The Forbidden City
Beijing is an exciting destination for a city honeymoon. While chaotic and energetic, the luxury hotels and tranquil gardens of this ancient city can make you feel miles away from it all.
The city is very tourist-friendly, after massive improvements to its infrastructure after the hosting of the 2008 Olympic games. Major hotel chains in Beijing employ English-speaking staff members. Taxis are astonishingly cheap, the underground metro system bears English translations and, if you do get lost, Beijingers in general are warm, welcoming, and eager to help honeymooners explore their home.
Honeymooners will definitely want to spend a few hours ogling the royal digs in the Forbidden City, which is located just north of Tiananmen Square, another popular destination. Although the architecture is the main attraction, there are some beautiful antique furnishings also on display.
Nuzzle in the back of a rickshaw while the driver tours you through the remaining hutongs (alleyway homes, most of which around the city have been razed by developers) by Houhai Lake. Then grab a drink with a view at one of the lake’s many waterfront bars.
Rise early one morning for a meditative hand-in-hand stroll through the parks surrounding the Temple of Heaven in Beijing and watch the locals wake up with tai chi—either in groups or sequestered away privately among the bushes and numerous improvised paths. The active Temple, which many consider to be the most famous, interesting, and beautiful in Beijing, opens at 8 am for both worship and tours.
Art lovers won’t want to miss the 798 Art District northeast of the city, which is home to a burgeoning contemporary scene rife with top-notch galleries as well as the kind of chic cafés that inevitably follow.
No trip to Beijing is complete without a day trip to the Great Wall, several portions of which are within a couple of hours’ drive from Beijing.
Any hotel can book you on a group hike through the most trafficked portion of the Wall, but a private car or guide can take you off the beaten path. Standing inside a mountaintop tower gazing out at some of the 4,000 meandering miles of wall gives a couple a powerful way to contemplate how to build something strong that lasts forever.