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Beijing will not only ensure that you have a full and interesting day but will also present you with colorful choices when darkness falls.
Beijing Opera Pictures
Traditional performances such as the Beijing Opera, acrobatic shows and dramatic performances in the teahouses are popular with the more mature visitors to the city, while the younger generation seems to favor the snack markets, pubs, clubs and cafes. For the stranger who wishes to become acquainted with the city, a stroll along Chang'an Street to Tian'anmen Square is highly recommended.
One place that cannot be omitted when considering the nightlife options for the old Beijinger is the Tianqiao (Overbridge) Area. In actual fact it is not a bridge but a location popular for gathering to eat, drink and to enjoy the entertainments and amusements on offer there. Tianqiao has been a favorite venue for ordinary folk since the Yuan Dynasty (1271-1368). This area was also the cradle of Chinese folk culture and art where many original folk performances such as acrobatics and music were devised. The area has changed somewhat over the centuries but the quality of the entertainment here continues to be of a high standard. Two of the most famous venues are the Tianqiao Theater and Tianqiaole Tea House (the name means Happy Overbridge) and it can be found at No.113 in Beiwei Lu, Xuanwu District). The theatre specializes in modern song and dance performances while by contrast the teahouse offers the more traditional arts of Beijing Opera, Acrobatics, Martial Arts as well as folk songs. Visitors to China may be a little apprehensive about going to the opera but it is an experience not to be missed as the performances are really quite spectacular, including as they do music, dance, acrobatics and spectacular costumes.
Other places to explore Chinese folk culture include the Laoshe Tea House (3F, building 3, Xi Da Jie, Qianmen, Beijing), where you can experience the famous Chinese tea culture and find a quiet place to relax and maybe do some reading. There is also the Liyuan Theater (inside Jianguo Hotel, Qianmen, at No. 175 in Yongan Lu) here there are nightly performances at 19:30 pm of genuine Beijing Opera and other folk performances. One need not be concerned about language difficulties with Chinese opera and drama as both make considerable use of mime. The opera often has subtitle boards displaying a translation. As a result they are quite easy to understand.
Chinese acrobatics have a long history and is one of the most popular art forms among Chinese people. Performers have achieved worldwide fame for their wonderful skills and marvelous acts. Acrobatic Shows can be seen at the Wansheng Theatre, 95, Tianqiao Market, Xuanwu District beginning at 19:15pm every evening.
Other traditional Chinese performances such as puppet shows, exotic ballet, opera, concert and modern drama are put on every day in Beijing. Full details are published in the daily newspapers and information is usually available at your hotel's reception desk. We recommended some popular places for such performances here:
Huguang Huiguan Ancient Opera Building
Address: 3, Hufang Lu, Xuanwu District
Beijing Concert Hall
Address: 1, Xinhua Bei Jie, Xicheng District
Beijing People's Art Theater
Address: 22, Wangfujing Da Jie
Sanlitun Pub Street and the surrounding Embassy Area in Chaoyang District is also a must for many foreign visitors and young people. The various bars attract the staff from the Embassies and white-collar workers alike. Here you will find rock-and-roll, hip-hop and Jazz among the many activities. This is a good place to see first-hand something of modern China after a day of exploring its historical past.
Address: To the west of North Gate of Wokers' Stadium, Chaoyang, Beijing
Tel: 010-65302889 65302689
Location: in the east inside of the North Entrance of Gongti, Chaoyang District
Opening hours: 20:00 - 03:00
Cost for ticket: 30 Yuan at weekend, 20 Yuan on Wednesday (Lady's night) and women can enjoy cocktail for free at that night (excluding special activities)
Music: Hip-hop, R&B
Address: A2, Chaibang Hutong, Andingmennei Da Jie, Dongcheng District
Opening hours: for 24 hours
Average cost per person: 20 Yuan - 30 Yuan
Address: B143, Xiwai Da Jie, Haidian District
Opening hours: from 09:00 until late
Address: First floor, No. 8, Gongti West Road, Chaoyang, Beijng
Understandably, as the nation's capital, Beijing is also its cultural center and the Capital Theatre, the Beijing Concert Hall, the China Folk Culture Palace each offer the very best of entertainment adding greatly to the wide choice of nightlife pastimes in the city. Program details and ticket prices as well as addresses of the various venues can usually be found in the current 'Beijing Daily'.
Every city has its night market and Beijing is no exception. When the curtain of darkness falls, the snack handcarts come alive. Dongdan Street, Xidan Street, Donghuamen Gate and Longfusi Temple area are the main four night market areas. Snacks include Beijing specialities as well as many that are traditional in other parts of the country, some of which are from minority districts.
