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Beijing/Xicheng

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National Centre for the Performing Arts.

Xicheng District [dead link] (西城区; Xīchéng Qū) is a district in central Beijing.

Understand[edit]

Xicheng means West City. It is the political centre of Beijing. It houses several political institutions including ministries and residential areas for the top officers of the communist party.

Xicheng is covering the northwestern part of the central city area west of the Forbidden City until just beyond ring road two. You will most likely come here for the Houhai area to join the bar and restaurant cluster by the lake or to explore the remains of the wealthier part of historical Beijing nearby. Or you will come here for shopping in the large shopping area in Xidan. The district also includes Bejiing Zoo, Beihai Park and the impressive National Centre for the Performing Arts.

Xicheng covers an area of 32 square kilometers, bordering Dongcheng to the east, Chaoyang to the north, Haidian to the north and west, and Xuanwu to the south. The area has a population of around 0.7 million.

Xuanwu (宣武区 Xuānwǔ Qū) is a district that has been merged into Xicheng, covering the southern part of Xicheng. It is home to above half a million people. The district is located outside the Imperial Inner City and was predominantly reserved for the lower class. The District has been undergoing rapid changes with many ancient Hutong being wiped away.

Get in[edit]

Map of Beijing/Xicheng

From the airport you can get into the district by the Airport Express Subway to Dongzhimen, and then change to line 2 in either direction.

From Beijing Railway Station you can get into the district by a short subway ride on line 2. From Beijing West Station you take subway 9 to the 1 or 6.

Xicheng is well served by subway lines 1, 2, 4, and 6.

See[edit]

Parks[edit]

  • 1 Beihai Park (北海 Běihǎi) (Take bus 101 103 109 846 to the south gate, or subway 6 to Beihai North station for the north gate.). Nov-Mar 9AM-4PM Apr-Oct 9AM-5PM. Beihai is a former imperial garden centred on a lake with interesting religious and garden architecture. There's a big island and white pagoda which was built in the 17th century. The giant buildings westward outside are PRC's Ministry of Defence and General Staff, which, to be honest, ruin the scene of the west bank. On the north bank, you can visit some small but beautiful gardens. Beihai is a good place to take a glance at Zhongnanhai (中南海 Zhōngnánhǎi), heart of Communist China (see separate listing below). ¥20. Beihai Park on Wikipedia Beihai Park (Q133650) on Wikidata
Entrance to Beijing Zoo
  • 2 Beijing Zoo and Aquarium (北京动物园 Běijīng Dòngwù Yuán) (Beijing Zoo subway station on Line 4; also the terminal station for buses 103, 105, 107 and 111.). Zoo 1 Apr-31 Oct 7:30AM-6PM; Zoo 1 Nov-31 Mar 7:30AM-5PM; Aquarium 1 Apr-31 Oct 9AM-5:30PM; Aquarium 1 Nov-31 Mar 9AM-5PM. (They do have pandas but displays aren't as good as other places in China, such as the Panda Breeding Centre in Chengdu, Sichuan Province). The animals are kept in very small cages in which they pace to and fro in sheer restlessness and desperation. The lion and tiger building is particularly disappointing, housing a collection of large felines in concrete cages without any natural habitation. The pandas are relatively well looked after in comparison, but kept in pretty bleak conditions. Some are concerned with the way animals are treated in the zoo, but the aquarium is one of the biggest in the world, and very impressive. Entrance to the aquarium is not included in the standard Zoo ticket, and costs an extra ¥100. The zoo was built on the sites of some ancient gardens, and has lakes, ponds, pavilions and other beautiful old buildings. The Soviet revival Beijing Exhibition Hall is located nearby and has a Russian restaurant, "Moscow Restaurant". Zoo ¥10-15; Pandas ¥5; Aquarium ¥100. Beijing Zoo on Wikipedia Beijing Zoo (Q220083) on Wikidata
View of the Forbidden City from Jingshan Park
  • 3 Jingshan Park ((景山公园 Jǐngshāngōngyuán), Jingshan Front Street (Across street from N gate of Forbidden City). Jingshan is another former imperial garden with some imperial garden architecture. A popular next stop after leaving the Forbidden City from the north gate, this 23-hectare (57-acre) park is built around Jingshan, the artificial hill created with the soil dug to build the Forbidden City's moat. Literally meaning "Prospect Hill", it is also variously known as Coal Hill or Feng Shui Hill. Those who make the climb from the park entrance to the pagoda on top of the 88-meter (289-foot) peak will be rewarded with a great view over the Forbidden City they just walked through. ¥2. Jingshan Park on Wikipedia Jingshan Park (Q734499) on Wikidata
  • 4 Grand View Garden (大观园; Dàguānyuán), South Caiyuan Street (南菜园街12号; Náncàiyuánjiē) (In the south west corner of Xuanwu District), +86 10 6354 4994. 7:30AM - 5PM. Garden established in the 1980s based on the novel 'The Dream of the Red Mansions'. 125,000 m2 with temples, pavilions and other buildings as well as miniature gardens. Traditional ceremonies performed now and then. The park also has a restaurant. ¥40.
  • 5 Taoranting Park (陶然亭公园 Táorántíng Gōngyuán), 19 Taiping Jie (太平街19号; Tàipíngjiē) (North of the Beijing Southern Railway Station, bus routes: 40, 59, 819, 102, 122, 106, 20), +86 10 6353 2385. 6AM - 9:30PM. A former hangout for literati, while most other Beijing parks were for imperial families only. The park has a total area of 240,000 m2 with water area accounting for 69,000 m2. The park is a mixture of ancient construction styles and modern park design. It was built in 1952. Taoran Pavilion (one of the four most important in Beijing) build in 1695 and some tombs are located in the park. The park has a lake with pavilions on the bank. The park also has a Mini Golf Center, a Water Wonder Land as well as Peacock, China Rose, and Deer Gardens. ¥2.

Temples[edit]

White Cloud Temple
  • 6 White Cloud Temple (白云观; Báiyúnguàn), 6 Baiyunguan Street (白云观街6号; Báiyúnguànjiē), +86 10 6346 3531. 8:30AM-4PM. Taoist temple established in 793. Houses the Chinese Taoist Association and a Taoist Health Clinic. ¥10. White Cloud Temple on Wikipedia White Cloud Temple (Q804054) on Wikidata
  • 7 Guanghua Temple (光化寺; Guānghuàsì), 31 Ya'er Hutong (后海鸦儿胡同31号; Hòuhǎiyāérhútòng), +86 10 6403 5032. 1st and 15th day of the lunar month 8AM-5PM. Buddhist temple used to pray for success in business life. Free. Guanghua Temple (Beijing) on Wikipedia Guanghua Temple (Q379381) on Wikidata
  • 8 Guangji Temple (广济寺; Guǎngjìsì; also known as Temple of Great Charity), Fuchengmennei Street (阜成门内大街; Fùchéngménnèidàjiē), +86 10 6616 0907. 8AM-4:30PM but only partly open to the public. Buddhist temple built around 1460. Burned down in 1934 and was rebuilt in 1952 and further renovated in 1972. It is supposed to look as it did originally, but it does not really look old. The temple is functioning as a center for Buddhist thinking and learning and it is also the headquarter of the Chinese Buddhist Association. Free. Guangji Temple on Wikipedia Guangji Temple (Q1536965) on Wikidata
  • 9 [dead link] Lidai Diwang Miao (历代帝王庙; Lìdàidìwángmiào; also known as Temple to Emperors of Past Ages), 131 Fuchengmennei Street (阜成门内大街131号; Fùchéngménnèidàjiē), +86 10 6616 1141. 9AM-4PM. Large temple built in 1530 used to sacrifice to past emperors. Opened to the public in 2004 after a decade of renovation. Here can be seen memorial tablets for a large number of past emperors. ¥20. (Q1823623) on Wikidata
  • Fayuan Temple (法源寺; Fǎyuánsì), Fayuansihou Street (法源寺后街; Fǎyuánsìhòujiē) (Metro line 2, Changchunjie Station, south along Changchun Street and Niu Jie, just west of Niu Jie), +86 10 6353 3966. 8AM-4PM. This Buddhist temple was built in 645 and rebuilt in 1436-1449, which makes it the oldest existing in Beijing. Now, it is the site of the Chinese Buddhist Academy and the exhibition center for Buddhist cultural relics, and is also an important institution training young monks and Buddhism research. The temple covers 6,700 square meters. The main buildings are Gate of Temple, Heavenly King Hall, Main Hall, Hall of Great Compassion, Sutra Hall, and Bell and Drum Towers. ¥5.
  • Baoguo Temple (报国寺; Bàoguósì), Baoguosi Qianjie, Guang'anmennei Dajie (广安门内大街报国寺前街; Guǎngānménnèidàjiēbàoguósìqiánjiē), +86 10 6317 3169. 7AM-4:30PM. Founded in 1103, various uses during the next centuries, almost forgotten after 1949, but now renovated and open to public. There is also an antique market specialised in picture books and calligraphies, including writing tools and paper. Free.

