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Where to stay in Beijing? Best districts + Hotels

Looking for the best places to stay in Beijing ? ?

Follow the guide, I have tested, listed and detailed for you the best places to stay à Beijing as well as the best hotels in this city that we love to visit.

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⏰ Don’t have time to read it all?

Here are the best areas to stay in Beijing, with hotels ranging from upmarket to budget. They all have excellent reviews and are in great locations!

🚨 These hotels are some of the most popular so don’t delay booking. Plus, they offer free cancellation, so don’t worry if you change your mind.

🌃 Find other accommodation at the best price

Where to sleep in Beijing for the first time: Qianmen

Looking for the best area to stay in Beijing on your first visit? In Beijing, Qianmen is close to the main points of interest and is one of the best neighbourhoods to stay in to experience traditional Chinese culture. The district is centred around a famous pedestrian street, Qianmen Street, which is full of traditional shops, workshops and restaurants.

It’s also the most convenient place to start your visits, whether you’re a history seeker, a foodie or a shopping enthusiast, you’ll find it all here! That’s why it’s my pick for where to stay in Beijing for the first time.

Start your day by discovering Tiananmen Square, at the northern end of Qianmen Street. Walk down and see the historic buildings and the famous Temple of Heaven.

In Beijing’s Qianmen Street, it will be hard to choose from the many local restaurants, so do your best to try as many delicious dishes as possible! Staying in Qianmen also puts you close to the Forbidden City, making it a good starting point for exploring the famous palace city within the walls.

I’m sure you’ll be pretty tired after a long day of sightseeing, so I’ll help you find the best hotel with a convenient location for you to lay your head. I just want to remind you that Qianmen is one of the most popular areas to stay in Beijing and as always, I want you to stay in the best hotels, so don’t forget to make your reservation in advance!

The same goes for most of China’s major cities, so if you’re also heading to Shanghai, you’d better book one of the city’s best hotels now.

Top-of-the-range hotels

New World Beijing: This 5-star hotel is one of the best luxury hotels to stay in Beijing and the best place to stay in the Qianmen district. The New World Beijing Hotel offers comfortable rooms with modern décor, a restaurant with a wide selection of dishes from all over the world, a cosy bar where you can enjoy a beautiful view of the city, a fully equipped fitness centre and a spa. The metro station and the famous Temple of Heaven are within walking distance, and Beijing International Airport is a 45-minute drive away. See price and availability.

Best value for money

❤️ Layering Courtyard Hotel : This 5-star hotel features stunning architecture, a pretty courtyard and modern rooms with free Wi-Fi. See price and availability.

Cheap hotels in Beijing

365 Inn: This centrally located hostel offers comfortable rooms, a restaurant, a bar and a shuttle service to Beijing airport. See price and availability.


Private Room Kezhan: This flat has the best location in Qianmen for exploring the city and offers a comfortable room with great facilities. See price and availability.

🌃 Find other accommodation at the best price

What to do and see in Qianmen?

  • Shopping in Qianmen Street
  • See the Temple of Heaven
  • Visit the Chinese National Museum and learn about its history.
  • Take a walk in Tiantan Park
  • Take in a show at the ZhengYici Opera Theatre
  • Go to the night market on Wangfujing Street
  • Go to the Xicheng district to visit the Cultural Palace of Nationalities
  • Walk to Tiananmen Square and see the Monument to the People’s Heroes.

Where to stay in Beijing for a local experience: Gulou

Gulou is located 6km (4 mi) north of Qianmen and is one of the best areas to stay in Beijing if you’re looking for a traditional Beijing experience. Gulou has many traditional hutongs (small neighbourhoods) that have been protected by the government.

Thanks to its well-preserved traditional facades, it is one of Beijing’s coolest neighbourhoods, offering many trendy cafés and restaurants, as well as cool shops in interesting buildings.

The place to go first in Galou is the famous Nanluoguxiang pedestrian street. Admire the pretty buildings with traditional Chinese architecture, shop in the local boutiques and eat delicious traditional food. For photography fans, this street is also very Instagrammable! The main landmarks not to be missed here are the famous Bell and Drum Tower, the Confucius Temple and the Prince Chun Mansion.

