• Naomi Head

Try these 9 things on your end-of-summer Beijing bucket list

Originally published on August 13 2019 by Time Out Beijing

Make the most of the Beijing summer

The mercury is slowly dropping and our clothes are no longer sticking to our back. The end of summer is coming. Don’t worry, we’re not ready either. To ease the pain, we’ve put together a list of our favourite end-of-summer activities to help you make some memories to look back on in the depths of Beijing winter.

Read and caffeinate

Our fair city has an abundance of coffee shops. From your local 7-11s (try the iced-coffee while you can) to our favourite lounging spots, Big Small and Bear Brew, there’s always a place to enjoy a cup of coffee and escape into another world.

Get out of the city

With the ever-rising skyscrapers, Beijing doesn’t strike most people as a hiking destination but with the Great Wall and plenty of quiet hiking trails around, you’d be mad not to take the drop in temperature as an opportunity to get out and take in some of the amazing views from around the city. If you’re not a confident hiker, Beijing Hikers has plenty of trips to offer and years of experience to boot.

Commandeer a boat

You won't regret this classic Beijing pastime. The city is filled with amazing boating spots in the city and a little further out too, so don’t miss out on a sunny day on the water. Grab some friends, take a picnic (and plenty of sunscreen) and set sail in your fleet of peddle boats.

Grab second (or third) dinner

A time-honoured tradition for night owls is second dinner. After the closure of many local eating spots over the last couple of years, the late-night eating scene took a big hit. However, it’s not all doom and gloom, you can find some decent 24/7 places to eat on Guijie. And if you look hard enough for the bright lights of a chaun’r place, you might still get lucky in a few select Hutong spots. And when in doubt, Jin Ding Xuan at Lama Temple is always there waiting.

Go for a walking tour

If there are 9 million bicycles in Beijing (definitely more, we see all the share bikes too), there are probably a matching number of walking tours these days. The Hutong’s guide and founder of Beijing by Foot, Jeremiah Jenne offers some of the city’s best tours, from the Temple of Heaven to the Summer Palace there’s something for everyone. And to get down to exploring the hidden gems, Bespoke offers a variety of tailor-made tours for you to discover many of the capital's best-kept secrets. For those of you who get peckish, UnTour Food Tours also offer old Beijing dinner and hutong breakfast tours.

Get on your bike

Speaking of bikes, if you don’t feel like walking the whole of the second ring road, there are some great cycling routes around the city. And for those of you who don’t feel like peddling, there are some great e-bike companies that run tours around some of the city’s best sightseeing spots.

Go on a photo walk

While the sun is shining and the city is buzzing with life, it’s definitely worth getting out and about to snap a few pictures for your grid (or ours, don’t forget to tag us). Here’s our list of some of the most Insta-worthy spots around the capital.

Party (or dine) under the stars

At the height of summer, it feels like every available rooftop in Beijing is jumping, so make the most of the good weather and enjoy an evening under the stars. Whether you start off with dinner or drinks on a Gulou rooftop and move onto a classic Migas night in the CBD, there’s definitely a party out there with your name on it.

Go Brunchin'

A great activity at any time of year, but with outdoor seating available and the last days of summer to soak up, go sit outside while you sip bottomless mimosas and scoff eggs benedict. And if you want to experience the best of the air-conditioned and al fresco worlds, hutong bars are the place to be.

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