November 11 officially marks Singles' Day, the one day of the year where single folks celebrate their independence by hunting for the best bargains online. For those of you, however, who find the idea of spending your Saturday glued to your laptop mildly distasteful, we've put together some alternatives to inspire you to get out there and explore the city.
Whether you're after jazz
, hip-hop, ballet, theatre and everything in between, there's never any shortage of live music
and stage productions to see in Beijing. Gulou institution Temple Bar
generally has free entry and stays open well into the early morn, while Yugong Yishan
has reliably excellent programming, ranging from high-profile international acts to local up-and-comers. For the biggest stage productions, check out our Time Out
tickets page for an easy way to nab tickets to see theatre shows as well as Hollywood blockbusters.
Eating out alone can be fairly intimidating the first time round, but benefits include dining wherever and whenever the mood strikes you, shorter wait times (particularly if you eat at the bar) and the freedom to savour a meal at your own pace (shout-out to all the slow eaters out there). Perch yourself at the bar and dine in a restaurant with an open kitchen so you can watch professional chefs do their thing. There are plenty of open kitchens to choose from in Beijing, but we say
sit at the bar at Sake Manzo
for delicious sushi and friendly waitstaff.
This might seem at odds with an anti-Singles' Day ethos, but there's a difference between exploring Beijing's best boutiques and mindlessly browsing online shopping sites. Go crate-digging at a record store
, buy some local designer threads at an independent boutique
or purchase unique pieces for the home from one of Beijing's stylish homeware stores
Beijing's home to all sorts of museums –
from the simply brilliant to the downright bizarre
. While the National Museum of China is absolutely massive and also offers free entry, there's also the Red Star Ergoutou Museum (dedicated to the renowned brand of baijiu
), the Beijing Tap Water Museum (if you're into underground plumbing) and the Tank Museum (army tanks, and lots of 'em). The Beijing Planetarium's
also well worth checking out, if only for the 3D movies projecting the wonders of the cosmos onto the main building's huge dome.
skyline (on a clear day) is spectacular. Remind yourself how
insignificant your singledom is by viewing the vast metropolis from up
above. For those who prefer staying indoors, have a drink at Atmosphere
or China Bar
while marvelling at the glittering lights of Guomao. For the more outdoorsy types, explore Jingshan Park
for some of the best views of the Forbidden City, walk along the rooftop of the Bird's Nest Stadium
or head to Beijing's Ancient Observatory
and take in the city from the top of the observatory platform.
all this talk of Singles' Day is just motivating you to find your
soulmate (or bedmate), then check out our guide to Chinese dating apps.
Whether you're LGBT
, there's something for everyone.
Pamper yourself with the ultimate spa day at one of Beijing's many salons. Get your nails
did, have a massage
or try a daring new 'do. And if you've finally reached the stage where you're
fed up with absolutely everyone and can't bear to socialize any longer, bliss out in a sensory deprivation tank
If you're feeling uninspired and stuck in a rut, then a trip out of Beijing's just what the doctor ordered. Neighbouring city Tianjin's just half-an-hour away by high-speed train and is home to bucketloads of history and stunning architectural wonders. Check out our handy guide to Tianjin
and smash the riverside city in a day.
Self-anointed as the 'world's first specialist baijiu
bar', Capital Spirits
serves up creative baijiu
-based cocktails all within a cosy bar nestled deep within Xinsi hutong. Drown your sorrows, Beijing-style, while sipping on China's most beloved firewater. Though if that's all a bit too high-brow for you, we hear 7-11 also sells baijiu
for bargain basement prices...
It's all well and good ordering in everyday (see Number 11), but sometimes there's just no substitute for a home-cooked meal. Learn how to make authentic Chinese cuisine at one of Beijing's many cooking schools –
and then lure potential suitors with your top-notch jiaozi
. If cooking doesn't interest you, then stimulate your artistic side by trying your hand at pottery
Finally, if you’ve taken a look at this list and really can’t be
arsed doing anything more intensive than binge-watching your favourite TV shows, then make sure
you’re at least well-fed by ordering in all the food you can get
your hands on. Check out our list of healthy meal delivery services
in Beijing (or don't, we're not judging) and you won't have to leave the comfort of your bed all weekend.