For those looking for a local vibe, there’s no better place than Gulou. As you’re not alone here, hotels can fill up very quickly, so be quick and book now to catch your favourite hotel. Speaking of authentic places, if you’re looking for more interesting destinations near China, I highly recommend Hong Kong!

As this area is well-preserved, there are no luxury hotels here, but I’ve found for you the 3 best accommodation options for the other categories.

Best value for money

❤️ The Orchid Hotel: This 4-star hotel is located in a traditional hutong and offers a pretty courtyard and comfortable rooms with free wifi. See price and facilities.


Peking Youth Hostel : This hostel is one of the best places to stay in Beijing on a budget, thanks to its convenient location close to the main attractions and its cosy rooms. See price and facilities.


Shihein B&B : This centrally located flat features modern, fully furnished rooms, free Wi-Fi and is within walking distance of the main attractions. See price and availability.

🌃 Find other accommodation at the best price

What to do and see in Gulou

  • Get lost in the streets of Nanluoguxiang among the buildings of Old Beijing.
  • Visit the Lama Temple and the Confucius Temple.
  • Visit Prince Chun’s mansion.
  • See the impressive Bell and Drum Tower
  • Taste traditional dishes such as Peking duck at Gulou Dong DaJie (Gulou East Street).

Where to stay in Beijing to be close to the Forbidden City: Dongcheng District

Dongcheng District is located in the eastern part of central Beijing. It is home to the famous Forbidden City and Palace Museum, as well as many of the city’s other attractions. Starting at the northern end of Qianmen Street, walk north through the district and you’ll find Zhengyangmen, Tiananmen Square, the Forbidden City and Jingshan Park.

As well as being home to the vast majority of the city’s major landmarks, Dongcheng is also dotted with interesting museums for you to explore. There’s plenty to discover here, so make sure you wear your most comfortable shoes!

If you’ve had your fill of history, head to the smaller Dongzhimen district, located within the wider Dongcheng district, where you’ll find plenty of great shopping spots, such as the historic Wudaoying Hutong and the Talkoo Li shopping centre. It’s a great place to stop off at one of the good local restaurants.

I highly recommend staying in the Dongcheng district, as you’ll find a bit of everything and you’re sure to have a great time!

Here are the best places to stay in this colourful district:

Upscale hotel

Hilton Beijing Wangfujing: The Hilton Beijing Wangfujing is very centrally located with easy access to Tiananmen Square and the Forbidden City. This luxury hotel offers spacious rooms with stunning city views, a swimming pool, a fully equipped fitness centre, a fabulous spa and an on-site restaurant serving international cuisine. After a tiring day, you can enjoy a massage and body treatment in the hotel’s wellness centre and enjoy cocktails in the hotel bar while admiring the stunning views.

Best value for money

❤️ Beijing NUO Hotel: This hotel is very centrally located near the metro station and offers spacious rooms, a swimming pool, a fitness centre and a restaurant.


Kapok Hotel: The Kapok Hotel has a lovely garden, a fitness centre, a restaurant and spacious rooms with a view of the city, making it an excellent choice for a stay in Beijing on a budget.


Studio Lease Hutong: This flat enjoys a central location with easy access to the metro line and offers glamorous rooms with modern amenities.

🌃 Find other accommodation at the best price


  • Admire the view of the Forbidden City from Jingshan Park.
  • Take a photo of Zhengyangmen and stroll through Tiananmen Square.
  • Go shopping in the historic Wudaoying Hutong district.
  • Window-shop in Wangfujing or the Taikoo Li shopping centre.
  • Take a guided tour of the Forbidden City and the Palace Museum.
  • Visit the National Art Museum of China

Where to stay in Beijing for shopping: Xidan

Xidan is located west of the Forbidden City, 6 km (4 mi) from Qianmen. This former commercial area is full of shopping centres that will drive you crazy.

Thanks to its proximity to the Forbidden City, Xidan was once an important area during the Ming dynasty. That’s why you’ll also find a few historic areas as well as one of China’s largest parks, Beihai Park, which was once a royal palace during the Ming and Qing dynasties.

