Beijing

Beijing Travel Guide

British expat and longtime Beijing resident Dominic Johnson-Hill mines a rich seam of local nostalgia with his line of quirky, retro T-shirts—which depict Communist revolutionary heroes, coquettish Chinese pinups, and iconic Beijing images (subway maps, taxi and noodle-shop signs).

A gallery opposite the Nangao police station, in an area just outside The Fifth Ring Road.

For much of the 20th century the exquisite interiors of the two-acre Qianlong Garden, built between 1771 and 1776 and tucked within Beijing’s legendary Forbidden City, lay hidden from view and slowly disintegrating.

798

The cluster of Bauhaus-style factory buildings, dating from the 1950's, have been converted into artists' studios and experimental galleries.

Beijing’s atmospheric hutong, or traditional alleyways, are fast disappearing; explore the bustling ones off Nanluoguxiang, near the 13th-century Drum and Bell towers.

A colossal monument to theatre, opera, and classical music opened in the Fall of 2007, just in time to impress the Olympic crowds.

Pack duty-free liquor in an imitation Wenger “Swiss Army” carry-on-size wheelie suitcase from this travel accessories store. Smarter buys include Snuggy Snoozer neck pillows ($19) and fresh earplugs to drown out the plane engines and crying babies ($6).

Set in the city’s northeastern Chaoyang district, the newly built Olympic Park is home to the fabulous “Bird’s Nest” national stadium (an inventive, spiderweb structure of interlocking steel beams), along with the “Water Cube” National Aquatics Center (with an exterior made up of hundreds of what

In a hurry and/or traveling light? Speed your international check-in on busy travel days by taking your carry-on luggage, ticket, passport number, and frequent-flier number (if you have one) straight to a bilingual electronic self-check-in kiosk.

This bar’s name accurately represents its size—which, at 130 square feet, is easily the smallest in the city (and possibly all of China). The tiny nook contains just three wooden barstools and a booth big enough for four.

The respected gallery's new space at 798 was previously a liquor factory.

It must have been quite a schlep for emperors of old—who traveled in slow-moving palanquins along with hundreds of courtiers to get to this beautiful, serene lakeside palace. These days, though, it doesn’t take much longer than a half-hour car ride to get here, and it’s well worth the journey.

Xiu

In the Central Business District, well-heeled urbanites take in live jazz over Moët champagne, crispy prawn fritters, and Cohiba cigars at Park Hyatt Beijing's bar.

Jokes about all the tea in China aside, this shopping center (with a main cluster of stores surrounded by street stalls) is a must-visit for cuppa lovers.

If you’re a first- or business-class passenger on China’s national airline, take a seat in a big upholstered chair in your own private skybox while you wait for your flight and watch the world go by—and through security—below. Drinks, snacks, and magazines are complimentary.