Beijing Travel Guide

Bar Beer Wine

Tea, tea, and more tea! Some shops are in malls and others are stand-alone establishments. Whatever their location, always ask the price before ordering or else brace yourself for the most expensive egg-sized cup of tea in the world. You can experience different styles of tea ceremonies and tea tastings at tea houses especially in the Qianmen area south of Tiananmen Square. These can range widely in quality and price. Some tea houses are really tourist traps whose main goal is to milk you of your money (See warning box). You can get a free tea demonstration at most Tenrenfu tea houses which are located throughout the city and at some malls. A private room or a quiet back table in a tea house with mid-range tea for two should cost ¥100-200. After an afternoon in such shops the remaining tea is yours to take home. Once tea is ordered, the table is yours for as long as you like.

As a tea-loving country and grower of much of the world's tea, coffee is not as easy to find but a taste for it—along with more expats dotted throughout Beijing—has seen more emerging middle class and students drinking it. For example, the city alone has 50 Starbucks locations. Most are situated around shopping malls and in commercial districts of the city. Other international chains such as Costa Coffee, Pacific Coffee and so on also have locations around Beijing. Coffee of varying qualities is also available in the ubiquitous Taiwanese style coffee shops such as Shangdao Coffee. These are usually located on the second floor of buildings and oftentimes offer Blue Mountain Styled Coffee, making places like restaurants seem a real bargain. Most coffee shops will offer wireless. Baristas in non-chain coffee shops may not be educated on how to make generally accepted espresso drinks, like lattes and cappuccinos. Espressos of Kaffa Cafe, a local coffee enterprise and coffee technical developing organization, usually taste better and are more consistent.

Chinese beer can be quite good. The most preferred beer in China is Tsingtao (青岛 Qīngdǎo) which can cost ¥10-20 in a restaurant, or ¥2-4, depending on size, from a street vendor, but in Beijing, the city's homebrew is Yanjing beer (燕京 Yànjīng), and has a dominating presence in the city (Yanjing being the city's name from its time 2,000 years ago as capital of the state of Yan). Beer mostly comes in large bottles and has 3.1%-3.6 alcohol content. Both Yanjing and Qingdao come in standard (普通 pǔtōng) and pure (纯生 chúnshēng) varieties; the difference mainly seems to be price. Beijing Beer (北京啤酒 Běijīng Píjiǔ)is the probably the third most popular brand. Craft beers are also making an appearance in Beijing, with specialty beers found in various German-themed restaurants throughout the city, as well as Beijing's first dedicated microbrewery, Great Leap Brewing (大跃), located in East Beijing's charming hutongs.

Great Wall is the most popular local brand of grape wine. Wine made in China does not have a great reputation, though this is changing. Giving wine as a gift is not a common custom in most places in China and most people will not be accustomed to wine etiquette or appreciation (white wine is often mixed with Sprite). Imported red wines are usually of a better quality and can be found in big supermarkets, import good stores, and some restaurants.

The most common hard liquor is baijiu (白酒 báijiǔ), made from distilled grain (usually sorghum) spirits. It comes in a variety of brands and generally for very cheap prices (¥8 for a small bottle) and should be avoided if you want to have a clear mind for your travels on the next day. The most famous local brand is called Erguotou (二锅头 Èrguōtóu), which has 54% alcohol content. It should be noted that the local Erguotou is sold in gallon containers, often on the same shelf as water and with a similar price-range and indistinguishable colour. Care must be made not to confuse the two. Maotai (茅台 Máotái), the national liquor, is one of the more expensive brands, and it used to cost about as much as an imported bottle of whiskey—but now it costs a lot more, from ¥1000-2000. Wuliangye (五粮液) is another high-end brands, costs around ¥1000. Due to its mild taste, Wuliangye might be a better option for first time baijiu drinker. A large selection of imported liquor can be found at most bars and big supermarkets. One should better buy expensive liquor (both domestic and imported) from big supermarkets in order to avoid fake ones.

Places to drink

See the Districts articles for individual listings.

Most of Beijing's bars are located in one of the bar clusters around the city. A few years back, the only one was Sanlitun, but almost every year the last few years have seen a new area emerge. The most important areas are:

Houhai in Xicheng District located around the lake, Houhai
Nanluogu Xiang in Dongcheng District located in the middle of the hutongs
Sanlitun in Chaoyang District was once the centre of nightlife in Beijing and still popular with expats but increasingly uninteresting for travellers and locals.
Workers Stadium in Chaoyang District has taken over part of the action in nearby Sanlitun.
West Gate of Chaoyang Park in Chaoyang District is one of the newest bar areas in Beijing
Ladies' Street in Chaoyang District. By day it has some fashion shops, as its name suggests, but it is also home to some interesting new bars, restaurants and clubs.
Yuan Dynasty Wall Bar Street in Chaoyang District is a new ready-made bar area located nicely along a small river and a park but with quite uninteresting bars.
Wudaokou in Haidian District, where most of the foreign and local university students hang out. There are a number of bars and restaurants which serve a great variety of wine, beer and liquor for cheap. This area is also well known for its huge Korean population and a good place to find Korean food.
Dashanzi in Chaoyang District, Beijing's trendy art zone, this old warehouse and factory district has been taken over by art galleries, art shops and bars. Well worth the t

source: Wikivoyage

Things To Do in Beijing See All Things To Do in Beijing

  • Mutianyu

    Mutianyu

    Mutianyu Road, Huairou Distric...

    Attractions, Activities,Landmarks and Points Of Interest, Historical Sites, Outdoors
  • China Diy Travel

    China Diy Travel

    6 Chao Yang Park South Road

    We help the independent travelers plan their trip to China We don't only book train tickets for trav...

    Activities, Attractions, Transportation,Tours, Tourist Information
  • Summer Palace

    Summer Palace

    19 Xin-jian-gong-men Rd, Haidi...

    The Summer Palace is a vast ensemble of lakes, gardens and palaces in Beijing, China. The Summer Pa...

    Attractions, Activities,Historical Sites, Landmarks and Points Of Interest, Outdoors
  • Jingshan Park

    Jingshan Park

    No.44 Jingshanxi Street, Xiche...

    Jingshan Park is a public park covering around a fourth of a square kilometer (about 57 acres) immed...

    Attractions, Activities,Landmarks and Points Of Interest, Historical Sites, Tours, Outdoors

Hotels in Beijing (846 Hotels) See All Beijing Hotels

  • Redwall Hotel

    Including Cycle China-Beijing One-day Tour, Jingshan Park (Yingshan Gongyuan) and Great Wall Hikers-Great Wall One-dat Tour ideally found close to the three star hotel, R...

  • Days Inn Business Place Yinfeng

    With ShiDeLi Ya (OuZhou) GuDong JiaJu YiShuGuan, LangChen QingTong DiaoSu ZhanShiTing and +86 Design Store comfortably placed nearby the three and half star hotel, Days I...

  • Jinhangxian International Business Hotel

    The 24-hour fitness facilities will assure that you would not miss a beat of your workout routine when you lodge at this resort. With free airport transportation you can ...

  • C Kong International Hotel

    C Kong International Hotel is among the top, premium places to remain in Beijing. Nicely placed nearby Hong Ling Jin Park, China DIY Travel and GuoMei JuJia ZhuangShi YiT...

Top Destinations in China