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Best Places To See The Beijing Skyline


Modified: December 27, 2023

by Phebe Woods



Beijing, the vibrant capital city of China, is not only a bustling metropolis but also a city with a rich cultural heritage. With its magnificent architecture, stunning landscapes, and sky-reaching skyscrapers, Beijing offers a mesmerizing skyline that will leave you in awe.


From ancient imperial palaces to modern architectural marvels, there are numerous places in Beijing where you can witness the breathtaking beauty of the city’s skyline. Whether you are a history buff, an architecture enthusiast, or simply someone who appreciates stunning cityscapes, exploring the best vantage points to see the Beijing skyline is a must-do when visiting the city.


In this article, we’ll take you on a journey to discover the best places to see the Beijing skyline. From iconic landmarks to hidden gems, these locations offer unparalleled views that will leave a lasting impression. Let’s dive in and explore the top spots to appreciate the beauty of Beijing from above!


The Forbidden City

The Forbidden City, also known as the Palace Museum, is a UNESCO World Heritage site and one of Beijing’s most iconic landmarks. This imperial palace complex, spanning over 180 acres, served as the residence of Chinese emperors for nearly five centuries.


As you enter through the majestic Gate of Heavenly Purity, you’ll be transported back in time to the Ming and Qing dynasties. The sprawling courtyards, intricate architecture, and ornate detailing make the Forbidden City a visual masterpiece.


From the high vantage points within the Forbidden City, you can witness the grandeur of the Beijing skyline. As you stroll along the central axis, a stunning panorama unfolds before your eyes, with traditional rooftops stretching as far as the eye can see.


To enhance your experience, head to Jingshan Park located just behind the Forbidden City. Make your way to the top of Jingshan Hill, and you’ll be rewarded with a magnificent view of the entire palace complex against the backdrop of the modern city skyline.


While sightseeing in the Forbidden City, be sure to explore the Imperial Garden, known for its serene beauty and meticulously manicured landscapes. Take a moment to pause, soak in the historic ambience, and marvel at the juxtaposition of ancient architecture and the modern cityscape.


Visiting the Forbidden City offers a unique opportunity to witness the historical and cultural significance of Beijing while capturing a mesmerizing view of the city’s skyline. It’s a must-visit destination that will leave you in awe of China’s ancient glory and urban development.


Jingshan Park

Jingshan Park, located just north of the Forbidden City, is a hidden gem that offers stunning panoramic views of Beijing’s skyline. This historic park, covering an area of 57 acres, is known for its beautiful gardens, tranquil lakes, and most notably, its iconic hill.


As you ascend the steps of Jingshan Hill, also known as Coal Hill, you’ll reach its summit, where a breathtaking view of the city unfolds. This vantage point provides an unparalleled panorama of Beijing, with the majestic Forbidden City to the south and the modern skyscrapers of the CBD to the east.


During the morning or evening, the atmosphere at Jingshan Park becomes even more enchanting. As the sun rises or sets, the gentle golden light bathes the city, creating a picturesque scene that is truly awe-inspiring.


The park is also filled with lush greenery, charming pavilions, and ancient trees, adding to the serene ambiance. Take a leisurely stroll through the park while enjoying the peaceful surroundings, and find a spot to sit and soak in the breathtaking view.


For photography enthusiasts, Jingshan Park offers endless opportunities to capture stunning shots of the Beijing skyline. Whether you use a professional camera or simply rely on your smartphone, the panoramic view from the top of Jingshan Hill will make for unforgettable photographs.


Jingshan Park is not just a place to admire the Beijing skyline; it is an oasis in the heart of the city, offering a peaceful retreat from the bustling streets. Take your time to explore the park, reflect on its history, and savor the captivating view of Beijing’s ever-changing skyline.


Beihai Park

Tucked away in the western part of Beijing, Beihai Park is a picturesque imperial garden that offers a serene setting to admire the city’s skyline. Spanning over 69 acres, this ancient park is known for its stunning lake, lush gardens, and historic architecture.


At the heart of Beihai Park lies the magnificent White Dagoba, a prominent landmark that dates back to the 17th century. Climb to the top of the dagoba and be rewarded with a breathtaking view of the surrounding area, including the rooftops of traditional Beijing Hutongs, the grand palaces, and the modern skyscrapers in the distance.


As you wander through the park, you’ll come across charming pavilions, stone bridges, and ancient trees, creating a tranquil atmosphere that is perfect for relaxation and contemplation. Stroll along the lakeside paths and find a secluded spot to sit and enjoy the panoramic view of the city.


