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Hostelworld Guide for Beijing The Essentials Climate

Getting There Beijing's four seasons are very distinctive and its
climate is best described as 'continental monsoon'.
Winters are freezing, with temperatures regularly
By plane: Beijing's airport is 27km from the city falling below 0°C. Spring is one of the best seasons
centre. to visit, as is autumn. It is then that crowds are
manageable and temperatures don't get out of
Buses for the city depart from outside arrivals hall hand. In summer, however, attractions are thronged
No. 11 and go to five different destinations. and it can get quite humid.
The Airport Express line of the Beijing Subway
connects the airport with the city centre. This
journey takes around 20 minutes.

By train: Travelling to Beijing by train, your journey

will end in the central Beijing Railway Station or
Beijing West Railway Station.

By bus: There are four major bus stations in

Beijing, but travelling by rail from within China is far
more convenient.

Getting Around

On foot: Some attractions are within walking Good to know...

distance of each other but you will definitely need to
China's economical, political and commercial centre is a big, brash, busy city. It is different to many other use some other mode of transport. Language: Putonghua (Mandarin)
Asian cities in that tourism doesn't overrun its heart and soul. It is far less commercialised than its Currency: Yuan (CNY)
counterparts and it seems that even at the city's best-known landmarks the number of locals outweighs By bicycle: Bicycles are a great way of getting Electricity: 220v/50Hv
the tourists. It is also a city steeped in history and has been the Chinese capital since 1421. around Beijing as roads are extremely Telephone Code: +86 (China), 010 (Beijing)
accommodating for those travelling by bike. Emergency Codes: Ambulance 120 / Fire 119 /
Police 110
Time Zone: GMT + 8
By subway: Beijing's subway network is a basic Central Post Office: Jianguomen Beijing
one although it is efficient and cheap. Main Tourist Office: 10 Dengshikou Xijie
There are currently 9 lines operating with this set to
steadily increase.
In this Guide... Beijing facts USA: +86 (0)10 85313000
UK: +86 (0)10 51924000
Useful Information Population: Around 22 million people live in the Canada: +86 (0)10 51394000
After Dark bustling metropolis that is Beijing. Australia: +86 (0)10 51404111
Places to Eat South Africa: +86 (0)10 65320181
Top Attractions Area: The city of Beijing covers almost 17,000 Ireland: +86 (0)10 65322691
Budget Tips square kilometres. Germany: +86 (0)10 85329000
Where to Shop Spain: +86 (0)10 65323629
Name: Beijing is also known as Peking and is Italy: +86 (0)10 85327600
the capital of the People's Republic of China. New Zealand: +86 (0)10 85327000
France: +86 (0)10 85328080

