Beijing in the springtime will have you whistling from the tree-tops in all manner of cherry blossom views, mountain hikes and lake paddling. Find our edit of the best Beijing parks to get out and take in nature’s beauty as the city comes back to life.
Although perhaps best known for its vast lakes, Yuyuantan Park is also host to the largest bounty of cherry blossoms in the land. Early April sees over 2,000 trees, many of which were gifts from Japan in the ‘70s, burst into blousey snow-white and blush-pink blooms. If you’ve got kids in tow, let them loose in a choice of two playgrounds, then hop on a boat over to your next destination, the Summer Palace.
Yuyuantan Park, Xisanhuan Lu, Haidian, yytpark.com
Another eye-popping expanse of lakes, replete with manicured gardens and a ravishing royal residence, the UNESCO-listed Summer Palace is unmistakable for the distinct fragrance of magnolia that will hit you like a wave of dusty pink deliciousness. Its Taoist and touristic rival, the Temple of Heaven is equally swamped for its vibrant mass of some 240 clove trees.
Summer Palace, Haidian, +86 10 6288 1144, summerpalace-china.com
Temple of Heaven, A1 Tiantan Lu, Dongcheng
See also: Relaxing Escapes to Find Your Zen in Beijing
Just north of the Forbidden City, idyllic Jingshan Park occupies Beijing’s highest hill—and alongside birds-eye views of the Imperial compound, you can breathe in the divine 30,000+ peonies, which have been delighting floraphiles since the Yuan Dynasty. Be sure to hike up to the summit, for panoramic views of the palace, Qiwang Pavilion, Shouhuang Hall, rose garden and city below.
Jingshan Park, Dongcheng
The Great Wall – Mutianyu
As if the Great Wall weren’t picturesque enough, come spring, this hulking stone structure gives way to a sea of delicate apricot petals. Badaling is permanently packed so book a driver to take you to the beautifully preserved Mutianyu section instead, where you can combine your visit with lunch at The Schoolhouse which boasts a lovely courtyard and vista-toting terrace. Bloomin’ marvellous!
Great Wall, Mutianyu Village, Huairou, +86 10 6162 6022, mutianyugreatwall.com
The Schoolhouse, 12 Mutianyu Village, Huairou, +86 10 6162 6506, brickyardatmutianyu.com
Hero image: © kool99 – iStock
Bound for the parks? Don’t forget to pack a copy of our LUXE Beijing guide…