Collected by Juliana Loh, AFAR Local Expert
I lived in Beijing pre-olympics from 2007-2011, and contributed to the expat rags as writer and editor, documenting the dynamic and drastic changes while commuting primarily by bicycle. Beijing is an amazing city of old and new - filled with historical, culture stories and some of the best Chinese cuisine.
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...
Dong Si Shi Tiao Jia 34 Hao Yuan, Dongcheng Qu, Beijing Shi, China, 100001
A local favorite for Peking duck, Chef Dong's menu has evolved over the years to encompass a more contemporary style of food. The geoduck clam dish, presented in an ice-ball and served with Sichuan peppers, is one such effort, but the mainstay is...
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...
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...
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...
42 Guozijian St, Dongcheng Qu, Beijing Shi, China, 100007
Located off the busy streets in the middle of a quiet hutong alley, this store has gone from modest to modern chic, and has moved into beautiful furniture. They used to have beautiful laser-cut wood accessories made by Chinese designers and have...
19 Sanlitun Rd, SanLiTun, Chaoyang Qu, Beijing Shi, China, 100001
This venue has permanently closed. This store in Taikoo Li North, run by media mogul Hung Huang, has a beautiful and carefully curated selection of local Chinese designers and artists. Many of these signature designs, often found nowhere else, are...
22 Jiuxianqiao Rd, Chaoyang Qu, Beijing Shi, China, 100016
The 300+ rooms business hotel is Swire's arm of business hotel and the second to open after EAST Hong KOng. It's where the trendy hipsters go to hang out and work at Domani the open office space in the day, and at Xian bar by night. Simple,...
48 Liangmaqiao Rd, SanYuan Qiao, Chaoyang Qu, Beijing Shi, China, 100096
The Four Seasons Beijing has a courtyard "siheyuan" layout with modern Chinese touches to the interiors and a cascading wall of butterflies by Australian artist Jayne Dyer - the trend of atrium hotels seem to be back in the last few years. The...
1 Chaoyang Park West Rd, Chaoyang Qu, China
It's not always easy to find good cheese and wine in China, and when you do it comes with a high price tag. This cosy spot at Chaoyang West Gate serves up a great selection of French cheeses. It's largely a little expat enclave, so stop in if...
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