Summer in Beijing 🌞 – 5 Top Recommendations (for 2022)

Summer in Beijing – 5 Top Recommendations

Anyone who is familiar with summer in Beijing knows that with average temperatures of 30-35 degrees Celsius, it can be a bit of a struggle.

Some days it may even get up to the dreaded 40 degrees plus!

However, with our 5 top recommendations we’re sure that you’ll be able to enjoy summer in Beijing as much as we do!

Summer in Beijing #1 – Jump into Your Closest Outdoor Swimming Pool

Summer in Beijing #2 – Go Camping on the Great Wall

Summer in Beijing #3 – Visit one of Beijing’s many Parks

Summer in Beijing #4 – Hit up the Rooftop Bars

Summer in Beijing #5 – Rent a Boat on one of Beijing’s stunning lakes

Summer in Beijing #1 – Jump into your closest Outdoor Pool

Beat the heat and go for a nice refreshing swim. There are plenty of outdoor pools across Beijing where you can do this.

LTL’s top recommendation: Qingnianhu Park (青年湖公园 Qīngnián hú gōngyuán) Swimming Pool

Just north of Andingmen this pool is a bit further out from central Beijing so gets a bit less busy than those near Sanlitun. At 15,000sqm the water park has plenty of space to enjoy a swim or relax back with a book and sun bathe.

Equipped with a number of water slides and a stall selling various inflatables there’s plenty of opportunities to let out your inner child and have some summer fun.

The pool complex also has an area where you can buy food and drink. You are also welcome to bring your own refreshments in, or even get a waimai delivery! Alcohol is also allowed if you fancy a refreshing beer by the pool, just no glass bottles allowed.

Address: Andingmenwai Dajie, Dongcheng District

A couple of other popular outdoor pool destinations are:

  • Tuanjiehu Park (团结湖公园 Tuánjié hú gōngyuán) Pool – One of the larger water parks in the city, Tuanjiehu is centrally located and also hosts an artificial beach where you can take a shot at volleyball. Be warned though that due to its close proximity to sanlitun this pool can get very busy on weekends!
Emperor Rooftop Pool
  • Emperor Beijing Qianmen Hotel – If you fancy splashing out then the pool at the Emperor Hotel is a great choice. Situated on the roof of the hotel the pool overlooks Tiananmen and you can even see Jingshan Park in the distance on a clear day. Compared to the public pools this is a little on the spenny side but great if you want to treat yo’self.
  • Chaoyang Park (朝阳公园 Cháoyáng gōngyuán) Pool- This is a similar set up to Tuanjiehu pool where along with the pool there is an artificial beach. Rumour has it the sand was actually imported form the beautiful beaches of Hainan. This is the largest pool area on our list and a great place for chilling out with friends and enjoying a picnic.

Summer in Beijing #2 –  Go Camping on the Great Wall

summer in beijing great wall

Summer in Beijing is a great time to go for a hike to the Great Wall.

There are plenty of accessible parts of restored and unrestored wall not too far from Beijing.

Temperatures, while hot in the day, are just right for a spot of camping at night time.

LTL’s top recommendation: Great Wall Fresh

This is a great little business run by the Chen family. Based at the Chen family farm, they rent camping equipment to hikers. Situated in Chenjiapu (陈家堡 chén jiā bǎo) Village which is near a semi restored section of the Great Wall, you will be sure to avoid the crowds here! Not only do Great Wall Fresh provide the camping equipment, they will also pick you up from the nearby train station.

Before your hike you can also opt for an amazing home cooked meal to build up your stamina. The produce is all from the Chen’s own farm, which is all pesticide and fertiliser free!

If camping doesn’t really sound like your thing then there is also an alternative option to stay in the Chen family guesthouse instead. This way you can do one of the nearby daytime hikes then return to the cosy guesthouse for a much deserved rest.

Why not take it one step further and Study on the Great Wall!

Other recommendations:

  • Beijing Hikers – Run regular hikes on the Great Wall which anyone can join, including some camping trips. They also run group trips in another areas of China.
  • Wild Great Wall – Offer an array of hiking and camping tours with a focus on the un-restored or “wild” areas of the Great Wall.
  • Great Wall Adventure Club – Organise both day hikes and longer two day camping trips to the Great Wall.
  • Great Wall Hiking – Mostly run private hikes and camping trips to the Great Wall.
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Great Wall of China Map (2022 Update) | 10 Best Sections to Visit

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Summer in Beijing #3 – Visit one of Beijing’s many Parks

Although greenery might not be the first thing that comes to mind when thinking of Beijing you’ll be surprised at how many parks there actually are.

