7 Best Areas to Stay in Beijing
When looking for a place to stay in a spread-out city like Beijing, it's all about location, location, location.
1. Wangfujing 王府井
Wangfujing is one of Beijing’s bustling shopping districts — and is conveniently located near Tiananmen Square and the Forbidden City, two of Beijing’s most popular attractions. Wangfujing’s walking street includes wonderful traditional Chinese shops as well as a must-see snack street — where you can try some strange food options (like grilled scorpion).
Now, if you’re one who simply cannot say no to placing exotic food into your mouth, then Wangfujing area is definitely one of the best areas to stay in Beijing! You’ll literally be steps away from food options which excite you.
2. Nanluoguxiang 南锣鼓巷
A popular hutong (Beijing alley), Nanluoguxiang is home to some of the city's trendiest restaurants, bars, and shops. Staying in the Nanluoguxiang area can also give a visitor close access to the Gulou and Houhai areas, making it a key access point to all that is trendy in Beijing.
If you’re a fan of offbeat small, vintage trinkets, the Gulou area should definitely be on your radar – small yet quirky shops line the charming alleys and carry basically everything which appeals to a hipster.
Literally just a stone’s throw away from the Gulou area, the Houhai area is a haven for all those seeking respite after a hard, long day of work. Unwind in the accompaniment of great, live music band right beside a breathtaking scenic lake view… with a bottle of beer in your hand, of course!
3. Qianmen 前门
Located just south of Tiananmen Square and the Forbidden City, it’s hard to find an area more central than Qianmen. The path leading to Tiananmen Square is up the Qianmen walking street, a charming area free of cars that features ancient style architecture, some of the city’s oldest restaurants, and a variety of shopping options.
4. Dongzhimen 东直门
Now a bustling business district complete with access to a variety of fascinating hutongs as well as Guijie — Beijing’s top food street — Dongzhimen is unrivalled in terms of its convenience.
Dongzhimen’s subway is the access point to the city’s airport express train, the fastest way to get to and from Beijing Capital Airport, avoiding any traffic jams.
5. Sanlitun 三里屯
Sanlitun is popular among foreigners and is an accurate representation of modern Beijing — cosmopolitan and bustling with excitement. Although not being one of Beijing’s more traditional areas, with its ultra-modern architecture and fantastic western food options, Sanlitun still gives visitor access to Beijing’s more classic tourist spots. It's a good jumping off point for visitors making their first trip to China.
Mmm, definitely one of the best areas to stay in Beijing (and most taxing on your wallet) in our opinion!
6. Yonghegong 雍和宫
Yonghegong is home city’s best examples of how old and new blend together — including centuries-old hutong complete with trendy bars and restaurants, many of them Western. A stroll through Wudaoying Hutong in between Yonghegong and Andingmen subway stations is truly eye-catching with its vibrant mix of old and new.
If you are looking for a real, authentic Beijing experience, the Yonghegong area will definitely be one of the best areas to stay in Beijing for you. Live like a true local in traditional accommodation while having quick access to the CBD and Sanlitun areas!
7. Xidan 西单
Beijing’s Xidan area is another excellent choice in terms of convenience and location. The area itself, near the Forbidden City, is home to many international shops and malls, and is an excellent place to start for those wanting to explore many different areas of Beijing.
The Xidan Cultural Square being one of the largest venue for cultural events in downtown Beijing, and the Xidan area has definitely got to be one of the best areas to stay in Beijing for those looking to gain a deeper understanding of the city!