Walking Tour of the Hutong District, Beijing

Beijing is a bustling metropolis careening towards the future at a dizzying speed, but it isn’t all glistening skyscrapers and mindboggling technology in the capital. If you know where to look, you can find the Beijing of old; streets that have stood still in time.

To explore this you’ll head to Hutong a maze of narrow streets and alleyways like nowhere else in the capital. Here you’ll find locals sat outside their old bungalows playing chess, traders creaking by on their old rickshaws and a ramshackle collection of charming, crumbling architecture. Taking a walking tour around these parts is the best way to learn about the China of old. If walking isn’t your favourite way to explore you also have the option of riding a bike or hopping in a rickshaw. Whatever you do, visit soon before the modern spread of the city takes over entirely.

You’ll stop off for some Jianbing – one of China’s most popular street breakfasts. You might have heard of Peking roasted duck and dim sum, but this delicious Chinese breakfast is the country’s best kept secrets! These savoury fried pancakes are stuffed full of delights like fried wonton, coriander, spring onions and pickles and layered with chilli sauce. Yours will be cooked fresh to order on a grill – what could be better?

Once you finish up in Hutong you’ll visit the peaceful lakes at Houhai or Shichahai for a restorative stroll in the peaceful waterside atmosphere.

Highlights

  • See the Beijing of old

  • Try the delicious local breakfast of Jianbing

Other things to do in Beijing