Nanluoguxiang, a touristic hutong and a genuine Beijing landmark


Nanluoguxiang is a Hutong in Beijing, in the core of the Beijing Hutong area, nt very far from touristic attarctions such as the Drum and Bell tower (Gulou) and the Houhai Lake. It is a long north-south axis that has become one of the major center of interest in Beijing.


The Hutong used to be rather preserved but everything has changed within one year, with the opening of the Nanluoguxiang subway station on line 6. Suddenly, a crowd has direct access to the traditional hutong. This is China, if you are agoraphobic, you might have trouble in this country. Still, the place has appeal even if has become a touristic place, with a real estate frenzy.


This is a good gate to begin an exploration of the hutong, you can visit all the small alleys coming from Nanluoguxiang and you’ll discover a lot of small wonders, a mix of a touristic place and hidden treasures. You might have a glimpse of the soul of Beijing by visiting this place, with all the beautiful traditional Beijing courtyards.


The place is very old and dates back to the Yuan dynasty and the rise of Beijing as a capital city. And is called Nanluoguxiang since the Qin dynasty, around 1750.


During the day, you can visit a lot of little shops sellings clothes, crafts, touristic items but more and more food staples. The young Beijing people like to leisure there, going from one place to another, eating snacks. You have all kind of Beijing street food, some of them are famous all over China. During the past years, a lot of change occured with old shops closing to give place to a new generation of shops, more commercial but the place still has a charm.


You’ve got nice rooftop cafés, trendy clubs and a lot of nice restaurants for the evening, with western style or Chinese style. A nice brewery around, in a Hutong nearby, the Great Brew Forward. What is interesting is to see the mix between the old popular Beijing and the new generation of young city dwellers, plus some foreigners visiting here.


The place is famous for another reason, this is a place where you can see the Central Academy of Drama Theatre, a place where many stars have studied drama, theatre and cinema. Zhing Ziyi, Gong Li, Yang Zhimou have been alumni here and maybe you ll cross the future stars of the Chinese cinema.


Do not miss the place anyway, this is one of the Hutongs that has to be seen.

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