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UR Beijing
by LUXE City Guides

  • 798/Red Gate Gallery

    Brian Wallace is the daddy of Chinese modern art and my, is his gallery well-endowed. Well into its third decade and housed in a Ming-era watchtower, the gallery celebrates established and emerging artists across myriad mediums, and hosts a residency programme for int'l talents, curators, and academics.

    No. 2 Jiuxianqiao Road, 798 Art District
    (+86 10) 5762 3032
  • Ai Jiang Shan
    Relaxed Restaurants

    Bugger the smoke, this rustic-grand zenster is it if you're craving tabletop grilling action. Certain Korean delicacies (ahem, live baby octopus) aren't for everyone, but KBBQ pleases every meatlover's palate. Leave your Pucci at home and dig in.

    42254 Jiangtai Xi Lu
  • Bao Yuan Jiaozi Wu
    Relaxed Restaurants

    Jiaozi (dumpling) lovers flock to this modest city dinette for tasty plump purses in rainbow colours with fab fillings. Don't fret, doll, it's all natural – the technicolour dumpling skins take their hues from veggie dyes like spinach, blueberry and carrot. Phew!

    6 Maizidian Jie
  • Beijing Cooking School

    Chunyi and Chao teach you how to pinch dumplings and man-handle a cast iron wok over roaring flames like a pro, followed by a meal in a trad Qing Dynasty courtyard. Add extra flavour with a pre-class wet market tour or a private Peking Duck tasting.

  • Beijing Sideways
    Private Tours & Guides

    Channel your inner Indiana Jones or Rita Hayworth on an utterly fab Changjiang motorcycle sidecar tour. Slap on the shades and SPF, and let a knowledgeable guide whisk you into hidden hutongs, or even a rarely visited section of the Great Wall. Tours from 2 hours to 2 days – don't forget your scarf!

  • Bespoke Travel Beijing
    Private Tours & Guides

    The cats PJ's for personal experiences, ace custom crawls and unique outings across the city. Take a deep dive into ancient Beijing with the Hutong Tour; relive a thrilling murder mystery on the Midnight in Peking jaunt or customise your own. Whichever way you sway, book ahead.

  • Black Sesame Kitchen
    Relaxed Restaurants

    You can still feel the influence of this private diner's quaint hutong roots, where an evening in the courtyard with friends is like eating at your Chinese gran's. Helmed by author and chef Jen Lin-Liu, BSK specialises in superbly sizzly Sichuanese and Northern flaves.

  • Bodhi Therapeutic Retreat
    Hotel/Day Spas

    Go all warm and putty-ish with fab, authentic, and reasonably priced Thai massages in this sunny SE Asian spa – try to book masseuse #49. Facials and pedis come second, but the group treatment rooms are ace for a foot rub with friends.

  • Boers-Li Gallery

    Two-storey gallery-district greenhouse abloom with the new and experimental work of local and international emerging artists in all mediums from sculpture to painting, film and more. Note Li has moved on to other projects so now the space is now curated solely by Boers.

    2, Jiuxianqiao Lu, D-06, 798 Art Zone
  • Book Design Shop (BDO)
    Books, Stationery & Music

    For all things print, skip ahead to this teeny courtyard studio specialising in... you guessed it. Many of the tomes have been personally hand-imported by founder and curator Tony Li, and you'll find everything from the creme of China's up n' coming indie design 'zines and sod-to-find Nippon photos books, to international lit and an edgy stash of household prods, stationery and local artwork, all housed in minimal but homey surrounds.

  • Cafe Zarah
    Relaxed Restaurants

    Warm, cosy and laidback Bauhaus-style cafe with exposed wooden beams and tall windows for espresso, tasty cakes and snacks. The back courtyard and open terrace provide plenty of extra space for the WiFi-seeking, laptop-toting, novel-writing set to spread out in warmer months.

  • Cao Senlin

    For the authentic qipao experience, bring your fabric to this shi fu, or master tailor, who has been hemming and hawing since 1938. While you're there, you'll get a unique look into a working hutong. Note Cao creates his pieces entirely by hand, so a single garment can take up to a month to complete.

    25 Shi Jia Hutong
    +8610 6526 4515
  • Catherine de France

    Join the likes of Salma Hayek and Arianna Huffington and turn to magical Ms Cath for wash n' blow, nails and brows at this all-in-one hair lair.

  • Cha Cheng
    Food & Drink

    Translating literally to 'tea city', it sits pretty at the southern end of Beijing's massive tea market, with a seemingly infinite array of steepable options and accoutrements. You simply can't go wrong with the Taiwanese Oolong.

