National Centre for the Performing Arts.
Xicheng District  (西城区; Xīchéng Qū) is in Beijing (Xicheng has administratively been merged with Xuanwu, but in this guide they are kept as two separate districts).
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, bording 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.
From the airport you can get into the district by the Airport Express Subway to Dongzhimen Station 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 a few kilometers southwest of Xicheng you will have to take a bus a taxi into the district.
Xicheng is well served by subway lines.
- Line 2 borders the district to the north and south and runs north-south through the western part of the district. This is the line for Xizhimen and Houhai and also the connection from Beijing Railway Station and Qianmen in the south and the Drum and Bell Tower area in the north, both in Dongcheng.
- Line 4 runs north-south through the eastern part of the district and turns west in the northern part. This is the line for Xidan, Xizhimen and Beijing Zoo.
- Line 1 runs east-west through the southern part of the district. This is the line for Xidan and also the connection from the far eastern and far western parts of Beijing.
- Beihai Park (北海 Běihǎi), (Take bus 101 103 109 846 to the south gate, bus 13 118 810 to the north gate, opposite the Shi Sha Hai). Nov-Mar 9AM-4PM Apr-Oct 9AM-5PM. Beihai is a good place to take a glance at Zhongnanhai (中南海 Zhōngnánhǎi), heart of Communist China. 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. ¥20.
- Beijing Zoo and Aquarium (北京动物园 Běijīng Dòngwù Yuán), (The zoo has its own subway station on Line 4 The Zoo is also an important traffic center, which means the terminal station for Bus No. 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. Prospect visitors should note that entrance to the aquarium is not included in the standard Zoo ticket, and will cost you another ¥100. The zoo was built on the sites of some ancient gardens, has lakes, pounds, 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Capital Museum (首都博物馆; Shǒudū Bówùguǎn), 16 Fuxingmenwai St (复兴门外大街16号; Fùxīngménwài Dàjiē) (400), ☎ +86 10 63393339, . Tu-Su 9AM-4PM. New high profile history and art museum located in an impressing 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.
- Prince Gong's Mansion and Garden (公王府花园; 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.
- 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.
- 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 ([email protected]), . 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.
- Guo Moruo's Former Residence (郭沫若故居; Guōmò Ruògùjū), 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.
- 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) (At Anhua Bridge (安华侨; ānhuáqiá)), ☎ +86 10 6237 1177 ext 3216, . Tu-Su 9 AM - 5:30 PM. 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.
- 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 ([email protected]), . 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.
- Deshengmen (德胜门箭楼; Déshèngménjiànlóu), North Ring Rd Two (北二环路; Běièrhuánlù), ☎ +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.
- 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.
- 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.
- People's Theater (人民剧场; Rénmínjùchǎng), 74 Huguosi St (护国寺大街74号; Hùguósìdàjiē), ☎ +86 10 6618 1634.
- 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).
- 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.
- 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.
- Forbidden City Concert Hall, . Prices range between ¥60-380 and ¥80-880.
National Centre for the Performing Arts
- National Centre for the Performing Arts (国家大剧院; Guójiā Dàjùyuàn), 2 West Chang'an St (西长安街2号; Xīchángānjiē) (West of the northern end of Tian'anmen Square), ☎ +86 10 6606 4707, +86 10 6655 0987 ([email protected], fax: +86 10 6655 0988), . Theater complex with three halls (opera, music and theater) covering almost 12,000m2 and seating a total of 5,452 people. One of the most stunning buildings in Beijing and a must see even if not attending an opera or concert.
- Houhai (后海; Hòuhǎi). Take a walk in the Houhai area.
- 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-4:30 PM; 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.
- 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 9 AM-5:30PM. Play center for children including ball pool, maze and arts and crafts area. ¥20; children ¥30.
- Take a Chinese class, The Sinology Institute (北京市西城区汉英培训学校) offers a two hour crash in chinese perfect for people traveling around china. Phone 86 10 6400 0905 ,located outside exit G Gulou subway station line 2 & 8
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.
- Beijing Capital Times Square (首都时代广场; Shǒudū Shídài Guǎngchǎng), 88 Xi Chang'an St (西长安街88号; Xīcháng'ānjiē), ☎ +86 10 8391 3311. 9:30AM-9:30PM. Shopping center focusing on international brands.
