Formerly known as Jingzhao Park, Ditan Park was once a site of religious worship in the Ming and Qing dynasties, and remnants of its rich historical past remain tucked among cricket courts and playgrounds, most notably the Fangze Tan altar platform at its centre (entry is 5RMB). If your outdoor aspirations are less history-focused, then the wealth of nooks to kick back in will surely satisfy, whether its shaded benches in bamboo forests or expanses of grass to lay down a rug upon.
The park is also the site of one of Beijing’s best temple fairs
come Spring Festival, which turns this normally peaceful setting into a busy hubbub of festive fun.
Best spot The tree-dotted patch of grass towards the park’s western entrance is one of the city’s finer picnic spots, because – rejoice – you can actually sit upon it without fear of reproach from park guards.