Sanlitun Revealed: Nightlife, Shopping, Eats & More!

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Discover Sanlitun: A Vibrant Hub of Culture and Fun

Welcome to the exciting world of Sanlitun, where adventure awaits at every corner! Let’s dive into what makes Sanlitun a must-visit spot in Beijing.

  • What’s the Buzz? Sanlitun is famous for its electrifying nightlife and trendy shopping spots.
  • Say It Like a Local: The Chinese name for Sanlitun adds to its charm and mystery.
  • Trendsetter’s Paradise: Known as a landmark for fashion trends, Sanlitun is where style lives.
  • Nightlife Like No Other: It’s the hub of glitzy nightlife that lights up the city.
  • International Meetup Spot: The Legation Quarter is where people from around the world come to mingle.

Sanlitun Bar Street: Nightlife Awaits!

Sanlitun Bar Street, or just Sanlitun, is a super fun spot in Beijing’s Chaoyang District. It’s right next to the Workers’ Stadium and the embassy area, making it a favorite place for people from all over to hang out and have a good time.

The adventure began in 1983 when the very first bar opened up, starting its journey as the go-to place for nightlife.

A Peek into the Past:

  • How It Got Its Name: Sanlitun means it’s three miles from the old city walls of Beijing. It used to be all about farms and historic sites.
  • Growing Up: Back in the ’50s and ’60s, Beijing started to grow, and so did Sanlitun. It turned from fields into a lively neighborhood with schools, hospitals, and lots of houses. In the ’60s, it even became an official spot for embassies, thanks to a decision by Premier Zhou Enlai.
  • Becoming Cool: The ’80s were a big deal for Sanlitun because that’s when it really started to shine. The Great Dragon Hotel, the first big project with foreign partners, opened up. Then came the bars, one after another, making Sanlitun the place to be, with folks from all over the world dropping by.
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Sanlitun Bar Street Today: A Place to Be!

Sanlitun is buzzing! It’s packed with cool hotels, shops, and tons of bars. Nighttime here is a blast, with people from all over the world and locals too, all hanging out together.

Where Cultures Mix:
  • Sanlitun is like a big, friendly gathering. Thanks to all the embassies and international businesses around, it’s as lively and mixed as Tokyo’s famous Shinjuku Kabukicho. Everyone’s welcome, and there’s always something new to see or do.
What’s New:
  • Fresh and Shiny: In early 2023, Sanlitun Bar Street got a big makeover and opened up again with some of its classic spots and lots of new ones too. The idea was to keep its cool vibe but also mix in what people love today.
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Must-Visit Bars and Breweries

Check out these cool spots in Sanlitun for some awesome drinks and fun times!

El Nido @ Xingfucun Branch:

This place started the craft beer craze in Beijing. It’s super stylish with a clean, white look. You’ve got to try the “Mountain Song Cider” – it’s super sweet and yummy. Open from 4 PM to 2 AM.

Jing-A Brewing Co. @ Xingfucun Branch:

My first time here was so cool! It’s got a maze inside that’s really fun to explore. Their “Convex Golden” beer is amazing. They’re open Sunday to Thursday from 11 AM to midnight, and Friday to Saturday till 2 AM.

Great Leap Brewing @ Gongti Branch:

I tried the “Earthly Spirit Mulberry Sour” here. It’s just the right kind of sour. They open from 11 AM to 2 AM on Sunday to Thursday, and till 3 AM on Friday and Saturday.

Arrow Factory Brewing:

Right next to the beautiful Liangma River, this place is famous for its “Easy-Going Session IPA.” Come by Sunday to Thursday between 11:30 AM and midnight, or Friday to Saturday till 1 AM.

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Eat & Drink @ TINY:

This cozy little spot is up above Zhaodai and mixes up skewers, craft beer, and coffee. The “Golden Porter” from Bubble Lab is a must-try – so rich and beyond sweet. They’re open Monday to Saturday, noon to midnight, and take a break on Sundays.

Slow Boat Brewery @ Maizi Store:

Love Pilsners? Their “Fish Out of Water” is a classic you’ll enjoy. Plus, their burgers are super tasty – great with a beer. Open 11 AM to midnight Sunday to Thursday, and till 2 AM on Friday and Saturday.

These are the places to be in Sanlitun for a great time and awesome drinks!

