The building techniques developed thousands of years ago by the Chinese have played an essential part in the history of architecture globally. Many techniques, materials and styles that are still used around the world today are thanks to early discoveries in China. As well as being impressive feats of construction, much of the Chinese architecture is colourful, unique and beautiful.
The Great Wall of China is perhaps the most famous symbol of the country, and rightly so, at an incredible 13,000 miles long and at over 2,000 years old. The structure can be visited in a number of destinations throughout China but perhaps the most popular is Beijing. Here, there are a number of popular spots to hike the wall, varying from completely restored to almost untouched.
The Forbidden City is another age-old treasure of Beijing that was vital during the Ming and Qing Dynasties. The complex houses over 900 buildings and was home to many emperors. As well as beautiful traditional architecture, the area boasts an immense collection of ancient artifacts and artwork.
Xi’an City Wall is a lesser known structure in China but equally impressive. The 14th Century fortification was used as a military defense system in Xi’an during the Ming Dynasty. It is not only the best preserved ancient wall in China, it is also one of the largest ancient military defense system in the world.
If you’d like to visit the ancient architecture in Beijing, the city has great weather during every season except winter. For those who would like to embark on an extensive exploration of The Great Wall of China, spring and autumn are ideal times for trekking with temperatures usually peaking at 20°C. If you will be casually ambling around the sights, summer is also an option with temperatures reaching about 30°C.
The weather in Xi’an is a little more diverse with winter hitting freezing temperatures and the summer heat often being interspersed with downpours. Spring and autumn are good times to visit the city as there is little rain and temperatures of up to 20°C.
Some of the ancient architecture in China draws extreme numbers of sight-seers, with The Great Wall of China drawing up to 70,000 visitors per day alone. To beat the crowds, catch the earliest possible tourist bus. Or, to avoid crawling crowds all-together, take a cable car at Badaling, Jinshanling, Mutianyu or Simatai, where you can also enjoy panoramic views of the iconic wall.