The favourite of most Beijingers, Beihai Park has a wonderful atmosphere all year round and is one of the biggest and most picturesque in the city. Over a thousand years old, Beihai served as an imperial pleasure ground for five dynasties. Its 69 hectares are filled with halls, pavilions, gateways and gardens – many of them built during the culturally proficient Emperor Qianlong’s dynasty. Its main feature is the Tibetan White Dagoba temple on the lake’s central Qiong islet. You can take a boat on to the lake when it’s not frozen and the park is also popular with old people exercise here in the mornings.