The best areas to stay in Beijing , or at least the most popular ones are, Qianmen, Wangfujing, Houhai, and Sanlitun.
After Shanghai, Beijing is the most populated city in China with 21 million inhabitants in its entire municipality, which is a province itself that is directly managed by the national people\’s government.
In historical terms, Beijing is a relatively young city, with 1300 years old. However, in a few years it became an important city: the Liao dynasty, in the 11th century, made Beijing the capital of its kingdom.
It was after the Mongol invasion in the 13th century that the invaders themselves, after destroying the city, rebuilt it to become the capital of the first Chinese empire, curiously governed by a Mongol: the fifth Kan Kublai, first of the Yuan dynasty.
Although the city ceased to be a capital for a while, it was returned to the capital in the 15th century under the Ming dynasty, under whose reign the famous \’Forbidden City\’ was built.
Since then, Beijing became one of the largest cities in the world (the most populated until the end of the 19th century) and with a very important economic importance in the area, especially when, from the 80s and 90s, the country adopted the capitalist economy and began to develop rapidly with new business, sports and tourist areas.
All this development, in addition to historical sites that are still preserved, and, above all, the organization of the 2008 Olympic Games, has led to an increase in tourism and in the number of hotels so that staying in Beijing is much easier.
The best areas to stay in Beijing
The highest density of accommodation is to the east and south of the Forbidden City and Tiananmen Square, with 2, 3, 4 and 5 star hotels.Accommodation in Beijing is not expensive, and it is possible to find relatively easy offers below 30 Euro in a 3-star hotel.
In addition to the above-mentioned Qianmen, Wangfujing, Houhai, and Sanlitun, there are other interesting areas to sleep in Beijing such as Xidan, Chaoyang Park, 798 Art District, or Beijing CBD.Find out the profile of each of them and what their advantages and disadvantages are.
Qianmen is an abbreviated and colloquial term for Zhengyangmen, the name of the gate (built in the 15th century) that gave entrance to the old imperial city from the south and was part of the walls of Beijing, now demolished after its demolition in 1960.
The term translates as \’Front Gate\’, which is located south of Tiananmen Square and names several avenues (North, East, and West), a subway station, the Qianmen Residential District, and the tourist area in the Old Town.
Until the 2008 Olympics, it was the longest living residential district in Beijing, but the works to prepare the area for the sports event gave it a much more tourist and modern character, with Qianmen Street as the main attraction.
As for the places of interest, the first one to visit is the Surveillance Tower or Zheng Yang Men Jean Lou, as old as the «Front Gate» and just before it.After the access to the big entrance you reach the huge Tiananmen Square where you can find the Mausoleum of Mao Zedong and the Monument to the People\’s Heroes, and a little further on the Forbidden City.
Back to the south, outside the Tiananmen Square, crossing the tram line, the commercial area begins with the Zhengyang Bridge point as the beginning.’, «From here you enter the old town where you can have a drink at a Starbucks Coffee; eat at a century-old restaurant like Liubiju on Liangshidian Street; or buy some shoes or silk goods at Ruifuxiang.
Along Qianmen Street (pedestrian and tramway), shops and restaurants follow one another in Chinese-style decorated buildings.
As for the perpendicular streets, they are usually alleys or hutongs, which survived the great pre-Olympic remodeling and some are considered national heritage such as the Hutong Sanmiao, the oldest in the city.
Going west, following one of these alleys, you will reach the old Liulichang Street, famous for its shops of sculpture, Chinese calligraphy, paintings and other handcrafted products.
A last visit is the Tiantan Park where you can find the famous Temple of the Sky from the 15th century.Next to this temple, you can also find the Pearl Market (Hongqiao Market).
Qianmen is without a doubt an ideal option to stay in Beijing if you want to be close to the main tourist attractions of the Chinese capital and the great offer of restaurants and shopping gives it a difficult plus.Wangfujing
Wangfujing’s grand avenue, east of the Forbidden City, is famous for its many shops, street food stalls and restaurants, and is centrally located near the Forbidden City and well connected to the rest of the city.
On Wangfujing Street (pedestrianized as Qianmen Street) you can visit the St. Joseph Catholic Church, not far from the main avenue, which was built in 1653, although it was remodeled to its present appearance.
But if there is one thing that makes Wangfujing stand out, it is that it has more than three hundred shops where you can buy all kinds of products.This great commercial space is also open at night.
To finish the evening, in such a touristic area you could not miss pubs like Molly Malone’s or trendy places like the Beijing Sunshine Club, in the same Wangfujing Street.
Like Qianmen, it is a slightly more expensive area than the average.», »
– Accommodation in Wangfujing
3. Houhai – Nanluoguxiang
To the west and northwest of the Forbidden City there are three large lakes connected by channels, which make up the area called Shichahai.The northernmost is Lake Houhai, which also gives its name to a residential neighborhood within the Xicheng District.
To the east of this area, there is also a much visited place that is 800 years old: Nanluoguxiang, a hutong that is just under a kilometer long and, like Houhai, symbolizes a whole leisure area.
