BEIJING – The Cervantes Institute in Beijing launched on Saturday a guidebook on the city for Spanish-speaking travelers, with the latest tourist information available in Spanish for a city which saw thousands of visitors from Latin America and Spain in 2016.
The guide offers a brief list of the main tourist attractions, bars, restaurants and a small dictionary with phrases in Mandarin, apart from offering suggestions for shopping, stay and transport in the city.
“It was absolutely necessary to make a new guidebook for Spanish-speakers who come to Beijing now, especially those who travel independently,” Andrea Mella, one of the editors of the guide told EFE at the institute, which teaches Spanish in Beijing.
Mella said that Beijing changes a lot every year and the last such guidebook, published in 2012, had become very outdated.
The editor said that until recently, Spanish-speaking tourists were afraid to move alone in China – especially due to the language barrier – and used to travel in large guided tours, but the situation had changed in the last few years.
The Ambassador of Spain to China, Alberto Carnero, told EFE that the guidebook would help Spanish-speakers to know Beijing better without getting lost, although he added that figuratively one had to “get lost” in the city to know it.
According to data published by Beijing’s Statistics Bureau, 43,000 Spaniards arrived in Beijing in 2016 and stayed at least one night in the city.
The guidebook can be downloaded for free from the Cervantes Institute Website and will be available in print at the institute and the embassy of Spain – its co-producer along with the institute – and Latin American embassies in Beijing.