    11 Maliandao Lu, Xuanwu, North of Carrefour
    +8610 6334 2683
  • China Culture Center
    Private Tours & Guides

    Insight into hidden hutongs, wow-factor historic homes, and tours of the eerie Underground City. Plus themed walks, lectures, and a series of diverse workshops from flower arrangement to mahjong, and martial arts to opera face-painting. They do it all, doll.

  • Cinker Pictures
    Relaxed Restaurants

    This swish vintage-tinged diner-cum-boutique cinema hits all the right notes with on-the-mark Mid-Century atmos including oversized leather armchairs, plush velvet curtains and cocktails-on-call. Choose from a top-notch curation of arthouse titles or more contemporary blockbusters, and follow with snacky bar bites and thematically monikered tipples (Big Lebowski-inspired White Russians and the like) in the adjoining elevated diner.

  • Context Travel
    Private Tours & Guides

    Feeling energetic? Get the blood pumping with these historical and cultural sightseeing strolls. Docent-led group walks and private tours offer prized city intel – choose from jaunts around a particular landmark, neighbourhood or cultural theme, like Chinese religious traditions. Car services also available.

  • Crescent Moon Muslim Restaurant
    Relaxed Restaurants

    This Silk Road mosque-copy masks the taste of Xinjiang: juicy lamb skewers, hand-pulled noodles, and the famed Shaanxi 'hamburger'. No tiresome cultural shows, but the owners do have a squawking pet bird. Despite the divine facade, light and dark beers from Xi'an are served.

    16 Dongsiliu Tiao
  • CrossFit Slash
    Fitness & Yoga

    Hotel gym not cutting it? Up the fitness ante at this Santilun powerhouse with ace facilities and even better instructors helping navigate the high intensity maze of the CrossFit craze in regular, hourly classes, as well as pole dancing, breakdancing, aerial silks and more.

    13 Level B1, Shimao Mall (North), Gongti Bei Lu
  • Cycle China
    Private Tours & Guides

    Eclectic, grounded tours of the city – hop on a retro bicycle and pedal past tea houses, local markets, and a Qing-dynasty opium den on the nightime hutong tour, or laze in a Communist-era motorcycle sidecar and zip up to the Olympic Sports Center.

  • D Lounge
    Smart Casual Bars

    Unassuming on the outside, beyond the rope this Brooklyn loft lookalike is where the Jing's kreative kool kats mingle. High-flying brick archways, comfy couches and mod lighting contrast with a glowing six-metre-high bar custom-made for this party spaceship. Good drinks, great scene.

    Ctyd 4 Gongti Bei Lu
  • Da Dong
    Smart Casual Restaurants

    Busy and deservedly famous, sitting pretty in a restored Ming Dynasty imperial granary complex, with a black lacquer and glass-walled kitchen for watching the magic unfold. The ducks served here are said to be leaner, but still succulent when smothered with a variety of sauces and condiments. Dig in.

    22 Dongsishi Tiao
  • Dada

    Grubby underground shape-breaking sweatbox and undisputed, enduring king of the nightclub circuit.

    206 Gulou Dong Dajie, 101 Bldg B
  • Dali Courtyard
    Relaxed Restaurants

    Prix-fixe alfrisky summertime stunner for fab and underrated Yunnan flaves. Opt for a triff value set meal to sample the selection on the atmossy terrace.

    67 Xiaojingchang Hutong, Gulou Dong Dajie
  • Dave’s

    Taiwanese tailor Dave Shiung founded this small chain specialising in Western-style suits executed with Savile Row-worthy craftsmanship, and still remains the natty all-in-one bespoke suit and shirt combo go-to. They keep over 1,000 fabrics in stock and a full suit can be completed in about 40 hours.

    1 Guanghua Lu, B04 Kerry Centre Mall
  • Din Tai Fung
    Relaxed Restaurants

    Taiwanese soup dumpling darling on the way to global domination. Clean-lined interiors and thoughtful touches like bottomless hot tea and a splash guard for your baby Birkin set the stage, while the open kitchen means you can ogle the little morsels in making.

    9 Dongdaqiao Lu, LG2-20, Parkview Green
  • Drum and Bell Towers
    Museums & Art

    C.13th timekeepers sitting on Beijing's venerable north-south axis. Today it's worth the short, sharp but perilously steep climb for unfettered views of the city and hourly drum show. Go early to get in before the coach loads and linger in the courtyard to watch local residents practice their morning exercise rituals.

  • Duck de Chine
    Smart Casual Restaurants

    A fashionista-friendly initiation to the capital's famed quack in a traditional siheyuan courtyard house. Skin is in, especially when Daffy emerges tanned and gleaming from the three ovens at the restaurant's centre. Try the dips if you must but all it needs is a touch of sugar, Sue.

  • Durdas
    Food & Drink

    Anhui teas are simply tops, and Durdas in the southern hills can't be beat. Eco-friendly divas rejoice; the popular variety of green tea, Huangshan Maofeng, is now all-organic. Cha-aaaah.