It is hard to give details of all the nightly activities to be found in Beijing. However, for foreign visitors in particular, we would highly recommend a leisurely stroll along the Chang'an Street to observe the scene as one of your nightlife choices. Maybe you would like to do this in style by hiring a rickshaw, what could be more in keeping with the ambiance than that? The street extends all the way to the Forbidden City and Tian'anmen Square. The palace complex in shadow has an ethereal beauty that is all its own and that is certain to evoke sentiments of the past glory, mystery and intrigue that was once Imperial China.
Seeing the China Great Wall, Dining on the Beijing Roast Duck, Enjoying Beijing Opera' are the most important things for travelers in Beijing. Praised as quintessential China, Beijing Opera has played an important role in the locals' entertainment for centuries. It combines opera, dancing, music, art and literature together, showing the audience a complete picture of the folk arts of China. If you are interested in the mystery of oriental culture, enjoying the traditional folk opera is a must for you.
Beijing Opera Theathers
Chinese name: 梨园剧场 (lí yuán jù chǎng)
is the most famous theater for enjoying the Beijing Opera Show. Located in Jianguo Hotel Qianmen, the theater puts on Beijing Opera performances at 19:30 – 20:40 every day except for the Chinese New Year Eve (according to the professional tradition of the Beijing Opera). In Liyuan Theater, you can sit around a Ba Xian Zhuo (old fashioned square table for eight people) and drink Chinese Tea. If you are interested, you can go into the dressing room to see how the actors are made up in various facial painting, something not allowed in other theaters. The Crossroads, Autumn River, Pick up the Jade Bracelet and Farewell My Concubine (Death of Yu Ji) are the most frequent shows.
Ticket Fare: RMB200/280/380/480/580
Address: No.175 Yongan Road, Xuanwu District
Bus Route: 6, 15, 822 (get off at Yongan Lu Stop)
Chang'an Grand Theater
Chinese name: 长安大戏院 (cháng ān dà xì yuàn)
Chang'an Grand Theater is a good choice for enjoying genuine Beijing Opera. The theater was built in 1937 in Xidan Business Street and since then, it has been a gathering place for Beijing Opera fans. In 1996, new Chang'an Grand Theater was rebuilt on Dong Chang'an Avenue and seated 800. It is a perfect combination of classical and modern architecture. You will enjoy the elegant rosewood tables, comfortable soft seats and luxury VIP seats.
Ticket Fare: RMB80/100/180/280/380
Address: No.7, Jianguomen Nei Dajie, Dongcheng District
Bus Route: 3, 9, 10, 20, 37, 57, 52, 403, 802, 808 (get off at Beijing Railway Station Stop) 48, 120, 54, 938, 930 (get off at Dongdan Stop)
Beijing Opera Theater
Chinese name: 京剧院实验剧场 (jīng jù yuàn shí yàn jù chǎng)
This theater has Beijing Opera performances on Friday, weekends and other official Chineese holidays. It is a cheap but good place for enjoying the Beijing Opera.
Ticket Fare: RMB50/80/100/120/380
Customers Capacity: 1,000 persons
Address: 8/F, Beijing Opera Troupe Office Building, No.22, Ping'anli Xi Dajie, Xicheng District
Bus Route: 108, 107, 718
Mei Lanfang Theater
Chinese name: 梅兰芳大剧院 (méi lán fāng dà jù yuàn)
This theater is named by the Beijing opera master—Mei Lanfang (1894~1961). The whole building has mixed the traditional opera theater and modern construction style perfectly, having a 1008-audience's capacity. The audience seats are distributed on four floors so that everyone could have a good viewing on the performance.
Ticket Fare: RMB50~2080
Address: No.32, Ping'anli Xi Dajie, Xicheng District
Beijing Tea Houses
China is a country with a strong culture relating to tea and Chinese Tea has gained a high reputation around the world. Now, there are about 170 teahouses in Beijing, which can be divided into three kinds: traditional teahouse (a great combination of tea and Chinese folk culture), modern teahouse (characterized by Oolong) and special feature teahouse (with unique style and decoration). The traditional teahouse is the preference for the visitors who are interested in the strong local culture. For the old Beijing people, the traditional teahouse is a place not only for tasting tea, but also for enjoying traditional performances (including Beijing Opera, acrobatics, magic tricks and comic dialogue). Amongst them, Laoshe Teahouse is a symbol of this and is the most popular for visitors.
Chinese name: 老舍茶馆
Opened in 1988, the teahouse was named after a famous writer, Laoshe and his drama (Teahouse). It has received high acclaim, both at home and abroad. The teahouse is decorated in an elegant yet unsophisticated style, which takes the customers back to the old Beijing of the 1930s. Every day, there are various folk performances including acrobatics, opera and a tea ceremony show. In addition, genuine Beijing desserts are also available. Laoshe Teahouse has become a must for the visitors in Beijing. Just to inform you, the minimum cost is RMB20 (for tea).
