The Solo Artist: Discover Beijing

Have you seen Beijing in its silence? The majestic Forbidden City in snow, the ancient alleyways hidden from the chaos, the wind blowing over the Great Wall? When you have a one-on-one connection with this old soul as your solo travel destination, you will truly understand Beijing.

Conrad Beijing Director of Guest Relations Bob Niu is an Old Beijinger. His Beijing is “open and welcoming, where a traveler will never feel like a lonely stranger.” Here are Niu’s tips for those traveling alone, aka “solo artists.”


The Great Wall of China

Mountain views of The Great Wall of China

Nestled in the touristy Qianmen area, Yangmeizhuxiejie Hutong is one of the best-kept secrets in Beijing. Locals come here to eat, drink, shop or just take a stroll. You may find yourself chatting with one of the residents or a craftsman for most of the afternoon.

If you fancy a taste of Peking opera, Conrad’s Niu recommends Huguang Guild Hall, which is also home to the Beijing Opera Museum. Snippets of famous operas are performed here nightly in the ornate theater with traditional seating. Sipping tea and snacking on roasted sunflower seeds while watching the show are all part of the package—and how it was done in the old days.

Art lovers should check out the 798 Art District. This complex of decommissioned military factory buildings is now the most influential art destination in China, reinventing Chinese contemporary art culture.


Pastries from Fu Hua Zhai

Enjoy pastries from Fu Hua Zhai

Peking duck in a hutong— you can’t get more Beijing than that. Duck de Chine is a trendy Peking duck restaurant with a French twist. It’s set in an old communist-era factory that has been converted to a conventional Beijing courtyard house not far from Shijia Hutong.

For a taste of Old Beijing flavors, proceed to Huguosi Hutong Snack Street. Notable stalls include Manji Bao Du (for fried beef tripe), Jun Wang Shao Bing (for filled pancakes and fried bread rings), and Fu Hua Zhai, where you can sit on the “Emperor Daybed” while tasting an assortment of delicious pastries, once only served to royalty.

After a busy day, return to Conrad Beijing for a delicious meal at Grill 29, Chapter or Lu Yu before heading out to the nearby Sanlitun Bar Street, the expat and party hot spot of Beijing. Top off the evening with a seasonal draft at Slow Boat Brewery, winner of “The No. 1 Burger in Beijing” award from The Beijinger magazine.


Huguang Guild Hall

Experience Huguang Guild Hall

Hidden behind the hustle and bustle of the Wangfujing shopping street lies a sleepy alleyway where some of China’s most famous writers, socialites and diplomats once lived. Today, Shijia Hutong No. 24 has been transformed into a beautiful museum demonstrating the way of life in Old Beijing.

After a visit down history lane, rest your feet at the nearby Zhihua Temple while listening to the Ming-era court and Buddhist music, an almost-lost art. This tranquil royal temple is one of the finest examples of Ming Buddhist architecture. Its well-preserved revolving sutra and finely carved statues are rare examples of Buddhist artwork. All of these locations are just a short drive from Conrad Beijing.

Book your stay at Conrad Beijing and experience the culture of The Forbidden City.

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