So you're coming to Beijing on a Business Trip - that doesn't mean that you can't have a little fun and still explore the city. Here are our suggestions for where to stay, where to eat, and what to do during the daytime, and in the evenings after work.
Where to Stay
The Hilton Wangfujing is perfect for business. Its business facilities, and its location also has countless perks. The hotel is a great place to start exploring the city from in the evening as well as during the day: you are right by Wangfujing Shopping Street and Snack Street.
To get the best of both worlds (the luxury, and the culture) check out the recently opened Temple Hotel, which is hidden inside an old Tibetan temple which was rediscovered not long ago. Want to stay in a luxury hotel, but interested in other options on top of the Temple Hotel? We've compiled a list of Beijing's most popular luxury hotels to make it easier. For another option that is a bit less expensive, go for the popular international chain the Holiday Inn Express. There is one at Dongzhimen which is easy to find, close to the center of the city of numerous attractions, and right by the subway to the airport.
- The Hilton Wangfujing, 8 Wangfujing East Street, Dongcheng District (010 58128888)
- Temple Hotel, 15 Xizhaosi Middle Street, Dongcheng District (010 67119999)
- Holiday Inn Express Dongzhimen, 1 Chunxiu Road, Dongcheng District (877 8595095)
Where to Eat
Where you want to eat depends completely on what kind of China experience you want, and how much free time you have. If you are tired, go for one of the easier and always great restaurants in the big Western hotels, for example the Hilton's Flames Grill.
If you are up to exploring what the city as to offer, go somewhere more local, like Jindingxuan near the Lama Temple which serves incredible Cantonese food and some Beijing staples. This restaurant is also open 24 hours a day, so there really is no excuse!
Do you have business connections, colleagues in your Beijing office, or friends to impress? Take them to a fancy and authentic duck restaurant in a beautiful imperial Chinese courtyard setting at Hua's Restaurant.
- Flames Grill, Hilton Hotel, 8 Wangfujing East Street, Dongcheng District (010 58128888, extension 8411)
- Jindingxuan, 77 Hepingli East Street, Dongcheng District (010 64296699)
- Hua's Restaurant, 235 Dongzhimen Inner Street, Dongcheng District (010 64037802)
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- Half-Day Beijing Walking Tour in a Neighborhood
What to do: Daytime
1. The Center: Forbidden City & Tian'anmen Square
If it's your first time in Beijing, you may want to consider taking a trip to the biggest and best tourist attractions in the city: the Forbidden City and Tian'anmen Square. Located in the very heart of Beijing, visiting these two can take up to a day depending on how much time you have to spend. If you have some time left over, top it all off with a visit to Jingshan Park, at the north of the Forbidden City. Climbing to the top of this park gives the best view of the city.
2. Old Beijing: Lama Temple & Hutongs
If you'd rather delve straight into ordinary Beijing life, go and explore the old-style residential streets, also called hutongs, in the East part of the city, and fit in a visit to the nearby Lama Temple. This can easily be done as a day trip, or in a few hours if you don't have that much free time. Contact us to arrange a tour, as the best bits are easily missed, the hutongs truly are a maze and we can help you maximize your precious time.
3. Taking Beijing Home: Shopping
Have you been given strict shopping instructions from family or friends at home? Pay a visit to Silk Street or any of these other locations and start checking things off that list. You can truly find everything in Beijing, from the expected Chinese tea and silk, to other souvenirs. Most tourist sites will also have souvenir stalls to ensure you don't go home empty-handed.
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What to do: Evening
1. Nightlife: Houhai & Sanlitun
Only have time off in the evenings? Fear not - there is still a lot of stuff to do in Beijing during the evenings. For example, Houhai lake, nestled in the hutongs in the center of the city, offers a great nightlife. The lake is surrounded by karaoke bars, clubs, restaurants of every style you could imagine. Come for food, a drink, or just a stroll. If you would rather do something more low-key, Beijing has a great range of affordable bars.
2. Relax: Massage & Spa
Beijing is full of great spas and places to get a massage. Most of them are open in the evenings, and some spas are even open 24 hours a day. Check out this list that we have made of Beijing's best spas to make sure you go somewhere authentic and worth the money.
3. Food: Wangfujing Snack Street & 'Ghost Street'
Considering the huge role that eating plays in Chinese culture, it is no surprise that you are able to find food throughout the entire city all day long. One of the most popular places to go is Wangfujing Snack Street, one of the many food streets throughout the city. Another popular one is 'Ghost Street' (Gui Jie). Both are perfect for eating, or a walk around.
Tours for a Business Trip
A business trip to China is the perfect excuse to get out there and see something you've always wanted to see, for example, a day trip to the Great Wall. Just let us know, and we will work with you to fit it around your business trip. With us, you can create your own trip too, so anything you've always wanted to do, let us know, and we can help you to fit it around your work.
- For a look at more business hotels in the city, click here to see a list that we have compiled.
- Want to do something really original during your time in Beijing? Go to one of Beijing's weirdest museums.
- If you want to be extra efficient during your time in the city, check out this article about how to see as much as possible via subway, the fastest mode of transportation in Beijing.