LTL’s top recommendation: Olympic Forest Park (奥林匹克森林公园 Àolínpǐkè sēnlín gōngyuán)

Lying just north of the famous Birds Nest Stadium and Water Cube is the tranquil Olympic Forest Park. Stretching over an area of 2.6 square miles this is the largest park in Beijing.

Beijing Olympic Forest Park

Once you’re inside this park surrounded by the lush greenery it’s hard to imagine that you’re even a city at all.

The park is divided into two sections: a Southern part and a Northern part. It is separated by the fifth ring road which runs through the middle.

The Southern part has two big main features the Aohai Sea which is a large lake and Yangshan Mountain. Throughout the park there are jogging and walking paths so this is a great place to come out and enjoy some exercise.

A fun way to explore the park with friends is to rent a tandem bike or if you’re not feeling that energetic electric buggies can also be rented.


The forest throughout the park makes it a great place to enjoy during summer as it provides some much appreciated shade.

Address: Olympic Village, 15 Beichen Donglu, Chaoyang District

However, there are plenty of other parks to explore aside from this one and here a few other of our favourites:

  • Chaoyang Park (朝阳公园 Cháoyáng gōngyuán) This is another one of Beijing’s biggest parks and is conveniently located just east of Sanlitun. One of the things that really sets this park apart from others is that it features include an amusement park. This is complete with roller coasters and other popular fairground rides.
Ritan Park
  • Ritan Park (日坛公园 Rì tán gōngyuán) – This is perhaps one of Beijing’s lesser known parks but is a great hidden gem. It is located west of Guomao in one of Beijing’s embassy districts so is quite popular with expats. There is a Chinese restaurant in the park which has a lovely roof terrace. The park is also free to enter which makes it even better!
  • Jingshan Park (景山公园 Jǐngshān gōngyuán) – Most people usually go to this park after visiting the Forbidden City as it’s entrance lies directly opposite the Forbidden City’s south gate. However, we think with its beautiful views of Beijing this is a great spot to come and visit at anytime.
  • Botanical Gardens (北京植物园 Běijīng zhíwùyuán) A bit further out than the other parks on our list, the Botanical Gardens are definitely worth the extra distance. They have a range of different scenic areas and over 10,000 kinds of plants! A must visit is their Exhibition Greenhouse which is the largest in Asia.
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Parks in Beijing 🌷 The 15 Greatest Parks To Visit (in 2022)

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Summer in Beijing #4 – Hit up the Rooftop Bars

Now, if you’re anything like us, then there is one thing summer in Beijing is all about: enjoying a drink (or two who’s counting anyway!?) in the beautiful Beijing sunshine.

Beijing doesn’t really have much in terms of pub or cafe gardens, instead they have a great alternative: rooftop bars! Below we’ve put together a list of our favourite spots:

LTL’s top recommendation: Nali Patio (那里花园 Nàlǐ huāyuán)

Nali Patio

This is a great little area in the heart of Sanlitun with a number of Beijing’s best bars and restaurants. They not only have one, but two of the best rooftop bars in Beijing:

  • Terrazza Martini – Also known by locals simply as Martini Bar, this is one of the hottest nighttime spots in Beijing once summer hits. This swish rooftop bar is open daily from 8pm – 5am so you can drink and dance away into the small hours of the morning.
El Barrio Rooftop
  • El Barrio – Now El Barrio doesn’t only have a rooftop but also has a spacious outside terrace seating area as well. As the name suggests this is a Mexican restaurant and along with classic drinks like margaritas they also serve up some delicious Mexican food. They have daily deals on both food and cocktails. During summer they have a Ladies Night EVERY THURSDAY where you can get free prosecco from 5:30pm – 10:30pm up on the roof!

Aside from these two, most of the restaurants and bars in this area offer some kind of outside seating so it’s a number one place to check out in summer! A few other places worth mentioning here are Moka Bros, Bottega, Mosto and Carmen’s.

