Top choice in Beijing

Remodelled in 2019, UCCA remains the finest contemporary-art gallery in 798, and a contender for the best in the country. Many global art superstars have made their China debuts here since it opened in 2007, and the gallery continues to stage boundary-pushing exhibitions – sometimes several at once, for which there is always an admission fee.

UCCA was established by Belgian art collectors Guy and Myriam Ullens, who had amassed purportedly the world's largest collection of Chinese contemporary art. The couple sold the gallery to a group of Chinese investors in 2017 who, to the relief of the art world, opted to continue it as a non-profit enterprise.

The attached UCCA Design Store is a funky emporium with a warped glass facade, stocking limited-edition prints and pieces by Chinese artists as well as swag such as tote bags, art books and Polaroid cameras.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

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