Chongwen, formerly Chongwen District (崇文区 Chóngwén Qū), is an area in Beijing. Its main attraction is the Temple of Heaven.
Chongwen used to be an independent district. It is now part of Dongcheng District, covering the southern third of Dongcheng. Chongwen's population is around 430,000.
Arriving in Beijing Airport you will be far north east of Chongwen. From the airport, take the Airport Express Metro (¥25) and change to Metro Line 2 at Dongzhimen Station (东直门站) for connection to Chongwenmen Station; or take a taxi (around ¥75) or airport bus (around ¥16).
Arriving in Beijing Station you will be just north of Chongwen.
The south eastern part of metro line two borders the district with Chongwenmen Station (崇文门站) and Qianmen Station (前门站) being at the border of the district. The southern part of metro line five runs down the middle of the district from Chongwenmen Station and with two stations within the district, Ciqikou Station (磁器口站) and Tiantan East Gate Station (天坛东门站). From Tiananmen the district is just south east.
- 1 Temple of Heaven (天坛 Tiāntán) (Far south east of Qianmen and the Tiananmen Square). Inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List. Not only a beautiful sight, but also surrounded by a vast public park popular with local residents practicing tai chi, dancing, and so on in the mornings and on weekends. Home to many ancient trees, this is also the greenest place in Beijing. Just a short stroll away from the historical sights will bring you to peaceful woods and, amazingly, solitude (especially toward the West Gate). The temple itself was the site where the emperor prayed every year for good harvests and fair weather. There are few good views of the temple from outside the inner compound wall, which costs extra to enter. The most convenient way for getting there is taking the Subway Line 5 to the Tiantandongmen Station (this is Tiantan's East Gate). It also can be reached by buses 2, 7, 17, 20, 110, 120, 803, 814, 826 to the West Gate (天坛西门 Tiāntán Xīmén); or buses 35 and 106 to the North Gate (天坛北门 Tiāntán Běimén). Walking around this park will take some time. For entry to the park and historical sights (like the temple): ¥35 (¥30 in winter half year); park only: ¥15 (¥10 in winter half year).
- 2 Longtan Park (龙潭公园 Lóngtángōngyuán), Longtan Road 龙潭路 (Subway 5 to Tiantandongmen, then walk 300mm south to Long Tan Lu, then walk 500 m east), ☏ , . 06:00-20:30. Park with lake, boats for hire, teahouses and a restaurant, children's playground, pavilions, a bird market and a lot of dragons. There is also a climbing wall and a roller skating area in the park. ¥2.
- 3 Ming Dynasty City Wall Site Park (明城墙遗址公园 Míng Chéngqiáng Yízhǐ Gōngyuán) (Chongwenmen Metro Station). Daily 24 hours. Beijing's city wall was built around 1435. It stretched for 23.5 km with one part running where Metro Line Two is now (inner city wall) and one part running where the southern part of Ring Road Two is now. Since 1949 (and especially around 1965), most was torn down to make room for Ring Road Two, Metro Line Two and Tiananmen. Now only 1.5 km remains behind Beijing Station. It has been restored and surrounded by a small park. The wall also houses a cafe and a gallery. Park is free; ¥10 for the tower.
- 4 Beijing Amusement Park (北京游乐园; Běijīng Yóulèyuán), 1 Zuo'anmennei Street (左安门内大街1号; Zuǒānménnèidàjiē) (10min walk north from Fangzhuang subway stop, line 14), ☏ . Summer: 08:30-17:30. Beijing's first amusement park. Quite large with many rides. Most rides are ok. The location in and around a lake is fine, but the landscaping is not very inspired and the atmosphere is a bit boring, especially on days with few visitors.
Temples and shrines
- Shrine of Yuan Chonghuan (袁崇焕祠和墓; Yuánchónghuàn Cíhémù), 52 Donghuashixie Road (东花寺斜街52号; Dōnghuāsìxiéjiē) (Metro station Ciqikou (磁器口) and walk east, or take bus 23, 57 or 715 from east of the station and get off at the third stop at Guangqumennei Station (广渠门内; Guǎngqúménnèi)), ☏ . Yuan Chonghuan (1584-1630) was a famous hero and prominent marshal of the Ming Dynasty. ¥5.