    10 Maliandao Lu, Xuanwu
  • Dusk Dawn Club
    Relaxed Bars

    With more varieties of punk than you can shake a drumstick at, one of Beijing’s grungier draws is its vibrant live music scene. Occupying a restored hutong, DDC is a more sophisty take on the typical sweatbox; if the gigs don’t enthrall, the beautiful siheyuan (trad Beijing courtyard) surely will.

  • Eastern Qing Tombs

    Two-and-a-half-hours out of the capital through pretty rural scenery are these blissfully tourist-free tombs, including that of the infamously naughty Empress Dowager Cixi, saucy minx. Gold-glazed paintings, gilded dragons and intricate stone carvings fill her multi-hall mausoleum. The mountain-encircled grounds are the perfect place for a peaceful picnic.

  • Elisabeth Koch
    Jewellery & Accessories

    This mad hatter makes her off-the-wall, reworked-vintage toppers for actors, VIPs, magazine shoots and now, you. The only haute-couture milliner on the Mainland, American-born Elisabeth Koch is a one-woman trailblazing, high fashion headgear-making machine. Browse her one-off creations that span simply divine (leopard print pillbox) to completely bizarre (golden lobster...?).

    D-204 Glory Gardens Club House, Xingfucun Zhong Lu
  • Fanghua
    Jewellery & Accessories

    Head to Hongqiao for this mother of pearls, a 1,000+ sqm flagship of the milky orbs, including an extensive selection of high quality South Sea, Akoya and freshwater oyster gems. Before leaving the complex, nip out to the hidden roof garden for ace Temple of Heaven views.

    9, Tiantan Lu, 4/F, 4318 Hongqiao Market
  • Fei Fei Tailor

    This under-the-radar expat fave nabe tailor expertly runs her needle through everything from evening gowns and dress shirts to linen suits, plus awesome alterations too. Don't be fooled by the sub-par imitators who have brazenly set up shop nearby under her name.

    Rm 803 Block A, Guojigang
  • Fei Space
    Home & Furny

    Edgy homegrown designs share shelf space with int'l bestsellers in this eclectic 798 abode-turned-shopping warehouse. Founder and creative director Lin Jing's own Linstallation label, featuring funky custom porcelain, trinkets and lamps, is also on offer alongside European furny and retro lighting. Home sweet home!

    4 Jiuxianqiao Lu, B-01, Dashanzi 798 Art District
  • Fez Bar
    Smart Casual Bars

    Sanlitun rooftop playground for the city's pretty kitties, with blah views but oodles of atmosphere. Lounge on hot pink sofas with alfrisky tipples, and indulge in Spanish-Arabic tapas if you're pecky. DJ and dancing after dark.

  • Fine Jewellers
    Jewellery & Accessories

    It ain't swanky, but the two-storey selection is staggering, and they do a good value line in bespoke white, yellow and rose gold, silver and stones of all kinds. The pret-a-party delicate gold-plated filigree pieces are an affordable pick-me-up. Repairs and copies too. Bling!

    3-106, China View Bldg, 2 Gongti Dong Lu
    +86 10 65018046
  • Galerie Urs Meile

    Lucerne import to the Caochangdi art district, 798's alt-cool, less-mobbed lil sib. Curators work with the China Art Archives & Warehouse to shine a spotlight on contempo artists in an Ai Weiwei-designed grey brick compound.

    2, Jiuxianqiao Road, D10, 798 East Street, 798 Art District
  • Glen
    Smart Casual Bars

    Execs love the dapper, old world atmosphere, conjured with velvet and leather chesterfields, tuxedoed waiters and immaculate tipples. An enviable collection of single malts awaits, just begging to be poured over the Japanese mixologist's hand-hewn ice blocks. Not a whisky fan? Don't fret, pet, the cocktails are ace too.

    203 Taiyue Suites, 16 Sanlitun Nan Lu
  • Great Leap Brewing #6
    Relaxed Bars

    Beijing's original craft brewer is still the city's best for fab n' foamy indie ales, and this hutong outpost, a mere barrel roll from Gulou is tops for laidback atmos. Dozens of beers on tap, most of which draw on Chinese flavours and ingreds like Sichuan peppercorn. Be sure to check out the beer garden come summer.

  • Green T House Living
    Glam Restaurants

    Breahtaking spa and teahouse quarters turned serene and fantastical culinary retreat, with waiters in period garb and a theatrical menu to match.

  • Haidilao
    Relaxed Restaurants

    Crowd-pleasing, scrumptious, fiery chilli fondue dipping 24/7. If you're in for a show, servers will perform a peppy tableside noodle-pulling upon request. Very popular, so go off-peak to avoid queues.

