Exploring Beijing: 798 Art District
Trendy coffee shops, contemporary art exhibits and a young, hipster vibe. I can’t be talking about Beijing, right? Well, get rid of all your pre-conceived notions because, while China is mostly known for its old history, the 798 Art District is bringing a new feel to Beijing.
Located just a little Northwest of the city center, the 798 Art District has a New York City feel. You can get to the district by cab, Uber, or taking the subway. The Beijing subway app does a great job of outlining how to get around. Also, Uber works it just takes a little bit of time. I didn’t have the opportunity to check out the area when I was last playing in Beijing; so, there was no way I was going to miss it this year. My teammate, Karsta, and I headed out with the intention of checking out the Ullens Center for Contemporary Art, and what started off as a quick trip turned into a whole day of exploring.
Explore the 798 Art District in Beijing, China
When you arrive at the 798 Art District, you are immediately surrounded by art – so you’ll know when you’ve arrived! Sculptures, galleries and modern design shops on every corner and every street. You can spend most of the day just walking in and out of different stores, admiring the unique pieces of work, or you can buy yourself a handmade tea set from any of the vendors. Before we headed into the museum, we decided to stop into a coffee shop for a quick energy boost. The Treehouse, as it goes by, is exactly just that – it is located on top of a cute accessories shop (where I might have been convinced to treat myself to a new pair of sunglasses).
If you can manage to walk by without stopping to purchase something, head upstairs to order yourself a milk tea or an espresso and then keep following the stairs to the very top balcony. Here you can enjoy a great view of the district surrounded by locals and foreigners alike. Hit it at sunset, and you’ve got yourself the start of a great evening and an even better Instagram pic.
We checked out a couple more galleries (they line the streets) and decided to grab a burger, turns out you can eat too many dumplings. Vantt bar and restaurant, was exactly what we were looking for. A couple of Hoegardens and a burger can really be the keys to happiness.
Our little day spent exploring the 798 Art District was a perfect reminder of how unique this city really is.