Museums[edit]

Capital Museum
  • 10 Capital Museum (首都博物馆; Shǒudū Bówùguǎn), 16 Fuxingmenwai St (复兴门外大街16号; Fùxīngménwài Dàjiē) (Metro 1: Muxidi), +86 10 63393339. Tu-Su 9AM-4PM. New high profile history and art museum located in an impressive building. Exhibits include the history of Beijing and artifacts from throughout China's history. Free, tickets must be reserved three days in advance on the official website. Capital Museum on Wikipedia Capital Museum (Q1189666) on Wikidata
  • 11 Prince Gong's Mansion and Garden (恭王府花园; Gōngwángfǔ Huāyuán), 14A Liuyin St (柳荫街14号; Liǔyìnjiē, +86 10 6616 814. 9AM-4PM. The mansion displays the life of princes during the Qing dynasty. The garden is packed with Chinese tourists. The mansion stages Peking Opera and magic shows now and then. Entrance ¥20; Performances ¥60. Prince Gong Mansion on Wikipedia Prince Gong Mansion (Q2666344) on Wikidata
  • 12 Soong Ching Ling's Former Residence (宋庆龄故居; Sòngqìnglíng Gùjū), 46 Houhai North Riverside (后海北沿46号; Hòuhǎiběiyàn), +86 10 6404 4205. 9AM-5PM. Museum and garden showing the life of Soong Ching Ling (1893-1981). Soong was a politician in the early days of communist China, vice president 1959–1975. She was married to Sun Yat-sen and also related to Chiang Kai-shek. ¥20. Former Residence of Soong Ching-ling (Beijing) on Wikipedia Former Residence of Soong Ching-ling (Q4165410) on Wikidata
  • 13 Mei Lanfang's Residence (梅兰芳纪念馆; Méilánfāng Jìniànguǎn), 9 Huguosi Rd (护国寺路9号; Hùguósìlù), +86 10 6618 0351, e-mail: . Apr-Nov 9AM-4PM. Museum showing the life of Mei Lanfang (1894-1961). Mei was the greatest star of Peking Opera, acting for more than 50 years, primarily playing female roles. Furniture as well as costumes and other opera stuff are exhibited here. ¥10.
  • 14 Guo Moruo's Former Residence (郭沫若故居; Guō Mòruò gùjū), 18 Qianhai W St (前海西街18号; Qiánhǎixījiē), +86 10 6612 5392. Tu-Su 9AM-4:30PM. Museum showing the life of Guo Moruo (1892-1978). Guo was an author, poet, historian and government official. His works seems quite dated now, but his former residence is still worth a visit. ¥20. Guo Moruo Residence on Wikipedia Home of Guomoruo (Q4165193) on Wikidata
  • 15 China Science and Technology Museum (中国科技馆; Zhōngguó Kējì Guǎn), 1 North Third Ring Road Middle Rd (三北环中路1号; Sānběihuánzhōnglù) (Subway 8 to Olympic Green, then walk 1 block east and 1 block north), +86 10 6237 1177 ext 3216. Tu-Su 9AM-5:30PM. Educuational museum with the possibility of experimenting yourself. Hall A has short films, Hall B has exhibitions, whereas Hall C is an experimental area primarily for children. Hall A and B: ¥30 for each or ¥50 combined, children free; Hall C: ¥10, ¥20 children.
  • Xu Beihong Museum (徐悲鸿纪念馆; Xúbēihóng Jìniànguǎn), 53 Xinjiekou Beidajie (新街口北大街53号; Xīnjiēkǒuběidàjiē) (500 m S of Jishuitan Metro Station (Line 2)), +86 10 6225 2042, fax: +86 10 6225 2187. Tu-Su 9AM-noon, 1PM-5PM. Xu Beihong (1895-1953) was one of the first and most influential modern Chinese painters. He used both Chinese and Western techniques and is most famous for traditional painting of running horses. The museum exhibits a large number of his own works as well as his large collection of other artists' works. ¥5.
  • 16 [dead link] Beijing Lu Xun Museum (北京鲁迅博物馆; Běijīng Lǔxùn Bówùguǎn), 19 Gongmenkou Ertiao, Fuchengmennei (阜成门内宫门口二条19号; Fùchèngménnèi Gōngménkǒuèrtiáo) (500 m NE of Fuchengmen Metro Station (Line 2)), +86 10 6616 5651, e-mail: . 9AM-4PM. Lu Xun (1881-1936) was one of the first and most influential modern Chinese writers. He is most famous for "The True Story of Ah Q". The museum consist of Lu Xun's former residence as well as an exhibition hall with exhibits of Lu Xun's personal effects, originals and copies of his works and also exhibits not dirictly related to Lu Xun. ¥5. Beijing Lu Xun Museum on Wikipedia Beijing Lu Xun Museum (Q4881160) on Wikidata
  • 17 [dead link] Museum of Ancient Architecture (古代建筑博物馆; Gǔdàijiànzhùbówùguǎn), 21 Dongjing Road (东经路21号; Dōngjīnglù), +86 10 6301 7620. 9AM - 4PM. Museum with a model of Beijing ancient city as well as exhibits of Beijing's ancient architecture. ¥15.
  • Song Tang Zhai Museum of Traditional Chinese Folk Carving (松堂斋民间雕刻博物馆; Sōngtángzhāimínjiāndiāokèbówùguǎn), 14 Liulichang East Street (琉离厂东街14号; Liúlíchǎngdōngjiē) (In the eastern end of the Liulichang Shopping Street), +86 10 8316 4662. 9AM - 6PM. This is a small privately owned museum showing carvings in doors, furniture, other wood and stone. Free.
  • Museum of Ancient Pottery Civilization (古陶文明博物馆; Gǔtáowénmíngbówùguǎn), 12 South Caiyuan West Street (南菜园西街12号; Náncàiyuánxījiē), +86 10 6353 8884. Tu-Su 10AM - 5PM. Shows the Chinese history of pottery from Neolithic Age to now. ¥20.