- Fire God Temple (火神庙; Huǒshénmiào), Xihuashi Dajie (西花市大街; Xīhuāshìdàjiē). Renovated temple.
Museums and exhibitions
- 5 Beijing Museum of Natural History (自然博物馆; Zìránbówùguǎn), 126 Tianqiao South Street (天桥南大街126号; Tiānqiáonándàjiē) (Near the west gate of Tiantan), ☏ . Tu-Su 09:00-17:00. Large museum with a lot of information on nature, but some of the exhibitions are a bit old fashioned. Exhibitions cover paleontology, zoology, animal behavior, botany, the original of human beings, dinosaurs, aquarium, the human body, cells, skeletons and an interactive park. ¥30; students ¥15.
- 6 Beijing Planning Exhibition Hall (北京规划展馆; Běijīngguīhuàguīhuàguǎn), 20 Qianmen Dongdajie (前门东大街20号; Qiánméndōngdàjiē), ☏ . Tu-Su 09:00-17:00. Museum with a large model of the city, historical pictures from the city and also other exhibitions with relation to the layout and structure of Beijing.
- Red Gate Gallery (红门画廊; Hóngménhuàláng), Levels 1 & 4, Dongbianmen Watchtower (崇文门东大街东便门角楼), ☏ . 10:00-17:00. Red Gate was founded in 1991 by Australian Brian Wallace. The gallery exhibits work by contemporary Chinese artists reflecting China's changing society in relation to daily life, gender, population, and the environment. The media are traditional Chinese painting, collage, lithographs and oil painting.
- 1 Chongwen's hutongs (East of Qianmen Dajie). Take a walk in the rapidly disappearing small streets of the Chongwen hutongs. In March 2009) is that the area between Qianmen Dajie (前门大街) and the newly established Qianmen East Street (前门东路) was not accessible due to the ungoing renovation, which can be expected to transform the area to a touristy and commercial area like the area west of Qianmen Dajie in neighbouring Xuanwu District. Furthermore, the area further east is partly deserted due to ongoing renovation, which here seems to leave things more or less as they were, a quiet primarily residential neighbourhood with few shops and restaurants. For a less disturbed area, you might want to check out north and north east of Tiantan, which is mixed hutongs and lower apartment buildings, and with a nice laid back feel and many cheap shops and restaurants.
- 2 Chongwen south of Ring Road Two, Taoyang Road (桃杨路; Táoyánglù) and the streets just south of this (leave Tiantan through the South Gate, walk south past Ring Road Two and continue a few hundred meters, take the first right). Explore the part of Chongwen stretching down beneath Ring Road Two. Here is an area, which seems to have been forgotten by the city planners. Hutongs and small shops, restaurants and businesses are thriving here seemingly undisturbed by the rapid development elsewhere in Beijing. It is a nice place for a walk into the past of Beijing with almost no traffic noise but a lot of local life in the streets.
- 3 Red Theater (Chongwen Workers' Palace 崇文工人文化宫; Chóngwéngōngrénwénhuàgōng), 44 Xingfu Dajie (幸福大街44号; Xìngfúdàjiē), ☏ . Theater specialised in kung fu plays. Also art and culture exhibitions as well as a cinema in the same building.
- Party Life, 3 Chongwenmenwai Street (崇文门外大街3号; Chóngwénménwàidàjiē) (In New World Shopping Center), ☏ . 24 hours. Karaoke.