Hostelworld Guide for Beijing

Cheap Eats After Dark Don't Miss Mark Your Calendar

Ajisen Noodle, LG Oriental Plaza, 1 Dongchan'an Poachers, 43 Bei Sanlitun Lu Connected to a Tiananmen & Tiananmen Square, Tiananmen January/February - Chinese New Year
Jie Something of a fast-food chain in Asia, it's still hostel of the same name and one of the many bars Dong Built in 1420, Tiananmen (Gate of Heavenly Sometimes referred to as 'Spring Festival', this is
hard to deny the fact that the noodles, side dishes in Bejing's famous Sanlitun area, Poachers is Peace) is one of China's most iconic landmarks, the biggest event on Beijing's calendar.
and everything else in Ajisen Noodle are delicious. popular with ex-pats and backpackers alike. largely due to the portrait of Mao Zedong over the Celebrations last four days and the best places to
Prices are extremely reasonable, staff friendly and Popular all week, Thusdays gather a large crowd main gate. Just south, Tiananmen Square is the witness them are in one of the city's temples.
it's impeccably clean. Enjoys a good location too, who flock for the live jazz band, while Friday and world's largest open-urban square and has
only minutes from Tiananmen Square. Open daily Saturday nights are club nights. Open daily from witnessed many key events in China's history. February - Lantern Festival Marking the end of
from 9.30am-10pm. 4pm-close. the Spring Festival, people carry around red
Forbidden City, Tiananmen Dong Surrounded by a lanterns for the day. Some have poems in them
Purple Vine Tea House, 2 Nanchang Jie Not all 7.9-metre wall, Beijing's Forbidden City played host while others are decorated with pictures.
Not for the squeamish after-dark establishments in the Chinese capital are to China's Emperor and his family for almost 500
about drinking beer, shots or cocktails. This city has years, the last of which being Emperor Puyi in 1924. April - Qingming Festival Also known as 'Pure
numerous teahouses which remain open until the Today it is one of the country's most visited Brightness' or 'Tomb-Sweeping Day', people pay
early hours of the night. This one, located close to attractions due to the traditional Chinese architecture respect to the deceased by cleaning around their
the Forbidden City, is a small teahouse, perfect for and the Palace Museum.Open daily from tombs.
unwinding after a busy day. Open daily from 12 8.30am-5pm; admission Y60 to Palace Museum.
May - Labour Day May 1st sees various types of
celebrations take place in parks and squares all
A great, great wall over Beijing. On the day, Tiananmen Square is
Gay / Lesbian Beijing transformed into one giant flower bed.
Beijing's gay scene is largely underground.
While there aren't that many gay bars in the May - MIDI Music Festival Held in Haidian Park,
city, the number of them is growing, as is the this popular music festival features a number of
amount of gay nights being promoted in bars. stages playing host to rock bands from China and
Half and Half (15 Sanlitun Lu) is small, but one beyond. Stalls selling everything from shoes to CDs
Donghua Yeshi Night Market, Donganmen are also part of the festival.
Dajie The food at this nightly market may not be of the city's most popular gay bars while
to everyone's taste - picture cooked frog legs, Destination (7 Gongtixilu) is one of the most
snake skin and other such niceties. Hawkers on popular clubs on the gay scene. On Off Bar (5 August - People's Liberation Army Day This
the stalls almost give themselves brain Xingfuyicun Lu) also attracts a large gay crowd, national day on August 1st commemorates what the
haemorrhages as they try to offload their and has lesbian nights on Thursdays. PLA did for its country. Once again, Tiananmen
specialities to the thousands of passers-by who Square is where most celebrations take place.
are thinking of testing the limits of their stomach.
Open daily from 4pm-10pm. The Tree Bar, 43 Bei Sanlitun Nan Popular in The Great Wall of China Nothing can prepare August - Ghost Festival Celebrated during the 7th
summer due to the outside terrace, and equally in you for the first time your eyes set sight on The lunar month, this festival is held at a time of year
winter thanks to the cosy, red-brick interior, this is Great Wall of China, one of the wonders of the when it is thought that ghosts return to earth. In
Quan Ju De, 32 Qianmen Dajie Gnashing your one of Santilun's most popular bars. Run by a world. Famously visibile from space and order to appease these spirits, people leave
gnashers into some crispy Peking Duck is as much a Belgian, he has lots of his country's beers to choose spanning approximately 6,000km, it was built to offerings and burn paper money.
part of a visit to Beijing as going to Tiananmen from. Open daily from 11am-2am. protect China's northern borders. Some parts of
Square. Open since 1864, this eatery is quite it have crumbled, but surrounding Beijing are September - Mid-Autumn Festival Falling exactly
touristy, but venture in for the famous dish and you'll Acrobat show at Chaoyang Theatre, 36 various parts that have been restored. For tour seven months from the fifteenth day of the eighth
leave satisfied. Open daily from 11am-2pm, Dongsanhuan Beilu This famous show near the info visit month of the lunar calendar, this event is regularly
4.30pm-9pm. Dongyue Temple involves some of the world's most referred to as 'Moon Festival' as friends and family
talented (and flexible) acrobats. In their munch on moon cakes for the day.
Gourmet St, LG Oriental Plaza, 1 Dongchan'an breathtaking shows they involve bicycles, tightropes Temple of Heaven, Tian Tan Lu This 'temple
Jie If you have a craving for something other than and spinning plates. That and balancing. Lots of complex' is the largest of its kind in China and was
balancing. A good, cheap alternative night out when built between 1406 and 1420 when the Yongle October - National Day Commemorating the
Chinese food you may find it here. This is where anniversary of the founding of the People's
you'll find a Thai and a Japanese restaurant, while if in the Chinese capital. Shows nightly at 7.15pm; Emperor ruled. The most famous building in the
admission prices vary. complex is the Hall of Prayer for Good Harvests, a Republic by Mao Zedong in 1949, Tiananmen
you want something a bit more western you'll be Square is where the celebrations take place each
able to grab a baguette for lunch on the go. Open building made entirely of wood and no nails. Open
daily from 8.30am-6pm; admission Y35. year on October 1st.
daily from 9.30am-10pm. Big Easy Bar, Chaoyang Park Road Those
looking for some live music in the Chinese captial
should look no further than the Big Easy Bar, Summer Palace, Haidan Originally built as a retreat October - Double Ninth Festival Held on the ninth
Street stalls Although not as evident in other Asian day of the ninth month (hence the name), people
capitals, Beijing is still overrun with street stalls Beijing's very own blues bar. As popular for its food from the city for the imperial family, the Summer
as for its drink and music, live blues is staged Palace is where you will find enormous grounds to drink chrysanthemum wine and have
dishing out cheap and cheerful food. Most of these chrysanthemum cakes as it is believed food made
are down the side streets in the neighbourhoods. almost every night by musicians from both home walk through and Kunming Lake to boat on. Open
and abroad. Open daily from 4pm-2am. daily from 7am-5pm; admission Y30. from the plant keeps evil spirits at bay.
Choose from meats on a skewer to noodles.

