Top things to do in Beihai Park & Xicheng North

Top Choice Park in Beihai Park & Xicheng North

Beihai Park

Beihai Park, inside the old Imperial City, looks much as it would have done in the 18th century when it served as Emperor Qianlong's private gardens. The Tibetan-style White Dagoba soars majestically over the lake (…
Top Choice Buddhist Temple in Beihai Park & Xicheng North

White Dagoba Temple

Originally built in 1271 under the reign of Kublai Khan, the serene Miaoying Temple slumbers beneath its astonishing 51m-high dagoba, the tallest in China. A glimpse of it rising imperiously above the surrounding hu…
Top Choice Hunan in Beihai Park & Xicheng North


One of the best modern Chinese dining experiences in the capital, Yufunan is an insanely stylish spice fest, serving the sweat-inducing fare of Hunan province in an all-white, modernist dining space squeezed between…
Top Choice Cafe in Beihai Park & Xicheng North

Bear Brew

Run by two affable, aproned Chinese bears (who speak excellent English), this gay-friendly hutong hangout pours a host of house creations like a 24-hour cold brew with coke, a ‘dirty’ (espresso shot dumped on iced m…
Top Choice Lake in Beihai Park & Xicheng North

Houhai Lake Scenic Area

A grand sweep of willow-lined waterways enclosed by invitingly maze-like hutong lanes, this trio of lakes is one of Beijing's best-loved outdoor spots, whether for strolling, fishing, pedal-boating, or ice-skating i…
Top Choice Hebei in Beihai Park & Xicheng North

Wang Pangzi Donkey Burger

Opened by the titular 'Fatty Wang' in 2004, Wang Pangzi is lauded by many as Beijing's best purveyor of donkey-meat snacks. The lip-smacking speciality here is lǘròu huǒshāo (驴肉火烧; ¥12/14), toasted pastry pockets st…
Top Choice Arts & Crafts in Beihai Park & Xicheng North

Three Stone Kite Shop

Home of the last remaining traditional kite crafters in Beijing, this cluttered little cave is piled high with hand-painted fēng zhēng (kites) in the shape of auspicious birds and beasts. Kites in the ¥300 range (ab…
Buddhist Site in Beihai Park & Xicheng North

White Dagoba

Topping Jade Islet (琼岛; Qióngdǎo), the 36m-high Tibetan-style White Dagoba was built in 1651 by the first Qing emperor to honour a visit by the Dalai Lama. It was rebuilt in 1741 after being destroyed by an earthqua…
Monument in Beihai Park & Xicheng North

Nine Dragon Screen

To the west of Western Elysium, set back from the lakeshore, is this 5m-high, 27m-long spirit wall emblazoned with writing and coiled dragons, picked out in coloured glazed tiles.
Cathedral in Beihai Park & Xicheng North

Cathedral of Our Saviour

Formerly known as Beitang, this gothic church (c 1897) is Beijing's most exemplary, with a pair of 31m-high bell towers looking resplendent (read: gaudy) after a 2018 paint job. The church yard, where hawkers sell c…