The place we know as Beijing today has seen the rise and fall of dynasties and the comings and goings of millions of people. Culture Trip traces the development of the Chinese capital through five unmissable historical sites.
Once Beijing was selected as a capital, it began to grow and attract people from around the country. Outside of the emperor’s palace, the common folk would live in single-level courtyard homes made of timber called siheyuan (literally translated means ‘four-jointed courtyard’). The history of these structures and the narrow alleyways that formed the arteries of the city is presented at the Shijia Hutong Museum. The hutong lanes dominated old Beijing for some 700 years but many have been demolished to make way for multi-lane roads and more space-efficient apartment blocks. Learn more about this distinct part of Beijing history while it still stands.
This intimate exhibition space focusses on the historic Dashilar neighbourhood, located just south of Tiananmen Square. For centuries, this part of Beijing has been home to the city’s greatest artisans and performers. It has also acted as the Ellis Island of Beijing, the first point of entry for migrants from around the country. The Beijing Postcard Museum has amassed a small collection of beautiful maps that present how the city has evolved in recent centuries.
Discovered in 1923-1927, and then incredibly misplaced during World War II, the fossil remains of Peking Man were unearthed near Beijing in the town of Zhoukoudian. This skeleton of Homo erectus pekinensis is estimated to have lived around 400,000 years ago. Zhoukoudian is about a 1.5-hour drive southwest of Beijing. There is a modest museum at the site that introduces some facts about Peking Man and his discovery.
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meet our Local Insider
HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN A GUIDE?
WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT YOUR JOB?
It's the personal contact, the personal experiences. I love meeting people from all over the world... I really like getting to know everyone and feeling like I'm traveling with a group of friends.
WHAT DESTINATION IS ON YOUR TRAVEL BUCKET-LIST?
I have so many places on my list, but I would really lobe to go to Africa. I consider myself an “adventure girl” and Africa feels like the ULTIMATE adventure!
Every CULTURE TRIP Small-group adventure is led by a Local Insider just like Hanna.
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Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world
Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.
Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.
Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.
Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.
We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.