Gong Wang Fu
Gong Wang Fu is one of the best preserved imperial mansions in Beijing, and about half of it is open to the public. Of particular interest are the 7-acre (28,000-square-meter) traditional Chinese ornamental gardens, filled with pavilions, ponds and winding paths. A stage in the middle of the garden hosts Beijing opera and orchestral performances throughout the day.
For anyone interested in Qing architecture, a stop at Gong Wang Fu is a necessity. Since it’s a wildly popular attraction for domestic tourists, try to plan your visit first thing in the morning when the ticket office opens so you’ll have a chance to enjoy the gardens in peace before the buses pull up.