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12 awesome things to do this spring in Beijing

The warm weather is here! Make the most of it with these activities

It's spring and the weather in Beijing is at that perfect point between being sub-arctic and blisteringly hot. Make the most of this sweet spot by heading into the great outdoors and lapping up the Vitamin D with our pick of the best things to do this spring.
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See the spring flowers

See the spring flowers

The whole of the city is bloomin' marvellous at this time of year, so head to one of Beijing's many parks and gardens pronto to check out the Spring blossoms. 

Go to a city park

Go to a city park

Beijing gets a bad rap for its air quality, but it's in fact home to some pretty lush spots of greenery. Spring is the perfect weather to enjoy one of Beijing's many city parks, so unwind with a wander, meander or even saunter through these picturesque pockets.

Pack up a picnic

Pack up a picnic

Beijing only has a few months of sweet springtime when it's warm enough to lounge about outside, but cool enough to avoid becoming a pile of flesh yourself. Make the most of the golden days by packing up a bangin' picnic with the help of our handy guide and heading to your nearest patch of grass.

Go boating

Go boating

There are few things more idyllic on a fresh Spring day than floating about on a body of water for a few hours. Beijing has a range of boating styles on offer, whether that's a guided tour, some easy breezy pedalos or a motorboat session. Kick back and enjoy the ride.

See Beijing by bicycle

See Beijing by bicycle

Spring is the perfect time for seeing Beijing's streets on two wheels. Whether you're a Mobike fiend or have your own trusty steed (and Beijing has some snazzy bicycle shops, if you're looking to buy), now's the time to put it to the test by pedalling around the city. Try one of these Beijing bike routes out for size.

Go on an art walk

Go on an art walk

We're pretty spoilt for choice when it comes to art galleries here in Beijing, and even luckier in that they're all clustered together in a few areas. The most famous art district is 798, but there's also Caochangdi and the hutongs, so read our guide and then head out and soak up some culture.

Eat al fresco

Eat al fresco

We're spoilt for choice when it comes to outdoor dining spots in Beijing. Make the most of the warmer weather by grabbing a table in a courtyard or on a roof terrace and eat your dinner as the sun sets around you (although you'll probably still have to wrap up warm for the later hours).

Have an al fresco drink

Have an al fresco drink

The sun is here and that means it's officially time to up the drinking ante. After a day of boozing in your favourite city park, or hankering after one from the office all afternoon, head to one of Beijing's balmy outdoor bars – we highly recommend the hutong offerings – for a summery cocktail or five.

Try out roller derby

Try out roller derby

The sun is out and the air is fresh(ish). Before it gets too baking, get involved with some team sports and outdoor exercise by trying out Beijing Roller Derby. The team meets every Tuesday and Sunday at Tuanjiehu Park.

Soak up the Temple of Heaven

Soak up the Temple of Heaven

Beijing has plenty of temples, but some temples are more heavenly than others. Top of the pile is the one and only Temple of Heaven, one of the four sacrificial temples built for emperors in the 15th century. The architecture is perfectly symmetrical, with the dark blue tiles representing the afterlife. One of the more heavenly ways to spend a spring afternoon.

Head to the Summer Palace

Head to the Summer Palace

It's not for nothing that the Summer Palace is a Unesco World Heritage site. This sprawling expanse of natural beauty, three-quarters of which is taken up by Kunming Lake, is a triumph of landscape design. Spring is the perfect time for admiring the Qing Dynasty architecture – go during the week if you can, because hundreds of other tourists might have the same idea at the weekend.

Go to Fragrant Hills Park

Go to Fragrant Hills Park

Escape to the hills this spring to enjoy the calm and yes, fragrant, idyll of Fragrant Hills Park. The clue is in the name — abundant cypress trees imbue the air here with a gentle aroma. There are plenty of temples and pagodas here to marvel at, and make sure to pop into Shuanqing Villa, the halls of residence from which Mao oversaw the final months of the 1949 revolution.

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