Rent a Courtyard in Beijing
The expatriates arriving in Beijing are usually curious about the possibility to rent a traditional Chinese accommodation. In Beijing, those are called "Siheyuan", or four-sided courtyards. They are a typical set of buildings organized around a central courtyard with four sides facing north, south, east and west. Today, the remaining Beijing courtyards can be found in the historical districts of Beijing within a network of small alleys called the “Hutong”. Most of these Hutong areas are located right in the middle of Beijing city centered on the Forbidden City, within the second ring road or in Beijing outskirts.
The Beijing courtyards as you can see them today in Beijing were designed during the Ming (1368-1644) and Qing (1644-1911) dynasties. Traditionally, a rightful courtyard will have only one south gate that gives access to the Hutong, in accordance with Feng Shui rules.
Some courtyards are magnificently furnished and have fishponds, carved wooden doors, windows and fine bricks designs that remind of the flourishing Beijing’s craftsmanship and artistry tradition.
Compared with other type of accommodation in Beijing (apartments, serviced apartments, villas), courtyards for rent can be seen as a relaxing housing choice, because of their calm and peaceful environment, protected behind their walls from the surrounding thriving megalopolis.
Before you rent a courtyard accommodation in Beijing, you should make a careful examination of the renovation work that has been done. Some courtyard may be very cold in winter with slow water supply. However, many Beijing courtyards have been renovated to meet the highest standards and the rental prices underwent a dramatic rise during the past decade. The local Beijing government estimates that 400.000 residential courtyards are remaining in Beijing, some of them are very well renovated and still available to rent.
Another thing you should consider when thinking about renting in a Beijing courtyard is the living style it implies. Parking place for the car is hard to get or is likely to be a bit far away, there is still very few clubhouses inside the Hutong area and not many international supermarkets with western products. If these points are not important to you, then to rent a courtyard in Beijing can be a great choice. Few of the expats that have tried to rent in a courtyard have regretted it, most of them never left to another place.
Click on the areas on the Beijing map to find out more about the available courtyards to rent in the various districts of Beijing.
Where can you rent a Beijing courtyard ? Have a look on our selection.