Beijing Nightlife

For a taste of traditional Chinese culture, the Beijing Opera is a must-see for visitors. The Beijing version is the newest of the variations on Chinese opera (dating back to 1790), but is today the most widely known and performed. Continuously performed since the 16th century, this ancient art is often mystifying to the non-Chinese tourist, but spectacular in its vivid make-up and vivacious music. Although you probably won't understand what is going on (unless you do plenty of research about the specific performance beforehand) this is a great place for people watching and generally soaking up the atmosphere. The best places for an enjoyable evening at the opera are the Lao She Teahouse and Liyuan Theatre at the Qian Men Hotel.

Chairman Mao officially approved only one traditional Chinese art form after the Communist Revolution - acrobatics. To see what the hype is all about, go to the Wansheng Juchang, which features the city's best acrobats (the famous Beijing Acrobat Troupe performs here nightly).

For those looking for a real night on the town, San Li Tun is Beijing's most popular drinking area. A younger crowd can be found in Haidian, the university district in the city's northwest, where there are clusters of cheaper bars catering to the student body. The Back Lakes, or Shicha Hai, has recently become very popular for late-night drinking. This area houses many classy hotel bars, like Red Moon in the Grand Hyatt and Cloud Nine in the Shangri-La.

People's Liberation Army (PLA) Opera House

60 Deshengmennei Dajie

Calling all Opera Lovers... read more

Acrobatics Show - The same as "Chang An Grand Theater"

36, Dongsanhuan Beilu
Chaoyang District

Classic Chinese entertainment... read more

Bar Blu

San Li Tun North Bar Street
Tongli Studio 4-5/F

Cool Blue With a Rooftop View... read more

Blue Frog

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Bldg S4 19 Sanlitun Road
The Village at Sanlitun

Fresh and Tasty Diner Classics... read more


84 Nanluo Guxiang

Small Aussie hangout pub... read more


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No. 12 Huaqingjiayuan
Huaqing Jiayuan Don Men Wang Bei (100m/328 ft. north of the east gate of Huaqing Jiayuan)

Crazy Student Fun... read more

MAO Livehouse

111 Guloudajie

Prime Music Venue... read more

Chao Yang Theater

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36 Dongsanhuan Beilu
Chao Yang District

Traditional Chinese acrobatics... read more

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1 Guanghua Lu
1/F Kerry Centre Hotel

The place to celebrate business success... read more

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77 Chao Yang Men Wai Avenue

Sing your heart out with 24hr karaoke... read more

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Bar Blu

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4/F Tongli Studio
Sanlitun Beijie

Expat standby with good quiz night... read more

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B12 Jianguomen Waidajie
4/F Twin Towers

Celebrity hotspot with Stark decor... read more

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Inside Workers' Stadium north gate

Huge beijing hotspot for the hip-hop crowd...
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1 Dongfang Lu
Hilton Hotel

Celebrate among high rollers... read more

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Great Leap Brewery

Doujiao Hutong #6

A unique Beijing brewery hidden in the old hutongs... read more

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Miss Saigon

Zhongyu Plaza, corner of Gongti Beilu and Sanlitun Nanlu,

A hidden, kitschy garden bar... read more

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El Nido

59 Fangjia Hutong,

Absinthe, beer and a dive you can appreciate...
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Molly Malone's

90 Jinbao Street

Massive upscale Irish bar... read more

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Gongti Dongmen 10-11

A delightful modern speakeasy... read more

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Irish Volunteer

Jiangtai Lu

A chill Irish hangout famous for its Irish clientele... read more
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