Once you’ve finished sightseeing, you can head back to the shopping area for a crazy Xidan shopping experience. You’ll find everything you could possibly want and probably a bargain too! You see, this area is a good mix of sightseeing and shopping!

Now let’s take a look at the best places to stay in Beijing for shopping:


Pan Pacific Beijing: This luxury hotel is best located to discover the city of Beijing and stay close to the shopping centres. The Forbidden City, Tiananmen Square and the metro station are just a short walk from the hotel. This 5-star hotel offers modern rooms with beautiful views of the city, a spa, an excellent fitness centre, a bar, and family-friendly rooms are also available.


Grand Mercure Beijing: This modern hotel is very centrally located and offers a swimming pool, fitness centre and free parking.


Kelly’s Courtyard Hotel: Kelly’s Courtyard Hotel is within walking distance of the metro line and features a pretty garden and comfortable rooms.

🌃 Find other accommodation at the best price

What to do in Dixan

  • Explore the many popular shopping centres in the Xidan shopping area.
  • Visit the Xidan Book Building
  • Head to the culture square for some people-watching
  • Visit the impressive Church of the Saviour in Beijing.
  • Take a boat trip through the magnificent Beihai Park.
  • Take a stroll through the Lingjing Hutong district.

Where to stay in Beijing to party: Chaoyang

The Chaoyang and Sanlitun districts are located side by side, just to the east of the Dongcheng district. You won’t find many tourist attractions here, but if you like city life and want to stay in a modern district surrounded by skyscrapers, these are impressive districts.

The Chaoyang district has beautiful art galleries, museums and a large number of shops. Take a stroll through the streets and you’ll see many impressive buildings with unique architecture, high-end restaurants and trendy cafés.

Sanlitun is also the heart of Beijing’s nightlife. If you head to Sanlitun Bar Street, you’ll find an insane amount of bars, clubs, trendy cafés and great restaurants. So get ready to put on your dancing shoes and dance the night away!

By staying here, you can enjoy the convenience of city life and easily take day trips to visit the Forbidden City and other important Beijing sights. You’ll find a great selection of hotels here, and I’ve already hand-picked the best ones for you.

Top of the range

JEN Beijing Shangri-La: If you’re looking for an upmarket hotel to stay at in Beijing, the Shangri-La will meet all your needs. This luxurious hotel offers a swimming pool, a fully equipped fitness centre where you can work out, enjoy epic views of the city and take yoga classes, as well as a fabulous spa and wellness centre. The Shangri-La Hotel has an excellent on-site restaurant serving a mix of international cuisine and you can easily take the nearby metro to the city’s main attractions and shopping malls.


Hotel New Otani: This hotel is centrally located near the metro station and has a beautiful large garden, fitness centre and swimming pool.


Holiday Inn Express: The Holiday Inn Express offers modern rooms, a fitness centre, a bar and easy access to the metro station.


  • Party and dance the night away at the Lantern Club.
  • Have a pint and watch a match at Paddy O’Shea’s
  • Visit the UCLA Centre for Contemporary Art
  • Discover the works of art in the 798 Art District.
  • Take a stroll through Chaoyang Park.
  • Shop at the Panjiayuan Antique Market.
  • Have fun at the Happy Valley Beijing theme park
  • Visit the impressive Museum of Contemporary Art
  • Discover the bars and restaurants of Sanlitun Bar Street.
  • Marvel at the architecture of the Beijing Olympic Stadium, also known as the Bird’s Nest.


Whether you’re stopping over for the night or don’t want to miss an early flight, you can always stay close to Beijing Capital International Airport. Being such a major flight hub, it’s not surprising that hotels near the airport can be flashy.

Although there are no budget hotels near the airport, don’t let the labels fool you. You can find 5-star hotels from $150, so why not splash out for a night or two?

That said, here are your best options for staying near the airport:


Cordis By Langham Hospitality – Located right next to Beijing International Airport, this luxury hotel offers a free airport shuttle, spacious rooms with balconies and free wifi, a fully equipped fitness centre, spa, wellness centre and a cosy bar.

You can pamper yourself in their luxury spa with a good massage and enjoy gourmet food in their delicious restaurant, or simply enjoy your incredibly comfortable bed or marble bathtub.