- 1 Hong Qiao (Pearl) Market (红桥市场 Hóngqiáo Shìchǎng). Not far from the Temple of Heaven. Worth visiting for the state-run silk market but more especially for the pearl market in the building opposite. The top two floors of this market are filled with jewelry, and this may be the best place in China to buy pearls, coral, turquoise, amber and other semi-precious stones. The top floor features high-end jewelry stores, but the floor below has small merchant stalls still selling good quality pearls and other beads. Lower floors have the usual purses, leather goods, clothing, handcrafts like chess sets or chopsticks, and electronics. The presence of a large number of stalls keeps the prices fairly keen, but shop around, keep a smile on your face and bargain hard. On weekdays, when customer traffic is low, be prepared to be yelled at, have a range of products shoved into your hands and face and be physically grabbed and pushed. Anything to get you to buy their merchandise
- Hongqiao Wet Food Wholesale Market (红桥水产批发市场; Hóngqiáoshuǐchǎnpīfāshìchǎng), Tiantan East Street (天坛东路; Tiāntándōnglù), ☏ . 06:30-18:30. Raw food wholesale market, specialising in sea food but also with other goods.
- Chongwenmen Food Market (崇文门菜市场; Chóngwénméncàishìchǎng), 1 Chongwenmen Street (崇文门外大街1号; Chóngwénménwàidàjiē) (Just south of Chongwenmen Metro Station), ☏ . 07:30-20:30. Traditional indoor food market with lots of small stalls with all kind of fresh food ingredients. This is the oldest remaining traditional food market in Beijing and worth a visit, also if you are not buying anything. Cheap.
- Ciqikou Dajie Shopping Street.
- 2 New World Shopping Centre (新世界中心; Xīnshìjièzhōngxīn), 3 Chongwenmenwai Street (崇文门外大街3号; Chóngwénménwàidàjiē), ☏ . Five storied shopping mall.
- 3 Soshow, Chongwenmenwai Street (崇文门外大街; Chóngwénménwàidàjiē) (just south of Chongwenmen Metro Station), ☏ . Su-Th 10:00-21:00; F Sa 10:00-21:30. Entertainment shopping center for the young, rich and modern Beijingers.
- Qianmen Carpet Co. (前门地毯公司; Qiánméndìtǎngōngsī), Xingfu Street (幸福街59号; 幸福街), ☏ . 09:30-17:30. Claims to be the first established antique carpet dealer in China. Sells antique carpets as well as reproductions.
- The small streets north of Hong Qiao Market. In these streets there are a number of small and inexpensive restaurants. From ¥5.
- Old Beijing Noodle King, 29 Chongwenmen Wai Dajie (崇文门外大街29号; Chóngwénménwàidàjiē) (between metro line 5 stations Chongwen Gate and Ciqikou), ☏ (but reservations are not possible). Specialised in hand made noodles, but also other courses available. Bustling and authentic atmosphere. Cheap.
- Hengxingde Dining-hall (恒兴德餐厅; Héngxīngdécāntīng), 4-2 Qianmen East Street (前门东大街4-2; Qiánméndōngdàjiē), ☏ . 10:00-23:00. Sichuan Cuisine. Expect ¥25-50 each person.
- Beijing Gongdelin Vegetarian Restaurant (北京功德林素菜饭庄; Běijīnggōngdélínsùcàifànzhuāng), 158 Qianmen Nan Dajie (前门南大街158号; Qiánménnándàjiē), ☏ . Established in 1922. Traditional Buddhist vegetarian restaurant specialised in courses imitating meet but based on toufu, mushrooms etc. Expect ¥40-60 each person.
- Yunteng Restaurant (云腾宾馆; Yúnténgbīnguǎn), 7 Dong Huashi Bei Li Dong Qu (东花市北里东区7号; dōnghuāshìběilǐdōngqū, ☏ . Yunnan cuisine, specialising in mushroom dishes. Located in the Yunnan provincial office building, and the food is as expected very Yunnan. The restaurant tries to look like a Yunnan rain forest, but does not really succeed, and the service level is not impressive, but the food is excellent. Expect ¥50-75 each person, more if you want some of the fancier mushrooms.
- Ye Shan Jun Wild Fungus House (野山菌蘑菇宴; Yěshānjùnmóguyàn), 2A Qianmen Dongdajie (前门东大街2A号; Qiánméndōngdàjiē), ☏ . 10:30-22:30. Hot pot specialising in mushrooms. Expect ¥50-100 each person.
