Is it a park? Is it a tourist site? With views like this, who even cares what we call it? Trips here are normally reserved as an addendum to a Forbidden City visit, perhaps owing to its perpetual crowds, but no list of Beijing’s best parks would be complete without this iconic mound.
Not a hard position to claim in our miraculously flat city, but Jingshan stands as one of the city’s highest points – the hill was formed during the Ming dynasty with earth dug out to create the Forbidden City’s moat, and served as a viewpoint and rest spot for the imperial elite for centuries, before opening as a public park in 1928. Besides the views from the Wanchun Pavilion at the peak, the surrounding lowlands, as such, make for a pleasant stroll, buzzing with the usual park fanfare, such as kite-flying and old ladies showing off some Messi-esque keepy-up skills.
Best spot Undoubtedly the peak of the hill, where panoramic views allow you to remind yourself that you are standing in a ridiculously beautiful city: it’s actually possible that the Forbidden City and Jingshan were constructed in the early 1400s purely with Instagram posts in mind. The view north also gives good perspective on the city’s central axis, upon which the park sits.