China’s mascot, the adorable panda, is the star of the biggest zoo in the country. The menagerie of other animals—elephants, monkeys, tigers, bears, zebras, exotic birds—are top attractions themselves. There are over 3,500 species of animals at the zoo; you can even pet some of them. Just next door is Beijing’s world-class aquarium, which features dolphins, small sharks, and lots of fish. Travel in traditional Chinese style to the palace on a canopied boat through a scenic canal.
How to get there
By subway: Beijing Zoo. By bus: 105, 109.
7:30am-6pm (zoo); 9am-5:30pm (aquarium)