I would only go here if I had a long layover or as a stopover on the way to somewhere else. I found Beijing quite polluted and dreary. The best part about this city is The Great Wall Of China! This destination alone made it worth the 24 hour stopover in Beijing.
I stayed one night at the Novotel in Beijing. It is about a 45 minute taxi ride from the airport. I found it centrally located near Tienanmen Square. They had a fantastic buffet breakfast that was included in my hotel room price. I paid about $70 for the one night.
I chose to pay for a tour guide while in Beijing. I used Catherine Lu Tours. Their tour guide picked me up from the airport, took me to tour The Great Wall, to lunch at a local restaurant, The Forbidden City and then dropped me off at my hotel. This was definitely worth the cost. I paid $230 plus tip. It was an 8 hour tour.
At the Great Wall, I would suggest going early. We arrived around 8:30 and were one of the first people to the wall. as we were leaving about an hour later, there were literally hundreds of school kids heading to the wall.
In the end, i’m glad I went to Beijing to see The Great Wall, but I probably will not go back.