Address: 81 Sanlitun Lu, Chaoyang District

Here are some of LTL’s other favourite rooftop bars for you to enjoy summer in Beijing:

  • Blue Frog – The Blue Frog in the China World Mall is one of the best spots in Beijing, with a big terrace overlooking the China Zun, Beijing’s tallest building! You also get a great view of the CCTV tower or 大裤子 dà kùzi (big pants) as it’s colloquially known. If that’s not enough of a recommendation, they also have great 2 for 1 drinks deals that run everyday!
Arrow Factory Roof
  • Arrow Factory – This is a great little brewpub in Dongzhimen. Up on their roof you can enjoy some of their unique beers and also grab a bite to eat. On weekends they do a special brunch menu which has what is arguably the best Full English Breakfast in Beijing! Their rooftop overlooks Liangma River which is currently being transformed into a new riverside park so will soon have some of the best views in Beijing.
  • Alba Cafe – If you’re looking for more of a relaxed vibe then the rooftop of Alba Cafe will be perfect for you. Situated in the Gulou area just a short walk from Houhai this cafe has a lovely rooftop overlooking the hutongs. One of the best things about this spot is their reasonably priced food and drinks. We would definitely recommend giving one of their pizzas a try, they’re super tasty!
  • Great Leap #45- This is another of Beijing’s great brew pub chains. This location has a secluded terrace area out the back which is perfect for enjoying a pint. Along with an amazing array of different beers they have a menu great food menu including some delicious burgers and massive New York style pizzas.
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Summer in Beijing #5 – Rent a Boat on one of Beijing’s stunning lakes

Another great way to beat the summer heat is to rent a boat and go out onto one of Beijing’s many lakes to enjoy the cool waters.

LTL’s top recommendation: Houhai (后海 Hòuhǎi)

During summer in Beijing Houhai can be a little busy if you’re out walking around the lake or shopping for souvenirs. A great way to beat the crowds and still enjoy the lake is to rent a boat and go for your own private cruise.

View over Houhai

There are a number of different boats for rent on offer with the cheapest being a small pedalow and electric boats being more expensive. To have more of a relaxing time and avoid exertion in the Beijing heat we definitely recommend one of the electric ones.

You rent your boat from the smaller section of lake and can then sail onto the bigger lake section. Although navigating under the bridge can sometimes be a little tricky!

Most boats have a couple of little inbuilt tables so why not bring along some snack and drinks and treat yourself to a picnic as you sit back and enjoy the lakeside view!

Along with Houhai there are plenty of other lakes where boats can be rented, here are a few of our other recommendations:

Address: 51 Dianmenwai Dajie, Xicheng District

  • Tuanjiehu (团结湖公园 Tuánjié hú gōngyuán) This small park is often a lot less busy than many of Beijing’s other better known parks. Although located really close to Sanlitun you’ll be amazed at how peaceful it is. The lake is quite a bit smaller than some of the others but is still a lovely place to rent a boat and has some amazing view’s of Beijing’s skyscrapers.
  • Beihai Park (北海公园 Běihǎi gōngyuán) – South of Houhai is another great option for taking out a boat and enjoying the Beijing sunshine. There is a large lake area and you can take in the view of Beihai Park’s famous White Dagoba from your boat.
Summer Palace
  • Summer Palace (颐和园 Yíhéyuán) – Here you will find the biggest lake in Beijing that you can go boating on. The main Kunming Lake is a massive 2.2 square kilometres! However, be warned this is a big tourist hot spot so it can get very busy in summer. Although, given how huge it is normally you’ll only face queues at the entrance and then the crowds normally disperse once you’re inside.

Summer in Beijing – Bonus Recommendation: 798 Art District

Summer is the perfect time to explore Beijing’s 798 Art District. You can wander around taking in the art and enjoying the warm weather. There are also plenty of bars and cafes with alfresco seating to relax and have a drink.

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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. It is also sometimes referred to as Dashanzi Art…

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Summer in Beijing – FAQ’s

Is Summer in Beijing hot?

Yes, the summer time in Beijing can be incredibly hot so if you are in Beijing for tourism be sure to say hydrated and plan around the weather.

Should I visit the Great Wall in the Summer?

Autumn would be the optimal time to visit the Great Wall. Summer is very hot and the climb can prove to be a challenge.

Is there a lot to do in Beijing during Summer time?

Yes Beijing has loads of things to do in the Summer. There are many outdoor pools which host parties, lots of rooftop bars to enjoy a nice cold drink and plenty of things to see which don’t require too much energy.

Is Beijing busy during the Summer?

With Beijing being a city of over 20 million people, Beijing is generally always busy, but with children off school during the summer, it can prove to be even busier. We think October is the best time to visit Beijing for weather and crowds.

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