When I travel to Beijing in summertime, I like to spend my days outside and relax in some terraces of this city sheltered from the beating sun. Even if all restaurants have air conditioner, and make you feel comfortable inside, nothing compares to a good time in a terrace (sometimes they are equipped with big fans spraying mist water). Let me introduce you all the places to enjoy summertime in a terrace during your Beijing tour for a drink in the afternoon, a meal or to hang out at night.

Spend some good time with a drink after a walk

After visiting the Forbidden City or wandering in the hutongs, Houhai is a nice place to have a drink and rest. Houhai is a lake between hutongs and the Forbidden City; it is famous now for all the cafés, bars and restaurants in the surroundings. The drinks or meals in this area is not that cheap, quite expensive I would say, but having a drink on daytime is cheaper than at night. But the great thing is the view; you can refresh watching the lake and people on pedal boat, you will feel like escaping from the city. Moreover many cafés have terraces, and even if they are not visible, they often have rooftops where you can enjoy a fresh glass of juice.

Eating outdoor

Guloudajie, near the Beijing hutongs, is famous for its numerous restaurants, terraces or rooftops are not visible from the outside at first glance but you will be surprise by the tranquility in these places. If you go on the restaurants in the little alleys you will find some good surprises! And if you miss having brunch, the Bridge Coffee (in WuDaoKou) is for you. This coffee provides American menus and it is extremely popular among foreign students who live around. The coffee is good and you have a large choice among the cakes and breakfast meals. Why not having a brunch there on a sunny Sunday morning?

Dancing in rooftops

Summertime is the best season to contemplate the illuminating city at night. No one likes to be stuck in random crowded clubs as the weather is so good outside! Beijing is full of rooftops to hang out at night. For example last Friday I went to the opening of a new rooftop whiskey bar in Sanlitun, called 99 degrees, by a French restaurant owner who already has a lot of restaurants in Beijing (Le Petit Gourmand). The advantage was that they could offer free cocktails and free BBQ prepared by a French chef for the opening. Near this new whiskey bar, there are the Kokomo and Migas. Kokomo is a nice bar/club with affordable drinks in the neighborhood, highly appreciated by all foreigners. Migas atmosphere is classier, people are better dressed, and music is less loud than in clubs, in fact it’s like if you were in a cocktail party. The crowd is between 25 and 40; you can have a drink sitting in some tables or in giant eggs with some cushions for a cozy atmosphere. There are so many beautiful terraces in Beijing, but I must say that the Yin Bar has the most beautiful view of the capital. Imagine the illuminated roofs of the Forbidden City and Temple of the Coal Hill shining like stars at night just for your eyes? You can afford it going to the top of The Emperor Hotel.

I hope that my article helped you to find good places to take a lot of nice pictures during your China travel! Don’t hesitate to send some to us and participate to our photo contest!

Jack Li

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