Holiday Inn Express – The Holiday Inn Express hotel is a 15-minute drive from Beijing International Airport and offers good quality, affordable accommodation. The hotel has a great fitness centre, spacious rooms with modern amenities, an excellent breakfast and a cosy bar. After a delicious dinner, enjoy a drink in the hotel bar with its friendly atmosphere or do your business with the photocopying and laundry service.


Family Loft – For those who prefer to stay in a house rather than a hotel, this Airbnb will meet all your needs. This beautiful home has 2 bedrooms, a fully furnished kitchen and 2 bathrooms. A gym is available in the apartment complex and markets are nearby. Beijing Capital Airport is a short drive away and the city centre can be reached in 15 minutes by train.


Beijing is a very busy city and some of the attractions and hotels are fairly spread out. Now that you know where to stay in Beijing, don’t worry, I’ll explain everything you need to know about Beijing’s transport system.

Beijing has one of the most developed public transport systems in the world. So I’m going to tell you about all the ways you can get around Beijing to make your journey a little less stressful.

Take the metro
The metro is the most convenient way to get around Beijing and all the districts I’ve mentioned in this article are easily accessible by metro. Beijing has one of the best metro systems in the world, which is very affordable and of good quality.

One-way fares based on distance range from 3 to 9 yuan (around 40 cents to 1.40 dollars) and the express fare to the airport is around 2 dollars. Most metro lines operate from 5am to 11pm and directions at all stations are written in both Chinese and English.

Tickets can be bought from vending machines in the stations and you can check the metro map and opening times on the official website. I also recommend downloading the Metro Beijing Subway app to check the map and get around Beijing easily.

Taxis and ride-sharing apps
You can easily take a taxi in the city and their fares are also cheap. All taxis have a meter and the starting fare is 13 yuan ($2). After that, there’s a charge of 2.3 yuan ($0.30) per kilometre.

Peak times in Beijing are from 7am to 10am and from 5pm to 8pm. At these times, it can be difficult to find a taxi and you should also be prepared for traffic jams. There is no Uber in Beijing, but there is a similar app called Didi. You can simply download the app in English and call for a ride instantly for prices similar to a taxi.

Take the bus
There’s an excellent bus system in Beijing and you’ll find bus stops in every district. A bus ticket costs around 13 yuan ($2) and you can buy it on the bus. You can check bus routes and timetables online.

Pedicabs and bicycle rickshaws are common in downtown Beijing. Although they are mainly used by tourists, they are a fun way to get around Beijing. You should negotiate the price before taking the rickshaws. You can also take part in a rickshaw tour of the hutongs, which lasts about an hour and costs around 100 yuan ($15).

Hire a bike
Cycling is one of the most practical and fun ways to explore the hutongs (neighbourhoods). Most roads are equipped with cycle paths and 86,000 public bicycles can be hired from docking stations. You can easily pick up a bike at one of the stations.

The first hour’s hire is free and then it costs you 1 yuan ($0.15) per hour, with a maximum of 10 yuan ($1.5) or 20 yuan ($3) per day. As you’ll find the city very bike-friendly, I personally recommend that you hire a bike for at least a day to get around Beijing!

Driving a car
In order to drive and hire a car in Beijing, you must have a Chinese driving licence. International driving licences are not accepted in Beijing. This is why I don’t recommend driving in Beijing due to the lengthy car rental procedures and heavy traffic.

Conclusion on the best places to stay in Beijing

Our tour of the city of Beijing ends here, dear travellers. In this blog post on where to stay in Beijing, I’ve talked about the best neighbourhoods with great luxury budget hotels as well as Airbnbs in each, I’ve also given information on things you can do there to help you get an idea of what’s best for you.

As I said before, Qianmen is the best neighbourhood to stay in Beijing for the first time because of its proximity to famous sights and attractions for all types of travellers. However, every area of the city has a different vibe, so you can choose a hotel that suits your tastes and get around the city easily thanks to the excellent public transport system I mentioned.

I’d just like to remind you that if you don’t want to miss out on your favourite hotel in Beijing and get a better deal on accommodation, don’t forget to book in advance!

If you have any other suggestions or questions about Beijing or China, don’t be shy and leave a comment below. I’ll be happy to answer them!

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