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Travel bucket list idea:

Last updated: 26 June, 2023
Expert travel writer: Thomas O’Malley

Only traces remain of Beijing’s mighty city walls, built in the Ming Dynasty but torn down in the Mao era to make way for the Second Ring Road.

The southeast corner watchtower (also known as the Fox Tower) still stands, joined to a 1.2km stretch of wall restored in the 1990s, which runs westwards through a strip of parkland.

Inside the watchtower is an exhibition of historical photos, and you can even find scraps of graffiti from American and Russian soldiers dating to 1900 and the Battle of Peking.


Price from: £5
Minimum age: Any
Age suitable: 13+
When: All year around

Getting there & doing it

The old city wall and the southeast corner watchtower are located south of Beijing Railway Station.

The closest subway station is Chongwenmen (Line 2 & 5), from where you can stroll through a leafy park beside the wall and reach the corner watchtower in about 20 minutes.

When to do it

The watchtower is open all year round, seven days a week. The park adjacent to the city wall is open day and night.

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China’s vibrant capital captives with its unique melding of ancient wonders, bustling hutongs and modern architecture – the food ain’t bad either. Top of the bill are the Forbidden City, the marvellous palace of China’s greatest Emperors – and the extraordinary Great Wall of China.