If you can spend three days in Beijing, go ahead and stick to the Day 1 plan, and then add these:
Dinner on Ghost Street
Drinks in SLT
According to Mao Zedong, “You aren’t a real man until you’ve climbed the Great Wall.” Plus, no trip to Beijing would be complete without a stop at one of the new Seven Wonders of the World. From the city, you have plenty of options for visiting the Wall. If you’re looking for the easiest way possible, you’ll probably end up at Badaling. If you want a bit more of an adventure, you’ll most likely visit Mutianyu. If you want to see the rugged, wild Great Wall, and not hordes of tourists, you’ll check out one of the less restored sections, such as Jinshaling, Gubeikou, or Jiankou. We’ve got some more detailed info for you on these various Great Wall options, and we’ve even got you covered if you want to try and camp on the wall overnight.
A trip out to the Wall will take most of your day and can be quite tiring, so when you get back to Beijing it’s best to relax for a bit. If you’ve got the energy to go back out, there’s plenty more to do. Start your evening with a stroll along Wangfujing, a huge pedestrian street full of shops and vendors. You can find all your souvenirs here, and you can also check out a wild night market that has tons of delicious snacks and plenty of weird ones, such as seahorse, lamb testicles, and even scorpions. It’s incredibly touristy and overpriced, but you can put your haggling skills to the test and have a good time anyways.
From there, you can check out the incredible acrobat performance at the Chaoyang Theater. Shows go on every day at either 5:15 or 7:15, and tickets can just be purchased at the door.
Get dinner under the red glow of lanterns hung along Ghost Street, where you’ll find a ton of Chinese restaurants. We’d recommend hot pot, a very Chinese and very fun dining experience. Order up meat, seafood, vegetables, and whatever else you like, and cook it yourself in a pot of boiling oil and spices. If terrible Chinese liquor is not for you, you can have imported wine delivered right to your table from a local store called Cheers.
Since your dogs are probably barking from the hike on the Wall, it’s time for you to enjoy a cheap foot massage. These can be found literally everywhere in Beijing, and they vary from very good and expensive to mediocre and cheap. Head to Sanlitun, where you can choose to go big at a place like Dragon Fly or take the cheaper route in one of the many small salons.
While you’re there, you might as well sample some of the nightlife. If you get there early enough, there are some great Happy Hours – half-price drinks at Flamme comes to mind – and if you get there later on, the party should be raging, with bars packed full of people and plenty more eating and drinking in the streets.
Lunch in the Wu
Dinner on Wudaoying or Fangjia
Live music/bar hopping