Hi, I'm a native chinese boy. In my opionion, the Tian'anmen squre is boring. But it's big, and takes you more than one hour. So I suggest you can go to the forbidden city directly. Because the forbidden city is a too big palace, to fully enjoy the forbidden city, I usally spend more than half a day.
You can live near "Houhai" district, because in the night you can enjoy the Bars there.
And for the Beijing Greatwall, it takes you at least one day if you want a delighted visit. Because it's far from the central city. So you need to spend at least 4 hours on the way.
And also visiting the summer palace will take you one day.
If you do not have enough time, I suggest just fully enjoy some of these sight spots, and skip the others.
Getting a tour guide
Unique Suggestions: If you don't speak chinese, than it is best to just rent the audio tour from the ticket booth, don't try to buy tickets from people standing at the entrance, they are not licensed to do so, and esp if you look foreign, they will over charge you!!
my aunt and uncle were in beijing, i couldn't go with them that day b/c i had classes, but since i had a pretty pleasant experience with the "black guide" (hei dao) or unlicensed guide, we got a good deal for 150 RMB tour for about 2 1/2 hrs and including 2 full price tickets (60 each)
it was worth the money, i had never been to any of the places other than the general area people see when they come in large groups, it's fun to go if you enjoy history (i dislike history with a passion and even i enjoyed it!)
anyway my aunt and uncle were scammed into buying 2 full price tickets, but they were given only the general area pass (30 RMB by itself) and didn't even get the actual ticket, they were let in through the "side door" and the tour guide didn't take them to any of the places that required tickets, so they only saw "famous" trees or stones... anyway
just ask to see everything before you pay!
Fun Alternatives: Buy the ticket at the front desk, rent the audio tour, pay the full price. if you really want a tour guide and you don't speak enough mandarin to get a good price of a unlicensed guide, you probably won't be able to understand their english.
The Chinese Minorities Park is dedicated to the different minorities in China, it's supposed to be a cultural park where you see how (kind of construction/house) and where (geographically) each minority lives.
The Park is situated right next to the Olympic Center, south of the North Fourth Ring Road.
It's very expensive to go there, there are two parks and it's about 45 RMB to visit each one of them.
The first time I passed by, I thought that this park looked like some kind of Disney Park and I just went there out of curiosity and to accompany a friend. I thought that this is the kind of park that Chinese people really like.
Unique Suggestions: This is not the kind of park I like. I just have the impression everything is fake.
But if you go there, it would surely give you an idea of all the minorities' and where they live in China. Houses, nature and famous scenic spots are rebuild here...
This is a 'Eiffel Tower of Beijing' It's a trap to me. This tower is located inside the Beijing's World garden, you can also enjoy the Egyptian Pyramid and all those imitations of world wonders but mmm just a look, nothing much. Other traps are Chinese paintings and Chairman Mao's red-booklet, badges and many more. They told you those booklet are antiques from Mao but hey it's modern printing. Ink paintings are another traps but hey I will keep this one a secret.
World Park----You can go an smaller world!The 'world'is as same as the real world.It's really interesting!