Top things to do

Top Choice Buddhist Temple in Drum Tower & Dōngchéng North

Lama Temple

This exceptional temple is a glittering attraction in Běijīng’s Buddhist firmament. If you only have time for one temple (the Temple of Heaven isn’t really a temple) make it this one, where riveting roofs, fabulous …
Top Choice Historic Site in Drum Tower & Dōngchéng North

Bell Tower

The restrained, grey-stone edifice of the Bell Tower is arguably even more charming than its resplendent other half, the Drum Tower, after which this area of Běijīng is named. It also has the added advantage of bein…
Top Choice Historic Site in Drum Tower & Dōngchéng North

Drum Tower

Along with the more austere Bell Tower, which stands behind it, the magnificent red-painted Drum Tower used to be the city’s official timekeeper, with drums and bells beaten and rung to mark the times of the day. Or…
Top Choice Brewery in Drum Tower & Dōngchéng North

Great Leap Brewing

Běijīng's original microbrewery, this refreshingly simple courtyard bar, set up by American beer-enthusiast Carl Setzer, is housed in a hard-to-find, but beautifully renovated, 100-year-old Qing-dynasty courtyard an…
Top Choice Sichuan in Drum Tower & Dōngchéng North

Zhāng Māma

The original Zhāng Māma, on nearby Fensiting Hutong, was such a hit that you had to wait up to an hour for a table. At this newer, larger branch, they've more than halved the wait, and it's worth it. This is arguabl…
Top Choice Bar in Drum Tower & Dōngchéng North

Modernista

Making full use of its space, bohemian Modernista is a mix of glamorous bar, eatery and live arts venue. Set up by a Barcelona expat, its front area is done up like an old-school Spanish tapas bar with polished wood…
Top Choice Concert Venue in Drum Tower & Dōngchéng North

School Bar

Another reason why hip Wudaoying Hutong is too cool for school, this divey band venue is the best spot to tap into the capital's underground scene. Run by a couple of veteran Běijīng punks, it hosts quality gigs fro…
Top Choice Cocktail Bar in Drum Tower & Dōngchéng North

Tiki Bungalow

From the fake palms and Exotica soundtrack to the carved totem poles and Polynesian knick-knacks, this is your quintessential tiki bar down to the finest detail. Now across the alley from its original location, the …
Top Choice Clothing in Drum Tower & Dōngchéng North

Plastered 8

British-owned, this iconic Nanluogu Xiang T-shirt shop prints ironic takes on Chinese culture onto its good-quality T-shirts and tops (from ¥168). As well as clothing, it stocks a range of playful gifts, like Běijīn…
Top Choice Club in Drum Tower & Dōngchéng North

Dada

Since this zeitgeisty Shànghǎi club touched down in Běijīng in 2012, it's evolved into the capital's most credible spot for serious electronic-music fans, while remaining unpretentious and dive-y enough for the casu…