Nanluoguxiang (Southern Bell and Drum Alley)

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Located several kilometers north of the Forbidden City and east of Houhai Lake, is Nanluoguxiang, an 800-meter alley lined with cafes, bars, and shops all designed in classical Chinese hutong-style.

The alley is said to have been constructed in 1267 AD during the Yuan Dynasty and claimed to be the best preserved exiting hutong from that era. Nowadays it is one of the hottest tourist spots in Beijing and attracts a large number of visitors with its fancy shops, bars and restaurants.

This heavily renovated hutong is a heaven for backpackers. Popular spots include the Passby Bar (Western and Chinese food, gin and tonics, lovely courtyard atmosphere), eateries like Paper, cheeky Beijing-themed T-shirt vendor Plastered 8, gig venue MAO Livehouse and the late night snack outlet Fish Nation.

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