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The Top 10 Things To Do And See In Beijing's 798 Arts District

The Top 10 Things To Do And See In Beijing's 798 Arts District

Picture of Katherine Lee Yik Mei
Updated: 9 February 2017
798 Arts District is one of the coolest tourist spots in Beijing, and tourists can visit several brilliant galleries, museums, as well as some fabulous restaurants, cafés and bars there. The Arts District was transformed from an industrial area saturated with Chinese-style factories, and many of these factories remain, making the Arts Zone really interesting and unique. Read our guide to the top sights and activities in 798 Arts District.

798 Photo Gallery

Opened in 2003, the 798 Photo Gallery is one of the most important galleries in the Arts District as it was the first art gallery in China that was dedicated to photography. The exterior of the gallery is unique and characteristic because the founder tried to retain the original structure of the Bauhaus-style factory, while the spacious interior is simply sophisticated and elegant. They hold photography exhibitions of both mature and emerging artists regularly, so that visitors can learn more about the contemporary Chinese art.

Opening hours: Tue-Sun 10am-6pm

798 Photo Gallery, 4 Jiuxianqiao Road, Chaoyang District, Beijing, China, +86 10 6438 1784

Ullens Center for Contemporary Art

The Ullens Center for Contemporary Art was found by the Belgian collectors Guy and Myriam Ullens, and opened in 2007. It is an independent and not-for-profit center aiming at promoting contemporary Chinese art through holding an array of exhibitions, exchange events, and public programs. Their exhibitions do not just feature those very famous established artists, but also emerging ones from China and all over the world. It will be great to visit this three-storey Bauhaus-style art center, in which you can surely appreciate a lot of gorgeous art pieces.

Opening hours: 10am-7pm daily

Ullens Center for Contemporary Art, 4 Jiuxianqiao Road, Chaoyang District, Beijing, China, +86 10 5780 0200

Feng Ling Fashion Art Design

Feng Ling Fashion Art Design is a boutique set up by Feng Ling, an innovative fashion designer who specializes in cultural-revolutionary-style clothing and some characteristic Chinese traditional clothing, like the qipao and the Mao suit. Her designs are truly interesting and innovative, and can seldom be found in other places. Feng is a really talented designer as she is able to merge traditional Chinese elements with some trendy and modern Western ideas, creating many beautiful and gorgeous coats and dresses.

Feng Ling Fashion Art Design, 797 Road, Chaoyang District, Beijing, China

Chinese Contemporary

The first branch of Chinese Contemporary was opened in London Mayfair in 1996, and it always strives to promote Chinese contemporary art culture over the world. With spacious and sophisticated interior, the Beijing branch is equally artistic as the London and New York ones. They regularly hold exhibitions featuring great paintings and sculptures of brilliant Chinese artists, and continuously help to promote Chinese contemporary art through publishing artistic catalogues and joining top international art fairs.

Opening hours: 11am-7pm daily

Chinese Contemporary, 4 Jiuxianqiao Road, Chaoyang District, Beijing, China

Shenji Cai Guan (Shenji Restaurant)

Shenji Cai Guan was founded by a local who was born and raised in 798 Artss District, and is very familiar with the people and things in the district. In the restaurant you can enjoy a lot of authentic Shanghainese gourmet food, such as the signature red-braised pork belly, the fresh stir-fried pea shoots in white wine, and the chewy steamed gluten, all being incredibly tasty and savoury. You can surely have a relaxing time in Shenji as they offer good food and great environment which do satisfy people.

Opening hours: 11.30am-2pm; 6am-8pm daily

Shenji Cai Guan, 4 Jiuxianqiao Road, Chaoyang District, Beijing, China, +86 10 5978 9053

Long March Space

Spreading over an area of 2,500 square meters, Long March Space was founded by Lu Jie in 2002, and has continuously played an important role in promoting Chinese contemporary art. Long March Space has already hosted over 100 exhibitions and projects by established and emerging talents, allowing more people to appreciate innovative Chinese art. The galleryis spacious and is saturated with a lot of paintings, sculptures, installations and videos, while the bright lighting and modern interior design boost the ambiance.

Opening hours: Tue-Sun 11am-7pm

Long March Space, 4 Jiuxianqiao Road, Chaoyang District, Beijing, China, +86 10 5978 9768

Old Factory

As 798 Art District grew out of an industrial area, there are obviously a lot of Bauhaus-style factories left. Old Factory is a cool restaurant housed in one of these factories, and the owner tries to retain the elements of the factory by keeping the old furniture, machines, and some red bricks as decorations, making the eatery look really rough and nostalgic. Although it is a Chinese-factory-style restaurant, Old Factory offers diners with a wide range of modern Italian-inspired dishes and desserts which are truly tasty and attractive.

Opening hours: 10am-5pm daily

Old Factory, East Qixing Road, 4 Jiuxianqiao Road, Chaoyang District, Beijing, China, +86 10 5978 9180

Ace Café 751

Ace Café 751 grew out of the 751 train station in 798 Arts District, and the structure of the train station is mostly retained so diners can therefore feel its great and rough industrial architectural style while dining in the coffee house. Ace Café 751 serves diners with a range of nice food and drinks, including a range of Western-style delicacies, smooth and appetizing coffee, as well as plentiful colourful cocktails and mocktails. It is noteworthy that the building itself is like a piece of brilliant artwork, diners should surely appreciate the extraordinary interior before leaving.

Opening hours: 7pm-late night daily

Ace Café 751, Train Square, 751 D-Park, Jiu Xian Qiao Road, Chaoyang District, Beijing, China, +86 10 6405 5718

798 Space

Housed in a Bauhaus-style factory building that is over 1,000-square-meters, 798 Space, the largest gallery in 798 Arts District, was founded by Stars artist and 798 District activator Huang Rui in 2003. The interior is truly amazing. Visitors can appreciate the old Chinese factory structure personally, and the old building is retained so well that even some old slogans are still visible. The spacious gallery has been used to host high-level cultural, artistic and commercial events and exhibitions, while a film zone, restaurant, and contemporary art book store are also located there.

Opening hours: 10.30am-6pm daily

798 Space, Ceramic 3 St. 798 Road, 798 Art District, 4 Jiuxianqiao Road, Chaoyang District, Beijing, China, +86 10 5978 9180

Wandering around 798 Art District

Indeed, just wandering around the Arts District is a very nice activity, as 798 Arts District is full of interesting surprises. Big sculptures and installations designed by famous Chinese contemporary artists are scattered in the district, tourists can therefore walk around and appreciate them. While there are many other modern galleries, boutiques, book stores, restaurants, cafés, and bars worth visiting, you can therefore pick any one according to your own interest and mood. Showcasing the old and new elements, and the Eastern and Western architectural styles, 798 Art District is truly one of the most interesting tourist spots in Beijing.