It was also the seat of the Ming and Qing dynasty emperors until the formation of a republic in 1911.
Beijing is the political, educational and cultural centre of the country and as such it is rich in historical sites and important government and cultural institutions.
Besides, you can take a high speed train to this capital city from Shanghai (5-6 hrs), Xian (5.5 hrs), Guangzhou (8-9.5 hrs), etc.
After breakfast, start to explore the historical face of Beijing with a brief visit to Tiananmen Square, now the largest city plaza in the world.
This is the location of the old walled city of Beijing and is where you will find most of the sights and also a good deal of sleeping, eating and drinking and entertainment options.