To live in Beijing

Beijing is a big city, it’s the second largest city after shanghai in terms of population : 19,6 million people in 2010, but it’s very large. It has six ring roads around the city for the moment. Everything is far, so you can’t walk a lot. But if you want to have a walk you can go to a park, Beijing offers a lot of beautiful parks, or to the city center in the Gulou Hutongs for example.








But you have a lot of taxi, bus stops and 15 subway lines. Otherwise taking the bicycle for short distances is also very convenient.

Beijing is a city of culture; you have a lot to visit, from the Forbidden City to the ancient summer palace Yuanmingyuan, which is amazing. Moreover, you do not only have the ancient culture, in fact Beijing offers also a lot to see in terms of contemporary culture. 798 in Dashanzi for example use to be a place for artists studio installed in old factories, where you can now find also very beautiful cafes and original stores, sometimes even rock concerts. We can notice that the Beijing contemporary art is very interesting and creative. Caoshangdi is also now a place for artist’s studio to visit.

Living in Beijing is quite expensive, as it is in the big cities of China, because the apartments are not so cheap. It depends actually where you want to live: around Sanlitun and the embassies area, like around the city center or Wudaokou, apartments can be more expensive than in the south for example.

Beijing is student and international city with a lot of foreign students, because a lot of them can come to learn mandarin. So you can find there a lot of different bars and disco like at Wudaokou, the universities district, and around Sanlitun. During a soccer worldcup for example, some bars at Sanlitun. It is also a nice place for living and rent a flat.


Sanlitun offer big screens to watch the games. Some Hotels and bars have beautiful rooftops as well where you can enjoy a cocktails, sometimes even with swimming pools.

You will have no problem to go shopping in Beijing, you can find everything! Panjiayuan is the flea market where you have the traditional objects and craftworks for decoration, in Sanlitun you have the luxury shops, as well as in the hotels around Wanfujing area, which are the “Champs Elysées” of China. Some other markets like the Hongqiao pearl market offer jewelery, silk products, clothes…


Zhongguancun, in North West, is the place where you find electronics, computers and digital products.

Concerning the food, you have a very bride range of different restaurant, from the Beijing Duck of Quanjude, to the many Xinjiangren offering spicy lamb meet, or Yangrou chuanr, in the street. Many foreigners also opened Italian restaurants, French cafes, American fast foods…

The people of Beijing are very friendly and helpful if one feels lost. It is easy to make friends, and you don’t stay alone very long!

The only problem in Beijing these days is the pollution. Even if the government moved a lot of industries for the Olympics in 2008, the air is not very good.

But you can easily escape the city, while going to see the great wall, the fragrant hills which are beautiful especially in the autumn when all the leaves turn red. The air is also better in the parks, because Beijing is a quite green city. You will then often see foreigners doing their jogging there.

Beijing is not only an old capital of six dynasties, it’s also a fabulous place to live, very welcoming, and you will soon feel home!

Proposed by Olivier

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