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Sanlitun Shopping Spree

Get ready to dive into the heart of Sanlitun’s shopping scene, where fashion, fun, and unique finds come alive! Let’s get started with some must-visit shops that promise an unforgettable shopping spree:

Brandy Melville

Step into the world of Brandy Melville, where Italian chic meets the sweet yet edgy essence of today’s fashionista!

Here’s why Brandy Melville is your next shopping destination:

  • Dive into Distinctive Style: Brandy Melville is all about unique tank tops, short sleeves, and T-shirts that shout individuality.
  • Embrace the Comfort: Their clothes are not just stylish but super comfortable, perfect for those warm spring and summer days in Beijing.
  • Accessorize to Maximize: From trendy bags to eye-catching accessories, add that extra flair to your outfit effortlessly.
  • Fit for Every Fashionista: Whether you’re into snug fits or love the breezy feel of oversized garments, they’ve got you covered.
  • A Joyful Shopping Experience: Fitting rooms upstairs mean you can try before you buy, and the friendly staff at checkout downstairs are sure to put a smile on your face.
  • Located in the Heart of Fashion: Find this fashion haven at 4 Ji Dian Yuan Building No.10, North Road of Workers Stadium (Tuanjiehu Station Exit D).

Brandy Melville is more than just a brand; it’s a lifestyle. With pieces that cater to your every mood, from “spicy sweet” vibes to laid-back looks, stepping into their store is like entering a wardrobe wonderland. Don’t wait to refresh your style!

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Hollister

From XS to XXL, Hollister has something for everyone, mixing cool comfort with chic designs at amazing prices. Here’s why you’ve got to check it out:

  • American Girl Style: Capture the essence of effortless American fashion.
  • Size Inclusive: Offering a wide range from XS to XXL, ensuring a fit for all.
  • Great Value: Fashion that won’t break the bank but will definitely turn heads.
  • Must-Visit Spot: Located on the second floor of Taikoo Li Sanlitun, it’s your go-to for the latest trends.
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KEEP YOUR CURIOSITY

This hidden gem in Sanlitun SOHO offers a shopping experience like no other, with carefully curated collections that promise both style and comfort without the hustle and bustle.

Here’s what makes it special:

  • Exclusive Selections: Supplies unique finds to select stores, ensuring your style stands out.
  • Affordable Chic: High-quality fashion that’s easy on the wallet.
  • Simplicity Redefined: Clothes that look simple but boast excellent fits for everyone.
  • Quiet Shopping Haven: Enjoy a relaxed shopping atmosphere away from the crowds.
  • Find Us Easily: Located in Sanlitun SOHO, Block A, Office 1701, waiting to be discovered.
Today’s Photo Studio

“Today’s Photo Studio” is your go-to spot in Sanlitun SOHO for capturing fun, memorable moments with a unique twist! Here’s why you can’t miss out:

  • Retro & Modern Mix: Dive into a world of old-fashioned big head stickers and trendy Korean-style photo stickers.
  • Props Galore: With an abundance of props, unleash your creativity for that perfect shot.
  • Natural Beauty: Enjoy beautification effects that enhance your photos naturally, without overdoing it.

Located at Sanlitun SOHO, B1 of Building 5, it’s the perfect place to bring your photo dreams to life!

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3.3 Building

This unique spot in town is a must-visit for those who adore the charm of the past mixed with a dash of quirkiness. Here’s why it’s worth exploring:

  • Vintage Paradise: A haven for vintage lovers looking for treasures from yesteryear.
  • Quirky Shops Galore: Each store is filled with unique finds that promise something different for everyone.
  • Explore and Uncover: Dive into the vibrant atmosphere and discover your next favorite piece or shop.
CHUU Women’s Clothing:

This brand is all about making you shine with its youthful and girly vibes. Here’s what makes CHUU stand out:

  • Bright and Bold: Embrace your inner brightness with their vividly colored clothing.
  • Simplicity is Key: Enjoy designs that are simple yet incredibly stylish, ensuring you always look your best.
  • Youthful Charm: The clothes are crafted to accentuate a youthful and girly allure, perfect for those who love to express their femininity.
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UNIQLO:

his global flagship store unfolds over three expansive floors, each offering a unique journey into the world of style. Here’s why you can’t pass up the chance to visit:

