Collected by Courtney Graff
2 Jiuxianqiao Rd, Chaoyang Qu, Beijing Shi, China, 100096
How a complex of German-built factories became one of East Asia’s hottest art destinations is also the story of modern China. When construction on a number of electronics factories began in Dashanzi in 1956, the area was farmland. Joint...
2 Dongbiaobei Hutong, JianWai DaJie, Dongcheng Qu, China, 100005
This is great sight if you're interested in astronomy, science, ancient technology, the meeting of East and West, or you just need a break from the noise and crowds. The observatory was built in the Yuan Dynasty (1239-1368 AD). It was put to great...
Xicheng, Beijing, China, 100006
I felt obligated to visit the Forbidden City while in Beijing as it tops every "must see" list. I sort of wish I hadn't. Even though I went early in the morning it was already mobbed with tourists. After about thirty minutes inside the compound...
Qian Hai Bei Yan, ShiChaHai, Xicheng Qu, Beijing Shi, China, 100009
One element of experiential travel is in the local transportation; in Beijing, the hutong pedicab tour is a great way to experience the city and learn how people lived, both past and present. Pedicabs wind through the narrow streets with open...
3 Hufang Rd, Xicheng Qu, Beijing Shi, China
While visiting Beijing on a Fulbright over the summer, we were given the opportunity to attend a traditional Peking Opera. Though the show was entirely in Mandarin, it was highly entertaining and lively. The vibrant colors of the venue, coupled...
12 Yonghegong St, Dongcheng Qu, China, 100007
To understand China, it's imperative to understand the important role religion and philosophy play in the culture. Buddhism is one such influence, and this gorgeous temple tells a bit of that story. Yonghegong is in the northern part of Beijing...
Dongzhimen Inner St, DongZhiMen, Dongcheng Qu, Beijing Shi, China, 100007
After visiting the Yonghe (Lama) Temple in Beijing, stop and enjoy fresh made dumplings. This gem is located at Beixinqiao 1st alley, which is near the Beixinqiao northeast station exit. You will love the variety they offer (and the price). If I...
19 Xinjiangongmen Rd, Haidian Qu, China, 100000
The present-day Summer Palace is China's largest royal park and was once called the Garden of Cultivated Harmony. It took its current name when Empress Dowager Cixi, in a controversial action, used some money earmarked for the navy and rebuilt the...
The Great Wall of China runs more than 21,000 kilometers (over 13,000 miles), not as one continuous wall but rather as fortified wall sections. Some of the sections date back more than 2,500 years, though only 8.2 percent of the existing wall is...
Changchi Rd, Changping Qu, China
The Ming Tombs are 31 miles northwest of Beijing. The cemetery covers an area of 40 sq. kilometers with 13 Ming emperors buried here. This is a popular UNESCO attraction in China and easily combined with visiting Badaling Great Wall for a day trip...
4 Jingshan Front St, Dongcheng Qu, Beijing Shi, China, 100006
Beijing's number one tourist attraction is a massive former imperial palace known as the Forbidden City. Between 1416 and 1911, it was home to 24 Ming and Qing dynasty emperors and their families and staff. In 1912, after the abdication of...
Building 1 No 11 Sanlitun Road Chaoyang, Sanlitun Road, 东城区北京市 China, 100027
The posh Chinese restaurant inside the trendy Sanlitun hotel the Opposite House has a pretty broad menu. There are spicy Sichuan standards, like mapo doufu (cubes of white tofu suspended in chili oil, served here with minced beef) and skewers of...
3 Xinbi St, Xicheng Qu, Beijing Shi, China, 100031
This gleaming performing arts center, sometimes called the Giant Egg, was designed by French architect Paul Andreu and inaugurated in 2007. The ellipsoid dome, made of titanium and glass and surrounded by a man-made lake, looks a bit like a...
24 Xinyuan Xili Middle St, Chaoyang Qu, China, 100027
Dumpling chain Din Tai Fung has gone from humble beginnings in Taiwan some 40 years ago to a presence in 10 countries, including Singapore, the United States, Australia, and Japan. The secret of its success lies in one item—xiaolongbao—a type of...
1 Tiantan E Rd, Dongcheng Qu, Beijing Shi, China
This complex of Taoist religious buildings was constructed in the early 15th century under the Yongle Emperor, who also commissioned the Forbidden City, just to the north. The temple's central building is the Hall of Prayer for Good Harvests, a...
