World's Greatest Places 2021
The Forbidden City in Beijing, China.
Danita Delimont—Shutterstock
July 20, 2021 6:35 AM EDT

Squeezing the bustling Chinese capital into a long weekend just became a lot tougher. Apart from the obligatory tour of the Ming Dynasty Forbidden City, abode of emperors, there’s clambering up the Great Wall and taking in an evening of Peking opera. But that was all before this summer’s opening of Beijing Universal Studios. Along with a slew of cinematic attractions including the Transformers-themed Decepti­coaster, the park also boasts new high-end hotels such as the Universal Studios Grand Hotel, which has movie-­inspired interiors, and the Nuo Resort Hotel, featuring greenery inspired by ancient royal gardens. What’s more, the fast-­approaching 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics have brought a new high-speed rail link that puts Nanshan ski resort’s 25 trails and snowboard theme park within 40 minutes of downtown. —Charlie Campbell

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