Visiting Beihai Park during sunset is particularly magical. As the sun dips below the horizon, the sky gets painted in hues of gold and orange, casting a warm glow over the city. The combination of the tranquil lake, the beautiful gardens, and the stunning skyline creates a truly enchanting experience.


For a unique perspective, you can also rent a boat and navigate the peaceful waters of Beihai Lake. Drifting along, you’ll have the opportunity to see the city skyline from a different angle, adding a touch of serenity to your visit.


Beihai Park provides a delightful escape from the bustling city, allowing you to immerse yourself in nature’s beauty while appreciating the captivating sight of the Beijing skyline. With its harmonious blend of history, culture, and natural landscapes, Beihai Park is a true gem that should not be missed.


National Centre for the Performing Arts

The National Centre for the Performing Arts, also known as the “Egg” due to its unique architectural design, is not only a cultural hub but also offers a mesmerizing view of the Beijing skyline. Situated near the famous Tiananmen Square, this iconic landmark showcases a harmonious blend of contemporary design and natural elements.


The futuristic structure of the National Centre for the Performing Arts is surrounded by a serene artificial lake, creating a tranquil setting in the heart of the bustling city. As you approach the building, you’ll be captivated by its curved reflective surface, which mirrors the surrounding landscape.


To truly appreciate the beauty of the Beijing skyline, venture inside the National Centre for the Performing Arts, where you can indulge in world-class performances ranging from opera to ballet. The interior of this architectural masterpiece is equally stunning, with its grand halls and acoustically superb theaters.


As you exit the building after a captivating performance, take a moment to appreciate the breathtaking view of the city. With the reflective surface of the building serving as a mirror, you’ll see the modern skyscrapers and serene bodies of water seamlessly blending together, creating a stunning visual spectacle.


During the evening, the National Centre for the Performing Arts comes alive with colorful lights illuminating the building and its surroundings. The combination of the shimmering lights and the awe-inspiring skyline makes for an unforgettable sight.


Whether you attend a performance or simply visit to admire the architecture, the National Centre for the Performing Arts provides a unique vantage point to appreciate the beauty of the Beijing skyline. It’s a cultural and visual experience that showcases the syncretism of art, technology, and urban development.


CCTV Headquarters Building

The CCTV Headquarters Building, also known as the “Big Shorts” or “Twisted Donut,” is an architectural marvel that stands as a symbol of modern Beijing. Designed by renowned architect Rem Koolhaas, this futuristic structure has become an iconic part of the city’s skyline.


The unique and dramatic design of the CCTV Headquarters Building is a sight to behold. Its distinctive shape, inspired by the loop of a Chinese character, exudes innovation and creativity. The building’s bold and unconventional design challenges the conventional notions of skyscraper architecture.


To experience the mesmerizing view of the Beijing skyline, head to the nearby Central Business District (CBD), where you’ll find stunning vantage points. With its tall stature and iconic appearance, the CCTV Headquarters Building stands out among the surrounding skyscrapers.


One of the best locations to appreciate the beauty of the building and the city skyline is from the Yintai Center Beijing. In this upscale shopping mall, head to the upper floors or the rooftop terrace for an unobstructed view of the CCTV Headquarters Building and the surrounding modern skyline.


Another viewpoint that offers a unique perspective is from across the street at the China World Trade Center Tower III. From its observation deck on the 81st floor, you can marvel at the remarkable architecture of the CCTV Headquarters Building as it stands tall amidst the cityscape.


During the evening, the view becomes even more captivating as the city lights illuminate the skyline, making the CCTV Headquarters Building an architectural gem that shines brightly in the night sky.


Whether you are an architecture enthusiast or simply appreciate modern design, the CCTV Headquarters Building offers an extraordinary sight that showcases the innovative spirit of Beijing’s urban development. Witnessing the juxtaposition of this futuristic structure against the city’s skyline is an experience that will leave you in awe.


Temple of Heaven Park

The Temple of Heaven Park, a UNESCO World Heritage site, is not only a cultural landmark but also provides a picturesque setting to appreciate the Beijing skyline. Located in the southern part of the city, this imperial complex was once used by emperors to perform rituals to pray for good harvests.


The Temple of Heaven itself is a magnificent architectural masterpiece, with its iconic triple-gabled circular hall known as the Hall of Prayer for Good Harvests. Surrounding the main hall are beautifully landscaped gardens, ancient trees, and various ceremonial buildings.


Within the park, there are several elevated areas and pathways that offer stunning views of the surrounding city. As you climb to the top of the hill located to the south of the temple, you’ll be rewarded with a breathtaking panorama of Beijing’s skyline.


