Visit Shichahai on a walking tour, a bike tour, a rickshaw ride, or as part of a general Beijing city tour. At night, the area’s vibrant nightlife makes it a popular choice for bar crawls or evening tours. Walking tours typically visit the hutongs around Shichahai, often including bustling Nanluoguxiang and historic Yandaixie Street, as well as the nearby Drum Tower and Bell Tower and scenic Yinding Bridge. In season, Shichahai tours sometimes include a boat ride on one of the lakes.
Things to Know Before You Go
Shichahai is a great destination for people watching, while ice skating in season is a must with kids.
If a stranger or a rickshaw driver invites you to a teahouse, don’t go. The tea scam has set travelers back hundreds of dollars.
Crowds, high curbs, and narrow sidewalks make Shichahai a challenging destination for travelers who use wheelchairs.
How to Get There
Shichahai is located in central Beijing, about 3 miles (5 kilometers) north of Tiananmen Square and just to the north of Beihai Park. It has its own subway station, Shichahai, on line 8, but can also be reached from Gulou Street (Guloudajie) on lines 2 and 8. Some travelers walk here from Tiananmen Square via the Forbidden City and Jingshan Park.
When to Get There
The Shichahai area has something to offer in every season and any time of day: ice skating when the lakes freeze (typically in January and February), pedal boats in summer, and a vibrant bar scene that’s at its liveliest when the weather is warm. Avoid the area during Golden Week (the first week of October), when the crowds are crazy.
Ice Skating in Beijing
One of the great joys of Beijing’s freezing winter is the chance to get out onto the ice, and Shichahai is one of the city’s best skating locations. Besides conventional ice skates, you can ride ice bikes propelled by pedals, ice sleds pushed by spiky poles, ice bumper cars, and, often, ice slides.
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- Back Lake (Houhai)
- Back Lakes (Hou Hai)
- Prince Gong Mansion (Gong Wang Fu)
- Yandai Byway (Yandai Xiejie)
- Drum Tower (Gulou)
- Bell Tower (Zhonglou)
- Beihai Park (Beihai Gongyuan)
- Jingshan Park (Jingshan Gongyuan)
- Forbidden City (Palace Museum)
- Miaoying Temple
- Confucius Temple
- National Art Museum of China (NAMOC)
- Nine Dragon Screen at the Palace Museum
- Lama Temple (Yonghegong)