Both areas are well connected to the rest of the city by avenues such as Gulou, Di’anmen, and Deshengmen Inner, all of which have bus lines and subway stops.In addition, the lake is surrounded by other attractions such as the Drum and Bell Towers on Gulou Street, Prince Chun Mansion across the lake, and Soong Ching-ling Mansion.
The Houhai area also has good restaurants such as Haiyuexuan, or some of those around the Xiaoshibei Bridge, a building with a spectacular tower.And to the south of it, an area much visited by young locals and tourists for its many bars and pubs like Reggae Bar or Free, all on the south shore of the lake.
If you leave Lake Houhai to the east, then you reach Nanluoguxiang Street, which stands out for its combination of classical architecture in its 16 adjacent hutongs and a more modern one for the latest renovations.Both the main street and the alleys are full of restaurants, shops and bars where you can end the day.
As for the possibilities of sleeping in Beijing in both areas, the offer is quite wide, especially east of Lake Houhai, with hostels, inns and even five-star hotels in the vicinity of Nanluoguxiang.
– Accommodation in Houhai | Nanluoguxiang
West of the Forbidden City there is another very commercial street, surrounded by hutong and which also gives its name to a tourist area: Xidan.
Like the rest of the places mentioned, in these areas the residential atmosphere of the Hutongs is mixed with the tourist atmosphere of the main street, and it is precisely in this street that the greatest number of accommodations in the area are concentrated.
In addition to Xidan Street, there are other places not far away such as the Xishiku Cathedral to the east, or the Middle Sea and Northern Sea lakes.», «The latter includes Qiongdao Island, which is home to the temple of White Dagoba, as well as other Buddhist sites of interest.
Unlike other streets such as Nanluoguxiang, the shops of North Xidan are larger, and it also has several shopping malls, such as the large Joy City.In the south, there are also cultural attractions such as the Xidan Culture Square, near the Xian Commercial Street mall.
In this district there is a good assortment of international restaurants, but also 100% Chinese restaurants such as the Yuxin Chuancai or the Hai Di Loa Hotpot, both in the North Xidan Street itself.the area also offers nightlife with the Jazcu Juice Bar, among other pubs.
– Accommodation in Xidan
If you travel around China, besides this post about the best areas to stay in Beijing , these other posts will also be useful: Where to stay in Shanghai, where to stay in Hong Kong
Between the second and third circular road in Beijing is Sanlitun, an area full of embassies and specifically renovated as a Western-style shopping and leisure area.
About 500 meters from Sanlitun street is the large Worker’s Stadium football stadium, surrounded by large green areas, an aquarium, restaurants and several well-known clubs such as Vics and Mix Club.
Back in Sanlitun, the atmosphere is very cosmopolitan and there are places of interest such as the Yashow market, famous for its counterfeit clothing and other products, and the Village shopping centre, a meeting place for locals and tourists.
In any case, the strong point of this area is the nightlife offer, both in the surroundings of the Workers’ Stadium and in Sanlitun Street itself, such as Poachers Club and Suzie Wong Club.
The accommodation offer is very varied and ranges from simple hostels and small hotels to high-end options.Chaoyang Park
Further east, between the third and fourth circular road, is this large park, one of the most visited in Beijing and designed on the site of the former Prince’s Palace.Built in 1984, it is the largest park in the city and is divided into several areas separated by canals and lakes.», ‘
Its proximity to downtown and areas such as Sanlitun, in addition to the attractiveness that has as a green area makes it an option used to stay in Beijing by many travelers.another advantage is the quality/price ratio that is better than other central areas or the same Sanlitun.
– Accommodation in Chaoyang Park
7.798 Art District
This is the street that gives its name to an area far from the center – to the northeast – but well connected to the center by public transportation. It used to be an industrial and military area and today it is almost an open-air museum with all kinds of artistic expressions.
In its streets you can see sculptures and contemporary art performances that are adapted to the buildings of the industrial era. Also, in these buildings there are large galleries like the 798 Photo Gallery, 798 Space, Long March Space or the Ullens Center for Contemporary Art.
Tourism has led to the opening of shops like Dior and other major brands, in addition to the shops of the galleries themselves as Feng Ling Fashion Art Design.
As for places to have a drink, cafés abound, such as Ace Café 751, which also serves cocktails in the evening, and there are also fashionable restaurants such as Time Zone 8 and Bodhi Vegetarian, or Shenji Cai Guan, if you prefer to try traditional food.
– Accommodation in 798 Art District
The financial district, also called GuoMao, is located to the west of Chaoyang District and to the south of Chaoyang Park.
Among the most spectacular buildings, we must highlight the CCTV Building, headquarters of the Chinese public television and with an impossible design; the World Trade Center Tower III, the highest skyscraper in the city with 330 meters; or a more modest building but with a lot of history as the Confucian temple of Dongyue, from the 14th century.
For shopping, to the west there are several shopping centers like the China World Trade Center, with clothing stores of major international brands, the Silk Street, oriented to westerners, or the great Soho Shangdu to the north.
