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Modern China / Trip Ideas

Top 5 bar streets in Beijing

By Teng Mu

August 3

Experience nightlife with Beijing characteristics.

Experience nightlife with Beijing characteristics.

Bars have proliferated in China’s capital, and different areas draw different crowds with their unique atmospheres. Here are five of Beijing’s most popular.

1. Sanlitun 三里屯酒吧街

Sanlitun [Image Credit: photostock.china.com.cn/Qiao Hua]
Sanlitun [Image Credit: photostock.china.com.cn/Qiao Hua]
Beijing’s modern nightlife scene started in Sanlitun. Located just inside the east side of the 3rd Ring Road, it neighbors Beijing’s biggest embassy district. Foreigners are its main customers.

Why Sanlitun: It boasts more foreign-style clubs and bars than anywhere else in the city.

2. Houhai Bar Street 后海酒吧街

Houhai Bar Street [Image Credit: photostock.china.com.cn/Zhang Jian]
Houhai Bar Street [Image Credit: photostock.china.com.cn/Zhang Jian]
Houhai Bar Street is an artsy area along the bank of Houhai (a lake). Behind the bars you can find ancient alleys with restaurants and a relaxing atmosphere. Despite a slower pace than Sanlitun, there are many music bars on this street with live performances.

Why Houhai: It’s romantic atmosphere combines lakeside scenery with lively entertainment.

3.Xingba Road 星吧路酒吧街

Xingba Road [Image Credit: www.showchina.org]
Xingba Road [Image Credit: www.showchina.org]
Located in the central area of Yansha business circle (燕莎商圈) and next to the Third Embassy District (第三使馆区), Xingba Road has more than 30 bars, many with their own distinctive atmospheres and venue-designs. Some bars here are frequented by popular stars — famous rock-star Zheng Jun, for example, owns a bar on this street.

Why Xingba: Maybe you’ll get the chance to see a famous musician’s impromptu performance.

4. Dashanzi大山子酒吧街

798 Art Zone [Image Credit: photostock.china.com.cn/Sun Jihu]
Dashanzi Bar Street locates in the 798 Art District, which is called “one of the 22 city art centers of cultural symbolism in the world” by Times. It is quite possibly Asia’s best k
nown art hub. Since its development as an arts area in the early 2000’s, a series of bars and lounges have opened as well.

Why Dashanzi: It’s one of Beijing’s trendiest areas, and for good reason — there’s no other place like it in the city.

5. Nanlouguxiang 南锣鼓巷酒吧街

Nanluoguxiang [Image Credit: photostock.china.com.cn/Tao Tao]
Nanluoguxiang [Image Credit: photostock.china.com.cn/Tao Tao]
Nanluoguxiang is a well-preserved old alley from the Yuan Dynasty. The tall trees, red doors and old masonry will bring you back a century or two while you sip your drink. Many places here also feature live music.

Why Nanluoguxiang: Trace history and experience traditional Chinese culture
while you enjoy a drink.

 

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