Discover luxury hotels with cookery schools in Beijing, China

One of the four ancient capitals of China, Beijing is a flat urban checkerboard with the Forbidden City standing proud in the centre. Until the 20th century came around, the five fortified gates and high walls marked the city borders, but since then shimmering skyscrapers have sprung up and the city has sprawled outwards. Traditional courtyard houses, siheyuan, occupy old Beijing, but among and around, striking modern architecture abounds. No longer content to remain Shanghai’s dowdier sister, Beijing is now a city that balances the best of both worlds — historic architecture and ancient monuments mingle with a buzzing cosmopolitan cityscape.

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