- Mala Youhuo (;), 40 Chong Wen Men Wai Dajie (; ), ☏ . Sichuan cuisine. Very popular restaurant.
- Bianyifang (便宜坊 Biànyìfăng). The oldest roast duck restaurant in Beijing with a history dating back to 1416. Many branches throughout the city including three in Chongwen.
- Chongwenmen Wai Dajie branch, 2A Chongwenmen Wai Dajie, Chongwen District (崇文门外大街甲2号). The flagship branch of the chain.
- Xingfu Dajie branch, 36 Xingfu Dajie, Chongwen District (崇文区幸福大街36号), ☏ .
- Tiantan branch, 73 Tiantan Dong Lu, Chongwen District (崇文区天坛东路73号).
- Daijiacun Restaurant, Tiyuguan Road (体育馆路13号; Tǐyùguǎnlù), ☏ . 09:30-14:00; 16:30-21:00. Dai Minority cuisine. The restaurant is decorated in classical Dai style. Dai traditional dancing and singing now and then.
- Yushan Restaurant (御膳饭店; Yùshànfàndiàn), 87 Tiantan Road (天坛路87号; Tiāntánlù), ☏ . 10:00-20:30. Imperial cuisine.
- 1 [formerly dead link] Capital M, 3/F, 2 Qianmen Pedestrian St (前门步行街2号3层; Qiánménbùxíngjiē) (N end of Qianmen Pedestrian St, across from Zhengyang gate), ☏ . Capital M is a modern Australian/European style restaurant. It provides cuisine and ambiance of a high standard. It overlooks part of Tiananmen Square and several colourful Chinese buildings which are illuminated at night. By Australian standards it provides excellent value.
- Maxim's de Paris, 2 Chongwenmen Xidajie (崇文门西大街2号; Chóngwénménxīdàjiē), ☏ . 11:00-14:00, 17:00-22:00. Traditional French cuisine and one of the first foreign restaurants to open in Beijing. Expect at least ¥100 each person.
In Chongwen you can drink at the restaurants or on hotel bars. If you want something else, go to another district!
- Starbucks (星巴克咖啡; Xīngbākèkāfēi), 3 Chongwenmenwai Street (崇文门外大街3号; Chóngwénménwàidàjiē) (In New World Shopping Centre).
- Manabe (真锅; Zhēnguō), 3 Chongwenmenwai Street (崇文门外大街3号; Chóngwénménwàidàjiē) (In New World Shopping Centre).
- Monet Cafe (Just outside Tiantandong Metro Station (exit B), opposite Tiantan East Gate).
- Leymo Coffee (In Hong Qiao Market).
- Ziguang Hotel (紫光宾馆; Zǐguāngbīnguǎn), 111 Congdian West Street (葱店西街111号; Cōngdiànxījiē). Located in a small street in area with hutongs and narrow streets. Quite small rooms. Listed rates for doubles from ¥288, discounted from ¥100.
- Guoren Hotel (国人宾馆; Guórénbīnguǎn), 2A Qianmen Avenue (前门大街2A号; Qiánméndàjiē) (At the south east corner of Tiananmen), ☏ . Often full. Rooms with cable TV, IDD telephone. Aircon and fridge. There is also a coffee shop and business center. Listed rates for doubles from ¥218.
- [dead link] Jinjiang Inn (锦江之星; Jǐnjiāngzhīxīng), 224 Xidamochang Street (西打磨厂街224号; Xīdǎmóchǎngjiē) (Very close to Qianmen), ☏ . Large chain of budget hotels with two branches in Chongwen. Listed rates for doubles from ¥249.
- [dead link] Jinjiang Inn (锦江之星; Jǐnjiāngzhīxīng), 1 Fahua South Street (法华南里1号; Fǎhuánánlǐ). Large chain of budget hotels with two branches in Chongwen. Listed rates for doubles from ¥249.