- Grand Pacific (君太百货; Jūntàibǎihuò), 133 Xidan North St (西单北大街133号; Xīdānběidàjiē), ☎ +86 10 6612 6888 ([email protected]), . 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.
- Joy City (大悦城; Dàyuèchéng), 130 Xidan North St (西单北大街130号; Xīdānběidàjiē), ☎ +86 10 6651 7777, . This mall opende 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 hords of locals browsing here.
- Xidan Department Store (西单商场; Xīdān Shāngchǎng), 120 Xidan North St (西单北大街120号; Xīdānběidàjiē), ☎ +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.
- Zhongyou Department Store (中友百货), 176 Xidan North St. Has a lot of fake brands (mostly clothes). Very cheap if you bargain hard.
- Xizhimen (西直门 Xīzhímén). One of the most popular markets for locals is located in Xizhimen, next to the zoo. To get there, in front of the zoo (Beijing Zoo stop on subway line 4) 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.
- 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). 7 AM - 7 PM. Raw food whole sale 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.
- 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.
- Fengyuan Baozipu (丰源包子铺; Fēngyuán Bāozipù), Xinjiekou Inner St (西城区新街口外大街; Xīnjiēkǒuwàidàjiē) (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 suprisingly the service is still good and the prices low despite the increasing popularity. Specialties include Boiled Pork Casserole (砂锅白肉; shāguōbáiròu), which is said to have been served for Emperor Qing in the 18th century. Also the Nine Pig Guts (九转肥肠; jiǔzhuànféicháng) is worth a try. Expect ¥30-50 each person.
- Koufuju (口福居; Kǒufújū), 93 Taipingqiao St (太平桥大街93号; Tàipíngqiáo Dàjiē) (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; Gǎnglì Cāntīng), 1 Dayue Building 6, 131 Xidan North St (西单北大街131号大悦城6楼01号; Xīdānběidàjiē, Dàyuèchénglóu), ☎ +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 Nándàjiē) (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; Xīdān 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; Mǎbāshí 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; Jīnfúyuán Guìlínmǐfěn), 72 Xinjiekou Dongjie (新街口东街72号; Xīnjiēkǒu dōngdàjiē), ☎ +86 10 8322 1893. 9AM-10PM. Small restaurant popular with locals. Serves Beijing cuisine, specialising in rice carrerole and rice noodles.
- Kong Yi Ji (孔乙己; Kǒngyǐjǐ), South bank of Houhai (后海南岸; Hòuǎi Nánàn) (S of Deshengmen Bridge), ☎ +86 10 6618 4917. 10AM-10:30PM. Traditional Zhejiang cuisine in modern surroundings. Most dishes ¥20-45.
- Raj Indian Restaurant & Bar (拉兹印度餐厅; Lāzī Yìndù Cāntīng), 31 Gulou W Ave (鼓楼西大街31号; Gǔlóuxīdàjiē), ☎ +86 10 6401 1675, +86 10 8403 5920 ([email protected]), . 10:30AM-2PM, 4:30PM-11:30PM. Great Indian restaurant in an old building with rooftop views over the area. Serves both traditional and modern Indian dishes, which tast pretty much like in India. Most dishes ¥30-45.
- 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; Sìchuān Fàndiàn), B14 Liuyin St (柳荫街14号; Liǔyìnjiē), ☎ +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; Yíndìngqiáohútòng), ☎ +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; Qiánhǎidōngyàn), ☎ +86 10 6404 2554 (fax: +86 10 6404 5921). 11AM-2PM, 5PM-11PM. Xinjiang cuisine specialising in fried mutton. This restaurant hsa been around for many years and has great views of the lake from the second floor.
- 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-10 PM, 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.
- The Gourmet Room (古镇煌美食坊; Gǔzhènhuángměishífāng), 3 Qianhai West St (前海西街3号; Qiánhǎixījiē), ☎ +86 10 6613 9641 ([email protected]). 11AM-2PM, 6PM-9:30PM. Hong Kong cuisine served in courtyard restaurant. Offers a classic 10 course menu.
- Lijia Cai Restaurant (厉家菜; Lìjiācài), 11 Yangfang Hutong, Deshengmennei St (德胜门内大街羊房胡同11号; Déshèngménnèidàjiē Yángfánghútòng), ☎ +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 Bǎnqiáotiáo), ☎ +86 10 6613 8318. 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. 10AM-10PM.