    8 Gongti Bei Lu, Santunli, SOHO 6 Shopping Centre, 1-2/F
  • Infusion Room
    Relaxed Bars

    Maoland has no shortage of bars, but this innovative cocktail station is a libation sensation for its specialist pours. Though the password-only entry channels the of overdone speakeasies of yesteryear, venture beyond and you'll find a minimalist concrete loft where mixmen Paul Hsu and Kevin Song have crafted a quirksome lineup of experimental tipples like the Kombu Soup, an unexpected play on a trad Dirty Martini using gin, Lillet Blanc, Talisker, virgin olive oil, saltwater spray and Japanese seaweed.

    Courtyard 4 2/F, D Lounge, Gongti Bei Lu
  • Janes & Hooch
    Relaxed Bars

    Not much is prohibited in this stylish speakeasy bolthole serving up classic sips with a twist. The glassware is vintage, the bar staff bow-tied, and the decor appropriately dim-lit and moody. If you're feeling punchy, retire to the upstairs lounge with a fishbowl full of spirits.

  • King’s Joy
    Smart Casual Restaurants

    Super styley, architect-designed, high-end veggie hotspot with glassed-in indoor and misty, bamboo-laced outdoor courtyards near the Lama Temple. Chef Pan Jianjun's monastic past colours his commitment to meatless, health-driven fare, and the inventive, organically sourced dishes sate even the most hardened carnivores.

    2 Wudaoying Hutong, Yonghegong
  • kubrick moma
    Books, Stationery & Music

    Neo-Bauhaus booky nook repping a mind-bending array of materials from political theory tomes to literary magazines and movie posters – mostly Chinese, but some are in English. Also good for quirky gifts and stationery.

  • La Social
    Relaxed Bars

    You'd be hard-pressed to find anywhere else in the country where a mural of Jesus Christ and busts of Communist leaders vie for space with cocktail-quaffing partygoers. This vibrant Latin mama is certainly one of a kind in the Chinese capital; the brainchild of the Colombian-Venezuelan duo behind neighbouring Mosto, dressed in a rainbow of South American textiles, arty kitsch collectables, and floor shakin' beats. Hola-lujah!

    81 3/F, Nali Patio, Sanlitun Lu
  • Labelhood Pillar

    Charles and Nam opened this pioneering, multi-brand boutique to showcase the best of homegrown, internationally acclaimed designers like Vega Wang and Manchit Au. Support the local scene with a browse of labels hailing from China, Taiwan, and Singapore.

    6 Menwai Dajie, Shop 102, Bldg 2, Central Park
  • Lei Garden
    Relaxed Restaurants

    Dependable Hong Kong import (the mothership has a Michelin star) for yum cha. Early risers are rewarded with high-brow dim sum and Cantonese specialties; latecomers are made to wait in an endless queue and endure the wafting smells of egg yolk crab, suckling piglet and freshly baked barbecued pork bao.

    89 Jinbao Jie, 3/F, Jinbao Tower
  • Lily’s Antiques

    This popular 6,000-square-metre shop in Gaobeidian, BJ's unofficial furniture district, is well known for great service, staggering selection, and a one-year guarantee on most items. Chinese oldies but goodies, plus modern styles and imports from far and wide, combine to make this a one-stop furny and deco hub.

    69 Gaobeidian Dong Jie, Gaobeidian Showroom
  • Ling Ling
    Jewellery & Accessories

    Leave the haggling frenzy on the ground floor of the imposing market and head up four flights. Here you'll find pearls of every variety – Tahiti, South Sea, freshwater – as well as crystals, stones, and precious metals in myriad designs. All that, plus room to browse and no Velcro salespeople. Ahhh.

    9 Tiantan Lu, 4334, 4/F, Hongqiao Market
    +86 10 6713 6900
  • Liulichang Jie

    This sweet street of restored houses is firmly on the tourist map, but it's where the locals go for traditional art supplies and well worth a visit, especially if you have any interest in architecture, calligraphy and painting. Have your taxi drop you at the intersection of Nanxinhua Jie and Liulichang Jie, then take the west option for art supplies, papercuts and etchings at historic Cathay Bookstore #34 (see Shopping). Over the street, check out the giant inkstone at Rong Bao Zhai #19 (see Shopping), a gallery carrying art materials and pricey inks for carved chops. At #52 find quality handmade shadow puppets and rice paper by the ream, which is great for wrapping. After a while this street becomes knick-knacky, so retrace over the pedestrian walkway to the east end for terracotta warrior replicas at #134, Xu Bu (see Shopping) at #99 with delicate inside painted snuff bottle artistry, and a fab line in calligraphy with handmade brushes at the #71 and #73 teashop.

