Beijing, the capital of China, is known for its rich history, cultural landmarks, and vibrant and diverse bar scene. From trendy rooftop bars to hidden gems tucked away in alleyways, there is something for everyone to enjoy. This article will examine Beijing’s top 10 secret bars, showcasing their unique atmosphere and experiences.
Introduction to Beijing’s bar scene
When it comes to nightlife, Beijing has a lot to offer. The city has various bars, ranging from upscale cocktail lounges to laid-back dive bars. Whether you’re looking for a quiet spot to enjoy a drink or a lively venue to dance the night away, Beijing has it all.
One of the best things about Beijing’s bar scene is the eclectic mix of venues. There is no shortage of choices, from traditional Chinese-inspired bars with a modern twist to Western-style pubs with a local touch. The city’s vibrant and cosmopolitan atmosphere attracts locals and tourists, making it a melting pot of cultures and experiences.
Exploring the hidden gems of Beijing’s bar scene
While there are many well-known bars in Beijing, some of the best experiences can be found in the city’s hidden gems. These bars offer a unique and intimate atmosphere, away from the hustle and bustle of popular tourist spots. Here are a few hidden gems that are worth checking out:
Tucked away in a narrow alley in the heart of Beijing, Alley Bar is a cozy and inviting spot. Its dim lighting and rustic decor offer a laid-back atmosphere perfect for unwinding after a long day. The bar’s extensive drink menu features classic and innovative cocktails, ensuring something for every taste.
Located in a traditional courtyard house, Hutong Bar combines old-world charm with modern sophistication. The bar’s courtyard is adorned with lanterns and traditional Chinese furniture, creating a serene and elegant ambiance. Visitors can enjoy a wide selection of craft beers, fine wines, and signature cocktails while enjoying the beautiful surroundings.
The Hidden Speakeasy is a must-visit for those seeking a genuinely hidden experience. This underground bar is concealed behind a secret door, adding an element of mystery and excitement. Inside, guests can enjoy expertly crafted cocktails and live jazz music, creating a nostalgic and sophisticated atmosphere reminiscent of the Prohibition era.
Bars in different areas of Beijing
Beijing is a sprawling city with different neighborhoods, each offering its unique bar scene. Whether you prefer the lively atmosphere of Sanlitun or the historical charm of Houhai, there is a bar for every taste. Here are a few areas in Beijing known for their vibrant bar scenes:
Sanlitun: Beijing’s bar district
Sanlitun is undoubtedly one of the most popular areas for nightlife in Beijing. This bustling district has many bars, clubs, and restaurants catering to locals and expatriates. Whether you’re in the mood for a casual beer at a sports bar or a night of dancing at a trendy club, Sanlitun has it all.
Houhai: Historic charm meets modern bars
Houhai is a picturesque lake area in Beijing known for its historic hutongs and traditional architecture. Recently, it has also become a hotspot for bars and nightlife. Here, you can find a mix of conventional Chinese-style bars and modern establishments offering stunning lake views. It’s the perfect place to enjoy a cocktail while soaking in the ambiance of old Beijing.
Gulou: Where history and music collide
Gulou, or the Drum Tower area, is another neighborhood in Beijing worth exploring for its vibrant bar scene. This area is known for its live music bars and indie music scene. You can find diverse music venues, from rock and jazz to electronic and experimental. Grab a drink, listen to some great tunes, and immerse yourself in Beijing’s underground music culture.
Live music bars in Beijing
If you’re a music lover, Beijing offers a vibrant live music scene that should not be missed. Many bars in the city host regular live music performances, showcasing local talent and international acts. Here are a few live music bars in Beijing that are worth checking out:
Dusk Dawn Club
Located in the heart of Beijing’s hutongs, Dusk Dawn Club is a popular venue for live music. This underground bar hosts a variety of genres, including rock, punk, and indie. The intimate setting and passionate performances create an unforgettable experience for music enthusiasts.
School Bar is a well-known venue among Beijing’s indie music lovers. Located near the university district, this bar features a diverse lineup of bands and artists, both local and international. The laid-back atmosphere and affordable drinks make it a favorite among students and music enthusiasts.
Mao Livehouse is a legendary live music venue in Beijing. With its state-of-the-art sound system and spacious stage, it attracts both local and international acts. Mao Livehouse offers a platform for various genres, from rock and metal to hip-hop and electronic. This is the place to be if you’re looking for an energetic and immersive live music experience.
Top 10 bars in Beijing
Now that we have explored the different areas and hidden gems of Beijing’s bar scene, let’s take a closer look at the top 10 bars in the city. These establishments have been selected based on their unique atmosphere, quality of drinks, and overall experience they offer:
Atmosphere Bar – Located on the 80th floor of China World Summit Wing, this rooftop bar offers breathtaking views of Beijing’s skyline. Enjoy a cocktail while taking in the panoramic vistas of the city.
Janes and Hooch – Tucked away in a hutong, this speakeasy-style bar is known for its expertly crafted cocktails and cozy atmosphere. It’s the perfect spot for a romantic night out.
Migas Mercado – This rooftop bar and restaurant offers a fusion of Spanish and Chinese cuisine and a wide selection of wines and cocktails. The stunning views of the Forbidden City make it a must-visit.
Great Leap Brewing – This craft brewery is a must-visit for beer lovers. Great Leap Brewing has become a favorite among locals and expats with a wide range of unique and flavorful brews.
Q Bar – Located in the trendy Sanlitun area, Q Bar is known for its stylish decor and vibrant atmosphere. Enjoy a night of dancing and cocktails in this popular nightclub.
Capital Spirits – This unique bar specializes in Chinese spirits, offering a wide selection of baijiu and other traditional liquors. Learn about the history and culture of Chinese alcohol while enjoying a drink.
The Schoolhouse at Mutianyu – Located near the Great Wall, this bar offers a tranquil escape from the city. Enjoy a drink while taking in the beautiful views of the surrounding countryside.
Slow Boat Brewery Taproom – Another craft brewery on our list, Slow Boat Brewery Taproom, offers a laid-back atmosphere and a variety of handcrafted beers. It’s the perfect place to relax with friends and enjoy a cold one.
Modernista – This quirky bar is known for its vintage decor and unique cocktails. Step back in time and experience the glamour of old Beijing in this hidden gem.
The Door – Tucked behind an unassuming door, this speakeasy-style bar offers a sophisticated and intimate atmosphere. Enjoy a drink while listening to live jazz music in this hidden sanctuary.
Tips for enjoying Beijing’s bar scene
To make the most of your experience in Beijing’s bar scene, here are a few tips to keep in mind:
Dress appropriately: While some bars have a casual dress code, others may require more formal attire. Checking the dress code before heading out is always a good idea.
Plan your transportation: Beijing is a large city, and getting around can be challenging, especially after a night of drinking. Plan your transportation, whether by taxi, subway, or designated driver.
Explore different areas: Don’t limit yourself to one neighborhood. Each area in Beijing has its own unique charm and bar scene. Venture out and discover hidden gems in different parts of the city.
Embrace the local culture: Beijing’s bar scene blends different cultures and influences. Embrace the local culture by trying traditional Chinese liquors or attending live music performances by local artists.
Beijing’s bar scene is a vibrant and diverse mix of hidden gems, rooftop bars, and live music venues. From traditional Chinese-inspired bars to Western-style pubs, there is something for every taste and preference. So, raise a glass and uncover the top 10 hidden bars in Beijing for a memorable night out. Cheers!
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