"A Bar is Just a Bar Until You Put Them all in One Place"
Beijing nightlife is famous and numerous. There are so many different people and each enjoy nightlife in a different way.
Our goal is to make sure you don't end up in the wrong part of town. We'll put you in a pub or bar or beijing dance hall that is right for your tastes.
The Beijing Night Life I encountered was a complex matter. There are many a good bar or Pub in Beijing and it can get overwhelming and a even a little intimidating at times.
That went away after a few beers and a couple of stiff drinks.
It's best to focus on the best area and leave 'the out-of-the-way' Bar Hunting to the locals.
We'll keep you mainly in the The Sanlitun District, the Hou Hai Bar Area and Beihai Park so we can eliminate the 'Maybe' and strike right sat the heart of Beijing's Nightlife.
I'll introduce you to the best nightlife in Beijing to suit your taste and your budget but you'll have to introduce yourself to the Beijing girls.
The Areas with the Best Beijing Night Life
The Sanlitun District is Located at the North end of Beijing City.
The Sanlitun District used to be one small street but has grown into a huge collection of Beijing bars and Nightclubs filled with Tourists, Expats and Locals enjoying some Beijing Night Life.
Hou Hai is a major hub of Beijing bars and Nightclubs. Hou Hai seems to be taking over from Sanlitun as the number 1 spot for Beijing Nightlife and it's growing everyday.
Maybe it's because you can rent a boat to take it out on the lake up until midnight. We highly recommend doing this because the area is absolutely beautiful and it's a great way to work up a healthy thirst.
The boats in Hou Hai are only available during the summer months, though. Winter in Beijing is as cold as it gets.
The Hou Hai area is located on the shore of a man-made lake in the North part of Beihai Park.
Most of the bars in Santilun and Hou Hai are Western type bars with cold beer on tap. The prices are higher than you'd pay in the noodle shops but these areas are the heart of the liveliest Beijing nightlife in town.
Most Beijing bars stay open until about Midnight with their busiest time being around 10pm. The Beijing nightclubs are open much later (until 3am) but usually charge a costly entrance fee of between ¥200RMB ($29.28USD) and ¥300RMB (43.93USD).
This is expensive and most people opt for the steaming noodle shops or sidewalk soup stands for their cold bottles of beer.
If enjoying the Beijing night life is part of your holiday plans then we recommend getting a hotel or hostel near enough to the Beijing Nightlife without being too noisy.
Find out about the best Budget Hotels in Beijing.
Beijing Bars and Pubs in the Sanlitun and Hou Hai Districts
Poachers Inn is a very popular bar that is often quite busy. Something about the place makes you feel warm, welcomed and comfortable.
Part of its charm is because of its location in the older part of Chaoyang's Sanlitun Bar District.
43 Bei Sanlitun Lu, Beijing.
The Tree is a well-regarded bar in Beijing that is popular for its great pub food. This best includes the pizza as it is amongst the best of all the Beijing bars and even the restaurants.
The only difficulty is in choosing the right beer to wash it down with. The Tree bar has an enormous selection of over 40 different kinds of Belgium Beers available. Great Pizza and Great Beer. Winning combination.
43 Bei Sanlitun Nan, Beijing.
Chick bar with beautiful Beijing girls inside. There is no secret why this is a leader on the Beijing nightlife circuit. The girls come for the excellent Daiquiris and the boys come for the Beijing girls.
1a Nongzhanguan Lu (Near the West Gate of Chaoyang Park), Beijing.
The name actually means something. There is only one bar in Beijing where they use beds for bar-stools inside an old Hutong House with concrete walls and cement floors.
Bed has been called a 'Significant contribution to the Beijing Night Life scene'. It is a cool place but I was surprised at how awkward it was for everyone but the really drunk.
17 Zhangwang Hutong, Xicheng District, Beijing.
Inside Browns you'll find a long, old-style wooden bar and a selection of over 400 different kinds of shooters. The atmosphere inside Brown's will make you feel a little sinful but definitely a mainstay of the Beijing Nightlife.
It gets busy on the weekends but is cheap on weekdays when compared to most other Beijing bars and nightclubs.
Nan Sanlitun Lu (Above 'The Loft'), Beijing.
Night Clubs in the Sanlitun and Hou Hai Districts
Here's a little sample of the Beijing Nightlife from inside one of the Night Clubs around Sanlitun district, Beijing.
Vic's is the Grand-Daddy of all the clubs in the Beijing nightlife scene. It is set inside a huge venue with British Djs playing a mixture of Techno, Reggae and House.
None of the Beijing bars or other nightclubs compare in size and audacity. If you are looking for a club that is loud, packed with bodies and filled with visual stimuli then Vic's is your place.
Some people say they overdo it but others say it is the best at what it is...a nightclub.
74-76 Xinjiekou Bei Dajie (Inside the Workers Stadium North Gate), Beijing.
JJ's is pretty quiet on the weekdays but there's nowhere on the Beijing Nightlife scene busier than JJ's on the weekends.
JJ's has a sci-fi theme to it so there are quite a few wild laser shows and a few scantily-clad Russian dancing girls (Ode to man's dreams of outer space).
