Often overshadowed by the seductive and sultry Shanghai, bustling Beijing shouldn’t be overlooked when it comes to nightlife. Indeed, China’s capital has more going for it than just its spectacular sites such as Tiananmen Square and the Forbidden Palace – especially when it comes to bars which provide an alternative viewpoint to see said sites, cocktail in hand!
We sought the advice of our China Travel Specialist Wayne Chen of which he thinks are the best Beijing bars for an alfresco beverage.
Spain is the theme in this uber-cool, luxurious rooftop bar, and infuses everything from the cuisine to the décor. Migas is anything but traditional however. To our eyes, the décor is heavily influenced by Salvador Dali, surrealist Spanish painter, with an abundance of egg-shaped seating capsules spaced out around protruding cacti, set under subdued lighting. In terms of cuisine, Migas is possibly the place for Spanish fare in Beijing at the moment, and was recognized in the ‘outstanding’ category of the Beijinger’s 8th Annual Reader Awards. Set atop the Nali Patio on Sanlitun North Road, the popular nightspot also provides sumptuous vista views as well as tasty tapas.
As the name suggests, Le Little Saigon supplies a Vietnamese twist along with a quaint and cozy open-air terrace overlooking the Galou area. While the view is perhaps not as spectacular as some others in the city, the greenery surrounding the patio gives the illusion of escape from the frantic metropolis. Most interesting perhaps is the touch of French that has been used to compliment the Vietnamese style, with a slightly Parisian décor and ambience, carrying over the Gallic influence that many Vietnamese restaurants in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City flagrantly flaunt. Le Little Saigon is the perfect place if you’re craving something slightly different in The Celestial City.
Perched on the roof of Emperor Hotel in the Dongcheng District, Yin’s alfresco patio provides spectacular views of the nearby Forbidden City and Behai’s White Dagoba. An elegant split level bar, Yin has been said to have lost its chic vibe of late, but its uniqueness is still provided by its breathtaking night-time vista. Unsurprisingly pricey considering its location, this is not an option for the frugal. To emphasize the point, there’s even a Jacuzzi to add to even more glamour to your evening, perfect for all those whose life ambitions always included seeing the Forbidden City while engulfed in warm bubbling water! We aren’t sure if you are meant to provide your own ‘yang’, but take some just in case.
Having opened just last year, Fez is also located on the roof of Nali Patio, just like Migas. Somewhat surprisingly, the people behind Fez also opted to offer Spanish cuisine, but make themselves slightly different with a hint of the Middle East to their menu. Also different to Migas is the layout of the tables, with emphasis on seating that somewhat clusters tables within close proximity, creating a buzzing atmosphere each night. Signature cocktails add to the appeal, and the soundtrack is supplied by resident DJ’s who pump out a different style to sway to each night. The views are, as you’d expect, similarly spectacular to Migas, but aren’t panoramic and only extend southwards and to the west.
If you’re heading to China’s capital city and would like to find out more about where to go and what to do, feel free to contact our Travel Specialist Wayne Chen, who is based in Beijing and will be happy to offer his expert advice!