Huguang Guild Hall

Peking Opera in Dashilar & Xicheng South

The most atmospheric Peking opera house in town (it was undergoing refurbishment at time of research, so fingers crossed it stays that way...), Huguang Guild Hall was founded in 1807 and converted to a theatre a few decades later. Operas play out on an elaborate canopied stage enclosed by balconies. Local agent www.theatrebeijing.com can arrange tickets.

Huguang is one of Beijing's few surviving huiguan (guild halls), which were ostensibly a home away from home for visiting provincial merchants and officials – in this case from Hubei and Hunan. After 1912, the theatre featured prominently in the early days of the Kuomintang (KMT), with Sun Yatsen a regular visitor.

You'll also find a small opera museum on site, and the theatre restaurant is both tasty and inexpensive.