Duan Qirui Former Government Building

Historic Building in Drum Tower & Dongcheng North

This imposing slab of Republic-era architecture, complete with brick clock tower, is the former headquarters and residence of Duan Qirui, a warlord who became the de facto ruler of China briefly during the upheaval of the early 20th century. Despite guards manning the imposing front gate, you can stroll in the compound at your leisure for a nose about (but the buildings themselves are locked).

Students live in the lovely wood-panelled buildings at the rear, an annex of Renmin University. To reach Arch, a pricey, hidden-gem cocktail bar, turn right at the clock tower and go east for 50m; it's on your left in a low brick building.