Other[edit]

Deshengmen
  • 18 Deshengmen (德胜门箭楼; Déshèngménjiànlóu), North Ring Rd Two (北二环路; Běièrhuánlù) (300m east of Jishuitan subway stop (line 2) on north side of ring road), +86 10 6201 8073. Tu-Su 9AM-4PM. City gate built in 1437 as part of the city wall, which was torn down in 1969. Now only an archery tower and a barbican is left. The gate houses an ancient coin exhibition and a snack bar. ¥10. Deshengmen on Wikipedia Deshengmen (Q1200624) on Wikidata
  • Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception (South Cathedral) (Take subway Line 2 or Line 4 to Xuanwumen), e-mail: . Established by Jesuit missionaries in 1605, it is the oldest Roman Catholic church in Beijing. Sunday masses in Chinese are held early in the morning (6:00, 7:00, and 8:30), offering the experience to hear the local faithful chanting Christian prayers in Chinese, as they have been for centuries. English masses (10:30 and 15:00) and an Italian mass (12:30) are popular with foreigners.
  • 19 Niu Street Mosque (牛街礼拜寺; Niújiēlǐbàisì), 88 Niu Street (牛街88号; Niújiē), +86 10 6353 2564. Famous Mosque build in 996 and the oldest and largest of the mosques in Beijing. Structured as a traditional Chinese palace, but also uses typical Arabic decoration with a lot of red colour. A must see if staying for more than a few days. The Muslim presence in the area is obvious with many Muslim shops and Arabic signs around. ¥10.
  • 20 Great Hall of the People (On W side of Tian'anmen Square opposite National Museum). 08:15-15:00 (spring); 07:30-16:00 (summer); 08:30-15:00 (autumn); 09:00-14:00 (winter), longer on public holidays. Seat of China's parliament and venue for important political meetings. While the hall is normally used for meetings for the National People's Congress, there are occasionally classical-music concerts held there. ¥30 (adult); ¥15 (student). Great Hall of the People on Wikipedia Great Hall of the People (Q72891) on Wikidata
  • 21 Zhongnanhai (中南海), 174 West Chang'an Avenue (Walk west from Tiananmen gate). This former imperial garden centered on two lakes is now the headquarters of China's government and ruling party. The compound is no longer open to the public, but you can take a photo in front of the distinctive south gate and revolutionary slogans fronting West Chang'an Avenue. You can also see the back of the compound from the south side of Beihai Park, from which it is separated by a bridge. Zhongnanhai on Wikipedia Zhongnanhai (Q197889) on Wikidata

Do[edit]

Theaters[edit]

Xicheng District is home to some of the best Beijing Opera theaters, especially the first three mentioned below.

  • 1 Huguang Huiguan Theatre (湖广会馆; Húguǎnghuìguǎn), 3 Hufang Street (虎坊路3号; Hǔfānglù) (Metro 7: Hufangqiao), +86 10 6351 8284. Daily 7:30-8:40PM; museum 9AM - 7:30PM. Theatre primarily performing excerpts of traditional Chinese opera. The theatre has been working since the 1830s. The theatre building from 1830 is the oldest and best preserved indoor theatre in Beijing. It is in area with other traditional buildings. Next to the theatre is an opera museum. ¥150-580; museum ¥10.
  • Lao She Teahouse. See listing in Drink Section.
  • [dead link] Li Yuan Theatre (梨园剧场; Líyuánjùchǎng), 175 Yong'anlu (永安路175号; Yǒng'ānlù), +86 10 5166 4621. 7:30 - 8:45PM. Plays from the Beijing Opera repertoire. Also exhibitions of opera costumes and other. Tea and snacks available. ¥280-580.
  • 2 [dead link] Tianqiao Acrobatic Theater (天桥杂技剧场; Tiānqiáozájìjùchǎng), 95 Tianqiao Market Street, east end of Beiwei Road (北纬路东口天桥市场街95号; Běiwěilùdōngkǒutiānqiáoshìchǎngjiē), +86 10 6303 7449. 5:30-6:30PM and 7:15-8:40PM. ¥180-380.
  • Tianqiao Theatre (天桥剧场; Tiānqiáojùchǎng), Beiwei Road (北纬路30号; Běiwěilù), +86 10 8315 6300, +86 10 5166 1145. From 7:30PM. Theater with a seating capacity of 1,200 with performance of local folk music and dance, talk shows, and international ballet and musicals. ¥100-600.
  • Tsinghua Chi (清华池 Qīnghuá Chí) (Bus 23, 343, 14, 66, 70, 603, 7, 15, 102, 105 to Hu Fang Lu Zhan), +86 10 63546663. A spa experience from the famous Qinghua Chi, established in 1905. Great service. Affordable TCM treatments. Try the Ba Guan (Cupping) or acupuncture or opt for simpler manicure and pedicure and Massage.
  • 3 Zhengyici Theatre.
  • 4 Beijing Exhibition Theater (北京展览馆剧场; Běijīng Zhǎnlǎnguǎn Jùchǎng), 135 Xizhimenwai St (西直门外大街135号; Xīzhíménwàidàjiē) (Buses 105, 111, 15, 334, 347), +86 10 6835 4455. Theater from 1954 with a theater hall with 1,000 seats. The theater is part of a multifunctional building with exhibition, hotel, restaurant and entertainment. Wide range of shows including Chinese plays, Western and Chinese operas and ballets, musicals and rock concerts. ¥80-1,280.
  • [dead link] Beijing Youth Palace (北京青年宫; Běijīng Qīngniángōng), 68 Xizhimen Nanxiao St (西直门南小街68号; Xīzhímén Nánxiǎo Jiē), +86 10 6615 2211. Cinemas with Chinese and foreign movies. Also music and dance classes available.
  • Ethnic Cultural Palace Theatre (民族文化宫大剧院; Mínzúwénhuàgōng Dàjùyuàn), 49 Fuxingmennei St (复兴门内大街49号; Fùxīngménnèidàjiē), +86 10 6605 2404. Performances of classical music, ballet, musical, opera, drama plays and movies.
  • 5 People's Theater (人民剧场; Rénmínjùchǎng), 74 Huguosi St (护国寺大街74号; Hùguósìdàjiē), +86 10 6618 1634.
  • 6 PLA Song and Dance Theater (解放军歌舞剧院; Jiěfàng Jūngēwǔ Jùyuàn), 60 Deshengmennei St (德胜门内大街60号; Déshèngménnèi Dàjiē).

Concert Halls[edit]

  • 7 Beijing Concert Hall (北京音乐厅; Běijīng Yīnyuètīng), 1 Beixinhua St (北新华街1号; Běixīnhuá Jiē), +86 10 6605 7006. Prices range between ¥30-380 and ¥100-698. Beijing Concert Hall on Wikipedia Beijing Concert Hall (Q4881118) on Wikidata
  • 8 Central Conservatory of Music (中央音乐学院; Zhōngyāng Yīnyuèxuéyuàn), 43 Baojia St (鲍家街43号; Bàojiā Jiē), +86 10 6642 5702. The main purpose of the conservatory is to educate musicians. Concerts now and then. Central Conservatory of Music on Wikipedia Central Conservatory of Music (Q2994505) on Wikidata
National Centre for the Performing Arts

Other[edit]

  • 11 Houhai (后海; Hòuhǎi). Take a walk in the Houhai area. Houhai on Wikipedia Houhai (Q1804621) on Wikidata
  • Walk the hutongs of Xuanwu District (southern Xicheng).
  • 12 [dead link] Beijing Planetarium (北京天文馆新馆; Běijīngtiānwénguǎnxīnguǎn), 138 Xizhimenwai St (西直门外大街138号; Xīzhíménwàidàjiē), +86 10 6835 2453. W-F 10AM-4PM; Sa Su 9AM-4:30PM; M closed. Here you can watch movement of stars and planets, creation of the solar system, evolution of life, space shuttle simulation and the history of the sun. ¥30-45. Beijing Planetarium on Wikipedia Beijing Planetarium (Q4348118) on Wikidata
  • Philippe Active Space Station (菲利普宇宙空间站; Fēilìpǔyǔzhòukōngjiānzhàn), 43 Pinganli Xidajie (平安里西大街43号; Píngānlǐxīdàjiē) (Inside Guanyuan Park), +86 10 6611 9421. Tu-Su 9AM-5:30PM. Play center for children including ball pool, maze and arts and crafts area. ¥20; children ¥30.

Buy[edit]

Xidan[edit]

Xidan shopping area

This area has several large malls as well as streets lined with shops. Get off at Xidan subway. You can find all kind of goods here, but clothing shops are dominating. In many of the places you will have to bargaining, and will also be able to find some quite cheap stuff. It is more popular with locals than Wangfujing as it is cheaper and less focused on international brands. Very busy on weekends.

