Beijing is a city undergoing tremendous change; every minute of every hour of every day it is modernising. New buildings by international award winning architects squeeze into spaces next to temples and ‘hutongs’. Beijing is a city of contrasts where the modern and the traditional tentatively coexist creating an intriguing dynamic. Beijing Summer Arts School believes this environment creates a diverse and inspiring city in which to explore, respond and create work.

For some time Beijing has been attracting the international interest of artists, fashion designers, architects and designers all eager to explore the cultural aspects of one of world’s fastest growing economies. 

Whether it be The Forbidden City, the 798 Area or the simple pleasures of Dim Sum, there is something in Beijing to inspire everyone.

Central Beijing

Central Beijing

In the heart of Beijing is The Forbidden City, the Imperial Palace from the Ming Dynasty to the end of

the Qing Dynasty.

A world heritage site the Forbidden City consists of 980 buildings and covers 720,000 square metres. Yes you can see the Great Wall of China from space and you can visit it on a day trip from Beijing too!


The Yonghe Lama Temple is a Tibetan Buddhist temple and one of the largest and most important Buddhist monasteries in the world. The architecturale style is a combination of Tibetan and Han Chinese style. Within the temple complex you can find the Hall of Harmony and Peace (Yonghegong), the Hall of Everlasting Protection (Yongyoudian) and the Pavilion of Ten Thousand Happinesses.

Confucius Temple was built to honour Confucius, one of China’s greatest philosophers, and educationalist. There is a courtyard of 198 stone tablets/steles carved with the names of approx 51,000 scholars who passed the imperial exam during the Yuan, Ming, and Qing dynasties.

798 Art District – aka Dashazi Art District

“798″ is located to the north east of central Beijing. The site was originally an industrial area of state-owned factories including the electrical Factory 798.

Now the pedestrian streets are full of galleries, artists’ studios, art centres, design companies, restaurants and bars. 798 has an industrial, urban “Soho-esque” vibe with high ceiling warehouse galleries and semi-pedestrianized streets with cafes. 

You can spend days wandering around 798 peeking into studio of artists and designers at work or visiting one of the larger spaces to look at the work of internationally established artists.

Dongcheng District

Dongcheng District

The Dongcheng District is a lively area with Nanluoguxiang Hutong (alleyway) at its centre. This hutong has over 700 years of history and now teems with young independent clothing shops, and many atmospheric cafes and bars with young Beijingers hanging out.


The Capital Museum opened in Beijing in 2008 and is of monumental stature. Exhibiting historical artefacts from around China, visitors are treated to 5 floors of objects some over 5000 years old and found as recently as last year. 

National Museum of Arts (NAMOC) is the huge national museum ‘dedicated to the collection, research and exhibition of modern and contemporary artistic works in China’.