Watch an Italian opera
Say what you want about some of the modern architecture in Beijing, but the National Centre for the Performing Arts is stunning. Surrounded by an artificial lake, this low-lying titanium-and-glass dome glimmers off the edge of Tiananmen Square. Nicknamed ‘The Egg’, it’s the capital’s premier venue for classical music acts and theatre productions. There’s any number of international performances that you could see here, but for a ‘China only’ experience, we recommend Italian opera sung by a Chinese cast. Talented as their voices are, it’s far rarer to catch them outside the country than in the capital itself.