Hostelworld Guide for Beijing

Neighbourhood Watch Retail Therapy Budget Tips A Day in Beijing...

Chaoyang East of downtown Beijing is Chaoyang, Panjiayuan Flea Market, Panjiayuan Lu Beijing's Visit Beijing's galleries Dotted all over the Chinese Rent a bike for the day and cycle to
Beijing's largest district. Largely residential, there is best-known flea market, or 'dirt market' as it is more capital are a host of art galleries which impose no Tiananmen Square, the largest urban square
still lots to see and do. The city's expanding CBD is commonly known, is one of the largest of its type in admission charge. These include the Red Gate in the world. See hundreds pose for photos
here, which is where the Olympic Park for the 2008 Asia. The market space covers an area of over Gallery which houses modern art, the Beijing East and join in if you feel the urge.
Olympic Games was built. Many of the country's 45,000 square meters and in it are thousands of Gallery and the Wan Fung Art Gallery which also
embassies are in the district, as is Dongyue Temple. stalls selling everything from clothes to pottery. have contemporary Chinese paintings, and Kuaixue Walk through the iconic Tiananmen before
Most travellers though, make their way here to visit Open Sat & Sun from 6am-3pm. Hall where the paintings decking the gallery's reaching the Forbidden Palace. Marvel at the
Sanlitun, the Chinese capital's most vibrant area numerous walls reflect life in Beijing. ancient Chinese architecture before entering
after dark. the palace museum.
Beijing's premier shopping street Pay your respects at Beijing's temples While
Xicheng Located just north west of central Beijing, entrance to them isn't entirely free, tickets for Go and grab some lunch. South of
Xicheng is full of restaurants and shops, making it a Beijing's temples won't break the bank by any Tiananmen Square is Quan Ju De, famous
great place to watch locals go about their day to day means. The best-known is Lama Temple where you for its crispy Peking Duck, while east is a
duties. Its main arteries are between (and include) will always encounter worshippers burning incense. food court in the Malls at Oriental Plaza.
Xinijekou Nandajie and Xisi Nandajie, and are Others include Dongyue Temple which dates back to
peppered with retail outlets and, for some reason, the 14th century, and the Dazhong Temple which
stores selling musical instruments. houses a bell that weighs over 45 tonnes. Take a stroll up Wangfujing. Lined each side
with stores and shopping centres, it is the
most famous shopping street in the Chinese
Relax in Beijing's parks As this is the capital of capital.
A bit of heaven in Beijing China, things can get pretty hectic in Beijing no
matter what part of town you are in. When it begins
to get a bit much for you, take refuge in the city's Jump back on your bike and cycle to Lama
parks. Jingshan Park and Dongdan Park are the two Temple (below), one of the most beautiful
most central. Get to them early and you might see temples in Beijing. Watch as hundreds burn
Wangfujing Located just minutes from locals practising tai chi. incense as they worship.
Tiananmen Square, Wangfujing is a
pedestrianised street that doesn't have an Go to Beijing's museums Just like the city's
abundance of famous brands jumping out at you, temples, Beijing's museums aren't free but the
but it is still evidently the city's main shopping admission charges are low. One of the most
street. Along with the obligatory camera shops, impressive is the National History Museum and the
Nike and Adidas both have stores here, while National Museum of China, which is conveniently
the clothes stores trying to tempt you to treat located on Tiananmen Square.
yourself aren't so familiar.

