Dongzhimen is one of Beijing's major commercial precincts. Originally, Dongzhimen was one of the gates in the old Beijing City fortifications. It has the most beautiful food street, Dongzhimen Inner Street (Gui Jie), which has the best loved specialties to feast on.
Yonghegong, mostly known as the Yonghe Lama Temple, is the most important Buddhist temple and spiritual center in Northern China. It's an active place of worship, with a splendid mix of architectural styles and Chinese dynastic cultures.
- 1 Yonghegong (雍和宮; Yōnghégōng; also known as Lama Temple or Palace of Peace), Yonghegong Dajie, at intersection of Second Ring road (Beside Yonghegong Lama Temple subway station, on lines 2 and 5). Closes at 4PM. The temple was built by Chinese emperors who harbored a deep fascination for the Tibetan (Tantric) version of Buddhism. Over the years, many Tibetan and Mongolian monks lived and taught here, and some are still in residence today. The temple is famous for its 18m (60 ft) statue of Maitreya Buddha carved from a single piece of sandalwood. The temple was saved from destructions during the Cultural Revolution by Zhou Enlai. Visitors are not allowed to take pictures of holy statues inside most of the temples. You can view most of the buildings in an hour or less. ¥25.
- 2 Tongjiao Temple (通教寺; Tōngjiāosì; also known as Temple of Authoritative Teaching), 19 Zhenxian Hutong, Dongzhimen Beixiaojie (东直门北小街针线胡同19号; Dōngzhíménběixiǎojiē Zhēnxiànhútòng) (800m northwest of Dongzhimen Metro Station (lines 2 and 13). Across from W gate of Nanguan Park), ☎ . 8AM-5PM on 1st and 15th of the month. Originally used by eunuchs but now actively used by nuns. Free.
Museums and Galleries
- 3 The Poly Museum (保利博物馆; Bǎolì Bówùguǎn), 14 Dongzhimen South Street (东直门南大街14号; Dōngzhímén Nándàjiē) (Just northeast of Dongsishitiao Metro Station (line 2)), ☎ , fax: . Mo-Sa 9:30AM-4:30PM. Small art museum specialising in bringing Chinese artifacts home to China from abroad. Main exhibitions cover ancient bronze art, ancient stone carvings and Buddha statues. ¥50.
- 4 onemoon (一月当代; yīyuèdāngdài), Inside Ditan Park, Andingmenwai (安定门外地坛公园; Āndìngménwàidìtángōngyuán) (Just inside S gate), ☎ , fax: , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. We-Su: 10AM-6PM. Chinese artist working in a range of media. Free.
- 5 Ditan Park (地坛公园; Dìtán Gōngyuán; also known as Temple of Earth), Andingmenwai Street (安定门外大街; Āndìngménwài Dàjiē) (300m north of Yonghegong Metro Station (lines 2 and 5)), ☎ , e-mail: email@example.com. 6AM-9PM. Park with a lot of cypresses and also a small amusement park area. ¥2.
- 6 Liuyin Park (柳荫公园; Liǔyìngōngyuán), Jiangzhaikou, Andingmenwai (安定门外蒋宅口; ānìngménwàiJiǎngzháikǒu) (Andingmen Metro Station and walk ten minutes; or bus 108 or 104 to Jiangzhaikou Station), ☎ . 6AM-9:30PM. Park showing what rural China looks like. Also contains children's playground and a tea house. ¥1.
- 7 Qingnianhu Park (青年湖公园; Qīngniánhúgōngyuán), Andingmenwai Street (安定门外大街; āndìngménwàidàjiē) (Between Andingmen and Gulou Outer streets just S of Andeli North Street.), ☎ . Park: summer 6AM-10PM, winter 6AM-9PM; Water world: summer 9AM-10PM, winter closed. The park contains basketball, croquet, golf, electric boats, paddleboards and an amusement zone. Waterland contains a large pool with waterslides. Entrance ¥1; Water world adults ¥15, children ¥10.
- 1 Poly Theatre (保利剧院; Bǎolìjùyuàn), 14 Donzhimen South Street (东直门南大街4号; Dōngzhíménnándàjiē) (Subway line 2, Dongsishitiao station, northeast exit. Same building as Poly Museum, above), ☎ , fax: . Large theater holding 1,428 seats, eight balcony boxes and two VIP boxes. Chinese, classical music, opera and ballet performances are staged here by both Chinese and international artist groups. The [Beijing Music Festival http://www.bmf.org.cn] is also held here. Prices range between ¥90-380 and ¥180-1,280.
