I’ve had the fortune of visiting Beijing multiple times and I’ve visited the spots mentioned below before. However I wanted to visit some of my favorite places again with Noey, especially the ones a bit more baby friendly. (Ke and I actually thought we could make it to the Great Wall with a baby and I’m glad we didn’t attempt that one haha). Even though Noey won’t remember anything from this trip, it filled me with so much joy to revisit these places with her.
The Quiet Parts of the Summer Palace
The Summer Palace is one of my favorite attractions in Beijing…if visited at the right time haha. It is a heavenly place and that’s why it’s always swarming with tourists, especially on a beautiful, clear day. If you’ve never been then it’s a must to visit all of the grounds and climb up to the Tower of Buddhist Incense. However I like to avoid the main areas and explore some of the hidden gardens and quiet areas.
My favorite area in The Summer Palace is actually the handicap assessable walkway once you get past Suzhou Street. It’s a super quiet part of the grounds and leads to nice spots along the river bank and to the Harmony Garden. The best time to visit would be on a weekday during the morning. The photos below were taken around 9-10am.
Beiluoguxiang and Wudaoying Hutongs
The hutongs of Beijing can be very touristy but it’s one of my favorite places to visit. Walking around a hutong is like experiencing Beijing centuries before – the architecture and the culture is a must see. The most popular and touristy hutong would probably be Nanluoguxiang. But if you cross the street north, there is Beiluoguxiang, a much quieter part with some nice shops, bars, and cafes.
Another place we took Noey was to Wudaoying. This place is probably almost as popular as Nanluoguxiang but feels a little less touristy to me. It’s a bit more hipster with some great cafes and shops as well.
Jingshan Park is a good way to get a bird’s eye view of The Forbidden City. Like the Summer Palace, it’s a hot tourist attraction but visiting early in the morning can make a huge difference…even if we failed to do so this time around.
Before going, stop at the Cafe by the Forbidden City for some coffee then cross the street for the south entrance to Jingshan Park. We climbed all the way up carrying Noey but there is a path on the north side for wheelchairs and strollers.
A Bit of Determination and a Lot of Luck
We were definitely ambitious throughout our 9 days in Beijing but also very lucky. In between sightseeing we also saw lots of family and ate out a lot. We were able to take Noey out for 7+ hours at a time because she loves being out and about and can easily recharge in her stroller. Now we’re off to Xian for even more family time and sightseeing!