Almost everyone who comes to Beijing visits the Forbidden City, one of China's highlights. Afterward, most people go back to their hotel, or at least to a different part of the city. But if you cross the road to the north, you can visit lovely Jingshan Park (景山公园), in the exact center of Beijing. Not only is the park beautiful, with great views of the city and mountains, but is has some interesting history, as well. This is where Congzhen, the last emperor of the Ming Dynasty, fled after Beijing fell in 1644. Out of options, the emperor hung himself from a tree near the park's entrance.
Leaving Jingshan Park, walk a block to the west and you'll see Beihai Park (北海公园), easily recognizable from its iconic White Tower (白塔) pagoda. This is another beautiful park that sees few visitors, at least when compared with the Forbidden City.
If you're coming to Beijing, Jingshan and Beihai Parks are both worth checking out. Try to visit them on a clear day!
More photos from Jingshan Park
More photos from Beihai Park