Muslim Quarter

sights / Historic

Muslim Quarter information

Lonely Planet review

The backstreets leading north from the Drum Tower have been home to the city’s Hui community (Chinese Muslims) for centuries. Although Muslims have been here since at least the 7th century, some believe that today’s community didn’t take root until the Ming dynasty.

The narrow lanes are full of butcher shops, sesame-oil factories, smaller mosques hidden behind enormous wooden doors, men in white skullcaps and women with their heads covered in coloured scarves. It’s a great place to wander and especially atmospheric at night. Good streets to stroll down are Xiyang Shi, Dapi Yuan and Damaishi Jie, which runs north off Xi Dajie through an interesting Islamic food market.