Introduction to North and East of the Imperial City

The area covered in this section, stretching from the Imperial City walls out to the Third Ring Road to the north and east, is the modern-day entertainment district for foreign residents and visitors alike, containing most of the better hotels, three diplomatic quarters, and clusters of bars and restaurants designed to service those who stay, live, and work at these places. But it also houses a 24-hour food street with centuries of history (see Eating Out), and some of Běijīng’s more spectacular temples, in particular the Lama Temple and its far quieter neighbour the Confucius Temple, which together should be your first choices if you plan otherwise to keep temple visits to a minimum.

This area is also now home to what Běijīng insists on calling the CBD (Central Business District) even in Mandarin, a forest of new towers spilling across the Third Ring Road to the east. It includes the bizarre CCTV Headquarters and further new glitzy shopping and top-of-the-range hotels.

Sights are more spread out, but there are several that may be reached from each other on foot, such as the lesser museums on Wángfǔ Jǐng Dàjiē.

Shopping includes electronics, some eminently avoidable tourist markets, and other markets where a decent deal on an indecently copied handbag can still be done. See Shopping.


Wángfǔ Jǐng Dàjiē 王府井大街, including Wángfǔ Jǐng Paleolithic Museum 北京王府井古人类文化遗址博物馆, East Church 东堂, Lǎo Shě Memorial Hall 老舍纪念馆, Theatre Museum of Běijīng People’s Art Theatre 北京人艺戏剧博物馆
National Art Museum of China 中国美术馆
Dōng Sì Mosque 东四清真寺
Lama Temple 雍和宫
Buddhism and Lamaism
Sōngtāng Zhāi 松堂斋
Confucius Temple and Imperial College 孔庙和国子监
Civil Service Examinations
Dì Tán Park 地坛公园
Tōngjiào Sì 通教寺
The Dormition Church
Dōng Yuè Miào 东岳庙
Rì Tán Park 日坛公园
Zhìhuà Sì 智化寺
Poly Art Museum 保利艺术博物馆
Losing Their Heads
Imperial Granary 南新仓
Míng City Wall Ruins Park 明诚墙遗址公园
Ancestral Temple of Wén Tiānxiáng 于谦祠
Three Small Temples for Three Big Heroes
Ancestral Temple of Yú Qiān 于谦祠
Ancient Observatory 古观象台
CCTV Headquarters 中国中央电视台广播部
Former Residence of Máo Dùn 茅盾故居
China Agriculture Museum 中国农业博物馆

Next in North and East of the Imperial City: Wángfǔ Jǐng Dàjiē
Previously: In the Depths of Many Flowers (walk)
Main Index of A Better Guide to Beijing.

For discussion of China travel, see The Oriental-List.