Sihe Teahouse: Located on the 2F of Laoshe Teahouse, it supplies a quiet courtyard for people to enjoy Chinese tea and dishes.
Address: Bldg 3, Zhengyang Market, Qianmen Xi Dajie, Chongwen District
Bus Route: 44, 48 (get off at Qianmen Stop)
|Laoshe Tea House
||Laoshe Tea House
Performances Schedule of Laoshe Teahouse:
Time Performances Ticket Fee Location
19:50 – 21:20 (everyday) Comprehensive performances RMB180-380 3/F, West Big Hall
14:00 – 18:00
(Monday to Friday) Shadow Puppetry Play Free 1/F
15:00 – 16:10
(Saturday and Sunday) Beijing Opera RMB30-90 3/F,West Big Hall
1. Comprehensive performances include Folk Music Play, Beijing Opera, Danxian (story-telling to musical accompaniment), Hand Shadow Play, Folk Dance, Face Changing, Acrobatics, Magic Tricks, Allegretto, Comic Dialogue Show and Chinese Martial Arts.
2. The ticket fee mentioned above includes different sets of tea and pastries according to the different price. Customers can order extra tea and local refreshments from the waiter.
3. As the teahouse is popular and crowded with customers every night, you'd better make a reservation ahead of time (before 18:00 for the day). For the night performances, you should get to the teahouse before 19:35; or the reservation would be cancelled (If there is emergency, you can call the following number to confirm.)
Tickets Booking Hotline: 010-63036830 / 63021717
4. Opening Hours: 09:00 – 01:00
Customers Capacity: 800 persons
De Yun She (namely Tianqiaole Teahourse)
Chinese name: 德云社 (天桥乐茶园)
Tianqiao area in Xuanwu District was an assembling place for the common people's daily entertainments in old Beijing. Built in 1933, the teahouse was a preference for the locals for a long time. In 1992, it was repaired. There are Beijing Opera, acrobatics, martial arts and folk art showing everyday. A famous comic dialogue actor Guo Degang and his colleagues will put on performances as well. The most interesting thing is that customers need to pay using ancient copper cash (you can change for some with paper cash in the teahouse), which gives you a true experience of ancient times. Drum Song of Beijing is also a well-received folk performance in the teahouse.
Comic Dialogue Show: 19:15~22:00 on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday;
14:00~17:00 on Saturday; 19:15~22:00 on Saturday and Sunday
Ticket Fare: RMB20/40/60/80/100 per seat;
RMB400/RMB500 per balcony (including 5 seats, tea and snacks)
Beijing Opera: 19:15~22:00 on Friday; 14:00~17:00 on Sunday
Ticket Fare: RMB30 per person
Address: A1, Beiwei Lu, Xuanwu District
Menghuitianqiao—Sanlitun Theater of Deyunshe
Chinese name: 梦回天桥—德云三里屯剧场
As a newly built branch of De Yun She, this theater is decorated in the traditional Ming and Qing style. Besides of the comic dialogue shows, the mouth-watering Beijing snacks also supplied everyday. Considering culture differences, all of the shows have English translation.
Ticket Fare: RMB30/60/80/120/160/180/200/280 per person; RMB600~3800 per balcony
Address: No.4, Gongti Dong Lu, Chaoyang District (faces to the Sanlitun Yashow Clothing Market)
Zhangyiyuan Tianqiao Teahouse
Chinese name: 张一元天桥茶馆
Not far from Tianqiaole Teahouse, Zhangyiyuan Tianqiao Teahouse is also a popular one with traditional comic dialogue shows.
Performance: 19:00 on Friday, Saturday and Sunday; 14:00 on Saturday and Sunday
Ticket Fare: RMB30/40/50/60 per person, including a cup of tea
Address: No.18, Wanming Lu, Xuanwu District (just opposite to the Oriental Hotel)
Santosa Tea House
Chinese name: 圣淘沙茶楼
This should be one of the most luxurious teahouses in Beijing. Besides of enjoying a cup of tea and performances, you could have both of Chinese and western cuisine here.
Address: Jia-1, Waiguan Xie Jie, Andingmen Wai, Chaoyang District
Average cost: RMB200~1,000/person
Understandably, as the nation's capital, Beijing is also its cultural center. The National Centre for the Performing Arts, the Beijing Concert Hall, the China Folk Culture Palace each offers the very best of entertainment adding greatly to the wide choice of pastimes in the city. Chinese acrobatics have a long history and this is one of the most popular art forms among Chinese people. Performers have achieved worldwide fame for their wonderful skills and marvelous acts.
Other traditional Chinese performances such as puppet shows, exotic ballet, opera, concert and modern drama are put on every day in Beijing. Full details are published in the daily newspapers and information is usually available at your hotel's reception desk. Program details and ticket prices as well as addresses of the various venues can usually be found in the current 'Beijing Daily'.