1 Wusi St, Dongcheng Qu, Beijing Shi, China, 100006
With 5 floors, 17 exhibition halls and more than 100,000 pieces of art, China's National Art Museum has a scale befitting the country. The museum's collection is eclectic, ranging from classical calligraphy to works by Picasso. Exhibitions tend to...
Building 1 No 11 Sanlitun Road Chaoyang, Sanlitun Road, 北京市 China, 100027
One of the best places to get quarterly curated exhibitions of contemporary Chinese artists, located smacked in the city in Sanlitun District. One of my favourite shows to date is Wang Shugang's rendition of Franciscan monks - don't they look like...
Yong An Tang （ Cao Chang Di Cun ）, Chaoyang Qu, Beijing Shi, China, 100096
Venture beyond the rampant commercialization of 798 Art District, and head to Caochangdi. It's only a 10-min taxi ride from 798, and the galleries you'll find here are architectural beauties to admire themselves. A handful of galleries curate...
Chaoyang, Beijing, China, 100096
The UCCA is home to a number of spaces dedicated to contemporary art exhibitions. It's pretty amazing entering a Bauhaus-inspired architectural space filled with pop culture icons, printed on hundreds of lamps—quite a feast for the eyes! In the...
13 Guozijian St, Dongcheng Qu, Beijing Shi, China, 100007
The Imperial College is where Chosen scholars (who had already passed the county and provincial examinations) would go to study for the national and palace examinations. As a teacher living in Beijing, I find China educational history fascinating;...
11 Zengguang Rd, Haidian Qu, Beijing Shi, China, 100037
Hai Wan Ju is a cheap spot to taste Beijing folk cooking. They make very good noodles—handmade, of course. The zha jiang mian—noodles with fried bean sauce and vegetables—is a classic Beijing noodle dish. Here, they also add pork. —Fuchsia Dunlop...
3 Chongwenmen Outer St, ChongWenMen, Dongcheng Qu, Beijing Shi, China
One of my favorite moments in Beijing was sitting around the cozy circular bar at Noodle Bar for front-row action of the chef pulling our noodles by hand. The menu is simple and straightforward: all noodle soup with your choice of brisket, tendon...
Xicheng, Beijing, China
This adorable old woman reminded me of my grandmother despite the fact that they look nothing alike. I saw her outside Mr. Shi's Dumplings (74 Bao Cao Hutong) which was written up by Time Out Beijing and consequently was filled with white tourists...
51 Di'anmen W St, ShiChaHai, Xicheng Qu, Beijing Shi, China, 100009
If you find yourself in Beijing during the colder months, check out the icy chaos that transpires on Houhai, the lake to the southwest of the Drum and Bell Towers. Skates, sleds and ice-bike contraptions can be rented at kiosks around the lake. If...
甲9 Fuxing Rd, Haidian Qu, Beijing Shi, China, 100038
This museum on the west side of Beijing curates interesting, but less publicized exhibitions. Head next door to the military museum. The building is huge with high ceilings, giving the visitor the impression that everything is built on a massive...
19 Zuo'anmen Inner St, Dongcheng Qu, Beijing Shi, China, 100176
A rusty ferris wheel casts a long shadow across the empty grounds of Youleyuan. A rollercoaster is locked in its place. Not a single soul crosses the crumbling plazas. I have a soft spot for abandoned amusement parks, and Beijing used to have no...
138 Wangfujing St, DongDan, Dongcheng Qu, Beijing Shi, China, 100006
This was a bustling alley not too far from the famous Wangfujing Food Street, just a few blocks south of it. Here you can find tons of trinkets and souvenirs from giant antique metal necklaces to stuffed animal pandas. You can even catch free live...
89 Di'anmen E St, Dongcheng Qu, Beijing Shi, China, 100009
In just over five years, Nanluguoxiang -- a nearly one kilometer-long street -- went from off the beaten path, with a scattering of bars, cafes and restaurants, to a stomping ground for mass numbers of tourists who inspired a quick rise in cheap...
61 S Luogu Alley, Dongcheng Qu, Beijing Shi, China, 100007
If you're looking for something more original than the ubiquitous "I climbed the Great Wall" T-shirt, then look no further. Plastered is an original design T-shirt shop that specializes in tongue-in-cheek treatments of Chinese and Beijing culture....
10 Anlelin Rd, Dongcheng Qu, Beijing Shi, China, 100075
The ancient craft of enamel art, also know as cloisonné, is demonstrated through the use of color application to a design that will eventually be baked and polished. All throughout Beijing, this art form can be discovered. A backroom tour through...
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