Beijing is the capital of the People's Republic of China, the world's third most populous city and the world’s most populous capital city. Located in the north-eastern China, Beijing is governed as a municipality under the direct administration of central government with 16 urban, suburban, and rural districts, covering a total area of 16,410.54 square kilometers.
Surrounded by mountains to its west, north and northeast, Beijing has a higher northwest part and a lower southeast part. Mountain areas occupy about 62 percent of the municipality's total area. Beijing’s climate is characterized by short spring and autumns, hot and rainy summers, and cold and dry winters. Located in Greenwich Mean Time Zone 8(GMT+8), the city is eight hours earlier than London (GMT+0). The whole of China adopts "Beijing time" as its standard time.
Owing to Beijing's status as the political and cultural capital of China, a larger proportion of higher education institutions are concentrated here than in any other city in China. Beijing is home to 93 colleges and universities in total, including several well-regarded universities of international stature, such as Peking University and Tsinghua University. In 2018, there were 156,000 students enrolled as undergraduate students and 117,000 enrolled as graduate students in Beijing.With its history of more than 3,000 years as a city and more than 800 years as a capital, Beijing has more UNESCO World Heritage List sites than any other city in the world. It is a world-famous historical and cultural city that reflects the continuity of Chinese civilization and an international metropolis engaged in making itself a World City with Chinese characteristics. Beijing's unique historical experience, cultural legacy, traditions, architecture, landscapes and fabulous choices of cuisine make it one of the world’s most beautiful and unique places to visit.