798 Art District Beijing 🎨 – (Updated Guide for 2022)

LTL’s Complete Guide to Exploring Beijing’s 798 Art District

Whether you live in Beijing or are just visiting, the 798 Art District (798 艺术区 qījiǔbā yìshù qū) is a must visit.

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It is also sometimes referred to as Dashanzi Art Disctrict (大山子艺术区 dàshān zi yìshù qū) due to its location.

Originally a factory complex built in the 1950s it is now a thriving contemporary and modern art space.

From the early 2000s an artistic community began to develop in the abandoned German Bauhaus-style original factory buildings.

Now is has almost 200 hundred galleries, exhibitions and art centres across the 600,000 metres squared area.

That is a lot to explore! Along with this there are also countless cafes, restaurants and shops. So we’ve picked out the best thing to do to help guide you through your visit.

798 Art District – Visit the Must See Galleries

798 Art District – Check Out the Sculptures and Street Art

798 Art District – Have a Drink at a Cafe or Bar

798 Art District – Hunt for Some Quirky Chinese Wares

798 Art District – Grab a Bite to Eat

798 Art District – How to Get There

798 Art District LTL China School Trip

798 Art District – Visit the Must See Galleries

As we’ve said, with almost 200 galleries it’s easy to feel a little lost when trying to figure out where you should visit in 798.

That’s why we’ve put a list of the must visit galleries to save you time!

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UCCA

Ullens Center for Contemporary Art (尤伦斯当代艺术中心 yóu lún sī dāngdài yìshù zhōngxīn)

Called UCCA for short this gallery was founded in 2007 by two Belgian private art collectors. It shows a range of work by both local and international artists.

This gallery is the largest and most visited of all those in 798 Art District, so should definitely be at the top of your list of galleries to visit.

Every year they have a number of large scale exhibitions, but be warned most you will normally have to buy an admission ticket for.

798 Art Space/Factory (798 时态空间/艺术工厂 qījiǔbā shí tài kōngjiān/yìshù gōngchǎng)

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Inside Art Space/Factory

Set up in the namesake of the art district: Factory 798, this was one of the first art spaces to be opened.

Founded in 2003 by famous Chinese artist Huang Rui (黄锐 huáng ruì) it is one of the most iconic places in 798 Art District so is definitely a must see!

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Beijing Tokyo Art Projects

It has been kept in its former state with red Maoist slogans still emblazoned on the walls.

The Bauhaus style architecture make it an amazing and unique exhibition space.

It is often used as a venue for big events and conferences.

Beijing Tokyo Art Projects (东京画廊 dōngjīng huàláng)

Established in 2002 this was one of the first exhibition spaces to open in the area.

A staggering 1000 people attended its opening exhibition “Beijing Afloat”.

If you’re interested in new and upcoming East Asian artists then this is the spot for you. With a focus on promoting young artists from China, Japan, Korea and other Asian countries there is always some really unique work on show.

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Hive Centre for Contemporary Art

Hive Centre for Contemporary Art 蜂巢当代艺术中心 fēngcháo dāngdài yìshù zhōngxīn)

Founded in 2008 this is one of the largest contemporary art institutes in all of China. It opened as a gallery in 2013 and covers a huge 4,000 square-meters.

The leafy entrance itself is stunning, and you may just want to spend some time sitting on their conveniently located bench and taking it in.

It has quickly become one of the most influential art galleries in China, and shows exhibitions from Chinese and international artists.

The gallery aims to promote both established and emerging artists.

798 Photo Gallery (百年印象摄影画廊 bǎinián yìnxiàng shèyǐng huàláng)

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798 Photo Gallery

Opened in 2003 this was the first art gallery completely dedicated to photography to be established in China.

They have regular exhibitions of works by both Chinese and international photographers.

The gallery exhibits both contemporary photography and classic historical photography as well.

Of course, there are loads of other galleries to explore and there are some amazing hidden gems around. Just going for a walk and popping into any of the small independent galleries that spark your interest is also a great way to explore.

Best Coffee Shops in Beijing (for 2022) Thumbnail

Best Coffee Shops in Beijing (for 2022)

Have a look at LTL Mandarin School’s list of best coffee shops in Beijing to find the perfect place for you to grab a cup of joe. There’s plenty of choice!

798 Art District – Check Out the Sculptures and Street Art

If art galleries aren’t really your thing, then that’s no problem you can just enjoy a stroll around the area.

One of the best things about the 798 Art District is that the art isn’t just limited to galleries but is part of the area itself.

Numerous eye catching sculptures, graffiti and murals will greet you as you walk around.

Summer is a perfect time to wander around, a lot of the area is quite shady so it’s great to escape the Beijing heat.

Another amazing thing about 798 is that the street art is always changing, so even if you’ve visited 798 multiple times before you’re bound to be met with some new sculptures or graffiti.

798 Art District – Have a Drink at a Cafe or Bar

798 Art District is pretty big, so why not take a break from the galleries and have a nice sit down with a cup of coffee or a beer.

There are loads of cafes and bars to choose from, and a lot of them are pieces of artwork themselves.

At Cafe

At Cafe Owned by artist Huang Rui (also the owner of 798 Space/Factory) it’s no surprise that this is one of the districts most popular spots for a drink.

In a similar vein to his exhibition space slogans, old Maoist posters and magazines adorn the walls.

Sat inside you can appreciate the amazing original architecture of the building. There is also a large outside seating area making it perfect to have a drink in the sun.

Ram Brewpub In recent years brewpubs have been popping up all over Beijing and 798 is no exception. The Ram Brewpub describes their beers as “liquid art projects” and have a number of local and international beers on offer.

