Dashanzi Art District and 798 Space

#7 in Best Things To Do in Beijing
Dashanzi Art District and 798 Space picture
Dashanzi Art District and 798 Space
1 of 2
Shi Wei/Getty Images

Key Info

2 Jiuxianqiao Rd. Chaoyang Qu

Price & Hours

Free

Details

Cafes, Shopping, Free, Neighborhood/Area Type
2 hours to Half Day Time to Spend
4.2scorecard
  • 5.0Value
  • 4.0Food Scene
  • 4.0Atmosphere

Fact: The arts are booming in Beijing. You only need to tour the Dashanzi Art District to witness this creative surge. The epicenter of this artistic explosion is 798 Space (also known as Factory 798), an old electronics manufacturing site and warehouse. Originally designed by East Germans in the 1950s, the stern architecture beautifully juxtaposes the richly colorful contents of artist studios. The 2-million-square-foot venue boasts galleries, eateries and bars, making it a one-stop-shop for hip locals and curious tourists.

Recent visitors said the neighborhood appeals to nearly everyone because of the diverse offerings found here and recommend giving yourself plenty of time to simply wander around. Reviewers said you'll want to take a bevy of pictures thanks to the colorful atmosphere. Many others suggested purchasing souvenirs here as the offerings are quite unique. If you're an art lover, heed the advice of past travelers and plan to make multiple visits.

Located in northeast Beijing, the district is accessible via bus; however, most travelers reported reaching it by cab. The galleries are generally open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. every day, but the restaurants and bars happily serve customers for much longer. Accessing the site is free, though some galleries do charge. For more information, check out the official website.

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#1 The Great Wall of China

Just north of Beijing, you'll find one of the most famous monuments in the world: the Great Wall of China. Although it's unlikely you'll see the whole thing, you should aim to experience a portion of it. That begs the question: Which section?

Only an hour's drive northwest of Beijing, the Badaling section is convenient, hosts a large souvenir market, and has a gondola to whisk visitors up and down the wall. Sounds perfect, right? Well, and that's why thousands of tourists decide to venture here. This can create mob-like scenes that can spoil the trip, but it's unpredictable. Plenty of visitors rave about this section of the wall and say a visit is a must. Entrance to the Badaling section of wall (not including the gondola ride) costs 40 yuan (about $6) in the winter and spring and 45 yuan (about $6.60 ) in the summer and fall. You can start hiking the Badaling portion at 6:40 a.m., and you must be down by 6:30 p.m. every day.

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