From this vantage point, you can see the iconic landmarks of Beijing stretching along the horizon. The tall skyscrapers of the Central Business District blend harmoniously with the traditional rooftops of nearby Hutongs, offering a unique contrast of old and new.


During sunrise or sunset, the Temple of Heaven Park radiates a tranquil and ethereal atmosphere. As the sun casts its warm glow on the city, the vibrant colors of the sky create a breathtaking backdrop for the majestic temple and the surrounding urban scenery.


While exploring the park, take the time to appreciate the intricate details of the temple complex and venture into the peaceful gardens. Find a quiet spot amidst the lush greenery and reflect on the historical and cultural significance of the Temple of Heaven.


The Temple of Heaven Park provides not only an opportunity to witness the beauty of the Beijing skyline but also a chance to connect with China’s rich cultural heritage. It’s a place where history and nature converge, offering a serene setting to appreciate the captivating view of the city.


Olympic Park

Olympic Park, located in the northern part of Beijing, is not only a significant landmark from the 2008 Summer Olympics but also a perfect place to enjoy the city’s skyline. This sprawling park covers an area of approximately 1,100 acres and is home to several iconic Olympic venues.


At the heart of the park lies the breathtaking National Stadium, also known as the Bird’s Nest, with its unique steel structure resembling a nest. This architectural marvel is a sight to behold, both during the day and at night when it is illuminated with colorful lights.


The best spot to witness the beauty of the Beijing skyline from Olympic Park is atop the Olympic Tower. Ascend to its observation deck, located at a height of 268 meters, and you’ll be treated to a spectacular panoramic view of the entire park and the surrounding city.


From this vantage point, you can see not only the magnificent Bird’s Nest but also other iconic landmarks, such as the Water Cube, with its stunning blue bubble-like facade. The contrast between the modern Olympic structures and the urban landscape paints a captivating picture of Beijing’s development.


During the day, the view from the Olympic Park showcases the vastness and grandeur of the city. The skyline stretches far into the distance, with the towering skyscrapers and the clusters of residential neighborhoods creating a mesmerizing sight.


At night, the atmosphere at Olympic Park becomes even more enchanting. The buildings and structures within the park are illuminated, casting a beautiful glow across the landscape. As darkness falls, the lights of Beijing’s skyline twinkle, creating a magical ambiance.


Take your time to explore the park, visit the Olympic venues, and soak in the vibrant energy of the place. Capture stunning photographs from different angles and perspectives to truly appreciate the splendor of the Beijing skyline.


Olympic Park not only offers a glimpse into the sporting legacy of the city but also provides a remarkable view of the Beijing skyline. It’s a place where the spirit of the Olympics merges with the urban landscape, creating an unforgettable experience.


Wangjing Soho

Wangjing Soho, an architectural wonder in the northeastern part of Beijing, offers a unique perspective on the city’s skyline. Designed by acclaimed architect Zaha Hadid, this futuristic complex features three curvaceous towers that gracefully soar into the sky, creating a visually stunning sight.


The irregular and fluid shapes of Wangjing Soho stand in stark contrast to the straight lines and rigid structures commonly found in the city’s skyline. This unconventional design adds a touch of creativity and artistic flair to Beijing’s urban landscape.


The best place to witness the impressive view of Wangjing Soho and the surrounding skyline is from the nearby Future Science and Technology City Park. As you stroll through this tranquil park, you’ll be treated to unobstructed views of the soaring towers, framed against the backdrop of the city.


One of the most captivating times to visit Wangjing Soho is during sunset. As the sun descends in the sky, the warm hues of orange and pink reflect off the glass façades of the buildings, creating a stunning harmony between nature and architectural brilliance.


For a closer look at the unique design and structure of Wangjing Soho, step inside the complex and explore the public spaces and stylish shops. The curved corridors and open-air plazas offer a dynamic and immersive experience, allowing you to appreciate the architectural finesse up close.


Wangjing Soho represents a remarkable fusion of art, architecture, and urban living. Its iconic towers and inventive design add a touch of modernity and elegance to Beijing’s growing skyline, making it a must-visit destination for architecture enthusiasts and anyone seeking a fresh perspective on the city’s skyline.


China World Trade Center Tower III

China World Trade Center Tower III, also known as Beijing’s “CITIC Tower,” is an impressive skyscraper that graces the city’s skyline in the bustling Central Business District (CBD). Standing at a height of 330 meters, this architectural marvel offers a stunning view of Beijing from its observation deck.


Located on the 81st floor of Tower III, the observation deck provides a panoramic view of the city in all directions. As you step onto the deck, you’ll be greeted by a sweeping vista that encompasses the modern skyscrapers of the CBD, including the nearby CCTV Headquarters and other architectural landmarks.