  • Diverse Floors for Diverse Tastes: The first floor welcomes you with a fresh flower area, setting the tone for a vibrant shopping experience. Move up to discover women’s clothing on the second floor, showcasing the latest trends and classic staples.
  • Customize on the Third: The top floor is a creative haven where you can personalize your finds through various IP collaborations and New Year limited editions. It’s all about making your wardrobe truly yours.
  • Deals and Styles Galore: With a wide range of styles and regular discounts, UNIQLO offers something for everyone, making it a must-visit destination in Sanlitun for fashion lovers.
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Culinary Delights in Sanlitun

Discover a world of yummy eats in Sanlitun SOHO and nearby places! 🍴✨

  • So Many Flavors! From spicy Hunan, yummy Fujian, cool Western, tasty Cantonese, awesome Italian, delicious Japanese, to local Shanghai dishes, there’s something for everyone!
  • Friendly Prices: Whether you’ve got 83 yuan or 329 yuan to spend, you’ll find the perfect meal to fit your budget.
BUTTERFUL&CREAMOROUS (B&C Bakery)

Dive into the delicious world of BUTTERFUL&CREAMOROUS (B&C Bakery), a tiny treasure trove of tantalizing treats! Despite its cozy size and the lively lines of eager customers, this bakery delivers big on flavor and flair.

  • Taste the Magic: From the savory delight of the Wellington beef croissant to the sweet twist of the pistachio cinnamon roll, every bite is a masterpiece of baking brilliance.
  • Bright and Bold: Catch the eye with their new orange packaging, a stylish collaboration with Valentino, while still rocking their iconic fluorescent green bag. It’s fashion meets pastry in the most delightful way!
  • Timing is Everything: Swing by during the day to get the full spread of bread options. Hurry, though! Favorites fly off the shelves, and you won’t want to miss out on the goodness.

Located in the bustling Sanlitun South Area, B&C Bakery is your go-to spot for scrumptious snacks and sensational sweets.

 

Bread Will Be There

Step into the timeless charm of “Bread Will Be There,” a beloved bakery where tradition meets taste in every bite!

  • Cinnamon Rolls: Dive into the warmth of these rolls, where each swirl is a soft embrace of sweet and spice.
  • Lye Water Thousand-Layer Pastry: Experience the delicate layers of this unique pastry, a crispy, flaky marvel that melts in your mouth.
  • Dark Chocolate Croissant: Indulge in the rich, decadent blend of buttery pastry and deep, velvety dark chocolate.
Shake Shack

Shake Shack welcomes you with its inviting atmosphere, cleverly designed with distinct spaces for ordering and enjoying your meal. Here’s what makes it a must-visit spot:

  • Cozy Ambiance: Enjoy your meal in a well-thought-out setting that enhances your dining experience.
  • Tasty Burgers: Savor the mouth-watering flavors of their signature beef burgers, known for their delicious taste.
  • Value Alert: Although on the pricier side, the burgers offer great satisfaction. Opt for the single-layer burger at 49 yuan for a fulfilling meal, or go big with the double layer at 69 yuan.
Hong Jie Old Hotpot

Discover top Chongqing hotpot in Beijing at Hong Jie Old Hotpot, where the flavors of tradition bubble in every pot!

  • Irresistible Aroma: The beef tallow base is a fragrant delight, promising an authentic hotpot experience.
  • Convenient Location: Just a hop away from Dongdaqiao metro station, it’s perfectly situated for easy access.
  • Smart Planning: Snag a queue number online around 5 pm to skip the wait. It’s a popular spot, so planning ahead is key!
  • Friendly on the Wallet: Enjoy a hearty meal at an average price of about 130 yuan per person. Open from 11:00 AM to 2:00 AM the next day, it fits any schedule.
Lao Dong Street Shabu Shabung

Step into the warmth of Lao Do Street Shabu Shabu, a gem in the heart of Beijing near Sanlitun, where the traditional copper pot meets the bustling vibe of the city. Here’s why you can’t miss it:

  • Seasonal Favorite: Especially popular in summer, this spot is a go-to for beating the heat with deliciously cool delights.
  • Signature Dish: The high-calcium lamb slices are not to be missed. Hand-cut, tender, and paired with an authentic sesame sauce, they’re a taste sensation.
  • Value for Money: Enjoy a sumptuous meal at an average cost of about 120 yuan per person.

Located at 3-1 Baijiazhuang Road, Sanlitun Street, Lao Dong Street Shabu Shabu serves up mouth-watering meals from 11:00 AM to 2:00 PM and again from 4:30 PM until midnight.

How to Get to Sanlitun

Just hop on Subway Line 10, get off at Tuanjiehu Station, pop out of Exit A, and take a short walk to Sanlitun. You’ll be there in no time!

