Bars and Nightlife in Beijing

Nightlife in Beijing doesn't yet compare to London or Bangkok, but it's much better than you'd imagine. Increasing numbers of top international DJs have begun to play clubs here and the music scene is pretty up to date. A few bands have made the trip too (Suede and Morcheeba have played here in 2003 - not the biggest of names but a sign of the growth in the music scene). Most of the nightlife is around the Sanlitun Embassy district. Sanlitun Lu itself has numerous bars with live.

The Houhai area is the kind of place you can visit anytime: during the day you can enjoy the peaceful lakeside setting, and in the evenings the area transforms into party central ĘC it is a firm fixture on the Beijing nightlife scene. Many of the restaurants and bars feature lakeside settings. In summer the area is guaranteed to overflow with groups of tourists and locals unwinding and enjoying some wind in the Beijing heat.  Hiring a boat, or sometimes swiming in the lake, are popular summer activities.  You doní»t have to wander very far to wind up in one of the Hutongs in the surrounding area. The place offers abundant bars and restaurants. Drinks are quite expensive and so is the food. A good choice for the budget traveller is the Kejiacai Restaurant offering food and drinks at a fair price. There are also some nice restaurants to be found inside the Hutongs, which also offer a nice opportunity for strolling around.
An open area at the entrance to the lake becomes a public dancing square in the evenings;  even if you lack the spontaneity to jump in and join in the fun, it is still wonderful to watch couples demonstrate their ballroom dancing skills.

Most taxi drivers will and should know where Houhai is as it is a popular tourist destination.


While it may be a relative newcomer to the international party scene, Beijing has no shortage of all-night karaoke lounges and western-style pubs and cocktail bars.
Sanlituní»sí░bar street,í▒ located in the embassy district, is a favorite for westerners due to its heavily American and European influenced bars. Another party point, Nurenjie loosely translated as í░women's streetí▒, has similar offerings. The Houhai area is a tamer and more romantic alternative that trades in some of the chaos and excitement for a quieter, more relaxed atmosphere. Houhai's lakeside bars and outdoor tables create a more subdued drinking experience. In the last few years Wudaokou has become a popular congregation point on the north side of Beijing. Here, the high concentration of universities and foreign exchange students has prompted the rise of a younger, and cheaper, nightlife hot spot.