Beijing Travel Guide

The main draw of this area west of Tiananmen Square is the new Financial Street area, home to high-rise office towers, a cluster of five-star hotels, and the tony Seasons Place Mall.

Past the bookstore and the Arrival-level Starbucks, look for the English signs labeled “Lost & Found” and “Left Luggage,” where you can leave extra baggage up to three months if you’re touring China and will depart for home from Beijing ($4.50 per piece per day).

Hidden away along a bland, utilitarian suburban block, this über-hip space is a major haunt for Beijing fashionistas.

Laetitia Gauden, a French curator, started the Imagine Gallery in Feijiacun in 2003.

Paul Andreu's delightfully zany China National Grand Theater, a.k.a. the Alien Egg, opened its doors in 2006.

Olympic Pedigree: Home to swimming, diving, water polo, and synchronized swimming in 2008, and possibly where amphibious phenom Michael Phelps breaks Mark Spitz’s Olympic record of seven gold medals.


At this trademark-skirting park in western Beijing—where a banner over the entrance proclaims: "Disneyland is too far"—there's a replica of Sleeping Beauty's castle (with less sparkle and more Communist-brick realism); live character doppelgangers of Shrek, Donald Duck, and Minnie Mouse; and even

Stop here for Chinese books, periodicals, and a limited selection of overpriced English language texts, from President Barack Obama’s The Audacity of Hope ($19) to Candace Bushnell’s Sex and the City ($20) to Time and Newsweek ($6.50).

The central Houhai Lake is lined with lively waterfront bars and cafés, take a stroll along the promenade before sitting down to dine.

Capable of holding a million people, the 100-acre Tiananmen is the world’s largest public square.

Get to your gate on time!

During the summer months, this dinky but charming bar—set right at the edge of a lake in Ritan Park—hosts an array of live music acts.

The resort offers two slopes: an amateur run of 650 feet and an advanced one that stretches for 1,000. It's open year-round, a bragging right the resort emphasized by debuting in August.

This charming little pottery studio-cum-store, which features ceramics from talented local potters, has solved many a gift-giver’s dilemma. The emphasis here is on contemporary interpretations of traditional ceramic forms (vases, plates, cups, urns, teapots).

Well-known rock venue impresario Li Xuebing (or “Bing Bing”) and Hong Kong gallery owner Zhao Lei combined forces in 2001 to open the Yan Club as an arts center.