Beijing: Places to Explore

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Xicheng District

Xicheng District is home to an eclectic mix of a few of Beijing's favorite things: delicious food, venerable hutongs and old courtyard houses, charming lakes, and engaging nightlife. The lakes at Shichahai are fun for all ages, both day and night. Take a boat ride on the lake in the warmer months, or ice-skate here in the cold winter months when the lakes are crowded with parents taking their children out for a day of fun.

Our top experience? Taking a walk or bicycle tour of the surrounding hutongs: there is no better way to scratch the surface of this sprawling city (before it disappears!) than by exploring the hutongs lined by courtyard houses. Wander in and out of historic sites in the area, such as Prince Gong's palace, the courtyard house of famed opera legend Mei Lanfang and the Drum and Bell towers (which fall right between Dongcheng and Xicheng). In the evening, find a restaurant or bar with a view of the lake.

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