All foreigners need visas to enter China. The application takes from one to five days to process and must be submitted to a consular office in person or by proxy, such as a travel agent. Visit www.china-embassy.org for information on local consulates.
Taxis are the most convenient way to get around Beijing, though congested roads may slow you down. Be sure to bring the address of your destination in Chinese, as many drivers' English is limited.
St. Regis Beijing Just off the Silk Alley shops, with luxurious rooms and suites. DOUBLES FROM $370. 21 JIAN GUOMENWAI DAJIE; 877/787-3447 OR 86-10/6460-6688; www.stregis.com
Peninsula Palace Beijing Opulent rooms and lush gardens, within walking distance of the Old City. DOUBLES FROM $340. 8 GOLDFISH LANE; 800/223-6800 OR 86-10/8561-2888; www.peninsula.com
Grand Hyatt Beijing A sleek high-rise with floor-to-ceiling windows and 530 rooms. DOUBLES FROM $170. 1 E. CHANG AN AVE.; 800/233-1234 OR 86-10/8518-1234; beijing.grand.hyatt.com
China National Tourist Organization 212/760-8218 OR 818/545-7507; www.cnto.org
Forbidden City The royal residence during the Ming and Qing dynasties, this cluster of ancient buildings is also known as the Imperial Palace. Just north of Tiananmen Square in the city center.
Zhihua Temple 5 LUMICANG ALLEY, DONGCHENG DISTRICT
Beijing University HAIDIAN DISTRICT, IN NORTHWEST BEIJING
Beijing Central Railway Station One of two principal stations: Central Station is just south of Dongchang'an Jie; West Station is at the head of the Beijing-Kowloon rail line. www.bj-station.com.cn
GALLERIES AND SHOPS
IKEA 27 N. THIRD RING MIDDLE RD., XICHENG DISTRICT
China Art Archives & Warehouse JI CHANG FU LU, NANGAO RD., CHAOYANG DISTRICT; 86-10/6431-3098
Red Gate Gallery Levels 1 and 4 of the Dongbianmen Watchtower. SECOND RING RD., CHONGWENMEN DISTRICT; 86-10/6525-1005; www.redgategallery.com
Courtyard Restaurant & Gallery DINNER FOR TWO $68. 95 DONGHUAMEN DAJIE, DONGCHENG DISTRICT; 86-10/6526-8882; www.courtyard-gallery.com
Factory 798 A factory-turned-art center with galleries, studios, a book publisher, and more. 4 JIU XIAN QIAO RD., CHAOYANG DISTRICT; 86-10/8456-0336
Loft New Media Art Space 4 WORKERS STADIUM N. RD., CHAOYANG DISTRICT; 86-10/6506-5592
Cottage 4 RI-TAN BEI RD., CHAOYANG DISTRICT; 86-10/8561-1517
Panjiayuan Antiques Market PANJIA RD., CHAOYANG DISTRICT
BARS AND RESTAURANTS
No Name Bar DINNER FOR TWO $24. 3 QIANHAI DONG YAN, XICHENG DISTRICT; 86-10/6401-8541
Lao Hanzi DINNER FOR TWO $18. SAN LITUN N. ST., CHAOYANG DISTRICT; 86-10/6415-3376
Kong Yi Ji DINNER FOR TWO $24. HUOHAI SHICHAHAI, DESHENGMEN, XICHENG DISTRICT; 86-10/6404-0507
Pink Loft DINNER FOR TWO $24. 6 SAN LITUN S. ST., CHAOYANG DISTRICT; 86-10/6506-8811
Green T. House DINNER FOR TWO $70. 6 GONGTI XI RD., CHAOYANG DISTRICT; 86-10/6552-8310; www.greenteahouse.com.cn
Peking Story: The Last Days of Old China, by David Kidd (New York Review of Books). A final glimpse of Old Peking by an American scholar of Chinese art who married into an aristocratic Beijing family.
Chinese Art at the End of the Millennium, by John Clark (New Art Media Limited).
Exhibiting Experimental Art in China, by Wu Hung (University of Chicago Press).