The Best Bars in 798 Art District, Beijing

Ancient train steam engine, at Ace Cafe, in the 798 Art District zone
Ancient train steam engine, at Ace Cafe, in the 798 Art District zone | © CHINA Landmarks and People by Vision / Alamy Stock Photo
Tom Smith

After a long, hard day of checking out Beijing’s most exciting contemporary art galleries, quench your thirst at one of the best bars in the 798 Art District.

Occupying a converted military complex on the north-east fringe of China’s capital, the 798 Art District is home to dozens of cutting-edge modern art galleries… and seeing them all is thirsty work. Put your feet up with a quiet drink or three at one of these great bars sprinkled around this neighbourhood.

1. Ace Café 751

Bar, Cafe, British

Ace Café 751 occupies an old train station
© Mark Andrews / Alamy Stock Photo

The first Chinese outpost of legendary London petrolhead hub, Ace Café, the venue occupies an old train station in the middle of this abandoned military precinct – a suitably industrial-chic backdrop for Ace’s cold beers, colourful cocktails and mouthwatering Western-style food menu.

2. O'Bar

Hotel Restaurant, Restaurant, Cocktail Bar, Seafood, Healthy, Sushi, Fusion, Vegetarian

OBar in the NUO Hotel Beijing
Courtesy of NUO Hotel Beijing /

Taking its design inspiration from the opulent Ming Dynasty, NUO Hotel is one of the most luxurious places to stay in the Chinese capital – and it boasts an intimate lounge bar to match. O’Bar bills itself as the place “where Beijing’s beautiful people unwind”, serving modern cocktails and expensive bottles of champagne to the glamorous crowd that congregates on the outdoor sun terrace and in the cosy lounge.

4. Forgot Bar

Bar, Contemporary

If you’re looking for a night-out so good that you won’t remember it, this is the place to go. Sitting near the Bahe River south-west of the 798 Art Zone, Forgot Bar’s name is a good indication of what to expect — a dimly lit ambience, chilled-out music and a wide selection of beer, wine and spirits make it the perfect place to forget your worries.

5. Laker's

Bar, Restaurant, European, American

One of 10 Laker’s venues dotted around the Chinese capital, this restaurant-bar is perfect for visitors looking for a quiet alfresco beer while watching the world go by. The friendly service and fast food menu suits the American-style sports bar vibe, but the prices are more affordable than most other tourist-friendly venues in the area.

6. Eatalia Unique

Restaurant, Italian

There are no shortage of Italian eateries in the 798 Art District, but this one stands out from the crowd. Eatalia Unique boasts a wide selection of authentic Italian wines imported from Europe, which match perfectly with the pizza, pasta and delectable desserts on the traditional Mediterranean food menu.

7. Ram Brewpub

Gastropub, Pub Grub

Beijing is home to a growing craft beer culture, and this stylish microbrewery stands at the forefront of the scene. Boutique beer lovers will love Ram Brewpub’s long line of taps pouring local and international brews, best enjoyed with a burger off the pub grub menu in the leafy outdoor seating area.

8. Xian Bar

Bar, European

Located just south of the 798 Art District, this laid-back lounge bar sits at the bottom of the ultra-modern EAST Hotel. From the live music to the outdoor terrace overlooking the park, the Xian bar is an inviting place to relax over a glass of whisky or a bottle of craft beer from the extensive imported drinks list.

9. The Irish Volunteer

Pub, Bar, Pizzeria, Irish

You can find an Irish bar in nearly every city on earth, and Beijing is no exception. The Irish Volunteer is just that pub in this corner of the Chinese capital, pouring the perfect pint of Guinness to wash down a burger or a pizza off the food menu. Situated on Jiangtai Lu just a short stroll from the 798 Art District, the Irish Volunteer is a friendly neighbourhood bar that’s popular with international visitors.

10. Timezone 8 Bar and Restaurant

Restaurant, Bar, Japanese

This restaurant-bar in the heart of the 798 area plates up authentic Japanese food – we’re talking ramen, tempura and sushi that tastes as good as it does in Tokyo – as well as a drinks list to match. Choose a classic Japanese beer or whisky, a bottle of sake (rice wine), or try some shōchū, a strong spirit distilled out of rice, barley, sweet potatoes, buckwheat or brown sugar.

landscape with balloons floating in the air


Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world

Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.

Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.

Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.

Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.

We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.

Winter Sale Offers on Our Trips

Incredible Savings

Edit article