- Ken de Rouge (红邸; Hóngdǐ), 22 Houhai West Bank (后海西沿22号; Hòuhǎixīyàn), ☎ +86 10 6402 6665 ([email protected]). 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, 6343. 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.
- Whampoa Club (黄埔会; Huángpǔhuì), 23A Jinrong St (金融大街甲23号; Jīnróng Dàjiējiǎ), ☎ +86 10 8808 8828. 11:30AM-10PM. Serves modern Chinese food based on the old tradtions of Beijing cuisine.
- Temple Kitchen (今风古韵; Jīnfēnggǔyùn), 171 Fuchengmennei St (阜成门内大街171号; Fùchéngménnèidàjiē) (inside Baita Temple), ☎ -86 10 6618 1119 ([email protected]), . 9AM-11PM. Modern Chinese food.
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.
- 9 To 5 (朝九晚五; Zhāojiǔwǎnwǔ), 3 Qianhai Beiyan (前海北沿3号; Qiánhǎiběiyàn), ☎ +86 10 6617 0091. Noon-2AM. Includes terrace with a veiw, grand flour bar and a club in the basement.
- 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 flour.
- Huxley's (德比酒吧; Débǐjiǔbā), 16 Yandai Xiejie (烟袋斜街16号; Yāndàixiéjiē), ☎ +86 10 6402 7825 ([email protected]). 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 ([email protected]), . Mo-Fr: 1:30PM-2AM; Sa-Su: 11:30AM-2AM. Bar with live music and Thai food. DJ plays house on F and Sa, a Chinese band plays blues on Th and and African band plays pop on Su and M. 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.
- Shi Yue (什钥; Shíyuè), 13 Baimi Beixiang (白米北巷13号; Báimǐběixiàng), ☎ +86 10 8403 6253. 11:30AM-3AM. Unusual and small place in a quiet hutong. Chinese decoration and techno music.
- Story Bar, 9 Yindingqiao Hutong (银锭桥胡同9号; Yíndìngqiáohútòng), ☎ +86 10 6657 1513. 2PM-2AM. Small, intimate and quiet café with a decent drink list.
- Upsetter's Bar, 1-3 Houhai South Road (后海南路1-3号; Hòuhǎinánlù), ☎ +86 132 4184 8564 ([email protected]). 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.
- What Bar (什么酒吧; Shénmejiǔbā), 72 Beichang Jie (北长街72号; Běicháng Jiē), ☎ +86 133 4112 2757 ([email protected]). 3PM-midnight. Small live rock venue staging some of the most interesting local bands.
- 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; Xīwàidàjiējiǎ Kǎixuándàshà Shǒucéng) (west of Beijing Zoo, across from Xiyuan Hotel), ☎ +86 10 8801 6848, +86 132 6948 6938 ([email protected]), . 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; Jīnchéngfāngjiē), ☎ +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.
- 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, laudry 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 (, [email protected]). 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 (, [email protected]). 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 Lotus Hostel (北京莲舍; Běijīngliánshè), 29 Xisi North Seventh Tiao (西四北七条29号; Xīsìběiqītiáo) (Metro line 4, buses 13, 22, 38, 42, 47, 409, 690, 826 to Pinganlilukou South (平安里路口南)), ☎ +86 10 6612 8341 ([email protected], fax: +86 10 6612 9341), . Hostel located in traditional courtyard with a nice ancient Beijing feel. Nice common area for meeting other people. Toilets and showers are not good. Internet, bike hire, pool table, safty boxes and laundry facilities available. Restaurant and bar. Discounted rates for dorms from ¥40, doubles from ¥160.
- 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 surchage. 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 66115771/66169477 ([email protected]), . 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.
- Xu Yard Guest House, No 59 Xinjiekou Dongjie St (10 minutes by foot from Jishuitan subway station), ☎ +86 10 83222026, . A charming old-Beijing style courtyard inn. Single rooms from ¥288.
- 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.
- 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.
- Grand Mercure Xidan Beijing (北京西单美爵酒店), ☎ +86 10 66036688, .
- 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.
- The Apartments on Financial Street, 1 Jinchengfang St, ☎ +861066065588, . 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, ([email protected]). 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, . checkin: 12:00; checkout: 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. (CNY,)
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