Within its four million square metres (990 acres) of conservatories, hot rooms and outside gardens, Beijing’s botanical gardens boast over 6,000 species of plants, including tropical varieties, water plants such as lotuses and lilies, and species used to make Chinese medicines and rarities such as a sequoia that was discovered in China after it had been thought extinct for millions of years. There is a magnificent peony garden, which is best to visit in May, also the time to catch the large number of fruit trees flowering. Blossom-related exhibitions and festivals are held at the gardens at this time of year.
Don't miss Wofosi Temple, which hails from the Tang dynasty, set into the mountain cliffs and containing a 5m (16.4ft) long reclining Buddha.
Get there Take the subway to Botanical Garden station (Xijiao Line). It's a 15-minute walk from there.