Chongwen South of Tiananmen Square, this is Fit in with the locals

a part of central Beijing that is visited mainly by The Malls at Oriental Plaza, 1 Dongchang'an Jie
people going to the Temple of Heaven. Others Beijing's best shopping centre is a dream come true
come here to shop thanks to Hongqiao Market if you have some spare money to spend. Guys can
shopping mall and Panjiayuan Flea Market, as see what's hanging on the rails in Jack & Jones,
well as relax in Longtan Park and take pedal Boss, Esprit and the Levi's Store, while the ladies Visit the Temple of Heaven. Cycle if you
boats out on the lake of the same name. will be more drawn to Mango, Kookai, and Vero have the energy, but if you don't lock the bike
Moda. This mall is also home to the Sony up somewhere around Tiananmen Square
ExploraScience, the first Sony Science Museum in and take a cab.
Haidain Home to over two million inhabitants, Asia outside of Japan. Open daily from 10am-10pm.
Haidian is Beijing's second largest district after Drop your bike off, then go and freshen up
Chaoyang. It is full of attractions as Beijing's zoo, Hongqiao Market, Hongqiao Lu Sometimes before going out. You'll be sweating after all
aquarium and planetarium can all be found here, referred to as 'Pearl Market', you'll find that many of that cycling!
along with the celebrated Summer Palace. Beijing the stores here specialise in the cream gems. But
University is also here, resulting in many affordable there's more to it than that - electronic goods,
restaurants and lots of lively bars. cameras, sporting goods, bags and (copy) watches Make your way to the Sanlitun area of
can all be picked up too. Open daily from Rent a bike for the day Figuring out Beijing's Beijing, the city's most vibrant area and full of
8.30am-7pm. bus network can prove to be quite difficult. And bars and restaurants. Try Peking Duck in
Dongcheng If there was one neighbourhood one while the underground is convenient, there are one of the restaurants if you haven't already.
could classify as 'downtown' it would be Dongcheng still many places without stops. Because of this,
where Tiananmen Square and the Forbidden City Yashow Market, 58 Gongtibeilu Just south of before you set off sightseeing for the day, invest
are located. Home to the best surviving parts of the Sanlitun (Bar Street), this shopping mall is spread around Y100 in renting a bicycle for the day as Finish the night off bar hopping on Sanlitun
old city, many temples are here too, most notably out over five floors. Mainly specialising in clothes, on there is no doubt you will get your money's Lu, or 'Bar Street' as it's also (and aptly)
Lama Temple on Yonghegong Dajie. It is also the top floor you can buy electronic goods. Open worth. On top of that, you'll fit in with the locals! known. Some of them include 'Downtown',
popular with Beijing's big retailers. daily from 9.30am-8pm. 'Lily', 'Café No. 44', 'Swing' and 'Milan Club'.

Hostelworld Guide for Beijing