  • 77th Street Plaza.
  • Beijing Capital Times Square (首都时代广场; Shǒu​dū​ Shí​dài​ Guǎng​chǎng​), 88 Xi Chang'an St (西长安街88号; Xī​cháng​'ān​jiē​), +86 10 8391 3311. 9:30AM-9:30PM. Shopping center focusing on international brands.
  • 1 Grand Pacific (君太百货; Jūn​tài​bǎi​huò​), 133 Xidan North St (西单北大街133号; Xī​dān​běi​dà​jiē​), +86 10 6612 6888, e-mail: . 10AM-10PM. Has a good selection of less expensive brands and attracts primarily younger shoppers. The shopping mall appears bright and clean and it is usually not too crowded. Here you can find makeup, clothes and sports. Restaurants include Bread Talk, DQ, Pizza Hut and Sizzler.
  • 2 Joy City (大悦城; Dà​yuè​chéng​), 130 Xidan North St (西单北大街130号; Xī​dān​běi​dà​jiē), +86 10 6651 7777. This mall opened in 2008 is the largest in Xidan and you can find almost everything here including an enormous cosmetic shop. The building has an impressive glass facade, and inside the feel is spacious despite the hordes of locals browsing here.
  • Xidan Department Store (西单商场; Xī​dān​ Shāng​chǎng​), 120 Xidan North St (西单北大街120号; Xī​dān​běi​dà​jiē​), +86 10 6605 6531. Government owned mall with a history of more than 70 years. It has been redecorated several times over the years but still appears a bit old fashioned. The prices are good though.
  • Xidan Mingzhu Market.
  • Xidan Shopping Center.
  • Xin Hua Bookstore.
  • Zhong You Department Store (中友百货), 176 Xidan North St. Has a lot of fake brands (mostly clothes). Very affordable if you bargain hard.

Other places[edit]

The district has a number of interesting shopping areas, especially on and just west of Qianmen Dajie. If you are into historical shops and shopping areas, it is worthwhile devoting half a day to shopping here.

  • 3 Qianmen Dajie Pedestrian Street (前门大街). One of Beijing's oldest commercial streets with a 500 year old history. Now, this street is under reconstruction to bring it back as it was in the 1920s. Furthermore, trolley cars will re-appear in the street, after being absent for 40 years. The status in March 2009 is that the street is open to the public, but only very few shops are established so far.
  • 4 Dashilan (大栅栏) (metro line 2, Qianmen Station, south along Qianmen Dajie, on your right). Dashilan (and surrounding streets) is a shopping area dating back to the Ming dynasty. The name means big fences, which in earlier times were in place in both ends of the street. Everything burned down during the Boxer Rebellion in 1900, but the area has since been reestablished as a shopping area.
  • Daoxiangcun (稻香村; Dàoxiāngcūn), Zhubaoshi Street (珠宝市街; Zhūbǎoshìjiē) (South from Qianmen of Qianmen Dajie, turn right just after Quanjude Roast Duck Restaurant of Dashilan, right of Zhubaoshi Street and it is on your left), +86 10 8404 3305. Famous shop established in 1895. Best known for its wide selection of southern style cakes. More than 20 branches around the city. ¥16-36 for a kilo of cakes.
  • Liubiju ((六必居; Liùbìjū)), Zhubaoshi Street (珠宝市街; Zhūbǎoshìjiē) (South from Qianmen of Qianmen Dajie, turn right just after Quanjude Roast Duck Restaurant of Dashilan, left of Zhubaoshi Street and it is on your right). Famous shop established in 1530. Sells pickled vegetables.
  • Liulichang (琉璃厂; Liúlíchǎng; 'Colored Glaze Factory'). There is no production here any more, but rather antique stores, selling Chinese painting, handicrafts, and used books. The area was popular back to the Tang dynasty, but the small shops were amalgamated into state-operated units during the 1950s. It was redeveloped as a tourist area after 1979, but has failed to regain its former popularity. Nevertheless, it is picturesque and you can still find interesting things here. In the Chinese New Year, there's a 15-day folk fair here. Not far from the Hepingmen Subway Station.
  • [dead link] Beijing Qianxiangyi Silk Store (北京谦祥益丝绸商店; Běijīngqiānxiángyìsīchóushāngdiàn), 50 Dazhalan West Street (大栅栏西街50号; Dàzhàlánxījiē), +86 10 6301 6658. 8:30AM - 8:30PM. Very large silk store established in 1840. Claims to be the biggest silk professional store in China.
  • Tea Street (茶街; Chájiē), Maliandao Chayecheng (马连道茶叶城; Mǎliándàocháyèchéng). 8:30AM - 6PM. The street has 8 wholesale tea markets and more than 600 tea shops. Tea sets also for sale here.
  • Sogo (崇光百货; Chóngguāngbǎihuò), 8 Xuanwumenwai Street (宣武门外大街8号; Xuānwǔménwàidàjiē), +86 10 6310 3388. 9:30AM - 10PM. Shopping mall with Japanese and European shops.
  • Carrefour (家乐福; Jiālèfú), 11 Malian Dao (马连道11号; Mǎliándào), +86 10 6332 2155. 8:30AM - 10:30PM. French supermarket.
  • 5 Xizhimen (西直门 Xīzhímén) (Metro 4: Beijing Zoo). One of the most popular markets for locals is located in Xizhimen, next to the zoo. To get there, in front of the zoo there is a new huge building, which is just another big market, but behind it, there is the wholesale market, with the best prices, and a lot of genuine goods (clothing). This market is much more local than others listed here, and is perhaps not ideal for the less adventurous traveler. There is also a similar market nearby in the pedestrian underpass under the parking lot at the Yushuguan Bridge with good bargaining possibilities. Xizhimen on Wikipedia Xizhimen (Q4567887) on Wikidata
  • Sihuan Mixed Goods Market (四环综合市场; Sìhuánzōnghéshìchǎng), Sihuan Hutong, Deshengmenne St (德胜门内大街四环胡同; Déshèngménnèi Dàjiē Sìhuán Hútòng). 7AM-7PM. Raw food whole sale market.
  • Wukesong Camera Market.
  • Beijing Commodity Market, 259 Fuwai Rd (subway Fuchengmen), +86 10 6832 0761. M-F 7:30AM-5PM, Sa-Su 7:30AM-5:30PM. 40,000 sqr meter large market offering a wide range of products including fashion, gifts, leather goods and toys.
  • Tian Zhao Tian Market. Jewelery market.

Eat[edit]

In the area west of Qianmen Dajie are numerous budget and mid range restaurants. Many of these are primarily catering for tourist implying lower quality than elsewhere but also that many have English menus.

Budget[edit]

Houhai[edit]

  • Jiumen Xiaochi (九门小吃; Jiǔménxiǎochī), 1 Xiaoyou Hutong (孝友胡同1号; Xiàoyǒuhútòng) (Just N of the northernn edge of Houhai and W of Soong Ching Ling's former residence, SE of Jishuitan Metro Station (积水潭, Line 2) or Déshèngmén Bus Station (德胜门, bus 55, 409, 635)), +86 10 6402 5858. 24 hours, some vendors only 10AM-10PM. This traditional place hidden in the hutongs close to Houhai houses ten or so vendors. Before choosing from the many different simple and traditional dishes here, you will have to go to the cashier and add value to the shared charge card. This is a very popular place with locals and can be packed, especially in weekends around lunch and dinner time. A great place to get a feel of old Beijing. Expect ¥10-30 each person.
  • Ri Chang (日昌茶餐厅; Rìchāngchá Cāntīng), 14 Di'anmen W Ave (地安门西大街14号; Dìānménxī Dàjiē) (2km west of Zhangzizhonglu Metro Station (张自忠路, Line 5), buses 13, 42, 701, 823 will take you from the metro station and close to the restaurant, buses 5, 60, 107, 111, 118, 810, 850 will take you to the restaurant from elsewhere), +86 10 6405 8205. 10AM-3AM. Simple Cantonese restaurant with good food but unimpressive service and decoration.
  • 1 Nevertheless Café (Nevertheless咖啡厅), No.37 Beiguanfang Hutong 西城区北官房胡同37号, +86 13671064359. 11:00 - 22:00. A cool bar by the side of Houhai Lake. 50-100pp.

