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Beijing Summer Special: Eating out & relaxation (Part 1)

By Margaux Schreurs , eChinacities.com Add your comment Newsletter

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As we move through this brief period called spring and head full speed into summer, we all feel a sense of excitement that we can once again do all those things that we missed doing during winter. Here are a few options to consider for beautiful summer days:


Photo: James Whatley

Rooftop Cafés and Bars

1) Drum and Bell CaféView In Map
Overlooking the drum and bell towers, and on a gorgeous hutong rooftop, there is no better way to spend an afternoon during the weekend. Especially great on Sunday afternoons, when there is a 50 RMB all-you-can-drink deal on Beijing draft, Tsingtao bottled beer, and mixed drinks between 15:00 and 18:00.

Add: 41 Zhonglouwan Hutong, Dongcheng District, Beijing
东城区钟楼湾胡同41号
Opening Hours: Daily, 13:00-02:00
Tel: 8403 3600
Getting there: Take Line 8 to Shichahai station (什刹海)

2) Timezone 8 Bar and Restaurant View In Map
With a great beer menu, this bar is open during the day as well as in the evenings when all the art galleries have shut.  It also has an extensive selection of western food available.

Add: 798 Art District, 4 Jiuxianqiao Lu, Chaoyang District, Beijing
朝阳区酒仙桥路4号
Tel: 5978 9917
Opening Hours: Daily, 8:30-02:00
Getting there: Bus No 403, 401 from Sanyuanqiao Exit C2 to Dashanzilukou Dong station.

3) Migas View In Map
Old time favourite Migas’ rooftop is located in, and looks out over Nali Patio and beyond. The bar also has a great indoor area that was quite recently opened. On the menu is a list of cocktails, beers and a great wine selection (thankfully for those who have been missing it!).

Migas has a particularly good (and potent) Long Island Ice Tea.

Add: 6F, Nali Patio, 81 Sanlitun Lu, Chaoyang District, Beijing
朝阳区三里屯酒吧街81号那里花园6层
Tel: 5208 6061
Opening Hours: Sun-Wed, 18:00-02:00; Thu-Sat, 18:00-late.
Getting there: Take Line 10 to Tuanjiehu Station. Nali Patio is located on the southwest side of Sanlitun village.

Al fresco dining
1) Aimo Yunnan RestaurantView In Map
Nestled in the hutongs, this Yunnan restaurant has a terrace and serves great food. The hutong itself is also worth a stroll as there are some art galleries and shops in the courtyard next to the restaurant.

Add: 46 Fangjia Hutong, Building G, Dongcheng District, Beijing
东城区方家胡同46号G座
Tel: 6400 1725
Opening Hours: Daily, 11:30-21:50
Getting there: Take Line 2 or 5 to Llama temple station or Line 2 to Andingmen Station.

2) The RugView In Map
Serving bagels, brunch, pancakes, salads, soups, spaghetti and desserts. The outdoor terrace area and a playroom for kids makes it an all-day family favourite.

Add: 1F, Building 4, Chaoyang Gongyuan Nan Lu, Lishuijiayuan Xiaoqu (opposite Chaoyang Park South Gate), Chaoyang District, Beijing
朝阳区朝阳公园南路丽水嘉园小区4号楼1层(朝阳公园南门对面)
Tel: 8550 2722
Opening Hours: Daily, 7:30-22:30
Getting there: Take line 6 to Jintailu station then Bus No. 988, 502, 973, 976 to Chaoyang Gongyuanqiao Xi station (朝阳公园桥西)

3) Capital M View In Map
With an amazing view over Qianmen, and a menu full of dishes with a largely Mediterranean flavour, you can’t go wrong at Capital M especially with the recent weather improvements. This is a great option for visitors and residents of Beijing, weekdays or weekends.

Add: 3F, 2 Qianmen Buxingjie, Dongcheng District, Beijing
东城区前门步行街2耗3层
Tel: 6702 2727
Opening Hours: Daily, 11:30-20:30
Getting there: Take Line 2 to Qianmen.

4) Sand Pebbles Lounge View In Map
With a lovely little rooftop on Wudaoying hutong, this is one of the only restaurants on the hutong that is not incredibly expensive. The nachos are especially good too!

Add: 74 Wudaoying Hutong, Dongcheng District, Beijing
东城区五道营胡同74号
Tel: 8404 0767
Opening Hours: Daily, 12:00-21:00
Getting there: Take Line 2 to Andingmen.

Picnic
If you are short on cash, want somewhere where your kids can run around freely, or if you prefer a more natural environment, a picnic in the park may be the perfect way to go. Bring your own snacks and hang out in the sun; only advisable on a non-polluted day though!

1)Beihai Park (北海公园) View In Map
Known as the world’s earliest royal garden, this imperial park dates back to the 12th century. The lake, which is the largest in Beijing and the most beautiful public waterway, is littered with paddleboats during summer weekends. The Five Dragon Pavilion on the northwest shore of the lake was built in 1602 by a Ming Dynasty emperor as the perfect fishing spot at night. This park is especially great for those who miss being near to water.

Add: Wenjin Street, Xicheng District, Beijing
西城区文津街1号
Opening Hours: 6:00-20:30
Getting there:  Take Line 1 to Dongdan station then bus No. 111 to Beihaibei station.
Price: 15 RMB (park); 35 RMB (all-inclusive)

2Ditan Park (地坛公园) View In Map
Just north of the Lama Temple, this park was a site for imperial sacrifices. The altar’s square shape represents earth, as its name (Temple of Earth Park) suggests. The park is always lively with pensioners; chatting, exercising and strolling through. This park is great for those who like walking through the buzz of nature, with easy access for the entire family.

Add: Andingmen Waidajie, Dongcheng District, Beijing
东城区安定门外大街
Opening Hours: 9:00-21:00
Getting there: Take Line 2 to Andingmen or Line 2 or 5 to Llama Temple station.
Price: 1 RMB (park); 5 RMB (altar)

3)Xiangshan Park (香山公园) View In Map
Close to the Summer Palace, Xiangshan Park boasts great views from Xianglu Peak, and also encompasses Biyun Temple (Azure Clouds Temple). This park thus has a whole lot more to offer us than just a green escape from the city. It’s also close to Beijing’s Botanical Gardens. This park is best for those who just can’t get enough of Beijing’s historical sites.

Add: Xiangshan Lu, Haidian District, Beijing
海淀区香山路
Opening Hours: 6:00-19:00
Getting there: Take bus 333 from the Summer Palace or bus 904 from Xizhimen
Price: 5 RMB (park); 10 RMB (Azure Clouds Temple)

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Keywords: Things to do in Beijing in Summer Beijing Summer Special

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