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.

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

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.


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

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).

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.

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.

Don't be fooled by the fading paint and dusty velvet banquettes: the best young Chinese indie bands can be found cutting their teeth at this respected rock bar in the university district.