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Art and Leisure at the Phoenix Center

This place is a treasure chest of art and design, starting with its cool Mobius Strip structure. A friend showed me pictures of an awesome photography show there, with works from forty photographers covering forty years of Chinese history. I knew I had to check it out for myself.

Inside the Phoenix Center:

  • Entry for All: It’s 68 yuan to get in, but you get to see two amazing exhibits and even snag a paper ticket and a neat badge.
  • Photo Paradise: Wander through the exhibits on the second and fourth floors, where the sun shines right on the photos.
  • Architectural Wonders: There’s a place inside that shows off how the Phoenix Center was dreamed up, celebrating its twisty Mobius strip shape and the welcoming vibe of Phoenix TV.

More Fun Stuff:

  • Chill Zone: Take a break in the café inside or get some cool photos outside.
  • Photo Ops: The front desk has a guide for snapping the best pics of the Phoenix Center. Or go on an adventure to find your own awesome angles!

Exploring Outside:

  • New Discoveries: Just a short walk away, Mix Sicily Village awaits with DAO coffee from Uncle Xi and cute little shops.
  • Onward to Sanlitun: Keep walking west and you’ll hit Sanlitun, perfect for a day of exploring.

This journey through the Phoenix Center and beyond is a fantastic way to dive into art, learn about cool buildings, and see what Sanlitun has to offer. Let’s go explore!

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Recommended Hotels to Stay in Sanlitun

Fancy OptionThe Opposite House – Dive into luxury! This hotel shines with amazing design and super comfy vibes. It’s like walking into a dream after a day of adventure. (Cost: $280-550 per night)

Middle OptionBEI Zhaolong Hotel, JdV by Hyatt – Enjoy the best mix: sleek, modern style with a sprinkle of old Beijing charm. It’s right in the heart of the action, and their food is delicious – you’ve got to try it! (Cost: $150-320 per night)

Budget PickBeijing’S First Platinum County Self-Service Apartment – Score a great deal in the city’s center! It feels just like home, with all the essentials. With its close proximity to cool Sanlitun spots, it’s perfect for longer stays and lots of exploring. (Cost: $40-95 per night)

Wondering where to stay in Beijing? Check out our guide to 7 must-stay locations in Beijing for an unforgettable trip!

FAQs

Q: What is the best way to experience Sanlitun’s nightlife safely?

A: The best way to experience Sanlitun’s nightlife safely is to stick to well-lit and busy areas, preferably in groups.

Always keep an eye on your belongings and avoid excessive alcohol consumption.

Using licensed taxis or ride-sharing apps for transportation during late hours is recommended.

It’s also wise to have the address of your accommodation written in Chinese for convenience.

Q: Are there any cultural sensitivities I should be aware of?

A: Yes, it’s important to respect local customs and traditions.

Dress modestly when visiting religious sites and always ask for permission before taking photos of people. I

t’s also polite to accept refreshments offered by hosts or shopkeepers.

Understanding the basic etiquette of dining, such as not sticking chopsticks vertically into a bowl of rice, is appreciated as it may be seen as a gesture associated with funerals.

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Q: How do I navigate Sanlitun’s shopping districts effectively?

A: Navigating Sanlitun’s shopping districts can be done effectively by planning your visit ahead of time.

Know the main areas like Sanlitun Village and Taikoo Li for a mix of international brands and local boutiques.

Weekdays are less crowded compared to weekends.

Don’t hesitate to use mapping apps for directions, and consider exploring the area on foot to discover hidden gems.

Q: What are some must-try local foods in Sanlitun?

A: Sanlitun offers a plethora of local delicacies that you must try.

Peking duck is a classic Beijing dish not to be missed. Other local favorites include zhajiangmian (noodles with soybean paste), dumplings, and street snacks like baozi (steamed buns) and jianbing (Chinese crepes).

For a unique experience, visit local street food markets to sample a variety of dishes.

Q: Tips for first-time visitors to Sanlitun?

A: For first-time visitors, it’s essential to stay centrally located to easily access various attractions.

Learn a few basic Mandarin phrases to help navigate and communicate basic needs.

Always carry cash as some places might not accept credit cards.

Be open to trying new foods and experiences, and most importantly, be respectful of local culture and traditions.

Lastly, don’t forget to download useful apps for transportation, food delivery, and translation services to enhance your experience in Sanlitun.

Ricky

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