If you can't be happy with the gorgeous Beijing girls, you love the sci-fi theme and laser light shows then this is the place for you. JJ's is nothing like some of the sleazier Beijing bars but I wouldn't call it a favorite for girls night out either.
74-76 Xinjiekou Bei Dajie, Beijing.
Another Superclub with a giant dance floor, smallish lounge bar and good live music. If a taste of the Beijing Night Life includes some live music then Tango is the place.
South Gate of Ditan Park, Dongcheng District.
Club Fusion is all about House music, Electronica and a bringing in the most 'Hot Lately' DJs they can find. Drinks are the usual and not a place to carry on a conversation, even at the far wall.
A8 Gongti Bei Lu, Chaoyang District, Beijing.
The Best Live Music Venues in the Sanlitun and Hou Hai Districts
What Bar? Is a well known expat hangout on the weekends and with attractive drink specials during the week that make it an 'after work' start to any one destined to partake in some Beijing Nightlife.
Different crowd during the week than at weekends. Come weekends it's the some of the best Beijing nightlife on offer but a more laid-back crowd on the weekdays getting in on the really good drink discounts.
They have 2 locations and both of them are solid.
(1)West Yuandadu Bar Street, Chaoyang District, Beijing.
(2)72 Beicheng Jie, Xicheng District
From Thursday to Sunday they're always hammering out live Jazz sets from some of the best bands in China.
Occasionally, they have some foreign acts to spice up the Beijing Nightlife options.
2/F, 2 Qianhai Nanyan Lu, Xicheng District.
Other Very Popular Beijing Nightlife Venus
The above are only a smattering of the places that a budget-minded traveler can visit in the Beijing darkness.
Here are some other Beijing bars and clubs that I can't leave off the list. They each stand out in their own way but I like that there is enough variety that we can find a spot that suits us or we can hop from place to place.
I just drink more if I hop about. I have the best time when friends can agree on the 'starter' Beijing bar where we can warm up and maybe even have a conversation.
Then it can be an awesome jungle ride. There are just so many lights and venues, not to mention the interesting people always walking by.
We can come to love the Beijing Nightlife.
The Sanwei Bookstore is a pretty small place compared to some of the other Beijing bars or nightclubs. They have a very popular tea room upstairs that hosts small musical gigs on weekends.
Fridays is reserved for jazz concerts and Saturday is a special night for classical Chinese music. Not everyone's cup of tea for a Saturday night but but it's unique to the nightlife in Beijing. If you have the time then check it out even for an hour or two.
The people at the Sanwei Bookstore will charge you $4USD to get in to see the shows but that includes snacks and a complimentary 'Bottomless' cup of tea.
Fuxing Men Nei Dajie 60, Beijing.
Lao She's Teahouse was named after a play by the famous Chinese writer Lao She. The nightly performances held here always include Chinese opera and acrobatics.
That may not seem like a night on the town but Lao She's Teahouse has a place in the Beijing Nightlife scene. I don't want to go out dancing and drinking every night. I love to travel most because of the new things I can see and the chance to learn some of the local culture.
If you want a night out and really get a taste of the Beijing Night Life then you have to sing along with the Chinese Opera singer (They hate that!)
Entrance Tickets vary in price from $5USD up to about $16USD, depending on the quality of the performance being held that night.
Even if you are on a budget, it's worth the extra money to catch one of the top-notched shows because they are really something to see.
Qianmen Xi Dajie 3, Beijing.
The Palace View Bar sits right on the roof of the Grand Hotel. It offers the best views of the city anywhere. And drink prices were and still are on the average side!
This bar in Beijing is the definition of a hidden gem. There is no better place to relax and watch the sun set with a drink in hand and good company at your side.
The Palace View Bar stays closed for most of the winter. It remains open only from May to September when the weather is nicest (most tolerable) outside. Try this one and bring a sweater no matter how warm you think it is.
The Palace View Bar is located on the rooftop of the Grand Hotel.
If you're homesick then you might want to head to ClubFootball. This is one of the great Beijing bars for those who want to catch some sports while touring Beijing.
They strive for authenticity at Clubfootball. By far one of the most authentic Beijing sports bars in the city. The beer is relatively cheap and the food is large srevings of burgers, fries and rice. Kidding about the rice.
Football (Soccer) is number one by far but the also show Rugby, Baseball, and Even American Football from time to time. SuperBowl heaven if you're there at the right time.
ClubFootball is located at Chunxiu Lu 10, Beijing.
Bar Blu has no cover-charge and is always packed with beautiful people. Inside you'll mostly find people dancing to the latest Pop chart hits or relaxing outside on the huge terrace.
The views aren't anything to wrestle a buffalo over but a couple of drinks and some good company can make up for that.
4th floor, Tongli Studio, Sanlitun Beilu, Beijing.
The place for a taste of the Live Music scene in Beijing. The 'Mao Livehouse' is an old movie theater re-born as an excellent mid-sized venue for live music acts.
Inquire in advance about the music schedule. The music can range from heavy-metal on a Monday to Classical Chinese Folk on Tuesday.
111 Gulou Dongdajie, Beijing
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