- 2 Universal Theater (Tiandi Theatre; 天地剧场; Tiāndìjùchǎng), 10 Dongzhimen South Street (东直门南大街10号; Dōngzhíménnándàjiē) (Subway line 2, Dongsishitiao station, northeast exit, 100 metres north of the Poly Theatre), ☎ , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. 7:15PM. Acrobatic show performed by China Acrobatic Troupe. The theater itself is less impressive than the show. ¥180-480.
- 3 Culture Yard (天井越洋 Tiānjǐng yuèyáng), 10 Shique Hutong (石雀胡同10号) (400m E of Beixingqiao station exit C), ☎ . 9AM-7PM Mo-Fr, 10AM-7PM Sa. Explore Chinese culture through various workshops. Culture Yard is a foreign-run cultural centre in the heart of Beijing that offers language courses as well as cultural workshops, which focus on introducing Chinese culture to the international community, and foreign culture to the local community. Culture Yard hosts film, mahjong, tea, calligraphy, discussion seminars, art classes, Mandarin and other language study programs, and wine tastings. ¥1,400 per course.
- 1 Guijie (簋街/鬼街; Guǐjiē) (Beixinqiao subway station on Line 5 is at the west end of the strip). Beijing's most famous food street is probably Guijie (sometimes called Ghost Street), which runs east-west along Dongzhimen Nei Dajie from Jiaodaokou Dong Dajie to Dongzhimen Lijiaomen Bridge on the Second Ring Road, Dongcheng District. Red lanterns, traditional courtyards, hundreds of restaurants along the street. Eating on Ghost Street is about more than food and drink, it's a way of life for many Beijingers. Take your pick of restaurants, there are all kinds here.
- 2 Huajiayiyuan (花家怡园; Huājiāyíyuán), Dongzhimennei Street 235 (东直门内大街235号; Dōngzhíménnèi Dàjiē) (On the north side of the street, nearer western end), ☎ . One of the largest tourist traps. Tasteless food in lovely plates though. Housed in a series of interconnected courtyards. Not as much for people who like Chinese food; rather those who like taking pictures of food. Try places where you see locals waiting on benches to be seated instead.
- 3 Yuxiang Renjia (渝乡人家), Hepingli Dongjie (和平里东街) (One (long) block E of E entrance to Ditan Park (on the next major road). Bus 117 or 123 from Dongzhimen.), ☎ . Delicious Sichuan food. If you want to try Sichuan but are a little afraid of the spiciness, this place is a good choice: It's still spicy, but not as mouth-numbing as some other places. Reasonable prices, and a faux rural-village decor. There are a dozen locations around town.
- 4 Jardin de Jade (苏浙汇), Huijia Center, 6 Jiqingli, Chaowai Street 朝外大街吉庆里6号佳汇中心B座苏浙汇, ☎ . Daily 11am - 10pm. A great restaurant for Cantonese and Shanghainese food. 120-200 pp.
For vegetarians, Beijing's first pure vegetarian buffet restaurant is in the Confucius Temple on Guozijian street, west of the famous Lama Temple (see listing above under "Temples"). No English menu so far, but you can just ask for the buffet, which contains a large variety of delicious vegetarian dishes, as well as a vegetarian hotpot, and a large selection of dessert.
- 5 Dongsi Shitiao branch, Dongsi Shitiao 22A, Bldg. 1-2 of the Nanxin Cang International Tower (东四十条甲22号南新仓国际大厦1-2楼) (Just southwest of Dongsishitiao subway station on Line 2, entrance is at the back (south) of the building), ☎ . This is the newer and more impressive of Dadong's branches.
- 1 Star Live (星光现场; Xīngguāngxiànchǎng), 79 Hepingli Xijie (和平里西街79号; Hépínglǐxījiē) (At NW corner of Andingmen E Binhe Rd intersection just north of 2nd Ring Road), ☎ , e-mail: email@example.com. 9AM-7PM. Medium sized live rock music venue specialising in death metal. Staging both Chinese and international bands.
- Tango (糖果; Tángguǒ), 79 Hepingli Xijie (和平里西街79号; Hépínglǐxījiē) (In same building as Star Live), ☎ . 24 hours. Big club with a vast dance floor, a chillout lounge and KTV. Features big-name DJs.
