If you are coming to Beijing for the Olympics and spending your nightlife in bars, here are some recommended watering holes.
For your convenience, the list of recommended bars will be given according to main nightclub zones in Sanlitun, Gongti (Workers' Stadium), Houhai, Chaoyang Park, Wudaokou, 798 Art Zone,Nanluoguxiang and others.
One of the best known and most popular bar streets in the Chinese capital is Sanlitun. In 1989, the first bar in the city was opened in Sanlitun Nanjie (South Street), sparking a flurry of openings that later spread to Sanlitun Beijie (North Street).
Located in the embassy district in eastern Beijing, Sanlitun is a favorite of Westerners due to its heavily American and European influenced bars.
Despite the emergence of a number of new bar zones over recent years, Sanlitun has remained fashionable with the expat community,foreign travelers and young locals.
If you are looking for bars as a newcomer to the city, Sanlitun is a place you cannot miss -- and taxi drivers will most probably take you there without hesitation.
Here are some well-known bars in Sanlitun:
Boys and Girls Club
One of the largest and best live music bars in Sanlitun. Siqingerile, a female singer from the Mongolian ethnic group, performed here before gaining nationwide fame. The club has its own band that gives performances nightly, attracting not only young people but also an older crowd.
If Sanlitun is a legend in Beijing, then Boys and Girls Club is a legend in Sanlitun. Unlike many other bars, it has insisted on playing Chinese pop music instead of Western music since its 1997 opening.
If you don't like noise, stay away from here as this club is always crowded.
Address: 68 Sanlitun Beijie, Chaoyang District Phone: 6416-6677
A cosy and tranquil stopover for white-collars tired from work and a "comma" in their busy life. At this two-story bar rarely seen in Sanlitun Beijie, you can relax by chatting with friends, drinking coffee or wine, and listening to saxophone or guitar music.
It serves excellent Western food. Curry beef rice is recommended.
Address: 54 Sanlitun Beijie, Chaoyang District Phone: 6417-4643
A British-style bar in terms of its decor, drinks, services -- and its proprietor. An ideal place for carnival, dances and parties. It draws in a predominantly foreign crowd with decent cocktails, happy hour specials, foreign DJs spinning chart dance hits and regular theme parties.
It also boasts a beautiful roof terrace. The drinks may be pricey, but they're good. Be prepared to climb down those stairs after drinking.
Address: 4/F Tongli, Sanlitun Beijie, Chaoyang District Phone: 6417-4124
Day Off is instantly noticeable at night because it has a large,bright yellow light box for a shop sign -- said to be the biggest in Sanlitun Beijie. The indoor decor is of cowboy taste and fashioned in the style of the old American West. It is the only disco bar in Beijie.
Soft music is played here before 10 p.m. and hot disco afterwards. If you arrive at Beijie late, you will find the most noisy bar is either Boys and Girls Club or Day Off.
Address: 64 Sanlitun Beijie, Chaoyang District Phone: 6415-7210
Beijing's first jazz music club opened in 1995 as a Japanese-style bar owned by a former drummer. You can enjoy Japanese cartoons here and try some authentic Japanese dishes if you are tired of Western food.
Address: 18 Sanlitun Beijie, Chaoyang District Phone: 6415-1227