Vocal Concert & Musicale
National Centre for the Performing Arts
Lying near Tiananmen Square and Great Hall of the People, the National Centre for the Performing Arts covers an area over 118,900 square meters (2.9 acres). The gallant showplace was designed by Aeroports De Paris and under the assistance of Tsinghua University. After 10 years' construction, the showplace was finished in September, 2007 and opened to public.
The north entrance of the National Centre for the Performing Arts is just beside the subway entrance of Tiananmen West Stop by Subway Line 1. A ticket selling hall is set there. On passing the dreamlike corridor under water, visitors can get to the public hall and see the three professional performing halls in front: drama hall (957 seats) in the west, odeum (1859 seats) in the east and opera hall (2079 seats) in the middle. They are separate halls which are connected with air corridors. Everyday, there are top leveled performances put on there. If you are an art fan, National Centre for the Performing Arts couldn't be missed in your journey.
Customers Capacity: 5,452 persons
Address: west of Tian’anmen Square
Bus Route: 1, 4, 52, 22, 10 (get off at Tiananmen Xi Stop)
Built in 1959, this is one of the largest stadiums in China, which has high-level supporting facilities, including reporters' special seats and stands for the handicapped.
Customers Capacity: 65,000 persons
Address: Sanlitun, Chaoyangmen Wai Dajie, Chaoyang District
Bus Route: 113, 115, 118, 701, 834, 758, 406
Customers Capacity: 18,000 persons
Address: No.5, Baishi Qiao, Xizhimen Wai, Haidian District
Bus Route: 332, 360, 347, 334, 902, 105, 111, 708 (get off at Shouti Stop)
Concert Hall of National Library
Customers Capacity: 1,120 persons
Address: No.33, Zhongguancun Nan Dajie, Haidian District
Bus Route: 319, 320, 332, 634, 645, 653, 716, 717, 727, 732, 804, 808, 814, 827, Yuntong 105, 106, 205 (get off at National Library Stop)
Zhongshan Music Hall
Customers Capacity: 1,400 persons
Address: inside Zhongshan Park, west of Tiananmen Square, Haidian District
Bus Route: 1, 5, 10, 22, 52, Te1, 802 (get off at Zhongshan Park Stop)
Subway: Line 1 (get off at Tiananmen Xizhan Stop)
Customers Capacity: 1,182 persons
Address: No.1, Bei Xinhua Jie, Xicheng District
Bus Route: 1, 4, 52, 22, 10 (get off at Xidan Stop)
Subway: Line 1 (get off at Xidan Stop)
Exhibition Hall Theater
Customers Capacity: 2,700 persons
Address: No.135, Xizhimen Wai Dajie, Xichang District
Bus Route: 105, 111, 15, 16 Branch, 334, 347
This theater is located in the city center with Tiantan Park in the west and Liulichang Culture Street in the south. It is the only professional theatre with perfect facilities, for performing opera and ballet.
Customers Capacity: 1,200 persons
Address: No.21, Tianqiao Beiwei Lu, 2nd South Ring Road
Bus Route: 14, 120, 110, 859
Eastern Pioneers' Theater
Customers Capacity: 320 persons
Address: east of Eastern Plaza, No.8-2, Dongdan Santiao, Chaoyang District
This theatre is named after nine separate theaters which offer performances in one building. The largest theater is 1,500 square meters (1,794 square yards) and the smallest one is only 50 square meters (60 square yards). Xiao Liyuan Theater is specially for Chinese Opera. There are motor-bars, art gallery and bookstores nearby.
Address: Culture Center of Chaoyang District, Xiaozhuang, Chaoyangmen Wai, Chaoyang District
Bus Route: 9, 101, 112, 115, 118, 718, 725, 306, 342, 382, 815, 846 (get off at Xiaozhuang Stop)
Customers Capacity: 1,300 persons
Address: No.36, North 3rd East Ring Road, Chaoyang District
Bus Route: 62, 119, 406, 409, 807, 707, 405 (get off at Chaoyang Theater Stop)
Beijing Red Theater
The most famous Chinese Martial Art show (Kung Fu Legend) in the Beijing Red Theater tells the growth of a little monk, and is rather entertaining.
Address: No.44, Xingfu Dajie, Workers' Art Palace, Chongwen District
Bus Route: 716, 320, 323, 355, 365, 300, 8, 12, 23, 57, 715
Chinese Puppet Art Theater
Customers Capacity: 700 persons
Address: A1, Section 1, Anhua Xili, Chaoyang District
Bus Route: 117, 18, 300, 328, 358, 387, 731, 735, 758, 830, 835, 858, 912 (get off at Anzhenqiao Stop)