Beijing’s Temple of Heaven and Hongqiao Market lie inside the second ring road in one of Beijing’s small, inner districts. Both are popular with tourists, who spend plenty of time here enjoying some of the principal sightseeing attractions in Beijing. The hotels near Temple of Heaven and Hongqiao Market are especially diverse and cater to all budgets.
Traditionally the Temple of Heaven was built for the Emperor to perform annual rites. Every winter solstice, he would come here and perform lavish ceremonies in the Taoist shrine to improve the empire’s prospects in the coming year. The park that holds the temple is one of Beijing’s biggest and greenest, and it fills with locals performing tai chi or reflecting in the gardens. Seen from above, the park is square on the southern edge, a symbol of earth, and round on the northern edge, a symbol of heaven.
Immediately east of Temple of Heaven Park is Hongqiao Market. This is a well-known place to buy pearls, amber and jewelry and it attracts wholesale buyers from around the world. For the everyday visitors, there are souvenirs and fashion accessories on the bottom two floors.
Hotels in Temple of Heaven and Hongqiao Market offer excellent value for money. There are several budget and mid-range options here, and many tourists make this their base while visiting Beijing. The Beijing Civil Affairs Bureau is also in the area, so a few local four-star hotels host visiting government officials on a regular basis.