Their outside seating area make it a a lovely spot in summer and they also have a pub grub style food menu if you’re feeling peckish.

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The High Place

The High Place A truly unique cafe built mostly of glass panels with a tree growing right through the middle. It is also part gallery and shop, with the bottom floor hosting some small exhibitions.

The Chinese name is 树上咖啡馆 (shù shàng kāfēi guǎn) which literally means the cafe in the tree.

The second floor is home to the cafe and has lots of little nooks and corners, creating a nice sense of privacy. In summer head on up to the rooftop terrace to have a bird’s eye view of 798 as you enjoy your drink.

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Train Outside Ace Cafe

Ace Cafe – The originally London based Ace Cafe chain chose 798 Art District as the location for their first Chinese branch. This is definitely one of the most interesting buildings in 798, converted from the original 751 train station.

Easy to spot, with an old steam train set outside, this cafe is a piece of art in itself.

Designed by dEEP Architectsm, inside they tried to keep as much of the original structure as possible.

The west wall is a moving metal facade that opens and closes.

If it’s an alcoholic beverage you’re after they have an excellent array of beers and cocktails available.

Lakers A little less upmarket than some of the other bars and cafes in 798, Lakers have some very reasonably priced beverages on offer. They have a large outside seating area complete with occasional live music sessions.

If you’re after an alfresco beer and a bit of people watching this is one of the best places for it.

Looking for more places to enjoy a cup of coffee? Check out our blog for the best coffee shops in Beijing.

Best Coffee Shops in Beijing (for 2022) Thumbnail

Best Coffee Shops in Beijing (for 2022)

Have a look at LTL Mandarin School’s list of best coffee shops in Beijing to find the perfect place for you to grab a cup of joe. There’s plenty of choice!

798 Art District – Hunt for Some Quirky Chinese Wares

Along with galleries, cafes and restaurants another thing that 798 has in abundance is boutiques.

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Traditional Parasol Shop in 798

There is everything ranging from high end independent designers to quirky souvenir shops

A number of shops sell beautiful, traditional Chinese accessories like paper parasols, wooden fans and silk scarves. Many of these will be handcrafted and completely unique.

A number of pop-culture inspired shops selling a wide range of paraphernalia such as film posters, t-shirts, mugs etc. are dotted around.

There is even a vintage vinyl shop for anyone lucky enough to have a record player in Beijing.

798 Art District – Grab a Bite to Eat

Walking around and exploring 798 can be hungry work, but luckily they plenty of restaurants and cafes.

Here are a few of our favourite eateries:

Timezone 8

Timezone 8 Bar and Restaurant Originally an art-book publisher Timezone 8 has now become one of the best eateries in 798. Opposite UCCA this is a prime spot for those visiting 798.

Their menu includes some western favourites such as their artisan pizzas or fried chicken. But our personal recommendation is to try some of their amazing sushi!

Shenji Restaurant If it’s Chinese food that you’ve got a craving for then this Beijing style Chinese restaurant is a must. The focus of this restaurant is authentic home style cooking which will definitely leave you feeling satisfied.

Some must try dishes on their menu are their braised pork (红烧肉 hóngshāo ròu), stir fried pea shoots (酒香豆苗 jiǔ xiāng dòu miáo) and braised bamboo shoots (油焖茭白 yóu mèn jiāobái).

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Outside Seating at Yi House

Yi House Restaurant Located inside The Gracie Art Hotel this upmarket Mediterranean bistro has some of Beijing’s finest food on offer.

Definitely on the more pricey side of 798’s restaurants this is perfect if you feel like treating yourself to some haute cuisine.

Rumoured to be one of the best brunches in Beijing this may be a good place for you to start your 798 Art District tour.

Najia Xiaoguan (那家小馆 nà jiā xiǎo guǎn) This lovely Manchurian restaurant offers amazing Manchu cuisine in a nice, relaxed atmosphere. If the Chinese menu looks intimidating, don’t worry the also have an English one available.

The chic and relaxed atmosphere make it a great choice to eat dinner and wind down after a day exploring 798. A must try is the typical Manchu dish: eight banner aubergine (八旗茄子 bāqí qiézi).

798 Art District – How to Get There

Subway: Take subway line 14 and get off at Wangjing South Station (望京南地铁站 wàngjīng nán dìtiě zhàn) and go out of exit B. From here you can either take the 403 bus to Dashanzi Lukou East Station 大山子路口东站 dàshān zi lùkǒu dōng zhàn.

Or if you want a bit of exercise you can either walk or take a shared bike from the station. You just need to travel northeast and it should take about 15 minutes on foot.

Taxi: Hop into a taxi and tell the driver either 798 艺术区 (qījiǔbā yìshù qū) or 大山子艺术区 (dàshān zi yìshù qū) and they’ll know where you’re talking about. They may ask you which gate you want to be taken to so this is a good chance to try out your directions in Chinese.

Didi: Input 798 艺术区 into Didi and you’ll be given a choice of different gates to be taken to. We’d recommend choosing the West Gate (西门 xīmén).

Full Address: 2 Jiuxianqiao Rd, Chaoyang, Beijing, China

798 Art District – FAQ’s

What is the closest subway station to 798 Art District Beijing?

The closest subway station is Wangjing South, which is about a 15 minute walk away from the 798 Art District.

Is 798 Art District free to enter?

Yes! The area is completely free to enter, however some galleries and exhibition halls within the district may charge an admission fee.

What are the opening hours of 798 Art District?

798 Art District is open all day. Most galleries and shops have standard operating hours of 9:00 – 18:00. It is important to note that some galleries may be closed on Mondays.

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    Irene Magnosi , Student Advisor

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