Overview of Beijing

Beijing consists of a downtown area and a suburban area. The downtown area consists of six districts including Dongcheng and Xicheng (the traditional city center), Chaoyang, Haidian, Fengtai, and Shijingshan. The suburb area consists of 10 districts including Mentougou, Fangshan, Tongzhou, Shunyi, Changping, Daxing, Huairou, Pinggu, Miyun and Yanqing.

Most expatriates prefer to live in the Chaoyang District, while there are others that rather live in Shunyi District due to the large number of international schools in the area. Overall, Beijing has a total of 16 districts. In Beijing, the housing options are diversified, like all other major metropolitan cities around the world. Properties available include townhouses, semi-detached houses, apartments (Private & Serviced Apartments), and fully detached houses which are often generally referred to as "villas". Besides, Beijing has a unique kind of residence called Siheyuan (A courtyard with rooms lying in the form of a square and an open yard in the center). Singles and young adults often settle in the downtown districts of the city where the nightlife is busy. Students prefer living close to their university (Mainly in Haidian District) where cheap living apartments are supplied. Families with kids prefer mid-levels where schools are in the neighborhood and big apartments or villas are supplied. Quality houses are located all around Beijing from Dongcheng and Chaoyang to Shunyi, where plenty of high-end apartments, serviced apartments, and dazzling villas can be found.

  • Districts Map
  • Townships: 318 Towns and Subdistricts
  • Timezone: China Standard time (UTC + 8)
  • Govenrment type: Municipality
  • Postal code: 100,000
  • Population: 19,612,400
  • Area code(Local/int.): +10/+86
  • Demonym: Beijinger
  • City Flower: Chinese Rose
  • Religion: Buddhism 6.75%,Protestant 1.9%,Catholic 0.5%
  • Language: Mandarin,Beijing Dialect
  • Internet Domain: .cn



Beijing has a temperate and continental climate, with four distinct seasons and big differences in temperature between day and night. Summer in Beijing is hot and humid, while winter is cold and dry. Spring and autumn are short and cool. 75% of the annual precipitation is concentrated in summer from June to August, with frequent showers in July and August. The coldest month is January at an average of -4 °C (25 °F), and the hottest month is July at an average of 26 °C (79 °F).
Spring (Mar-May)
It is from March to May, with frequent intervals of rising and lowering of temperatures. There is much wind and dust in spring, and sometimes sandstorms. Spring is the season when flowers bloom. See places to see flowers in Beijing. May is a good time for spring outings and many shows and performances are concentrated in this month.
Summer (Jun - Sept)
It is from June to August, usually scorching with sizzling temperatures at noon. There are occasional downpours. Umbrella, sunglasses and sun screen are recommended. Wear any summer clothes, such as T-shirts, shorts and skirts. Summer is considered peak season, when hotels typically raise their rates and the Great Wall nearly collapses under the weight of marching tourists.
Autumn (Oct – Nov)
It is from September to November and the most beautiful and pleasant season in Beijing. Though there are intervals of weather changes, it is generally comfortable. Climbing the Great Wall or seeing the red leaves at Fragrant Hill is recommended for this season. There are many places that you can go to see fall foilage in this season.
Winter (Dec – Feb)
It is from December to February. It is cold and dry with occasional snow. The temperature is usually well below zero. Get ready to prepare down jackets, thick jeans and long johns, sweaters, hats and gloves. You might also need a mask to protect your nose on windy days. Eating steaming Mongolian hotpot can warm you up in winter. Celebrating a traditional Chinese New Year in the Hutongs, attending bustling temple fairs, and learning to make dumplings will surely give you an authentic experience of local people's life. In addition you can enjoy skiing at Nanshan Ski Resort, Huaibei Ski Resort, and the Bird's Nest (the National Stadium, main venue for the 2008 Olympics Beijing). Also check out Top Ski Resorts in China.