    Liulichang Jie
  • Long Island
    Hotel/Day Spas

    Pristine, low-lit, SE Asian-inspired spa with private couples' rooms for value. Pick from body massages, scrubs, foot rubs and facials, plus free nibbles and drinks. A full sensory experience that hits all the right notes and uses all natural products... Close your eyes and you could be nestled away in a Phuket corner.

    6 Jiqing Li, B/F, Jiahui Center
  • Lost and Found
    Home & Furny

    If you seek simple and sturdy wood and leather treasures for the home, get lost in this collection of Mid-Century, mod-with-a-Chinese twist, vintagesque furny finds and designs for nostalgia lovers. They also provide an interior design consulting service.

  • Lost Heaven
    Smart Casual Restaurants

    Take an ethnic, luxe gambol in the former US Embassy compound, now transformed into a dark wood and red lacquer shrine to Yunnan cuisine, complete with delicious Thai, Laotian and Burmese border influences. When the weather cooperates, head upstairs for open terrace dining.

    23 Qianmen Dong Dajie, Chi’en Men 23
  • Madame Zhu
    Smart Casual Restaurants

    Take a tour through the country's provinces via updated Chinese regional classics, plus a few surprises in a cool whitewashed CBD loft with a skylight and homey mod deco furny. Hanging portraits give a glimpse of the restaurant's glam namesake with friends.

    6A Chaoyangmenwai Dajie, B1/F, Bldg D, Vantone Center
  • MaLiLian Furniture
    Home & Furny

    Chinese silk, Belgian lace, camel hair and rabbit fur combine to create retro-funk armchairs, sofas, cushions and oversized ottomans. Consult German furny designer Marianne Friese to order a custom-made piece, or browse the ready-to-go collection in her ingeniously remodelled Beijing home. Note items arrive in four to six weeks.

    39, Dongsanhuan Zhong Lu, 1606 Building 14
    137 0110 1406
  • Mercante
    Relaxed Restaurants

    Rustic and humble from its fare to its fitout, and well worth seeking out for a scrummy slice of Italia.

    4 Fangzhuangchang Hutong
  • Mosto
    Smart Casual Restaurants

    The brainchild of Venezuelan chef Daniel Urdaneta and Colombian manager Alex Molina, this edgy exposed brick loft is fab for a mid-shop refresher or all-night catch-ups with trendy city hounds. Equally great to stop in for bar bites or linger over the five-course tasting menu.

    81 Sanlitun Bei Lu, 3/F, Nali Patio
  • National Centre for Performing Arts

    This futuristic, star-studded glass dome emerging from an artificial lake hosted its inaugural concert in 2007, and has been crooning since. Home to opera, acrobatics and international performances, it's also fun to simply spin through the dazzling archi Giant Egg, and get an eyeful of the interior and galleries.

  • National Museum of China
    Museums & Art

    The biggest museum in the world, with an evolving collection of some good and not-so-good pieces. The ancient relics are worth a gander, but the rest is more Communist Hard Rock Café of who touched and wore what than a true account of the country’s past.

  • Nicolas Favard
    Jewellery & Accessories

    Nico's elegant, bold beauties come custom-designed or ready-to-flair, incorporating gems, jade, gold and platinum alongside pieces in unusual metals and finishes. His combined workshop and boutique showcases the collection of handmade portable art.

  • Nina
    Relaxed Bars

    When nothing but a negroni will do, Nina's got the good stuff. One of the few remaining Hutong imbibers, this simple, light-wood, Italian-run joint specialises in all tipples vermouth and campari. Draws a hip crowd and is abuzz on weekends.

    66 Beiluoguxiang
  • Nisiss

    Sprawling Village North concept shop carrying covetable, structured, mod dresses, skirts and coats – expect colour blocking, floaty fabrics, and eye-popping price points. They also employ a cadre of talented designers in Guangzhou, whose mini-collections are readily on display here.

    1 Jianguomenwai Dajie, WB11 ground floor, China World Trade Center
  • Opera Bombana
    Glam Restaurants

    Indulge in Northern Italian delights from chef Bombana in this svelte Hong Kong import (the original holds three shiny Mich stars). Jolly good pre-dinner aperitivo at the excellent bar plus an enviable wine cellar.

  • Page One
    Books, Stationery & Music

    You'll find an extensive selection of English titles at decent prices at this Singaporean stalwart. Browse art and design coffee table tomes on the first floor with travel, literature and more upstairs. Cafe for WiFi and lingering over java.

    S2-14a-b, 2/F Taikoo Li Sanlitun South, 19 Sanlitun Lu, The Woodhouse
  • Paloma Sanchez
    Jewellery & Accessories

    Beijing-based Madrilena Paloma designs stunning, art-piece like jewels using unique, natural stones and high quality metals, resulting in striking adornments for those who like to stand out from the crowd. A selection of cufflinks and pendants for gents too.

