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Illustration of the city of Beijing

Buzzing Beijing

Article by Joella Jacobs 06.03.2016 Illustrations by Julia Rothman

From historical lanes and glass skyscrapers to classic cocktails and craft brews, this city of contrasts invites adventurers and pleasure-seekers alike.


Hidden House

Sip classic cocktails with a twist at this “secret” speakeasy bar by entering the unmarked, stone-front building, flipping the light switch and stepping through the bookcase.

39 Xindong Lu (Sanlitun)

The Rug

Dine alongside Beijing trendsetters in this large glass-front restaurant best known for its eggs Benedict, peanut butter French toast, bagel sandwiches and other brunch offerings.

4 Gongti Bei Lu (Sanlitun)

Soloist Coffee Co.

The brick wall provides a striking background for the smooth brews (roasted in-house), homemade cakes and knowledgeable baristas this Dashilar coffeehouse boasts.

39 Yangmeizhu Xiejie (Dashilar)

King’s Joy

Hear from the wait staff how each creatively designed, organically sourced Chinese dish this upscale vegetarian restaurant serves is made with health and environmental harmony.

2 Wudaoying Hutong 
(Dongcheng District)

Mr Shi’s

People-watch while dining on classic pork and vegetable-filled dumplings or perhaps tradition-smashing chocolate dessert morsels. The popular spot fills up quickly, but don’t worry —another location is just down the road.

74 Baochao Hutong (Dongcheng District)

Mr. Shin's dumplings at a restaurant in Beijing

Mr. Shi's popular dumpling spot offers classic and dessert dumplings.



Dig through this vintage store’s Chinese, Japanese and European treasures, which include designer and handmade garb from Fai Lau and Jessi Li, as well as sought-after antique chests and old globes.

52 Wudaoying Hutong (Dongcheng District)

Page One

Browse through this two-level bookstore’s showstopping art and design sections, best-sellers, travel guides, language books and stacks of children’s stories.

S2-14-b, Taikoo Li, 19 Sanlitun Lu (Sanlitun)

Twelve Moons

See where art meets everyday life with this store’s collection of vases, sketchbooks and postcards in bold patterns and saturated colors made from recycled materials. 27 Yangmeizhu Xiejie (Dashilar)

The Beast

Be charmed by this cheerful flower shop’s exquisite custom floral bouquets, scented candles, charm bracelets and yak wool scarves displayed in what feels like a hidden garden.

S3-11, S3-21 Taikoo Li, 19 Sanlitun Lu (Sanlitun)

Lost & Found, Lost & Found ll

Find limited-edition, midcentury-style and smaller take-home pieces at these sister American and Chinese designer-owners’ new furniture and classic home goods shops.

42 Guozijian Jie, 57 Guozijian Jie (Doncheng District)


Cheeky and colorful, this store's sleek collection of international brands includes clothing from Maison Kitsune, geometric home accessories from Hay, and unusual scented candles from Malin & Goetz.

Building 1-103, 29 Sanlitun Bei Lu

Sanlipop boutique store in Beijing

Sanlipop's clothing, accessories, home goods and gifts caters to Beijing's design-conscious crowd.


Arrow Factory Art Space

Peer into this 24-hour window-viewing-only display that houses contemporary art from local and international artists.

38 Jianchang Hutong (Dongcheng District)

Confucius Temple

Take a serene break from the city in this quiet and shady temple, where chaotic Beijing traffic is replaced by bird song and the light streams softly through the trees. 13 Guozijian Jie (Dongcheng District)

Temple Theatre Beijing Opera House

Step into one of the oldest and best-preserved wooden buildings in Beijing — and maybe even catch a show or two — in this centuries-old playhouse where opera master Mei Lanfang regularly held court.

220 Qianmen Xi Heyan (Xuanwu District)  

Zhiuhua Temple

Catch one of this gem’s short but moving, twice-daily performances of traditional court music, and stop by afterward to its permanent exhibition for a detailed look into the temple’s centuries-old history.

No. 5 Lumicang Hu Tong (Dongcheng District)


Learn rug-weaving, model-making and glass-blowing from the pros at this “Hundred Crafts Workshop,” created to preserve Chinese crafts in danger of extinction.

2 Zuo'anmen Inner St (Dongcheng District)

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