The Coolest Places In Beijing
Of the cities in the orient, Tokyo is known for its tech, Seoul for its fashion and Beijing for its history, culture, tradition and… cool? Maybe not at first glance, but Beijing is littered with options for party-going traveler’s idea of cool, adventure and thrill-seeker cool, and even those who prefer the leisurely concept of the word; every definition of cool can be found in the capital of cool
The Temple of Heaven
There isn’t enough time to visit all of the temples in Beijing so why not just visit the coolest. At number 5 the Temple of Heaven redefines cool. With over 600 years of history, visitors are able to stand on the same steps as emperors and imperial armies. Ascend the ancient steps for mediation, practice tai chi with martial arts experts, fly Chinese designed kites. This is the romantic and cinematic version of China so many outsiders fantasize about… how cool is that?
Wudaokou & Sanlitun
For number 4 and 3 visitors must wait for the sun to set on Beijing and its moon to rise.
On the west side of the city Wudaokou brings the breath of youth to the ancient city. It is a locale for shopping and international eateries during the day then bars, clubbing and every avenue of the nightlife at after dark. Packed with foreign college students and recent grads Wudaokou’s nightlife can be more vibrant that its days, making it one of the coolest places in town.
Sanlitun lies on the east side of Beijing. It’s known for its embassies, international venues and is by far and large the foreign capital of the city. During the night though it shines with upscale lounges and offers a more tempered nightlife. With sophisticated nightclubs: jazz, blues, etc, Sanlitun welcomes those with a taste for the finer side of the night.
With western-style drinks and music under Chinese-style architectural backdrops and an expansive lake wrapped around it all, Houhai is our number 2 coolest locale in China. Take a stroll around the festive yet park-like environment, have a Chinese rickshaw tour around the historical landmarks or have a drink in the bar or on a private boat on Houhai’s lake. This hotspot can be as festive or as cool as visitors want it to be.
Wangfujing is our number 1 not because of its shopping, its picturesque photo ops, the local cuisine, street vendors, nightlife or the plethora of souvenirs that can and should be purchased there but because it is a whirlwind blend of everything in one: modern skyscrapers entrenched in ancient architecture, upscale boutiques with pricey china and jade jewelry juxtaposed with street vendors selling and bargaining handmade trinkets. There are a range of Chinese snacks with everything from dumplings to barbecued scorpion available as well; simply put, Wangfujing is the coolest spot in Beijing.
Tour Cool Beijing with China Highlights
China Highlights specializes in tailor-making tours of China to customers' requirements. Contact us to design your own cool Beijing tour.
Interested in discovering the nightlife in these amazing areas of Beijing? See our Beijing Night Tours.
- 72-Hour Visa-Free Travel to Beijing
- How to Plan a Tour of Beijing
I updated this article on October 16, 2013
See all my travel articles
- Beijing Things To Do
- Top Things to Do
- Top Reasons to Visit Beiing
- Things to Do With Kids