Golden Week Beijing | Pan Pacific Beijing | What to See During Golden Week

buns and soy bean desserts in beijing buns and soy bean desserts in beijing

Welcome to Beijing: What to see and do during Golden Week

Welcome to Beijing! If you are in town during the first week of October, be prepared for a few road closures and a lot more crowds than usual. 

The reason? The 1st of October is China’s National Day, and the 1st to 7th October is a nation-wide public holiday called the Golden Week in Beijing. Also known as Huang Jin Zhou (黄金周), this week-long vacation was implemented to commemorate the founding of the People’s Republic of China on 1st October 1949. 

Scores of domestic and overseas Chinese will take this opportunity to visit their families back home. Some may use the extended break to travel overseas. Others may catch a bullet train or fly to big cities like Beijing or Shanghai. Whatever the reason may be, here’s a suggestion on how you can spend the Golden Week in Beijing.

Useful Beijing travel information

Time: GMT +8 time zone.

Weather: Beijing enjoys four distinct seasons — windy spring, hot summer, cool autumn, and chilly winter. The best time to visit the city is in September and October, which is right smack in the middle of the Golden Week period.

Hottest month: July and August, with temperatures hovering at around 37 degree Celsius.

Coldest month: January, with temperatures dipping to -15 degree Celsius.

Electricity: 220 volts, using the 3-pin and 2-pin plugs of these shapes:

Emergencies: Dial 110 for the police (警察 jing cha), 119 for the fire department (消防队 xiao fang dui), and 120 for the ambulance (救护车 jiu hu che). If you do not speak Mandarin, seek help from hotel staff, or a passerby who can translate for you. 

Getting around: Cycling around the city will save you the hassle of getting stuck in a traffic jam, and it’s environmentally friendly, too. There are many bicycle rental shops, and fees vary according to the type of bicycle and the rental time. 

For something more comfortable, take a taxi, sightseeing buses that ply major tourist attractions, or the subway. Click here to view the Beijing subway map.

Water: Best to stick to bottled water, which is easily available from 2 RMB.

Tipping: Tipping is not common practice in China, but you are expected to tip your tour guide 10% and your driver around 100 RMB per vehicle — or 20 RMB if you are sharing the bus with other tourists.

Useful smartphone apps: Download the Chinese language app Mars (available on Apple App Store and Google Play Store) and discover the weekly top 20 coolest places in Beijing, ranked by users. The list covers galleries, attractions, markets, restaurants, and cafés. Zoom in on the areas like 前门 (Qianmen) and 王府井 (Wangfujing) for listings of places closest to Pan Pacific Beijing. 

Check this page for more China app recommendations.

Tips To Enjoy Your Golden Week Holiday in Beijing

While public transport networks and major tourist attractions may be busier than usual, don’t let that be a dampener. Here are five survivor tips from our team at Pan Pacific Beijing for a smoother trip during the Golden Week period:

  1. Avoid the usual popular places of interest
  2. Venture to the lesser-known Beijing attractions instead
  3. Book a private car for sightseeing ⁠— public trains and buses are likely to be stretched to their limits
  4. Where possible, book land tours and attraction tickets online in advance
  5. Reach your destination very early, and make allowance for queues

Wonder what fun things you can see and do in Beijing during the Golden Week holiday now that you are prepared? We recommend the following:

  1. Catch the National Day celebrations at Tiananmen Square
  2. Visit the Capital Museum.China and Beijing HuGuang Guild Hall
  3. Grab big Golden Week shopping discounts at Beijing’s popular shopping area Wangfujing

Looking for the best hotel in Beijing during Golden Week? Check out Pan Pacific Beijing, located near the Forbidden City and Wangfujing shopping street. Do also make use of our Golden Week promotion for greater savings as well as complimentary room upgrade and breakfast!

Watch China’s National Day Celebrations at Tiananmen Square

Love military pomp and pageantry? Head to Tiananmen Square on the 1st of October to watch the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) parading their prowess as part of China’s National Day ceremony. 

2019 marks the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China⁠. Expect the celebration’s military review and parade to be even grander and more extravagant than previous years.

Be ready to wake up before the crack of dawn — the ceremony begins with the raising of the flag at sunrise at 6.10am. Throngs of eager locals and visitors are expected to be there, so go early to grab a good spot. 

Later in the evening, a National Day gala at the Square will feature dance and singing performances and a fireworks display. 

Do remember to bring along your identification papers and only the essentials, as there will be stringent security checks. 

Get directions to Tiananmen Square

Visit Beijing's lesser-known attractions

If jostling with huge crowds with hardly any elbow space is not how your envision spending your holiday, give Beijing’s main attractions a miss. Head to its lesser-known but equally fascinating places of interest instead — here are a few that you can consider. 

Begin at the seven-storey Capital Museum.China. Showcasing more than 5,000 cultural relics, the museum features artefacts dating as far back as the New Stone Age (about 12,000 years ago). 

The museum’s collections are classified into categories such as Buddhist statues, jadewares, bronzes, ceramics, brocades and embroideries, paintings, calligraphies, and gold and silverwares. Spend time visiting each hall and immerse yourself in China’s ancient heritage and culture.

Next, consider visiting the Beijing HuGuang Guild Hall. This splendidly restored traditional Chinese building was constructed in 1807 — it once contained the home of high-ranking officials in the Qing Dynasty (1636 – 1912). Apparently, the late Dr. Sun Yat-sen even chaired Kuomintang meetings in its hallowed chambers. 

The hall — located just 12 minutes away from Pan Pacific Beijing by car — now houses the Beijing Traditional Opera Museum, where you will learn the history of Peking Opera through literatures, exhibits, and images. End your visit by enjoying an opera performance at the quaint tea house. 

Get directions to Capital Museum.China

Get directions to Beijing HuGuang Guild Hall

Shop and score big Golden Week discounts at Beijing’s shopping streets

Given the magnitude of everything in China, think Black Friday sales multiplied several folds! Shops in Beijing’s malls and retail precincts capitalise on Golden Week by offering attractive discounts on virtually every product — from apparel and foodstuffs to electronic items and household goods. 

Wangfujing Street, located 15 minutes from Pan Pacific Beijing by car, is one of the most popular shopping areas in Beijing. During the Golden Week, its entire street bustle with life. Pick your bargain items from the street’s sprawling malls, department stores, numerous specialty retail shops, and exciting night-market. 

For the bravehearted, go to the snack street and try exotic fare like roasted starfish, fried scorpions, cockroaches, or silkworm pupae. These invertebrate delicacies are specially seasoned and served on skewer sticks! 

Get directions to Wangfujing Street

Looking for a hotel in Beijing? Pan Pacific Beijing is conveniently located near the Forbidden City, Tiananmen Square, and Wangfujing — a famous shopping street with malls, hundreds of shops, a night market, and a snack street. 

Book our Golden Week promotion and enjoy up to 30% savings on the Best Available Rate, complimentary breakfast for two adults, complimentary kids’ stay with breakfast, 15% savings on F&B and spa, as well as complimentary room upgrade and late check-out till 3pm. Contact us to find out more!


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