From this vantage point, you can also appreciate the wide expanse of the city, with its vast urban landscape extending to the horizon. Beijing’s iconic landmarks, such as the Temple of Heaven, the National Stadium, and the Forbidden City, can be seen from a distance, adding to the allure of the view.


Visiting the observation deck during the daytime allows you to witness the city in its vibrant hustle and bustle. The movement of people, the flow of traffic, and the dynamic energy of Beijing’s urban life all come to life as you take in the view from above.


For a more atmospheric experience, consider visiting the observation deck during the evening or at night. As darkness falls, the city lights up, creating a mesmerizing spectacle of twinkling lights that showcase the dynamic nature of Beijing’s nightlife.


Aside from the breathtaking view, the China World Trade Center complex is a thriving hub of commerce, luxury shopping, and fine dining. After enjoying the panoramic sight, you can explore the shopping malls and indulge in a delicious meal at one of the many restaurants within the complex.


China World Trade Center Tower III offers an elevated perspective on the Beijing skyline, allowing you to appreciate the city’s impressive urban development and architectural prowess. It’s an experience that showcases Beijing’s growing prominence as a global business and cultural hub.


The Palace Museum

The Palace Museum, also known as the Forbidden City, is not only a treasure trove of ancient Chinese history and culture but also a place where you can admire the stunning view of the Beijing skyline. Located in the heart of the city, this imperial palace complex served as the residence of Chinese emperors for centuries.


As you explore the vast courtyards and intricately designed buildings within the Palace Museum, you’ll come across elevated platforms and terraces that offer breathtaking views of the surrounding city. Standing on these higher points, you’ll be able to gaze out and witness the grandeur of Beijing’s skyline.


The best spot to enjoy the view from the Palace Museum is the Gate of Heavenly Purity, the imperial residence of emperors within the complex. From this elevated platform, you’ll have an unobstructed view of the city, with traditional rooftops stretching out towards the horizon.


As you walk along the central axis of the Forbidden City, you’ll also pass by the Hall of Supreme Harmony, the largest and most important building within the complex. From its imposing facade, you can admire the grandeur of the royal palace while glimpsing the modern city skyline in the distance.


For a more immersive experience, visit the Palace Museum during sunset. As the golden sun casts its warm glow over the ancient palace walls, the juxtaposition of the historical and the modern becomes even more striking, creating a harmonious blend of old and new.


As you explore the Palace Museum, take the time to appreciate the intricate details of the architecture and the rich cultural heritage that it represents. The captivating view of the city from within this historical gem provides a unique perspective on Beijing’s urban development.


The Palace Museum is not just a repository of ancient treasures; it’s a place that allows you to witness the grandeur of Beijing’s skyline from an unparalleled vantage point. It’s an experience that combines history, culture, and awe-inspiring views, leaving you with a deep appreciation for the city’s rich past and vibrant present.



Exploring the best places to see the Beijing skyline is a journey that takes you through ancient imperial palaces, modern architectural marvels, and serene parks. From the historic Forbidden City to the futuristic Wangjing Soho, each location offers a unique perspective on the city’s skyline and its rich cultural heritage.


The Forbidden City, with its sprawling courtyards and ornate architecture, provides a grand view of traditional Beijing rooftops. Jingshan Park offers a panoramic vista from its hilltop, while Beihai Park showcases the harmony between nature and urban development.


The National Centre for the Performing Arts and CCTV Headquarters Building provide contrasting views of modernity and artistic design in the Beijing skyline. The serene Temple of Heaven Park and the dynamic Olympic Park offer glimpses of the city’s history and its transformation into a global metropolis.


From the unique structure of Wangjing Soho to the lofty observation deck of China World Trade Center Tower III, these architectural wonders offer captivating views of the modern skyline. The Palace Museum, with its historical significance, allows visitors to appreciate the juxtaposition of ancient architecture against the bustling cityscape.


Each of these locations provides a distinct experience, showcasing Beijing’s evolving skyline, rich culture, and architectural innovation. Whether you choose to witness the panoramic views during the day or marvel at the illuminated city at night, Beijing’s skyline will leave you in awe.


As you explore these magnificent places, take your time to soak in the vistas, capture stunning photographs, and appreciate the unique blend of tradition and modernity that Beijing’s skyline embodies.


So, pack your camera, put on your walking shoes, and embark on a journey to witness the beauty of Beijing’s skyline. From ancient wonders to contemporary architectural marvels, there’s a perfect spot for everyone to enjoy the captivating view of this vibrant city.