Beijing Arts & Culture

The charms of Beijing stem, first of all, from her authentic oriental cultural aura. Beijing is cloaked in a peculiar age-old cultural tradition that is mature and splendid. At the same time, it has grown into an exciting 21 st Century city offering an u nequalled wealth of entertainment for people to enjoy. In 2008 when Beijing hosts the Olympic Games, Beijing will show the world something so special that everyone will be awestruck by Beijing's latest accomplishments combined with its ancient history.

Whether it be a tranquil tea ceremony or little Chinese children doing acrobatic flips, there is an abundance of cultural activities for one to pursue under Beijing's entertainment scene.

  • Peking Opera
  • Chinese Acrobats
  • Puppet Show
  • Teahouse
  • Folklore Performances
  • Stage Performances
  • Karaoke
  • Cinemas
  • Museums

  • Peking Opera

    With nearly 200 years of history, Peking Opera is quintessential of traditional Chinese culture. Beijing Opera combines stylized acting, singing, dancing, musical dialogue, and martial arts, with attractive costumes and colourful makeup. Totally enthralling theatergoers, this is a must see when in China.

    The singing in Peking Opera is highly variegated with rhythm and pitch. The colourful facial makeup is also fascinating because it is painted on to represent different characters. Red means loyal and brave, black represents powerful and wise, yellow and white stand for fierce and guile, blue and green show the characters of greenwood heroes, gold and silver indicate mysterious or super-natural.

    Many people used to think Beijing Opera is only for older people, but as a matter of fact, it is loved by people of all ages.

    Huguang Huiguan Ancient Opera Building
    Address: 3, Hufang Lu, Xuanwu District, Beijing

    Back to top

    Chinese Acrobats

    Chinese acrobatics, also with a long history, is a performing art famed for its wonderful skills and marvelous acts. The China Acrobatic Troupe and the Beijing Acrobatic Troupe are both staffed with China's finest acrobats who have won many international awards. This Chinese Acrobats is a popular attraction for both local Chinese and visitors to Beijing.

    Wansheng Theatre
    Address: 95, Tianqiao Market, Xuanwu District, Beijing

    Back to top

    Puppet Show

    Puppet Shows in China has a history of 2,000 years. Most of the performances are based on Chinese folk tales.

    Wearing beautiful costumes, the puppets seem life-like with their rolling eyes, deft fingers, moving lips and dancing legs such that both children and adults adore the Puppet shows. But in fact, these Puppets are controlled by sticks and strings.

    The China Puppet Troupe, a group well known for performing puppet shows, is recognized for their puppet's exaggerated artistic features and delivering vivid and flexible performances.

    Back to top


    Teahouse Tea is a Chinese traditional drink, like coffee in Western countries. Knowing about tea is an art, very much like tasting wine. Many Chinese people drink tea everyday. Drinking tea can be a sign of respect especially when entertaining friends.

    A teahouse is social place for drinking tea, eating snacks, watching traditional performances, doing business, and entertaining friends. Teahouses can be rather bustling or tranquil, depending on where you go. But no matter where you go, Teahouses offer a window for visitors to learn more about Chinese traditions, folk customs and Chinese way of life.

    Recently teahouses have seen a big comeback in Beijing. It is now quite fashionable to go to a traditional teahouse to savor and appreciate tea. The atmosphere in teahouses is usually calm and tranquil. Some teahouses offer instrumental Chinese music or Peking Opera performances.

    Laoshe Tea House
    Address: 3F, Building 3, Zheng Yang Shi Chang, Xi Da Jie, Qianmen, Beijing

    Tianqiao Theater and Tianqiaole Tea House
    Address: No.113, Beiwei Lu, Xuanwu District, Beijing

    Back to top

    Folklore Performances

    Night performance venues such as the Lao She Teahouse, Tianqiao Happy Teahouse, Liyuan Theater, Huguang Guildhall and Beijing Wuyi Diyuan offer a wide repertoire of traditional arts, including Peking Opera, martial arts and other folklore arts. Visitors can watch shows, while eating snacks and drinking tea.

    Laoshe Tea House
    Address: 3F, Building 3, Zheng Yang Shi Chang, Xi Da Jie, Qianmen, Beijing

    Back to top

    Stage Performances

    As the cultural center of China, Beijing plays host to many outstanding Chinese and Western stage performances. These shows are excellent means to enhance mutual understanding and cultural exchange. Performances of different genre from many different countries and regions are staged in Beijing on a regular basis, with most shows beginning at 7:30 pm.

    Liyuan Theater
    Address: Inside Jianguo Hotel, No. 175 in Yongan Lu, Qianmen District, Beijing

    Back to top


    Beijing is loaded with karaoke bars where one can sing Chinese, Korean, Japanese and English songs, with friends in private settings. To find one, just ask a young Chinese student and they will simply point you in the right direction. These karaoke rooms are nicely decorated with a sound system in place, so all you have to do is pick up the microphone. Drinks and snacks are served. They are generally open from 7:00 pm to 2:00 am, though some may close later.

    Back to top


    There are plenty of movie theatres playing Chinese and foreign films. Most of the films have subtitles. The cinemas are much like those in North America. The only difference is you can choose whether you want sweet or salty popcorn.

    Wudaokou Cinema
    Address: Chengfu Lu, Wudaokou, Haidian District, Beijing

    Dong Huan Cinema
    Address: Dong Huan Guang Chang, Dong Zhong Street, Dongzhimen District, Beijing

    New Oriental Plaza Cinema
    Address: Basement, New Oriental Plaza, Wangfujing, Dong Cheng District, Beijing

    Back to top


    Palace Museum
    Address: 4 Jingshan Street, Beijing
    Telephone: (8610) 6513-2255

    Museum of Chinese History
    Address: East Side of Tian'an men Square, Beijing
    Telephone: (8610) 6512-8321

    Beijing Museum of Natural History
    Address: 126 Tianqiao Nandajie, Beijing
    Telephone: (8610) 6702-4431

    Beijing Ancient Observatory
    Address: Jianguomennei Boulevard, Beijing
    Telephone: (8610) 6512-8923

    Ancient Bells Museum
    Address: 31 A, West Road., 3rd Ring Road North, Beijing
    Telephone: (8610) 6255-0843

    Beijing Aviation Museum
    Address: Datangshan, Changping County
    Telephone: (8610) 6978-4882

    Peking-Man Exhibition Hall
    Address: Zhoukoudian, Fangshan District, Beijing
    Telephone: (8610) 6930-1272

    Chinese Art Gallery
    Address: 1 Wusi St., Dongcheng District, Beijing
    Telephone: (8610) 6401-6234

    NOTE: Although this information is correct at the time of our web publication, it is still advised that you call the phone number and confirm the address before going to the venue because some venues may have changed their telephone numbers or address locations.