Xuanwu[edit]

  • Crab Apple House.
  • Lanhuahua Restaurant (兰花花美食村(lán huā huā měi shí cūn), Tianqiao Hotel, No.11, Xijing Lu. Serves Shaanxi cuisine. Expect CNY25-50 each person.
  • Mei Wei Zhai.
  • Tulufan Restaurant.

Other[edit]

  • Fengyuan Baozipu (丰源包子铺; Fēng​yuán​ Bāo​zipù​​), Xinjiekou Inner St (西城区新街口外大街; Xīn​jiē​kǒu​wài​dà​jiē​) (100m south of Beijing Normal University), +86 10 6223 1659. 8AM-8PM. Cantonese cuisine. Serves simple dishes like baozi, congee, doufu soup. Very busy at lunch. Expect to pay ¥10-30 each person.
  • Shaguoju (砂锅居; Shāguōjū​), Xisi South St (西四南大街60号; Xīsìnán​ St) (bus 22 or 47 to Gangwashi), +86 10 6602 1126. 11AM-10PM. Manchurian cuisine. This restaurant has been around for centuries, but surprisingly the service is still good and the prices low despite the increasing popularity. Specialties include Boiled Pork Casserole (砂锅白肉; shā​guō​bái​ròu​), which is said to have been served for Emperor Qing in the 18th century. Also the Nine Pig Guts (九转肥肠; jiǔ​zhuàn​féi​cháng) is worth a try. Expect ¥30-50 each person.
  • Koufuju (口福居; Kǒu​fújū), 93 Taipingqiao St (太平桥大街93号; Tài​píng​qiáo​ Dà​jiē​) (across the road from CPPCC), +86 10 6606 2251. 10AM-11PM. Restaurant specialising in hot pot with a large selection of meat to choose from. Hot pot from ¥39.
  • Charme (港丽餐厅; Gǎng​lì​ Cān​tīng​), 1 Dayue Building 6, 131 Xidan North St (西单北大街131号大悦城6楼01号; Xī​dān​běi​dà​jiē​, Dàyuè​chéng​lóu​), +86 10 5971 6022. 11AM-10PM. Cantonese restaurant popular with Hong Kong expats and tourists. Expect around ¥50 each person.
  • Qingzhen Xiaochi (清真小吃; Qīngzhēn Xiǎochī), 68 Mianhua Hutong (棉花胡同68号; Miánhua Hútòng), +86 10 6617 6299. 6AM-9PM. Simple and cheap Beijing cuisine, eg fried noodles. Busy serving elderly locals who appears to come here almost every day. Expect ¥10-30 each person.
  • Xi'an Restaurant (西安饭庄; Xī​'ān​ Fànzhuāng), 20 Xinjiekou South St (新街口南大街20号; Xīnjiēkǒu Nán​dà​jiē​) (south of Xinjiekou and Xizhimennei intersection, east side of street), +86 10 6681 1476. 10:30AM-10PM. Xi'an cuisine. Serves halal dishes. This restaurant has a long history, and is said to have been a favorite of Chairman Mao. Specialties include mutton soup and steamed mutton. Expect around ¥30 each person.
  • Xidan Chiku (西单翅酷; Xī​dān Chìkù), 15 Zhongsheng Hutong (钟声胡同15号; Zhōngshēng Hútòng) (east of Xidan Book Mansion), +86 10 6603 2605. 11AM-10:30PM. Serves Beijing cuisine specialising in chicken wings. Expect ¥30-50 each person.
  • Ma Bashi Restaurant (马八十餐厅; Mǎbā​shí Cāntīng), 37 Xubjiekou East St (新街口东街37号; Xīnjiēkǒu Dōngjiē) (close to Jishuitan Hospital), +86 10 6617 8481. 10AM-10PM. Busy small restaurant specialising in beef noodles and Xinjiang noodles. Expect ¥20-30 each person.
  • Jinfuyuan (金福源桂林米粉; Jīn​fú​yuán​ Guì​lín​mǐ​fěn​), 72 Xinjiekou Dongjie (新街口东街72号; Xīnjiēkǒu dōngdà​jiē​), +86 10 8322 1893. 9AM-10PM. Small restaurant popular with locals. Serves Beijing cuisine, specialising in rice carrerole and rice noodles.


Mid-range[edit]

Houhai[edit]

  • Kong Yi Ji (孔乙己; Kǒngyǐjǐ), South bank of Houhai (后海南岸; Hòuǎi Nánàn) (South of Deshengmen Bridge), +86 10 6618 4917. 10AM-10:30PM. Traditional Zhejiang cuisine in modern surroundings. Most dishes ¥20-45.
  • Cafe Sambal (Kǒngyǐjǐ), 43 Doufuchi Hutong, Gulou Ave, +86 10 6400 4875. 11:30AM-midnight. Traditional authentic Malaysian cuisine and flavours. Most dishes ¥30-45.
  • Sichuan Restaurant (四川饭店; Sì​chuān Fàn​diàn​), B14 Liuyin St (柳荫街14号; Liǔ​yìn​jiē​), +86 10 6615 6924. 11AM-2PM, 5PM-9PM. Sichuan cuisine. Expect around ¥50 each person.
  • Hutong Pizza (胡同比萨; Hútòng Bǐsà), 9 Yindingqiao Hutong (银锭桥胡同9号; Yín​dìng​qiáo​hú​tòng​), +86 10 8322 8916. 11AM-11PM. Small courtyard restaurant serving both typical and more sophisticated pizzas. Quite limited selection of beers. Pizzas ¥60-120.
  • Kao Rou Ji (烤肉季; Kǎoròujì), 14 Qianhai Dongyan (前海东沿14号; Qián​hǎi​dōng​yàn​), +86 10 6404 2554, fax: +86 10 6404 5921. 11AM-2PM, 5PM-11PM. Halal restaurant specialising in Beijing-style roast lamb/mutton and beef, but best known for the lamb/mutton. This restaurant has been around for more than 100 years and has great views of the lake from the second floor. A favourite of the Prince Regent Zaifeng in the 19th century. In the early 20th century it was one of three famed roast meat restaurants in Beijing.
  • 2 House of Poo Restaurant (便便满屋饭堂), No.91 Di'anmenwai Street 西城区地安门外大街91号 (116.38982), +86 10 84035296. Great but safe destination for families with children who love imagination and grossing out. 50-100 pp.

Xuanwu[edit]

  • Dong Xing Lou.
  • Little Sheep (小肥羊; Xiǎoféiyáng), 43 Guang'anmennei Dajie (光安门内大街43号; Guāng'ānménnèidàjiē) (Northwest corner of Caishikou (菜市口) intersection), +86 10 6316 6668. 10AM - 11PM. Mongolian hot pot restaurant with branches nationwide and abroad. Richer soup and, therefore, no dipping sauce.
  • Huangcheng Laoma.
  • Jinyang Restaurant.
  • Tan Yu Tou (谭鱼头; Tányútóu), 25 Zhushikou West Street (珠市口西大街临25号; Zhūshìkǒu Xīdàjiēlín), +86 10 6301 8885, fax: +86 10 6484 8885. 10:30AM-10PM. Primarily serves spicy sichuan hotpot with fish or meat.
  • Tulu Fan Canting.