- [dead link] GOTO Modern Hotel (贵通现代酒店; Guìtōngxiàndàijiǔdiàn), 1 Xibanbi Street (西半壁街1号; Xībànbìjiē) (Just south of Qianmen Pedestrian Street (across the large street)), ☏ . Listed rates for doubles from ¥260.
- Beijing Qianlong Hotel (北京乾隆宾馆; Běijīngqiánlóngbīnguǎn), Tiantan Lu (天坛路85号; Tiāntánlù) (Just north of Tiantan), ☏ . Free internet available in more expensive rooms. Meeting facilities, gift shop, beauty salon, karaoke, massage, spa and laundry service available. Chinese cuisine and room service. Listed rates for doubles from ¥268, discounted rates from ¥228; breakfast ¥10.
- Beijing Sicily Hotel (Xīxīlǐ Jiǔdiàn; 西西里酒店), Zuoanmen Inner Street (Zuǒānmén Nei Dajie; 左安门内大街), ☏ . Close to amusement park and Tiantan. Free internet. Business center, airport shuttle and ticket office available. Listed rates for doubles from ¥278, discounted from ¥198 including breakfast.
- Tiantan Sports Hotel (天坛体育宾馆; Tiāntántǐyùbīnguǎn), 10 Tiyuguan Road (体育馆路10号; Tǐyùguǎnlù), ☏ . Three-star hotel. Internet available against surcharge. Rooms with electronic safe, cable tv, mini bar and coffee facilities. Foreign exchange, ticketing services, beauty salon, chess/card rooms and massage rooms available. Chinese restaurant. Breakfast both Western and Chinese style. Friendly staff. Good locoation for Tiantan and restaurants and not too far away from the city center. Discounted rates for doubles from ¥252; breakfast ¥10.
- Tiantan Wancheng Hotel, 89 Tiantan Lu (天坛路89号; Tiāntánlù) (Just north of Tiantan), ☏ . Free internet in the rooms. Meeting facilities, business center, beauty salon, ticket office and chess/poker room available. Chinese cuisine and coffee shop. Listed rates for doubles from ¥518, discounted from ¥198; breakfast ¥25.
- Communications Hotel (交通饭店; Jiāotōngfàndiàn), 35 Dongsikuaiyu South Road (东四块玉南街35号; Dōngsìkuàiyùnánjiē), ☏ . Three-star hotel. Free internet in the rooms. Meeting facilities, business center, ticket office, laundry service, karaoke and chess/poker room available. Chinese restaurant. Listed rates for doubles from ¥548, discounted from ¥268. Breakfast ¥15.
- Shindom Hotel (欣燕都连锁; Xīnyàndūliánsuǒ), Building 12 Jianhua Roads Of Jianguomenwai Dajie Avenue (崇内大街船板胡同24号), ☏ . Two-star hotel close to Beijing Railway Station. Free internet in the room. Business and meeting facilities available. Chinese restaurant and room service. Double rooms at discounted rates of ¥270 including breakfast.
- [dead link] Days Inn Joiest Beijing, 14 Zhushikou East Street (珠市口东大街14号; Zhūshìkǒudōngdàjiē), ☏ . American-run hotel. Satellite TV and free internet in rooms. Meeting facilities, currency exchange, laundry service available. Chinese and Western restaurants. Small but clean rooms. Location convinient for Tiantan but quite far away from the nearest metro. Disounted rates for doubles of ¥299, breakfast ¥38.
- Sanyuan Jin'an Hotel, 6 Beijing Railway Station East Street (Located in Longtan Park), ☏ . Three star-hotel close to Beijing Railway Station. Internet available against a surcharge. Business facilities, ticket reservation office, sauna, karaoke and beauty salon available. Chinese and western restaurants. Standard doubles at discounted rates of ¥338.
- Huanghe Jingdu Grand Hotel (北京黄河京都大酒店; Běijīnghuánghéjīngdūdàjiǔdiàn), 29 Xizhaosizhong Street (夕照寺中街29号; Xīzhàosìzhōngjiē), ☏ . Three-star hotel. Internet available and partly free. Meeting facilities, business center, beauty salon, ticket office, laundry service, disco, karaoke, chess/poker room, pool/billiards room, massage and sauna available. Chinese restaurant, coffee shop, bar/lounge, tea house and room service. Disounted rates for doubles from ¥340 including breakfast.
