Where to stay in Beijing, the capital of the people’s Republic of China? Discover our selection of the best places to stay in Beijing!
The capital of China since 1153, Beijing extends over a vast surface area of 16,800 km² and is populated by 21.15 million inhabitants (2013). The Chinese megalopolis is experiencing rapid economic growth and is, therefore, changing very quickly. Located in northeast China, Beijing attracts many tourists thanks to its proximity to the Great Wall of China and its famous landmarks such as the Forbidden City, Tian’anmen Square, or the Temple of Heaven – all listed as UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
It’s easy to lose oneself in the megacity of Beijing. Before your arrival, it’s best to plan your trip and most of all to book a place to stay in Beijing, to avoid wasting money and time when you arrive. Here is our presentation of the best areas to stay in Beijing.
Photo credit: Flickr – Chris Bentley
Known as the three lakes district – Qianhai (Front Lake), Houhai (Rear Lake) and Xihai (West Lake) – Shichahai is a famous scenic area in downtown Beijing. Immerse yourself in this swarming, effervescent area where everyone goes about their daily activities. The three lakes enjoy direct proximity to many interesting historical and cultural sites and to the remains of traditional Chinese houses: the Hutongs. Nestled in the heart of the city, the district boasts a trendy atmosphere while preserving its traditional soul. Sichahai also features an array of small shops, bars, and restaurants. Stay in Beijing in Shichahai District to enjoy an authentic experience of Beijing.
Photo credit: Flickr – Cathy W
Located on the eastern flank of the three lakes, Dongcheng District is the historical site of the Royal Palace of the Yuan, Ming, and Qing dynasties. Discover the Imperial Palace and the Temple of Heaven, the Forbidden City, the Temple of Confucius or Tian’anmen Square. Dongcheng is Beijing’s cultural hotspot, home to numerous museums including the National Museum, the China Art Museum, Beijing People’s Art Theatre, the Central Institute of Modern Theatre…
In Dongcheng District, take a walk along Wangfujing Street, one of the most famous shopping streets in the Chinese capital. Lined with a wide range of department stores, hotels, boutiques, major international brands, as well as Chinese brands, Wangfujing Street is a pedestrian-only street and is often crowded. Dongcheng is the place to hunt for travel souvenirs, including local tea, brushes, Chinese ink or handmade clothes. Also, treat your taste buds at the night market in snack street. Dongcheng is an excellent place to stay in Beijing.
Photo credit: Wikimedia – Ahen0barbus
If you are involved in the web or the tech industry, or if you are moving to Beijing to work in a Start-up, Haidian is definitely your best place to stay in Haidian. Located northwest of Beijing, Haidian District is the Chinese version of California’s Silicon Valley. You will undoubtedly come across many Chinese students since the district is home to most of the Beijing’s universities. Stretching over a vast surface area of 431 km², Haidian District houses 2.24 million inhabitants: Haidian District is like a city within the city. An ideal area to stay in Beijing, away from the hustle and bustle of the city center.
Photo credit: Flickr – Jean
Home to many of Beijing’s foreign embassies, Chaoyang district is particularly favored by expatriates. The area is home to easily accessible infrastructures, shopping centers, international schools, and restaurants of all kinds. Indulge in a peaceful peri-urban lifestyle without being too far from the Three Lakes district. In Chaoyang, discover the Temple of Yonghe (built in 1694), the Ancient Observatory of Beijing, 798 Art Zone – a major local contemporary art center -, stroll through the many parks or take your children to the Happy Valley amusement park. When you’re looking for a place to stay in Beijing, Chaoyang offers a good compromise.
Main photo credit : Flickr – Ade Russell