Other[edit]

  • Yuxin Sichuan Restaurant (渝信川菜 Yúxìn Chuāncài), Xidan Saite Building, 7F (西单塞特7层; Xīdān Sàitè Qīcéng). M-F 10AM-10PM, Sa Su 11AM-10PM. One of the contenders in the ongoing competition for Beijing's best Szechuan cooking, Yuxin delivers on authenticity, flavor, and service. It's always busy, and always good. ¥30-50.
  • Kao Rou Wan, 58 Nanlishi Rd (南礼士路58号), +86 10 6802 8180. 10:30AM-9:30PM. Xinjiang cuisine specialising in roast meats.
  • Xiang E Qing (湘鄂情), 3 Jiaoyu St (教育街3号), +86 10 6656 6468. 11AM-9PM. Hunan and Hubei cuisine.
  • Beijing Ren Grand Restaurant (北京人大酒楼), 6 Erqi Juchang Rd (二七剧场路甲6号), +86 10 6802 2636, fax: +86 10 6801 9682. 11AM-10:30PM. Cantonese cuisine.
  • Hui Feng Hot Pot (蕙风涮肉), 115 Xinjiekou Beidajie (新街口北大街115号), +86 10 6221 8978. Beijing cuisine specialising in hot pot served in the traditional copper cone pots with coal.
  • Hot & Tasty (知味麻辣), 西城区金城坊街9-7号 (opposite the Ritz Carlton Hotel, next to KFC), +86 10 6629 0268. 9:30AM-10:30PM. Sichuan cuisine as hot as you will find it in Sichuan.
  • Royal Icehouse, Gongjian Hutong (Beihai Stop on bus lines 111 and 107), +86 10 6401 1358. Beijing cuisine. The restaurant is in the former royal ice house.
  • Tong He Ju (同和居), B71 Yueyun South St (月云南街乙71号), +86 10 6852 2917. 10:30AM-1:30PM, 5PM-8PM. Shandong cuisine. This restaurant has been around for centuries. It is spacious with large tables.
  • Yu Guo Tian Qing (雨过天晴), 35 Tonglingge Rd (佟麟阁路35号), +86 10 6608 9265. 10:30AM-10PM. Beijing cuisine specialising in dumplings.
  • 3 The Woods (北京阔海丽景餐饮管理有限公司), Seasons Place - 3RD Floor, Shop L301, Financial Street 北京市西城区金融街购物中心二期3F-301, +86 10 66220318. 11:30 - 21:00. Serves "exceptional Continental Cuisine with a fashionable twist." ¥88-250pp.
  • 4 Await Café (那间咖啡), 59 Xisi South Street 西四南大街59号 (200m south of Xisi station exit D), +86 10 6616-6607. Daily 9am-midnight. A true travellers café, with three floors, meals, drinks and desserts, filled with souvenirs from the four corners of the globe. 20-90 pp.

Splurge[edit]

Houhai[edit]

  • The Gourmet Room (古镇煌美食坊; Gǔzhènhuángměi​shífāng​), 3 Qianhai West St (前海西街3号; Qiánhǎixījiē), +86 10 6613 9641, e-mail: . 11AM-2PM, 6PM-9:30PM. Hong Kong cuisine served in courtyard restaurant. Offers a classic 10 course menu.
  • Lijia Cai Restaurant (厉家菜; Lì​jiā​cài​), 11 Yangfang Hutong, Deshengmennei St (德胜门内大街羊房胡同11号; Déshèngménnèidàjiē Yáng​fáng​hú​tòng​), +86 10 6618 0107. 6AM-10:30PM. Imperial cuisine. This is a small family run restaurant in a hutong. The set menus consist of ten cold dishes and eight hot. The dishes are small and quite simple, but very tasty. There are only three tables in the restaurant, so book in advance. Set menus from ¥200.
  • Haiqing Heyan (海清河晏; Hǎiqīnghéyàn), 2 Banqiao Santiao, Xihai Xiyan (西海西沿板桥3条2号; Xīhǎixīyàn Bǎn​qiáo​tiáo​), +86 10 6613 8318. 10AM-10PM. Small courtyard restaurant serving French Teppanyaki. There is great views of the lake from the four private rooms. Modern and stylish decor. Reservations are needed.
  • Ken de Rouge (红邸; Hóngdǐ), 22 Houhai West Bank (后海西沿22号; Hòuhǎixīyàn), +86 10 6402 6665, e-mail: . 11:30AM-2:30PM, 5:30PM-11:30PM. Modern Chinese cuisine. This is a romantic restaurant with views of the lake. Set menus from ¥488 per couple.
  • The Noble Restaurant/Bar (芾林; Fúlín), Bajiao Pavilion, Houhai Park (后海公园内八角亭; Hòuhǎigōngyuánnèi Bājiǎotíng), +86 10 6616 0725. 11AM-midnight. Zhejiang-French fusion restaurant with views of the lake. Set menus from ¥260.
  • Fu Lin (芾林; Fúlín​), 23 Bajiaoting Hutong (八角亭胡同23号; Bājiǎotínghútòng), +86 10 8328 6313. Zhejiang cuisine served ub courtyard restaurant with trees, pond and views of the lake.

Xuanwu[edit]

  • Bhodi-Saki (菩提缘), 10-16 Heiyaochang Street (North of Taoranting Park's North Gate), +86 10 63542889, +86 10 63546155. Located just north of Taoranting Park in the south west corner of Beijing, this isolated vegetarian restaurant is situated inside a series of old courtyards that house the restaurant and a small temple.
  • Jin Yang Restaurant, No.241, Zhushikou West Street, +86 10 63031669, +86 10 63037636. Jin Yang Restaurant serves Shaanxi cuisine. Four Star Restaurant.
  • Quanjude (全聚德 Quánjùdé), 32 Qianmen Dajie (前门大街32号) (Subway: Line 2 to Qianmen. Bus: 2, 120, 726, 826, 803 to Qianmen), +86-10-63048987. Daily 11:30AM-2:30PM and 4:30-8PM. The oldest and most venerable of the roast duck restaurants. Quanjude is slipping these days, but its fame still brings many customers, mostly tourists eager for the classic experience. Quality varies by location. The most reputable of Quanjude's 14 branches is the listed Qianmen location, which has been rebuilt as part of the changes taking place in Qianmen Dajie. Other branches are at Hepingmen (south of the subway stop), the east side of Tian'anmen Square, and Qinghua Science Park near Wudaokou. Ducks cost ¥199 each and ¥99 for half a duck.
  • Zen.

Other[edit]

  • Whampoa Club (黄埔会; Huáng​pǔ​huì​), 23A Jinrong St (金融大街甲23号; Jīn​róng Dà​jiē​jiǎ​), +86 10 8808 8828. 11:30AM-10PM. Serves modern Chinese food based on the old tradtions of Beijing cuisine.
  • 5 Restaurant at 95 (95), No.95 Fuchengmennei Street 西城区阜成门内大街95号 (300m west of Xisi station exit A), +86 10 6618 8600. Daily 10am-10pm. A modern palace with exquisite style and traditional imperial service. Suitable for small group dining. 150 pp.

Drink[edit]

Houhai[edit]

Bar lights in Houhai by night

Houhai (后海; Hòuhǎi) is a man-made lake surrounded by restaurants and bars. Some years ago, this was one of the trendiest places in town, but it seems that it has now been surpassed by other bar clusters. Still a good place for a beer, and also to watch local Beijingers (of all ages) enjoying themselves.

