If you are planning to take the Transcontinental Track in Beijing you cannot fail to think about the nightlife.
Where will I go out? What types of parties do they organize? Will I be able to find nightclubs for my student budget?
We will try our best to help you figure it out with you. The truth is: in China you will definitely find something you like, and you will definitely have fun!
There are two main areas within Beijing where you can go out depending on what you are planning to do.
The first one and most well-known: Sanlitun.
It is not so far from the dormitory and you can go there by subway when they are still open (before 11 pm). The station is Tuanjiahu or Dongsishitiao depending on where you want to go. Or you can also get there by taxi (usually 40-50 yuan/5-7 € a ride). It is great if you want to meet lots of young European people, grab some beers or go to some fancy bars to have some cocktails (there is even a rooftop there), and then go out after.
The second one is Houhai Bar Street, not far from the forbidden city.
It is located just next to 3 beautiful lakes. It’s also great to go there during the day to take a walk around the water there is a good atmosphere. All around the water of the third lake you will find lots of bars, groceries store… It is really dynamic as soon as the night falls: very different types of bars such as hookah bars, concerts (every type of music even Chinese) …
It’s will be a good idea to go there if you prefer to spend a more “quiet” night with friends and chit chat around a good beer or cocktail. The subway station to go there is Shichahai.
As we told you before, the Houhai Bar Street is a good place to find some great bars. You will basically be able to find whatever you want there: even a Buddha Bar. Yes you’re not dreaming, it’s a bar for those who are interested in the Buddhist culture… Why not ?!
But you won’t always have the strength to go there (around 30 minutes by subway). For you lazy people we have found the perfect place : JustKids!
It is a bar that is basically one minute walk from the dorm. It is a good place to hang out: dartboard, dice games, and there is even a gaming room inside the bar (in case there are geeks among you).
You can also enjoy a meal there if you are tired of Chinese food. You will find pizzas, hamburgers, and fries that are quite ok. There is even French red wine if you are homesick!
There are a lot of different ways to go out freely in Beijing. Near Sanlitun,
there is a road which concentrates most of the famous Beijing’s night clubs. No matter if you like commercial music or not, that is fun to go in these clubs. Trust us. Our colocation was made of techno-lovers but we still had good times in commercial clubs. Two reasons for that.
- During the night, some shows are programmed to make people enjoy their party. It is a pleasant show; everyone stops moving when the show is going on. You definitely have to come back in France with this souvenir.
- THIS IS AN OPPORTUNITY TO SPEAK WITH OTHER FOREIGNERS AND HAVE FUN WITH THEM. There are a lot of foreign students in clubs. German, Italian, French from other business schools, English, etc. You want to know how the UK students feel about the Brexit? You’ll just have to ask. That is the opportunity to discuss about geopolitics and economics in a different context than during the oral examinations.
- LIV’ CLUB: definitely a reference
- THE CIRCLE: nice place to go
- Modo Ultra Club: very nice but this one is not in Sanlitun
Many others you can try, they are all concentrated around the same place.
The easiest way to go there is by taxi because the street with all those kinds of night club is really at the limit of Sanlitun. Just look for the Chinese address of these clubs on the internet and show the address to the driver. If he doesn’t know, try with another one. It costs about 50 yuan to go, that makes about 7€, divided by the number of persons you are.
Promoters: these are people paid by night clubs to bring foreigners in their clubs. This is their job. If you want to have free drinks, it is better to book a table for the party. Say you are a group of French student and you want to go out.
Techno/house night clubs
In Beijing, you will also have the opportunity to go out to listen to music from real artists.
Indeed, we found some clubs which look more like clubs in big European capitals. The music is usually very good, but you will have to pay.
- Lantern Club: this club is next to the commercial clubs, in the same street. The price of the entry is between 50 and 80 yuan after 11:00 PM. We had some really good times there. There are two rooms: one room for house music, and one room (the main) for techno music. If you choose to go there you can spend the beginning of the night in commercial clubs to warm up and then go there to enjoy the music.
- Dada club: this club is more “underground” than the Lantern and it is not in Sanlitun. You will find a lot of Chinese hipsters in it. The music is various; you will have to follow them on WeChat to know what artists are coming. The price of the entry is usually 50 yuan. It is a really nice place: you can go in and go out as many times as you want. So if you get peckish, you can easily grab something to eat then go back inside. Usually there is also another room that is open which is more 80’s oriented.
Note that drinks are not free in these kind of places, and there is no way to negotiate. It is a bit expensive compared to the average prices of drinks in Beijing: 30 yuan for a beer, for instance, and 20 yuan for a bottle of water…
If you don’t feel like going out, there are lots of other activities that you can do in Beijing during the evening. You can go bowling, go to the cinema, or even to karaoke (those are really famous in China).
For cinemas, don’t worry lots of them provide films in English in Beijing. There is even a website where you can book your seats in advance and get discounts: https://www.247cinema.cn/
Concerning Karaoke we did not try it yet, but the most famous are the KTV. You can book a room, choose your songs, have some drinks and spend a great evening with friends.
To conclude you will not get bored in Beijing that’s for sure! Everybody will be able to find something that he/she is fond of. To finish “cherish life and stay away from drugs” just like our beloved International School’s dean would say.
(By Léna De Pasquale and Sofiane Hochart)