Beijing is huge, and as they say, location is everything. It’s important to consider where to stay and how each location will impact your overall trip experience. Some initial questions to consider and help you decide:
What are your interests, be it sightseeing, culture, cuisine or shopping?
What’s your preferred budget?
How do you plan to get around?
Here are our top recommendations for the best locations for travelers to stay in when visiting Beijing:
Wangfujing (central Beijing)
As it is centrally located and within walking distance to many historic landmarks in Beijing, Wangfujing is the most common location for tourists to stay in Beijing. Set near Tiananmen Square and the Forbidden City, as well as many shopping areas, Wangfujing easily combines the sightseeing and shopping aspects of your trip.
Nearby Attractions: Forbidden City, Tiananmen Square, Wangfujing Snack Street
Chaoyang District (central-east Beijing)
Our personal favorite, especially if you stay in the area of Sanlitun village. Chaoyang is ideal for travelers who want to mix business and leisure on a trip to Beijing. Home to Beijing’s Central Business District, most international companies, news agencies, and embassies reside here among the soaring skyscrapers, hotels, and offices. However, art and culture still permeate Beijing’s most developed area in interesting galleries, bars, restaurants, parks, and shops. One of the less-tourity, modern yet “local” enough to enjoy Beijing.
Nearby Attractions: 798 Art District, Sanlitun Bar Street, Ritan Park, Tianze Ladies’ Street Market
Read More: 6 Great Places for Art in the City
Houhai and Nanluoguxing (Beijing Hutongs)
Ideal for travelers who want to explore local life and residential Beijing culture, Houhai and Nanluoguxing are located near one another and are often considered together. There are many courtyards in traditional Hutongs, hotels, and hostels to choose from for a variety of budgets. The areas are also marked with unique cafes, authentic restaurants, and bars with a fun, relaxed nightlife atmosphere. Easily accessible and convenient public transportation nearby.
Nearby Attractions: Confucius Temple, Houhai Lake, Lama Temple, Bell and Drum towers, Shichahai Lake, 2008 Olympic Sites, Chinese Ethnic Cultural Park
Qianmen (Central Beijing)
This is the historic center of old Beijing. Without all the flare of modern architecture in other parts of the city, Qianmen maintains its more calm and relaxed vibe along with the cultural elements of the old city. Both luxurious hotels and comfortable courtyards hotels and hostels can be found here. Most attractions can be reached by walking along Qianmen’s historic side streets. Metro Line 2 connects Qianmen to the rest of Beijing without difficulty as well.
Nearby Attractions: Dazhalan, Forbidden City, Tiananmen Square
Xi’dan (central-west Beijing)
For fashion enthusiasts, Xi’dan is the place to stay. Satisfying all commercial needs, the area consists of streets lined with malls, hot-label clothing stores, and small boutiques alike. For shoppers, there is something that fits all styles and budgets here – in both shops and hotels. Located just two kilometers from Tiananmen Square.
Nearby Attractions: Tiananmen Square
if you want to be closer to the historical sites, consider Wangfujing, Qianmen and Changning areas. If Culture and local life are more interesting for you, opt for Chaoyang or Houhai and Nanluoguxiang areas. If it is shopping and less touristy areas, we’d go for Xi’dan or Chaoyang.
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