Nightlife & Entertainment in Beijing

As the capital of the People's Republic of China and one of the most populous cities in the world, Beijing is a financial and trade centre, and also has rich and vibrant nightlife and entertainment. 

Beijing Opera

The Beijing Opera (aka Peking Opera) is a form of “total theater” with singing, speech, mime, and acrobatics that combine graceful gymnastics and movements from the martial arts. Neophytes may find two hours of the staccato clanging and nasal singing of Beijing opera hard to take (and most young Chinese fed on a diet of western-style pop agree). But this dramatic, colorful experience might be one of the most memorable of your trip. Performances can be seen at venues across the city.


1. Beijing Peking Opera Theatre

Address: No. 30 Haihu Xili, Fengtai District, Beijing

2. China National Peking Opera Company

Address: No. 22 Ping'an Xili Street, Xicheng District, Beijing

Martial Arts and Kung Fu

Kung Fu shows are held daily at The Red Theatre and Chaoyang Cultural Centre.


1. The Red Theatre

Address: Labouring Culture Palace, No.44 Happiness Street, Chongwen District, Beijing

2. Chaoyang Cultural Centre

Address: Near No.17 Jintai Road, Xiaozhaung, Chaoyangmenwai, Chaoyang District, Beijng


Tea is served with great ceremony involving a lot of filling and spilling, or tipping away - the aimis to provide a good number of exquisitely small cups of perfect tea from one pot of tea leaves. The city's numerous teahouses are also excellent venues for the enjoyment of a variety of performances such as traditional Chinese Music, storytelling, Chinese Opera, cross talking, magic, acrobatics, and martial arts (kung fu).


1. Lao She Teahouse (Qian Men Store) 

Address: Building 3 Zhengyang Market, Qianmen West Street, Xicheng District, Beijing

2. Minghui Tea House

Address: Dajue Temple, North Ann Township, Sujiatuo Town, Haidian District, Beijing

3. Purple Vine Tea House

Address: No.2 Nanchang Jie, Beijing, China

Not all after-dark establishments in the Chinese capital are about drinking beer, shots or cocktails. This city has numerous teahouses which remain open until the early hours of the night. This one, located close to the Forbidden City, is a small teahouse, perfect for unwinding after a busy day.

Havana Cafe

Address: North Gate of Worker Stadium, Beijing, China

They've come from all over to Beijing and Cuba is no exception. Salsa dancing, Sunday chill out music and excellent food make Havana Cafe one of the best places to kick back in the city.

Beijing bars, clubs and market areas

Sanlitun is the most popular drinking and dancing area for foreigners in Beijing, and offers some bars on the North Street (the South Street was a much better and cheaper option, but has lately been demolished due to constructions). The eastern side of the street leading from gongti Beilu to Dongzhimenwai Dajie is lined up with more fancy bars, while the narrow hutongs on the west of the bar street offer a different style. The “Poachers Inn” is probably one of the most popular bars among foreigners in this area.

At the west side of Chaoyang Park is a newer bar area with western restaurants and bars, also priced in a western manner. A modest meal goes for around 50 RMB, while if you really want to stuff yourself, and prepare to pay over 100 RMB.

The Houhai area also offers some more up market places, like the Buddha Bar, Buddha Bar 2, Buddha Bar 3 and so on. The area has a nice feel at night with the red lanterns and floating candles on the lake.

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