  • 15 Qianhai Beiyan (前海北沿15号; Qiánhǎiběiyànshíwǔhào), 15 Qianhai Beiyan (前海北沿15号; Qiánhǎiběiyàn), +86 10 6617 5558. 5PM-midnight. Both indoor and outdoor seatings and good with of the lake. Expensive.
  • Blue Lotus Club (蓝莲花俱乐部; Lánliánhuājùlèbù), 1 Shichahai, Xihaidongyan (什刹海西海东沿1号; Shíchàhǎixīhǎidōngyàn), +86 10 6406 4688. Noon-midnight. Kitch bar with Chinese live instrumental orchestra in the weekend. Cheap.
  • Cam Rang, 37 Beiguanfang Hutong, Houhai Nanyan (后海南沿北官房胡同37号; Hòuhǎinányánběiguānfánghútòng) (West of Yindingqiao), +86 10 6613 5689. 2PM-2AM. Quiet Vietnam inspired lounge with large and soft sofas.
  • East Shore Live Jazz Café (东岸咖啡; Dōngànkāfēi).
  • Houhai Paradise (后海天堂; Hòuhǎitiāntáng), 31 Di'anmen Waidajie (地安门外大街31号; Dìānménwàidàjiē), +86 10 8401 5076. 6:30PM-2AM. Dance club with loud house music and a small dance floor.
  • Huxley's (德比酒吧; Débǐjiǔbā), 16 Yandai Xiejie (烟袋斜街16号; Yāndàixiéjiē), +86 10 6402 7825, e-mail: . 5PM-3AM. Simple bar frequented by both tourists and locals. Cheap.
  • Jiadingfang (甲丁坊; Jiǎdīngfāng), 9 Lotus Ln, 51 W Dia'nmen (地安门西大街51号什刹海天荷坊9号; Dìānménxīdàjiē51háo, Shíchàhǎitiānhéfāng9háo), +86 10 6612 9898. 11AM-2AM. Large place by the lake with a long list of drink and food. Live music every night, primarily unknown local bands. Expensive.
  • Lotus Blue, Inside Lotus Lane, Ping'an Dajie (平安大街什刹海荷花市场内; Píngāndàjiēshíchàhǎihéhuāshìchǎngnèi (Opposite N gate of North sea), +86 10 6617 2599, e-mail: . Mo-Fr: 1:30PM-2AM; Sa-Su: 11:30AM-2AM. Bar with live music and Thai food. DJ plays house on Fri and Sat, a Chinese band plays blues on Thurs and an African band plays pop on Sun and Mon. Expensive.
  • Luna Bar (露娜; Lòunà), 138 Jiugulou Dajie (旧鼓楼大街138号; Jiùgǔlóudàjiē), +86 10 8402 4417. 1PM-midnight. Relaxed place with local DJs.
  • Rive Gauche (左岸酒吧; Zuǒànjiǔbā), 2 South Bank, Qianhai, Shichahai (什刹海前海南沿2号; Shíchàhǎiqiánhǎinányàn), +86 10 6401 2302. 2PM-2AM. Quiet cocktail bar.
  • Upsetter's Bar, 1-3 Houhai South Road (后海南路1-3号; Hòuhǎinánlù), +86 132 4184 8564, e-mail: . 2PM-late. Reggae bar with outdoor seating by the water. One of the few places in Houhai where the theme actually works. Cheaper than most places in Houhai.

Other[edit]

  • [dead link] Dao Club (道; dào​), 143 Xizhimenwai St, West Triumph Plaza, 1/F, Xizhimen (西外大街甲143号凯旋大厦A座首层; Xīwài​dà​jiē​jiǎ​ Kǎi​xuán​dà​shà Shǒu​céng​​) (west of Beijing Zoo, across from Xiyuan Hotel), +86 10 8801 6848, +86 132 6948 6938, e-mail: . 9PM-late. Club playing hip-hop and other retro stuff. Stylish but still relaxed place.
  • Cigar Legends Bar, 3 Jincheng Fangjie (金城坊街3号; Jīn​chéng​fāng​jiē​), +86 10 6607 9899. 10:30AM-midnight. Lounges primarily frequented by cigar smokers. First class interior with deep upholstered armchairs. Cigars ¥98-2,000, cocktails from ¥78.
  • Lao She Teahouse (老舍茶馆; Lǎoshěcháguǎn), 3 Qianmen West Street (前门西大街3号; Qiánménxīdàjiē) (Metro stration Qianmen or buses #5, #10, #110; #120), +86 10 6303 6830. 9AM - 9PM. Large tea house from 1988 named after the writer, Lao She. Serves tea and traditional snack. Live performance every night with acrobatics, opera and other traditional art.

Sleep[edit]

Budget[edit]

  • Baitayuan Guest House (白塔园青年旅馆; Báitǎyuán Qīngniánlǚguǎn), 20 Dachaye Hutong (大茶叶胡同20号; Dàcháyèhútòng) (500 m SE of Chegongzhuang Metro Station (Line 2)), +86 10 6616 0200. Traditional courtyard hotel located in a hutong. Internet, bicycle hire, safety boxes, fridge, laundry facilities and swimming pool available. Discounted rates for dorms from ¥40, doubles from ¥160, breakfast included.
  • Beijing Houhai Courtyard Guest House, 14 Sanbulao Hutong, +86 10 6612-8458, e-mail: . One of the most charming old-Beijing style courtyard inns, located in Sanbulao Hutong in Houhai, about 20 minutes walk from the subway. It is only 5 minutes by foot to the Houhai Lake. They provide free services such as tours of the hutongs, tea, wireless internet access, satellite TV & DVD access, usage of kitchen, baggage deposit. The staff speak enough English to get by, and there is parking as well. Internet on their computer is ¥5 per hour and a map of Beijing in English & Chinese is ¥8. Dorms from ¥45, single rooms from ¥128.
  • Beijing Join Inn, 14 Qinmao Hutong, Zhaodengyu Rd (From Jishuitan subway station, take the C exit and turn left, walk about 500 m along Xinjiekou Bei St until you reach a McDonald's, intersecting with Xizhimen Nei St. Walk along Xizhimen St to the first set of traffic lights (about 120 m). Turn left here to walk along Zhaodengyu Lu. You should be able to see the hostel's sign in the third alleyway (Qinmao Hutong) on your left), +86 10-66135481, e-mail: . This hostel is located within the popular Xinjiekou district close to the city center. In one of Beijing's hutongs, the hostel is close to key bus and subway services, making sightseeing relatively simple. This place has a great family/chilled out vibe. ¥30 dormitory bed, ¥160 double room, ¥180 triple room (seasonal pricing).
  • Beijing Zhongyou Hotel (北京中油宾馆; Běijīngzhòngyóubīnguǎn), Courtyard 1 Lane 2 Liupukang (六铺炕二巷1号院; Liùpūkàng èrxiàng yihàoyuàn) (Approx 1 km NW of Gulou St Metro Station (Line 2)), +86 10 6204 5522, fax: +86 10 6201 0326. Three star hotel. Rooms (some quite small) with internet against surcharge. Business center, beauty salon, ticket office, laundry service, karaoke and table tennis available. Chinese restaurant, coffee shop and room service. Listed rates for doubles from ¥220, discounted from ¥163 including breakfast.
  • Garden Inn (岭南佳园连锁酒店 (北京西单店); Lǐngnánjiāyuánliánsuǒjiǔdiàn (Běijīngxīdāndiàn)), 95 Tonglinge Rd (佟麟阁路95号; Tónglíngélù) (500 m NE of Changchunjie Metro Station (Line 2)), +86 10 6652 8233, fax: +86 10 6652 8231. Rooms with free internet. Ticket office available. Listed rates for doubles from ¥219, discounted from ¥164; no breakfast available..
  • Red Lantern House, 5 Zhengjue Hutong, Xinjie Kou, +86 10 66115771, +86 10 66169477, e-mail: . This hostel is spread over three buildings, but all have a good reputation. The "West Yard" is a beautiful courtyard house with indoor and outdoor areas for socialising. It has a great friendly atmosphere. The courtyard at this hostel's center is a great place to hang out, talk to new friends or just sit by yourself and read. Located in a hutong. They offer airport pickup for ¥160. Dorms from ¥50, singles from ¥130, doubles from ¥160.
  • 365 Inn (北京君怡酒店; Běijīngjūnyíjiǔdiàn), 55 Dazhalan West Street (大栅栏西街55号; Dàzhàlánxījiē (800m southwest of Qianmen Metro Station (line 2)), +86 10 6308 5956. Located in the middle of the tourist area west of Qianmen Pedestrian Street. Free internet available but not in the rooms. Dorm beds from ¥30, double rooms from ¥180.
  • Beijing Far East Youth Hostel (北京远东饭店; Běijīngyuǎndōngfàndiàn), 90 Tieshuxie Street (铁树斜街90号; Tiěshùxiéjiē) (about 10 minutes walk from Tiananmen Square), +86 10 5195 8811. Hotel in a traditional Chinese courtyard. During summertime you should book one week in advance. Dorm beds from ¥35, listed rates for doubles from ¥220, discounted from ¥174.
  • Changgong Hotel, +86 10 6301 5088, +86 10 6303 2665. One of the cheapest places in the Qianmen Hutong. It has traditional architecture and is just next door from Far East and Leo's. May be difficult to find on a map, and best located by asking. Dorm beds ¥35, a triple room is ¥210.
  • Emperor Guest House, 11 Ying Tao Xie Jie, Qianmen, Beijing, +86 10 63176288, e-mail: . A beautiful 200 year old courtyard. Newly remodeled bathrooms, free wifi, tasty restaurant. Staff is wonderfully friendly and speaks pretty good English. Gets a bit cold later in the year, but beds are very comfy and thick quilts are provided. Lots of good bao shops within walking distance. ¥45 for dorm beds.
  • Feilongge Hotel (飞龙阁饭店; Fēilónggéfàndiàn), 10 Baizhifang West Street (白纸坊西街10号; Báizhǐfāngxījiē), +86 10 6351 7766. Rooms with aircon, coffee facilities and satellite TV. Meeting facilities, karaoke and beauty salon available. Restaurant with Sichuan and Lu cuisine. Discounted rates from ¥200.
  • Home Inn (Beiwei Road) (如家酒店 (北京北纬路店); Rújiājiǔdiàn (Běijīngběiwěilùdiàn)), 11 Xijing Road (西经路11号; Xījīnglù) (Bus 59 to Beiweilu Station (北纬路)), +86 10 8315 2266, fax: +86 10 8316 2020. Small rooms with free internet. Business center and ticket office. Chinese restaurant. Listed rates for doubles from ¥239, discounted from ¥214; breakfast ¥15.
  • Jing Yi Shi Hotel, Located between Leo hostel and Far East Y/H, +86 10 6304 3822. The hotel is in traditional courtyard. The staff do not speak much English but are very friendly. There are two PCs available. Twin room ¥150, ¥180, ¥220; internet access ¥10 per hour.
  • Leo's Hostel, +86 10 6303 1595, +86 10 6303 3318. A good alternative to the Far East and is just around the corner. It has a Playstation 2, an internet bar, free wi-fi in the lobby and bar,and more. It is well-known for its friendly English-speaking staff and lively bar atmosphere. One downside is the noise level of the bar late at night. Dorm beds ¥45-70, private rooms ¥160-200.
  • Qian Men Hostel (前门客栈), 33 Meishi Street Qianmen (Located about 500 meters south of Qianmen Metro stop on Meishi Street), +86 10 6313 2370. Qian Men Hostel is conveniently located within 5 minute walking distance of Tiananmen Square. It offers both private and dorm style rooms. It has a dvd room, a cafe, and bar. It also offers tours to numerous places around Beijing. Bikes can be rented for ¥20 a day. Dorm beds ¥60-70, private rooms ¥100-300.
  • Shanglin Hostel (上林宾馆; Shànglínbīnguǎn), 22 Shanxixiang (陕西巷22号; Shǎnxīxiàng) (1km southwest of Qianmen Metro Station (line 2)), +86 10 6303 4609. Located just outside the tuoristy area west of Qianmen Pedestrian Street. Aircon, internet, laundry service and bike hire available. Restaurant and bar. Discounted rates for dorms from ¥35, doubles from ¥140, without breakfast.