- Hong Run Hotel, 28 Baiqiao Street (Báiqiáo Dàjiē; 白桥大街28号), ☏ . This three-star business hotel is close to Beijing Railway Station, East Ring Road Two and Tian Tan. Free internet in the rooms. Standard business facilities available as well as Chinese restaurant, room service and beauty salon. Discounted rate for a standard double room of ¥388. Breakfast ¥25.
- Chongwenmen Hotel (崇文门饭店; Chóngwénménfàndiàn), 2 West Chongwenmen Street (崇文门西大街2号; Chóngwénménxīdàjiē) (Just south of Chongwenmen Metro Station), ☏ . Three-star hotel. Internet available in rooms against a surcharge. Rooms with aircon and frigde. Conference rooms, business center, sauna, billiards hall, bowling alley, beauty salon, karaoke, shopping arcade, gymnasium and a massage center available. Cantonese, Korean and Western restaurants. Convenient location close to metro, shopping and city centre. Clean but small rooms. Friendly staff but not very efficient housekeeping. Breakfast seems to be overpriced. Listed rates for doubles from ¥780, discounted rates from ¥388; breakfast ¥58.
- Judge Home Hotel (北京法官之家酒店; Běijīngfǎguānzhījiājiǔdiàn), 9 Beihuashi Street (北花市大街9号; Běihuāshìdàjiē), ☏ . Meeting facilities, business center, currency exchange, gift shop, beauty salon, ticket office, laundry service, karaoke, chess/poker room, fitness and foot massage available. Chinese restaurant, tea house and room service. Listed rates for doubles from ¥880, discounted rates from ¥388; breakfast ¥30.
- Novotel Beijing Xin Qiao (北京新侨诺富特饭店), 1 Chong Wen Men Xi Da Jie, ☏ .
- Beijing King-Talent Hotel ((北京金台夕照会馆; Běijīngjīntáixīzhàohuìguǎn), 15 Middle Xizhaosi Street (夕照寺中街15号), ☏ . Four-star hotel built around the 500-year-old Xizhao Temple. Free internet. Airport pick-up offered. Business center available. Chinese and vegetarian restaurants as well as teahouse and lobby bar. Listed rates for doubles from ¥980, discounted ¥398; breakfast ¥58.
- Beijing Tailong Plaza Hotel (北京泰龙大酒店; Běijīngtàilóngdàjiǔdiàn), 19 Zhushikou East Street (珠市口东大街19号; Zhūshìkǒudōngdàjiē) (Very close to Qianmen Pedestrian Street), ☏ . Four-star hotel. Free internet in the rooms. Business center, currency exchange, gift shop, ticket office and laundry service available. Western restaurant, coffee shop and room service. Listed rates for doubles from ¥1,080, discounted from ¥398. Breakfast ¥30.
- Pei Xin Hotel Beijing (北京培新宾馆; Běijīngpéixīnbīnguǎn), 5 Peixin Sreet (培新街5号; Péixīnjiē), ☏ . Four-star hotel. Free internet. Meeting facilities, currency exchange, beauty salon, ticket office, sauna and laundry service available. Chinese and western restaurant, bar/lounge. Listed rates for doubles from ¥1,280, discounted from ¥478; breakfast ¥58.
- Tiantan Hotel (天坛饭店; Tiāntánfàndiàn), Tiyuguan West Road (体育馆西路; Tǐyùguǎnxīlù), ☏ . Four-star hotel. Rooms with satellite TV, electronic safe, free internet, mini bar and coffee facilities. Meeting facilities, business center, karaoke, chess/poker room, pool/billiards room, table tennis room and fitness facilities available. Chinese restaurant, coffee shop and bar/lounge. Listed rates for doubles from ¥1,343, discounted from ¥538; breakfast ¥78.