    81 Sanlitun Bei Lu, A115 Nali Patio
  • Pan Jia Yuan

    This best-at-weekends scrum is fun, with thousands of dealers, so sharpen your elbows and wade in. You'll find everything here: pins, shoes, posters, scrolls, Maomorabilia, porcelain, stone, bronze, snuff boxes, wood and whatnot. But beware there are antiques, fauxtiques and downright rip-offtiques.

    Panjiayuan Qiao, Dongsanhuan Nan Lu
  • Pekin Fine Arts

    Green spaces alternate with austere galleries in Meg Maggio's 600-square-metre showspace for Asian art in an Ai Weiwei-designed Caochangdi compound. Expect innovative contempo works and talents, and frequent collabs with museums in the US, Europe and Japan.

    241 Caochangdi Art Village, Cui Ge Zhuang
  • Peony Pavilion

    Peking Opera is an acquired taste, but its ancestor Kunqu is more accessible. This classic piece – a Ming Dynasty saga of love, death and second chances – can be seen at the beaut, historic 60-seat Imperial Granary. Pre-show buffet and English subtitles, but you're really here for the OTT elaborate costumes.

    22 Dongsishitiao, Nanxincang, The Imperial Granary
  • Pure Lotus
    Relaxed Restaurants

    Highly-styley, incense, prayer wheels and darkened temple-like dining room run by an ex-monk. Classic Chinese dishes are reincarnated in veggie and tofu disguises and served with whimsical, at times gimmicky, flair, while the tent-covered dining tables are especially enchanting.

    12 Nongzhanguan Nanlu, Tongguang Bldg
    +8610 6592 3627
  • Qianmen
    Home & Furny

    This bomb shelter-turned-carpet factory is stashed full of antique rugs and repros – think Tibetan prayer rugs, Mongolian saddle rugs, Xinjiang yurt rugs and more, most of which are antique, handmade and coloured with natural dyes. Carpet cleaning and repair services available, and they can custom-make too.

    1/F, Bldg 3, Tiantan Mansion, 59 Xingfu Dajie, Chongwen
  • Qin Tang Fu
    Relaxed Restaurants

    Get a taste of the ancient Silk Road city of Xi'an without leaving Beijing. Perch on a miniature chair at a low table and gorge on handmade noodles, soup dumplings and Sino pulled pork sarnies on fresh baked bread at this high quality, family-run outfit.

    69 Chaoyangmen Nan Xiaojie
  • Re
    Cafes & Coffeeshops

    Nipponesque bicycle store meets third-wave coffee joint slap-bang in the middle of the CBD. Architect owner Sugane Shiro's wellness mantra is 'research, recreation and revolution'; you're unlikely to achieve the third at this chic boite, but the first two are amply supplied.

    1F, 1501, Jianwai Soho, 15 Jingheng Jie
    +86 10 5900 3719
  • Rechenberg Studio & Boutique

    Trained ladies' tailor Kathrin, who worked in some of Paris' finest fashion houses, melds her signature tea silk into pleasingly simple designs and soft shapes. The rare fabric is handmade in Guangdong and treated with natural dyes before it's artfully draped in her Beijing courtyard atelier.

    20 Dong Huangchenggen, Former Sino-French University, Yishu 8
  • Rose Studio

    Not going to the Oscars this year? No matter, you can still dress like you are with these haute Chinese pieces dreamed up by couturier Guo Pei. Expect a bold mix of vibrant colours, daring patterns and unexpected silhouettes glamming up her special occasion gowns.

    1 Jianguomenwai Dajie, B1/F, China World Mall
  • Rug Star
    Home & Furny

    Former German architect Jürgen Dahlmanns’ eco-chic, quirky and contempo hand-knotted Tibetan and Persian rugs made by Nepali craftsmen are da bomb. The range of artsy, non-traditional motifs and colours in Chinese silk and Tibetan wool take any room from drab to fab.

    798 Art District, 4 Jiuxianqiao Lu, F1 Xiangxiangzaisheji Tower, 751 D-Park Plaza
  • Sake Manzo
    Relaxed Restaurants

    Subtle Japanese timber-lined izakaya near Chaoyang Park for late night bites paired with Nippon's magic brew, shochu. Simplicity and authenticity matched with an extensive, informative menu and the largest selection of premium sake in the city. Fresh tofu is made in-house and worth a try.

  • Senli & Frye

    Suit up with skilled tailor Sen Li who does everything from taking measurements to sewing buttonholes in-house. Bespoke blazers, suits and coats can be ready in ten days or shipped for int'l biz bees. Choose from a selection of high quality fabrics including imports from England and Italy.

