One night in Beijing: Coolest bars, clubs and live houses

When the sun goes down Beijing's historic horizon, the city switches from Rome to Las Vegas. Beijing's nightlife is colorful, glamorous, noisy and energetic. From flamboyant dance clubs to sophisticated hotel bars, from crowded live stages to charming craft beer breweries, the city has it all.

For those looking for a glass of top-notch wine and a view to match, check out Atmosphere Bar or Yin Bar. The former is the city's highest watering hole (at the moment) and offers an expansive view across downtown, and the latter is a hidden gem affording a breathtaking angle for gasping at The Forbidden City. Beer buffs will find their new favorite tipples at Great Leap Brewing and Slow Boat Brewing. Both of them are at the forefront of China's newly acquired craft beer culture and offers interesting brews infused with Chinese food ingredients such as Sichuan peppercorns.

Partygoers are spoiled for choices. The growing number of affluent Chinese and a large number of students make the city a perfect soil for clubs of all levels. Among all, the glamorous The World of Suzie Wong provides an eye-opening experience of how art and party would go hand in hand. Party fans might also find their new interest in the mine of karaoke parlors, which is an essential form of nightlife for the locals.

For a totally alternative Beijing, head down the rabbit holes of Yugong Yishan and Mao Livehouse, they will brush up anybody's concept of China seen from tourist posters.

Xi Cheng District


Karaoke is an indefensible form of nightlife for the new generations in China. From birthday to graduation to stag party, it's a way to celebrate virtually everything. Hire a studio, order a song, turn off the lights, you'll probably be amazed...  Read More

The World of Suzie Wong


One of the longest-running clubs in Beijing, The World of Suzie Wong is a flagship in Beijing's nightlife scene, founded in 2002. Named after the protagonist from British novelist Richard Mason's fiction, this flamboyant club is the place to...  Read More



Steps away from Beijing's Drum Tower, hundreds of sweaty students gather behind an industrial iron door and hold out the sign of horns a few nights a week. This is the side of Beijing you rarely see on tourist posters. It's young, energetic,...  Read More

Yugong Yishan


Started out as a tiny live house on Sanlitun bar street in 2004, Yugong Yishan is a landmark in Beijing's alternative music scene. The live house escalated its coolness in 2007 by moving its space to former residence of Duan Qirui, a powerful...  Read More



Tucked away from the hustle and bustle of the Nanluoguxiang area, Mao Mao Chong is a favourite among Beijingers for a glass of high-quality cocktail and a slice of sizzling pizza. The bar offers around 50 different cocktails in a lively hutong...  Read More



Up to 20 types of craft beers are available in the taproom of Slow Boat, a microbrewery founded by American beer buffs Chandler Jurinka and Daniel Hebert in 2011. The company started out by supplying fresh beer to different restaurants and bars...  Read More



A key player in Beijing's new craft beer culture, Great Leap Brewing produces about 300 kegs of alcohol every month to satisfy beer-thirst expats as well as curious and more and more westernized Chinese drinkers. The brand was established in...  Read More



The spacious bar on the sixth floor of Park Hyatt Beijing is where to party with the pretty, rich and famous in the capital. The 340-seat wood-structured space has both indoor and outdoor seating and its architectural style resembles poetic...  Read More



Perched atop a four-story boutique hotel, The Emperor, and located immediately east to the Forbidden City, the rooftop terrace offers an incredible view over the sprawling imperial residence of China's last 24 emperors. This is possibly the best...  Read More



An exciting and ear-popping lift ride brings you to the highest bar in Beijing, located on the 80th floor of China World Trade Center. Go when the weather is nice and the sky is clear, you'll have a bird's-eye view over the glitzy central...  Read More


Meet Tracy You Xiaoying

Tracy You Xiaoying is a bilingual journalist based in the United Kingdom. She writes culture, travel and lifestyle articles about China and Britain in English and Chinese.

A born-and-bred...  More About Tracy You