32 of the harshest TripAdvisor reviews of Beijing

China's capital? 'Sooo not worth it'

Ah, TripAdvisor. A handy way to check just how much hotels are airbrushing their room pictures; an enduring and comforting space for spleen venting after bad service and a window into the private thoughts of the world's grumpiest and most unreasonable tourists (i.e. one-star reviews). 

Here are some amazingly harsh reviews of ten of Beijing's best landmarks and attractions. Next! 
Forbidden City

Forbidden City

'You literally walk around in the blistering heat for 3 hours looking at building that you can't go inside... and all the buildings look the same. You will get a much more comfortable experience looking at a picture on Google in a well air-conditioned room.'

'Terrible is not bad enough to describe this attraction. There are 9999 rooms, of total nothing-ness. Acres of empty temples. If you are expecting to visit here to marvel at exotic historical relics, you are in the wrong place... There is a garden, woo hoo, but didn't come here to see gardens... Trust me, don't believe the other reviews that say its fascinating in here, its nonsense. Its an empty shell. Go somewhere else for the day. Your time is precious.'

The Ming Tombs

The Ming Tombs

'This was a total waste of time! An insignificant concrete structure containing three large red boxes and a dozen smaller boxes. I'd give it a pass!'

'There is nothing to see.....really don't go because it's a waste of time ...........tombs are empty and you see only red boxes.'

'This "attraction" is essentially a place to stop and go to the bathroom on your way to the Great Wall.'

Want a second opinion? Read more about the best tombs in Beijing here. 

798 Art District

798 Art District

'This might have been interesting at some point but I did not see anything valuable or worth the time to check out.'

'They all were very racist and called me a bad word, which I shall not say. I felt very disrespected and hope that you all go and have a "great" time here.'

'It's such a place that doesn't deserve its fame. It is not art at all!! Everyone can go there and open a studio and no restriction. So you can imagine the quality of so called "art".'

Want a second opinion? Check out our area guide for 798

See more of the district with this 798 walking tour

The Great Wall at Mutianyu

The Great Wall at Mutianyu

'It's long but so is the M6, and that goes on for miles. At least you can drive on that and it does the job. It's not a Great Wall, it's an alright wall. It's the Alright Wall of China'

'Mutianyu is the tourist trap that you should avoid like a rotting corpse made to look more festive by the addition of a sombrero.'

'AVOID GOING HERE AT ALL COSTS. If you 'must' see the Great Wall, take a helicopter - it's worth the hundreds more. You only live once. Or maybe just say you went to Beijing, but didn't have time to go to the Great Wall.'

Want a second opinion? Mutianyu Great Wall on Time Out Beijing.  

Find more great ways to escape the city in our guide to DIY Beijing camping trips.  

Lama Temple

Lama Temple

'....then you've seen them all.'

Want to see it for yourself? Take a walking tour of Yonghegong

Silk Street Market

Silk Street Market

Image: WiNG

'If you want to hate your China trip, and all Chinese people altogether, then go to this place!'

Want more information on great markets in Beijing? Read more here

Tiananmen Square

Tiananmen Square

'I am not really sure why so many people are so excited about it. Other then the historical significance, it is just a giant parking lot.'

'Socialist architecture at its peak. Horrible monumental building all around. Gray, huge andthey reason they are so huge is to intimidade you. Hot, lot of people, nothing to see, windy, bag check, a lot of police, security cameras flying over your head.'

'A must-see if you like vast flat expanses of concrete and cement.'

'I fail to understand what brings people there. Huge, paved, ugly square. Crowded with locals and tourists. Noisy. There trully nothing interesting there.'

Want a second opinion? Read our ultimate guide to Tiananmen Square.

The Summer Palace

The Summer Palace

'It was once the emperor's summer home, but now it's a glorified park.'

'Apart from the huge crowds, we didn't see anything interesting here. The site, the buildings have nothing special. Avoid wasting an afternoon.'

'Not interesting at all. Give this a wide berth. Its just a big garden with lots of water and some rocks.'

'I have no idea why this place is so highly recommended. It's a big park with a lake, an entrance fee, and massive crowds of tourists. There isn't really anything interesting to see.'

Temple of Heaven

Temple of Heaven

'Nothing special to see in this Park and temple, repetitive, so if you visited the forbidden city and saw the architect you do not need to visit this one.'

'A round pagoda set in the middle of a large area of concrete paving with nothing to make me think it should be recommended as part of any itinerary in Beijing.'

Want a second opinion? Temple of Heaven on Time Out Beijing.

The Water Cube

The Water Cube

Image: Yoshio Kohara

'If you already been, I'm sorry. Beijing heat can be really scorchering, me and my wife couldn't fought our temptation to the watercube. Despite negative reviews here, we chose to ignore. What a big mistake... Fight the temptation, don't go!'

Read another opinion on Beijing's best theme parks here.

  • 4 out of 5 stars