    1/F, Yaxing Building, 46A Liangmaqiao Lu
  • Shang Xia
    Home & Furny

    Exquisite, Hermès-backed heritage furniture, fashion and accessories brand, founded by contempo East-West fusing design maven Jiang Qiong Er. The mod, star-chitectural space is somehow secondary to the gorgeous porcelain, wood and cashmere merch.

    1 Jianguomenwai Dajie, SB107B, B1/F, China World Mall,
  • Shanghaixu

    Qipao shopping made easy. Two branches with a huge range of quality materials and designs for both ready-to-wear and bespoke garments. Order off-the-rack or tailor-make to your own tastes.

    1 Dong Chang’an Jie, Shop AA10, Oriental Plaza
  • Sichuan Banshichu (Chuan Ban)
    Relaxed Restaurants

    If numbingly hot cuisine is what you seek, this perennially packed hotspot in the daggy Sichuan Provincial Gov't HQ is your ticket for the one-two punch of flower pepper and red chilli. Prepare for a bustling Chinese banquet atmosphere that's more rough n' ready than romantic.

    5 Gongyuen Xi Jie Tou Tiao, Jianguomennei Dajie
  • Soloist
    Cafes & Coffeeshops

    Salvage-chic Design Week pop-up turned perma artisan bean-slinger – these folks really know their stuff.

    39 Yangmeizhu Xiejie
  • Spin Ceramics
    Home & Furny

    Gary Wang uses ancient techniques to craft his elegant collection of painted and natural contempo Chinese ceramics. The handmade tableware spans necessities to quirky creations like sake bottles and candle pillars, altogether making for a natty nest-feather.

  • Stretch A Leg

    This small team of bilingual guides is your light in the dark for custom excursions – in the city and beyond. Historical walking tours, Great Wall hikes and authentic experiences curated by locals are their forte. Don't dally, Daisy, the Lycra and trainers are waiting.

  • Susu
    Relaxed Restaurants

    Descend the stairs into this stunning refurbed woody goody hutong courtyard for pho, banh xeo crêpes and La Vong grilled fish. The fresh rolls are a highlight and arrive trussed up like tiny works of art. Pair with commendable cocktails crafted from homemade bitters and syrups.

    10 Xi Xiang, Qianliang Hutong, near the National Art Museum
  • TATA Salon

    Smart salon in its own building slap-bang in shop central – and they even filter their own water for maximum Rapunzel potential.

    8 Gongti Beilu, Workers' Stadium North Gate
  • The Bookworm
    Relaxed Restaurants

    This expat-y cafe with free WiFi is less a bookstore, more a multi-room treasure trove, lending library, lunch spot, coffee shop, wine and whisky bar, and literary-minded events space. The best selection of English language books and magazines in the city.

  • The Forbidden City
    Palaces, Mansions & Estates

    It is simply illegal not to visit this iconic palace complex, but bear in mind you won’t be the only person there, and after two hours of unending halls and gates and push and shove, you’ll be in need of respite. Pre-book tix online and start around 10am to avoid crowds, or if you prefer to do it in the afternoon, time your exit with sunset vistas over the city from the top of the hill in neighbouring Jingshan Park; posi'd directly opposite the north exit, followed by supper at TRB (see Dining). Clever poppet.

    4 Jingshan Qian Jie
  • The Georg
    Glam Restaurants

    Sleek Georg Jensen design and New Nordic cuisine make coolly refined bedfellows in this dramatic two-storey hutong perched on the banks of the Yu River. Alongside a gallery and bar, the standout fine-diner showcases experimental Nordic cuisine via a restrained 12-item menu divided into meat, seafood, poultry and vegetarian. Dishes like smoked fish and pickles titillate palates unlike anywhere else in Beijing.

  • The Great Wall

    Avoid the Badaling stretch like you would typhoid, unless you enjoy mingling with huge swarms of sweat-drenched, khaki-panted tourists. Head instead for the restored Mutianyu section (2 hours out of town) with an easy-access cable up and zippy toboggan down (plus some pretty dross souvenir stalls). Take lunch at nearby The Schoolhouse for farm-fresh international fare, or rustic homemade noodle shop Xiao Lu Mian. In the same village are countryside-chic house rentals from the Schoolhouse crew, or former tile factory turned 16-room smart eco-lodge The Brickyard (see Accom.). Have your hotel pack you a sarnie and a bottle of pop for the ride over!

  • The Rug
    Relaxed Restaurants

    This committed, organic locavore stylista is a bright, lofty flop spot for brek and bagels, with waistline-friendly fare for picky Pams too. All this plus sunny outdoor seating and free WiFi to boot.

