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Four for fall: Autumn activities in Beijing

10-08 11:46 TimeOut Beijing
It's time to pack away that pair of shorts and pull out scarves and pants: Beijing’s most beautiful season is upon us

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Autumn in Beijing is arguably one of the best seasons in this city; the crisp air (on a good day), the clear skies (ok, on a really good day), and the cooler temperatures open the door to a whole slew of activities that the heat wouldn't allow. So, it's time to pack away that pair of shorts and pull out scarves and pants: Beijing’s most beautiful season is upon us.

Seeing red

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If you don’t see Beijing's red leaves in the fall, you’re not doing fall right. While there are many parks around town that offer lovely vistas of the changing trees, it takes a trip 25km out of the city center to see the best of the best. Fragrant Hills lies to the northwest of Beijing, and is widely regarded as the most spectacular place to see fiery red maple trees and smoke trees that blanket the hillsides of the park. Additionally, the fall leaves provide a beautiful backdrop for the temples, pagodas, and lakes that dot the expansive park.

Get outdoors-y

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With the summery moisture in the air quickly being replaced by a crisp autumn chill, there is no better time to exercise your legs and your lungs in some of the hills that surround Beijing. Check out Beijing Hikers, a guided hike service that will take you out of the city to see hike some of the most scenic trails our surroundings have to offer. If real-life roughing it doesn't sound up your alley, head on over to Ritan park's Touchstone Climbing Wall, where you can get outdoor exercise without actually leaving the city. No better way to simultaneously tone those biceps and take in the lovely fall foliage.

Eat (more) street food

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Nothing says autumn in Beijing like the drifting smell of roasted bites made by your favorite street food vendors. The carts filled with liángmiàn are slowly dwindling, and are quickly being replaced by rusty metal drums filled with flame and stacked high with crispy skinned sweet potatoes. Additionally, keep an eye out for the guy tossing around chestnuts in something that looks like a massive wok. Grab a bag of nuts or a sweet potato to warm your hands as the weather gets chillier. At only a few kuai a piece, once you run out simply buy another at the next corner.

Be a football fan

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With only a few home games left in the football season, now is the perfect time to catch Beijing Guoan at our very own Workers Stadium. First, buy your ticket from the official Guoan website, or if you feel like living dangerously, buy one from a scalper outside the stadium on game day. Tickets range from 30-100RMB. Second, thrown on all of the green gear you have. Before the game head over to Great Leap Brewery for a pre-game burger and seasonal beer or two (or four). Finally, get in to the spirit a long with hoards of local fans. If the game is packed enough, you probably won't even need your fall coat.

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