While Nanlouguxiang has been growing in popularity in recent years, it remains a quieter alternative to the hutong near Beijing’s Back Lakes. Many walking and cycling tours of the Beijing hutongs include Nanlouguxiang, as well as the nearby Bell and Drum Towers, Back Lakes, and Yinding Bridge. Combine a sightseeing tour through the hutong with lunch at a hutong dumpling or dim sum restaurant. The neighborhood is also one of the top spots in the city to feast on Old Beijing hot pot, which features on many nighttime tours of the Chinese capital.
Things to know before you go
- Nanlouguxiang is one of the best shopping spots in Beijing, perfect for picking up gifts and souvenirs.
- The hutong is best explored on foot, but the ground can be uneven; be sure to wear comfortable shoes.
- Don’t miss the side streets and alleys of the neighborhood; they’re less crowded and filled with hidden gems.
How to get there
To get to the hutong via public transportation, take Subway Lines #6 or #8 to Nanluoguxiao Station. Several public buses also stop nearby at Tongluoxiang, Di'anmen Dong, and Bei Bingmasi stations.
When to get there
The streets of Nanlouguxiang are always open for a scenic stroll, though it's best to visit during regular business hours, when the shops and restaurants are open. Come earlier in the day to avoid the crowds, or on a weekend evening to see the neighborhood at its liveliest.
While you’re exploring Nanluoguxiang, make the short diversion to Yandaixie Street, about 15 minutes on foot to the west. This street is the oldest business street in Beijing, with a history going back more than 800 years. Shops lining the street sell a variety of goods, including traditional Chinese tobacco pipes, folding fans, silk scarves, and Peking opera masks. Many shops have craftspeople demoing their arts for visitors to watch.
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- Drum Tower (Gulou)
- Yandai Byway (Yandai Xiejie)
- Bell Tower (Zhonglou)
- National Art Museum of China (NAMOC)
- Confucius Temple
- Prince Gong Mansion (Gong Wang Fu)
- Jingshan Park (Jingshan Gongyuan)
- Lama Temple (Yonghegong)
- Beihai Park (Beihai Gongyuan)
- Forbidden City (Palace Museum)
- Back Lakes (Hou Hai)
- Nine Dragon Screen at the Palace Museum
- Temple of Earth (Ditan Park)
- St. Joseph's Church