If you want to enjoy a great night life in Beijing, Houhai Bar Street (Houhai Jiuba Jie, 后海酒吧街) is an ideal place for you to visit. Surrounded by Shichahai Lake and Beijing hutongs, Houhai Bar Street is packed with bars with live music and eateries. Lots of people from all over the world head there for great views of the lake and nightlife fun.
Recommended Ways of Exploring Houhai Bar Street
Houhai (the Back Lake) has existed for 700 years, since the Yuan dynasty (1271-1368), as part of Shichahai Lake.
Surrounded by lakes and hutongs, Houhai Bar Street has a very different type of vibe by day than by night. Try to explore the area at different times and in different ways, and maybe you’ll make some interesting discoveries.
Great views of Houhai Lake
1. A Leisurely Stroll by the Lake and Through Hutongs
As well as the peaceful and beautiful scenery of the lakes in Houhai, there are loads of hutongs in the area. These alleyways with traditional courtyards represent the most authentic Beijing neighborhood life, having been a cultural feature and foundation of old Beijing.
If you want to catch a glimpse of the hutongs and the real everyday life of Beijingers, don’t hesitate to walk through the hutongs near Houhai.
2. Hit the Nightlife at Houhai Bar Street
A cluster of bars, restaurants and cafes has been settled along the street since 2000. The bars feature a rich variety of fine drinks, various styles of live music, and excellent service.
Alternatively, in the same area you could also read books or chat with friends at a teahouse, or sing karaoke at KTV.
Recommended Bars in Houhai
There are more than 120 bars and clubs on the street for travelers from home and abroad, but the good and bad are intermingled. Below is a newly updated list of some recommended, popular bars in Houhai in 2020 you may like to try.
Hit your nighlife at a bar
- Address: 12 Xiyanjia Houhai, Xicheng District, Beijing
- Tel: 010-84031419
- Working hours: 13:00-2:00
ZONE stands out from the crowd of bars in Houhai for it is not only a bar but also a restaurant. This beautiful secret bar falls on the west part of Houhai and its terrace offers great views on the lake.
When you want to order something, usually the waiter will ask you what kind of drinks you like and their mixologist will prepare something according to your tastes. ZONE also provides outstanding Western food and after more than 15 years of opening, which is rare in Beijing, the chef has perfected his recipes and sauces.
2. Houhai No. 5 Club
- Name in Chinese: 后海5号
- Address: 5 Houhai Beiyan, Shichahai, Xicheng District (20 meters from the Silver Ingot Bridge), Beijing
- Tel: 010-64061900
- Working hours: 14:00-4:00
Renovated from a typical siheyuan, Houhai No. 5 Club is decorated with many traditional Chinese antiques.
The central courtyard has a clear glass top to provide visitors with a good view. The bar occupies an area of 400 square meters at 5 meters’ height, and can accommodate 200 people.
Houhai 5 Hao is famous for tasty Chinese, western, and Thai food, and buffet, as well as for various wines. It hosts wonderful performances day and night by different-style bands: classical music by day and modern music by night. You can easily be touched by the interactive shows on stage and enjoy a relaxing evening here.
3. East Shore Live Jazz Café
- Name in Chinese: 东岸爵士吧
- Address: 2/F, 2 Qianhai Nanyan, Xicheng District (just to the west of the post office at Di’anmen Gate), Beijing
- Tel: 010-84032131
- Working hours: 15:00-2:00
Nestled south of the Front Lake (Qianhai), the East Shore Live Jazz Café is said to be the only authentic jazz bar in Beijing. With laid-back and unobtrusive vibes, it seems to be incompatible with its surroundings.
Order a glass of the bar’s signature cocktail – “East Shore” – sit quietly in the corner and indulge in the lazy live jazz. You’ll find that “the wine is not intoxicating, but the people are drunk”.
There are many other popular bars at Houhai Bar Street, such as Bird’s Nest (木上鸟巢), High Town Bar (海棠吧), and Purple (紫晶球). The street is worth exploring at night during your stopover in Beijing.
- Contact us if you have any further queries about Houhai Bar Street.
How to get to Houhai by subway?
- Metro: Line 6 to Beihai North Gate (北海北门)
- Bus: Nos. 13, 42, 90, 107, 111, 118, 204, 609, 612, 623, or 701 to Beihai North Gate stop
No. 51 Di'anmen West Main Street, Xicheng District, Beijing
All day. But usually the most popular time is from 20:00 to 2:00.
- There are numerous choices of bar and it’s suggested you take a walk along the street before deciding where to settle down.
- Nearby attractions: Shichahai Lake, Beijing hutongs, Prince Gong’s Mansion, Former Residence of Soong Ching Ling