A small park by Beijing standards (just 9.2 hectares), Rendinghu stands out because it’s just so un-Chinese; there’s not a pagoda in sight. Instead, when the park was given a makeover back in 1995, its architects decided to pay homage to Rome. This could have gone horribly wrong. But somehow the sunken garden (inspired by Italy’s historic hilltop Tivoli estate), colonnades and classical statues just north of the south gate manage to avoid being tacky. Continue north for glazed murals depicting Europe’s most beautiful gardens; beyond this, the park opens out onto a large lake fringed by the manicured hedges of an English country house. Entry price: 2 RMB.
Best spot The abundant lawn space at the park’s north – despite the ‘keep off the grass’ signs, we've seen many a reveller setting down here. Roll out a rug and tuck in.