hours by public bus. You may be alone climbing the wall which provides a surreal experience. The wall is primarily all original; as a result, watch your step!