    Bldg 4, Lishuijiayuan Xiaoqu Gongyuan Nan Lu
  • Three Shadows Photography Art Centre
    Museums & Art

    Inspired by New York's ICP, this Caochangdi complex in a space designed by Ai Weiwei is dedicated exclusively to the art of photography and video. Starring unusual, specialist pics and thematic exhibits, plus a library, lectures, workshops, and performances, it's a must for shutterbugs.

  • Tian Fu Tea Co.
    Food & Drink

    It can be overwhelming to navigate a market with seemingly all the tea in China so head straight for Tian Fu (or Ten Fu), whose sustainable, 100-hectare plantation near Taimu Mountain in Southern Fujian turns out some of the most delicate white teas you've tasted.

  • TRB Hutong
    Glam Restaurants

    Contempo, minimalist fine diner in the grounds of a beautiful six-century-old Ming temple complex turned Communist television factory. Conceived by Belgian-born sommelier and restaurant manager Ignace Lecleir, TRB serves an innovative menu with focus on organic and locally sourced ingreds whenever possible.

    Songzhusi Temple, 23 Shatan Beijie
  • Tribe
    Relaxed Restaurants

    Kombucha and quinoa a-go-go at this waistline-friendly, West Coast-in-Greyjing health cult counter.

    2 Gongti Donglu, 1/F Bldg 3 China View Plaza
  • UBI Gallery
    Jewellery & Accessories

    Machtelt Schelling opened her gallery in historic Dashilar as a platform for emerging Chinese and int'l contempo artists to exhibit and sell their work, and the result is an uber-desirable edit of covetable, mod designer jewellery and ceramics, with everything either unique or limited edition.

    9 Zhujia Hutong, Dashilar Xijie
  • UCCA Design Store
    Home & Furny

    China's own MoMA store, with a fab edit of local creativity plus int'l design, from crash helmets to handcrafted leather bags, bicycles and fashion plus specially-commissioned limited editions, books, pics and sculpture. Proceeds support the programmes of the excellent gallery next door.

    4 Jiuxianqiao Lu, 798Art District, UCCA
    +8610 5780 0224
  • Ullens Center for Contemporary Art
    Museums & Art

    International, not-for-profit art centre inside a renovated factory space, and quite simply one of the best curated spaces in China. Exhibitions, performances, workshops and forums aplenty, plus specially commissioned apparel, accessories, prints and decor in UCCA's funky shop.

    798 Art District 4 Jiuxianqiao Lu
  • White Space

    A founding member of the 798 Art Zone now resettled in Caochangdi, the blanc box plays backdrop to the work of emerging Chinese and international artists, and offers a discerning space for young talents and visitors. Featured artists are often exhibited in founder Alexander Ochs' similarly stark Berlin gallery as well.

    255 Caochangdi, Airport Service Road
  • WildChina
    Private Tours & Guides

    Whether you want to eat it, trek it or travel around it, WildChina can organise it. Bespoke itineraries available from the specialists in unique, ecologically and culturally sensitive travel experiences throughout the Middle Kingdom and Tibet. Where off-the-beaten-path adventure meets luxury and authenticity.

    803 Oriental Place, 9 Dongfang Dong Lu
  • Yang Gallery

    Big Chinese contempo names meet nine-metre-high German Bauhaus architecture in this busy Singapore import and 798 stalwart, the third to be opened by passionate collector and gallerist Susanna Yang. See something you like? Int'l shipping services provided.

    4 Jiuxianqiao Lu, 3rd Taoci San Jie, 798 Art District
  • Yanshe
    Smart Casual Restaurants

    There are dozens of Hunan restos in Beijing, but this cool, calm blond wood diner is a hit for its heady flavours and top-notch quality. Sleeves up and bibs on to feast on hot, heavy and potentially messy dishes like stinky tofu and steamed fish head drowning in chillies.

    3F, Topwin Center Sanlitun Nan Lu
    +86 10 5780 9032
  • Yin Shu
    Jewellery & Accessories

    Jewellery artist Man Kaihui produces chic, chunky necklaces and industrial, edgy earrings accented with pearls, precious stones and shells. How convenient that they pair perfectly with her line of locally designed, elegant togs!

    4 Jiuxianqiao Lu, 798 Art District, Sevenstars West Street
    +8610 64373432
  • Yoga Yard
    Fitness & Yoga

    Mind the misleading moniker as there's no literal yard here, but the no-faff surrounds have all levels catered for, including pre- and post-natal, plus meditation and chanting. Leotard ready? Namaste.

  • Yotsuba
    Smart Casual Restaurants

    Bookings are essential to tingle your taste buds in this perennially packed, bento-sized sauce box. Try trad Japanese dining on tatami mats or take a perch at the sushi bar, and enjoy flip-fresh cuts flown in daily from Tsukiji.

    2 Sanlitun Bei Xiaojie

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