Also in the western part of the neighborhood is where the best restaurants are located, such as the Tibetan Makye Ame, or the Chinese restaurant Xiao Wang Fu, a few meters north of the park where the Temple of the Sun is located.
The number of hotels is wide, most of them are luxury hotels, but it is not a suitable area for those who want to sleep in Beijing at low prices, but if you are looking for a better price than the central areas, you can find in this neighborhood very good offers.
– Accommodation in Beijing CBD
What is the best area to stay in Beijing?
Beijing, also known as Beijing, is the capital of the People’s Republic of China and is the political, social and cultural center of the country, as well as being its communication epicenter, connected to the rest of the cities through railways, highways and roads.
The best area to stay in Bejing is the district of Dongcheng, a perfect location to learn about the millennial history of the country, it is a safe area and in its surroundings you can find places of great tourist interest: the famous Forbidden City, which today houses the Museum of the Imperial Palace, Tian’anmen Square and several historical temples as the Temple of Heaven.For nature lovers, there is Jingshan Park and for those who enjoy shopping, Dongcheng is the ideal area for your accommodation because it is home to the Wangfujing pedestrian mall, the most famous shopping area in the city, with brand name shops and luxury boutiques, as well as a wide range of restaurants.
The district of Dongcheng is one of the main tourist areas of the Chinese capital and the best area to stay during your vacation or business trip.
If you are interested in knowing where to stay in Beijing you may also be interested in knowing where to stay in Shanghai, where to stay in Guangzhou, where to stay in Taipei and where to stay in Hong Kong.
Dongcheng, the best area to stay in Beijing
Beijing is one of the most populated cities in China, with a population of more than 20 million, only surpassed by Shanghai.Its traditional architecture of the imperial period contrasts with the modern architecture, very remarkable in the Central Business District of Beijing, which is divided into eight urban districts, being Dongcheng one of its most important districts because the main tourist attractions of the city are concentrated there.
The Forbidden City, located in the heart of the city, was the Chinese imperial palace from the Ming Dynasty to the end of the Qing Dynasty and was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1987, thanks to its outstanding role in the development of Chinese culture and architecture, as well as being considered the largest collection of ancient wooden structures in the world.Today, it is the Museum of the Imperial Palace, a place of tradition and history, which has become one of the most complete museums in the country, with an extensive collection of art and objects, more than a million historical relics, and without doubt, the Forbidden City is the favorite place for travelers from all over the world.
To continue the journey through the ancient history of China, Dongcheng is also the Tiananmen Square.This is the most important square in the country and one of the largest in the world, measuring 880 by 500 meters. The most important building in the square is the Tian’anmen Gate, known as the Gate of Heavenly Peace, is located north of the square and gives access to the Forbidden City. From this gate, Mao Zedong proclaimed the founding of the People’s Republic of China in 1949.In the center of the square is the Mausoleum of Mao Zedong, a building where the embalmed body of the founder is located.towards the southern area of the square, is the Qianmen Tower, the gate of the historical walls of Beijing, also called Zhengyangmen, which guarded the southern entrance of the city center.it is a geographical reference and a historical symbol of ancient Beijing, because although much of the walls were demolished, this gate is still present.
Located in the Tiantan Gongyuan Park, south of Beijing, the Temple of Heaven is one of the most visited places by tourists because it is the largest temple of its kind in the People’s Republic of China and was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1998.Another temple that you can visit in Dongcheng is the popular Yonghe Temple, one of the most important Buddhist monuments in Beijing, with its architecture, which mixes Tibetan styles, with Mongolian influence and Chinese styles.
In Doncheng, you will also find green spaces to enjoy outdoor activities.For example, the Jingshan Park, a public park, which was originally an imperial garden, located just north of the Forbidden City, extends over an artificial hill and from there you can enjoy the best views of the Forbidden City. However, the busiest park in the area is the Beihai Park, an imperial garden with a large lake, which occupies more than half of the park. It was opened to the public in 1925, but had been built in the 10th century. Its main sites of interest are: Qionghua Island, whose highest point is 32 meters high; the Jingxin Room, a traditional garden of 4,000 square meters; the Wall of the Nine Dragons and the Buddhist temples: the Yong’an Temple and the Chanfu Temple.
The main shopping destination in Dongcheng and generally in Beijing is Wangfujing Street, one of the most famous shopping streets in China, which is filled with shops selling traditional Chinese paintings and arts and crafts, luxury boutiques and chains of the most renowned brands, as well as restaurants with a wide variety of cuisine.In Wangfujing you should visit the Beijing Department Store, which offers all possible items at affordable prices.
On this street, you will find everything you can imagine: cafes, art exhibitions and food stalls offering fried scorpion and snake brochettes, Chinese pies, bean puddings and much more.Other points of interest include: Wangfujing Xinhua Bookstore, Foreign Language Bookstore, Xin Dong An Plaza and St. Joseph’s Church, a Catholic church with a very nice courtyard.
Hotels in Dongcheng