Beijing's best outdoor bars

The city's prime spots to sip a drink in the open air

Photo: Yun Summer Lounge
Make the most of the warmer weather by taking in the views and the fresh air with a drink in hand. Whether you fancy the cosy atmosphere of a hutong courtyard, or want somewhere to soak up the sunshine and the breathtaking views of Beijing from above, there's a bar for you. Here's our pick of the prime spots for al fresco drinking in Beijing.

Sanlitun

Buona Bocca

Critics' pick

A chic Italian wine bar and aperitivo hangout off the main drag in Sanlitun with a great wine list. You're here for the Prosecco and the negronis. 

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Xingfu Sancun Sixiang Xingdong Lu

Miles Rong Bar

A massive rooftop in a less traffic-stricken corner of Sanlitun slinging cocktails from the notorious bar maestro Mr Ming. Have an old fashioned or a strawberry cooler and watch the sunset over Sanlitun's revellers and the embassy district's diplomats, who are perhaps one and the same.

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4-5 Sanlitun Dongsanjie (Changping)

Unico

Critics' pick

Unico sits atop the Topwin Centre, and although it’s only on the fifth floor, the south-facing CBD views are still pretty lit, especially at night. Floor to ceiling windows make the most of the urban vista, but what’s especially smashing about this joint is that the views within the bar are stylish to a T. 

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1 Sanlitun Nan Lu

V-Plus Lounge

Opened by Mandopop diva Na Ying, V-Plus Lounge serves up a decent cocktail list in an unmistakably high-class, luxurious ambiance. Overlooking the Workers’ Stadium amid Gongti's rowdy nightclubs, the two-floor bar offers an intimate and chill alternative – though with a higher price tag.

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2 Gongti Dong Lu (Chaoyang, --select--)

Fez Bar

This reincarnation of the much-loved classic is gorgeous. The decor – all pink sofas and fez-shaped lamps – is almost as pretty as the clientele. Grab a cocktail (perhaps one that features tobacco as an ingredient?) from the charming staff, and perhaps some lovely baba ganush, and enjoy the views.  

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81 Sanlitun Bei Lu (Changping)

Terrazza Martini

Formerly the home of Migas, Nali Patio's sprawling rooftop space is now occupied by Terrazza Martini, Bacardi's first flagship lounge in China. Still as popular a location as ever, Sanlitun revellers flock to this spot on Friday and Saturday nights for live music, strong drinks and general debauchery.

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81 Sanlitun Lu (Sanlitun, --select--)

Cinker Pictures

The upper reaches of Taikoo Li North have never been particularly kind to restaurants. For whatever reason, the swanky address has proved a difficult environment for garnering following or foot traffic, but Cinker Pictures, with its arthouse film screenings and modern dining room and bar, is taking a different approach – and looks poised to defy the trend that precious few seem capable of rebuffing.

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Taikooli Bei (Sanlitun, Chaoyang)

Gulou

46 Fangjia Hutong

Tucked inside the 46 Fangjia hutong, this film-themed rooftop bar offers a variety of drinks, food as well as screenings of a decent selection of indie films on its terrace. Known as the ‘mini 798 Art District’, 46 Fangjia is a hutong courtyard transformed from a old factory building. It houses an impressive array of artsy restaurants and cafes along its narrow alley, making it a perfect spot for laid-back weekend hangouts.

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46 Fangjia Hutong (Yonghegong/Lama Temple, Dongcheng)

Great Leap Brewing Original #6

Great Leap Brewing’s sweet-yet-fiery Honey Ma Gold is Beijing summarised in a glass: a mix of old Eastern ingredients and modern Western techniques, enormously attractive to hipsters and, thanks to Great Leap’s location, intimately tied to the city’s winding hutong alleys. 

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6 Doujiao Hutong (Nanluoguxiang, Dongcheng)

CBD

Migas Mercado

Migas Mercado is, like everything these days, in China World Mall, offering the requisite awesome views of the surrounding urban vista. It is also something of a vista in itself, being totally freakin’ huge – the sprawling terrace bar itself seems to go on for miles.

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1 Jianguomenwai Dajie (Chaoyang, --select--)

Blue Frog (CBD)

The newest venue of the popular hamburger joint at China World Mall offers a rooftop terrace and great views of the CCTV tower.

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1 Jianguomenwai Dajie (Chaoyang, --select--)

Xiu Bar

One of the best-looking bar in Beijing, with an excellent ladies' night. The large and style venue, divided into five bars all with their own style and music, boasts a fantastic terrace with great views across the city.

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2 Jianguomenwai Dajie (CBD, Chaoyang)

798

O'Bar

A fancy spot at Lido's NUO Hotel with a massive terrace sporting private bungalows and plenty of pretty people. Knock back the delicious cocktails while taking in the views.

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2A Jiangtai Lu

Wangfujing

Yun Summer Lounge

The Peninsula Beijing's newly opened rooftop bar offers stunning views over Wangfujing and a summery Mediterranean sharing menu.

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8 Jinyu Hutong (Goldfish Lane), Wangfujing (Miyun county)

MO Bar

Situated within the new 73-room MO Beijing Wangfujing, the slick lounge with its expansive rooftop terrace boasts some of the best views of the Forbidden City, and serves carefully crafted cocktails inspired by different quarters of the city.

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269 Wangfujing Dajie (Wangfujing, Dongcheng)

Slow Boat (Dengshikou) 悠航鮮啤燈市口店

Slow Boat's latest outpost by Dengshikou metro station sports an al fresco space that you'll want to camp at this summer. It's made even more tempting being the only branch to offer a rotating range of experimental sour beers and cider on draught, an expanded menu of cocktails and grill items as well as daily happy hours from 4-7pm.

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157 Dongsi Nan Dajie (Dongsishitiao, Dongcheng)

Liangmaqiao

Arrow Factory Brewing

Even before you consider the reliably tasty brews, central location and gorgeous rooftop terrace, Arrow Factory Brewing Taproom is worth stopping by for the food alone.

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Liangmahe Nan Lu (Liangmaqiao, --select--)

Paulaner Br?uhaus

At this Bavarian-themed eatery, diners can enjoy authentic German food and plenty of home-brewed beer in a casual outdoor terrace.

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50 Liangmaqiao Lu (Liangmaqiao, --select--)

Wangjing

Container Top Lounge

With a sprawling patio stretching over 450 square metres, Container Top Lounge, a three-floor bar boasts an unparalleled view of the sleek, curvilinear skyscrapers of Wangjing Soho and is reasonably famed as the largest open-air terrace in Wangjing. Its rooftop terrace – in a minimalistic and chic setting – makes for a perfect spot to unwind. However, it's only open from May to October due to weather limitation. 

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11 Futong Xi Lu (Wangjing, Chaoyang)
  • 4 out of 5 stars
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