Mid-range[edit]

  • [dead link] Bamboo Garden Hotel (竹园宾馆 Zhú Yuán Bīnguǎn), +86 10 64032229. A stone's throw from Houhai, this is one of the most interesting hotels in Beijing. It located in a large complex of courtyards, was residence of Sheng Xuanhuai, a Qing Mandarin, and later was home to Kang Sheng, head of the secret police of Communist China.
  • [dead link] Beijing HWA (Apartment) Hotel, 130 N Xidan Ave, +86 10-66028888. This four-star hotel is near SOGO Department Store, Oriental Plaza, and Tiananmen Square. It offers air-conditioned rooms, each features a contemporary European design. It also has a Banquet hall that can accommodates 50 persons. You can also check out their rooftop garden, indoor swimming pool, and sauna. Rates start at ¥620.
  • Guang'an Hotel (广安宾馆; Guǎng'ānbīnguǎn), (广安门内大街321号; Guǎngānménnèidàjiē), +86 10 8315 3388. Rooms with internet available against a surcharge. Bar, business center, gift shop, beauty salon, karaoke and chess/poker room available. Chinese restaurant. Listed rates for doubles from ¥880; discounted from ¥358, including breakfast.
  • [dead link] Rich Hotel, No. 1 A Nanxinhua Road, Xuanwu District, +86 10 63022277, e-mail: . 2 km from Tiananmen Square. Has 131 rooms, each with cable TV, bathroom amenities, and broadband Internet. Hotel amenities include a conference center, restaurant, bar, business center, concierge, and 24-hour front desk. ¥290.

Splurge[edit]

  • ACFTU Hotel (北京中国职工之家饭店; Běijīngzhōng Guózhígōngzhījiā Fàndiàn), 1 Zhenwumiao Rd, Fuxingmenwai St (复兴门外大街真武庙路1号; Fùxīngménwàidàjiē Zhēnwǔmiàolù) (500 m SW of Nanlishilu Metro Station (Line 1)), +86 10 68576699, fax: +86 10 6856 2251. Four star hotel with rooms with internet access against surcharge. Business center, gift shop, beauty salon, ticket office, disco, karaoke, pool, table tennis and fitness available. Chinese and Western restaurants, as well as coffee shop, bar and room service. Listed rates for doubles ¥988-11,800, discounted rates ¥498-8,960, breakfast ¥55.
  • [dead link] The Apartments on Financial Street, 1 Jinchengfang St, +86 10 66065588. This five star hotel is only 4 km from the city center and 8 km to the railway station. It is located near the Xidan Business District, Parkson Department Store, and Golden Tree Street. It has 245 air-conditioned suites, all of which have a living room, private toilet and bath, cable TV, a safe, and hair dryer. Some of their facilities includes an indoor swimming pool with artificial sand beach, outdoor tennis court, a health club, jacuzzi, and sauna.
  • Jing Ding Hang, e-mail: . This is a real estate company that renovated several ancient houses in the legendary hutongs around Houhai Lake (just behind the Forbidden City and Tiananmen Square), and rented them out during the Olympics.
  • Presidential Plaza Hotel (北京国宾酒店), No.9, Fuchengmen Wai Road 阜成门外大街甲9号 (xicheng), +86 10 58585588. Check-in: 12:00, check-out: 12:00. The hotel was built in 2000 and offers the latest in state-of-the-art facilities. There are 486 rooms: Deluxe Room, Superior Room, Suite, etc. ¥500.
  • Golden Sun Commercial Hotel (金色夏日商务酒店; Jīnsèxiàrìshāngwùjiǔdiàn), 85 Xibianmennei Street (西便门内大街85号; Xībiànménnèidàjiē), +86 10 6301 2999. Four star hotel with rooms with free internet, aircon, mini bar, fridge, safety box and satellite TV. Conference room, billiards, table tennis, gym, night club, karaoke, chess and cards room and sauna available. Seafood restaurant. Listed rates for doubles from CNY888; discounted from CNY438, including breakfast.
  • [dead link] Shenzhen Hotel, 1 Guang An Men Wai Street, Xuanwu District, e-mail: . Enjoys a prime Xuanwu District location. Business and leisure facilities including banquet halls and function rooms.

Connect[edit]

This district travel guide to Xicheng is a usable article. It has information for getting in as well as some complete entries for restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please feel free to improve it by editing the page.