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Key Info

North of the Forbidden City

Price & Hours



Free, Neighborhood/Area, Tours, Sightseeing Type
1 to 2 hours Time to Spend


  • 5.0Value
  • 4.0Food Scene
  • 5.0Atmosphere

North of the Forbidden City, this neighborhood packs so much character into its narrow streets (hutongs). Nanlouguxiang continually surprises you with exciting discoveries in boutique shops and tantalizing flavors from unassuming vendors. When you need a shopping break, visit the Bell and Drum Towers that also reside here. While this bohemian district has witnessed an increase in tourist volume, it has avoided the commercialization and urban renovations that characterize other Beijing areas.

Many visitors appreciate the blend of new and old and enjoy spending time browsing around. Reviewers said this is a great place to browse for souvenirs.

The shops, bars and restaurants maintain varied hours, but you'll be able to find activity here at almost any time of day or night. The district is just a short walk from the Beixinqiao metro stop on line 5 and Gulou Dajie metro stop on lines 2 and 8.

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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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