- Tantra, 79 Hepingli Xijie (和平里西街79号; Hépínglǐxījiē) (In same building as Star Live and Tango), ☎ , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. 8PM-late. Buddha temple themed cocktail lounge with English speaking crew and house music. Beer from ¥35.
- 2 Paddy O'Shea's (爱尔兰酒吧), 28 Dongzhimenwai Dajie 东直门外大街28号 (400m east of Exit C, Dongshimen Station, opposite Australian embassy), ☎ . Daily 10am-late. Beijing's original Irish Sports Pub with daily events 50-80 pp.
- 3 The Distillery by Capital Spirits (首都酒坊), 23 Xinsi Huntong 辛寺胡同23号, ☎ . 8pm-late. Capital Spirits claims to be the world’s first bar dedicated to baijiu and craft liquor. The serve baijiu, craft Chinese beers, lesser-known fine spirits from around the world, and specialty baijiu cocktails. 40-90 pp.
- 1 Dongzhimen Golden Pineapple Youth Hostel (北京金菠萝国际青年酒店; Běijīng Jīnbōluó Guójìqīngniánjiǔdiàn), 18 Xinzhong Street (新中街18号; Xīnzhōngjiē) (700m southeast of Dongzhimen Metro Station (line 2)), ☎ . Cheapest doubles are very small and bath and toilet is separated from the rest of the room only by a glass wall. Internet, snack shop, safety box, laundry room, guest kitchen and car and bike rental available. Restaurant and bar. Listed/discounted rates for doubles from ¥230/¥180, disounted rates for dorms from ¥34.
- 2 Hepingli Hotel (北京和平里宾馆; Běijīnghépínglǐbīnguǎn), Xinghua Road, Hepingli (和平里兴化路; Hépínglǐ Xīnghuàlù) (500m northwest of Hepinglibeijie Metro Station (line 5)), ☎ , fax: , e-mail: email@example.com. Three star hotel. The cheapest rooms are quite small. Rooms with free internet. Business center, ticket office, fitness and sauna available. Chinese restaurant. This hotel should not be confused with the more up-scale Beijing Hepingli Hotel. Listed rates for doubles in old building ¥268, discounted from ¥172; breakfast ¥28; rooms in new building somewhat more expensive.
- 3 P.LOFT Youth Hostel (北京炮局工厂青年旅舍; Běijīng Pàojúgōngchǎng Qīngniánlǚ shè) (500m southeast of Yonghegong Metro Station (lines 2 and 5)), ☎ , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Located close to Yonghegong Lama Temple and Guijie Food Street. Internet, ticket office, laudry, table tennis, billard, basketball and bike rental available. Restaurant and bar. Discounted rates for dorms from ¥30, doubles from ¥180.
- 4 Star of City Hotel (北京都市之星酒店; Běijīngdūshìzhīxīngjiǔdiàn), 216 Dongzhimennei Street (东直门内大街216号; Dōngzhíménnèidàjiē) (300m east of Beixinqiao Metro Station (line 5)), ☎ , fax: . Large rooms with free Internet. Ticket office and laundry service available. No restaurant but a tea house. Can be loud, get an interior room. Clean bathroom, but very old beds. More suited to Chinese, though English-speaking staff is available. One stop away from the Lama Temple. Listed rates for doubles without window from ¥268, discounted from ¥198; breakfast ¥15; rooms with window only slightly more expensive.
- 5 Beijing Qianyuan International Business Hotel (北京乾元国际商务酒店; Běijīng gānyuán guójì shāngwù jiǔdiàn), 19 Dongzhimennei Avenue (东直门内大街19号) (At NW corner of Dongzhimen N Alley intersection), ☎ , e-mail: email@example.com. Offers 202 air-conditioned and well-decorated accommodations. Rates start at ¥454.
- 6 Ascott Raffles City Beijing (北京雅诗阁来福士中心服务公寓, Běijīng yǎshīgé lái fúshì zhōngxīn fúwù gōngyù), 1-2 Dongzhimen South Street; 东直门南大街1-2号) (SE Corner of Second Ring Road intersection), ☎ , toll-free: , fax: , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. The residence in Dongzhimen offers apartments, ranging from one to three-bedrooms, with separate living and dining area, a kitchen, Bose DVD Home Entertainment System and Internet access. Daily rates start from ¥1288.