Húguǎng Guild Hall

Peking Opera in Dashilar & Xicheng South

The most historic and atmospheric place in town for a night of Peking opera. The interior is magnificent, coloured in red, green and gold, and decked out with tables and a stone floor, while balconies surround the canopied stage. Opposite the theatre, there’s a very small opera museum displaying operatic scores, old catalogues and other paraphernalia.

There are also colour illustrations of the liǎnpǔ (types of Peking-opera facial makeup) – examples include the hóu liǎnpǔ (monkey face) and the chǒujué liǎnpǔ (clown face). The theatre dates back to 1807 and, in 1912, was where the Kuomintang (KMT), led by Dr Sun Yatsen, was founded. Shows here attract a lot of domestic tour groups. There are few English captions, but it's not hard to follow what's going on.

The attached restaurant is also very good, and inexpensive, making for a nice pre- or post-theatre meal. For up-to-date listings (in English), seating plans and tickets sales, check out the website.