Quick Introduction to the best hostels in Beijing China
Average price for a bed: A bed in a dorm can be as cheap as 10€ up to 22€ per night. This is a rough average to give you an idea. Prices always depend on season and holidays. Please always check exact rates on Hostelworld.com or Booking.com.
Check-In and Check Out: The average check-in time is from 15:00 (3pm), while the Check Out time is before 11:00 (11am). Hostels usually offer luggage storage in case you arrive earlier or leave later. Make sure you check if luggage storage is free or if there is an extra cost.
Let us say with confidence that Beijing is a wonderful city. Sure, it’s absolutely massive and a tad mental, but the overall charm will certainly swoon you.
After living in Beijing for some time, we’ve put together some useful information especially for you.
I urge you to slip away from the bustling tourist streets and explore further afield to experience the ‘real’ Beijing.
Hutongs are aplenty in the central area. These are narrow streets made up of traditional courtyard houses. It’s really fun to wander around and see how some families are still living in the same way after generations.
Another fun option is to get off at a random metro stop on the outskirts of Beijing. Suddenly you’ll find yourself surrounded by locals that rarely see a white face.
The restaurants in these areas are also incredibly local and usually far cheaper!
Reliable, fast and cheap – welcome to Beijing metro service.
It’s by far the best way to get around and will get you to almost anywhere in the city that you desire.
A single journey costs around 0.50c. Buses are also frequent but it can be tricky as not many bus drivers speak good English.
Chinese people are incredibly friendly and if they can help you, they will. Don’t be afraid to ask!
Practise your Mandarin
As previously mentioned, you may find communication to be tricky at times.
In the major areas of the city, English is widely spoken, but it shouldn’t be expected especially with the older generation.
There’s nothing more Chinese people love than to hear Westerners speak their language.
Learn some of the basic words and give it a go – when are you going to get a better chance to try one of the most intricate languages in the world?
Which section of the Great Wall of China to visit?
No doubt you’ve heard of Badaling and Mutianyu – two very popular sections of the Great Wall.
There’s no doubt that every section is impressive, but we suggest spending a bit more time to access the lesser known, more rugged sections.
Chenjiapu is a stunning section that is often deserted. Nearby there is an opportunity to stay with a lovely local family.
Make the most of the Beijing hostels and then head to Great Wall Fresh for a day or two.
It’s around a 1.5 hour drive from the city centre, and totally worth it. You’ll discover a rugged, traditional area on the outskirts of Beijing.
I went to stay here 4 times in the end because I loved it so much.
Here is a useful video about visiting the Great Wall.
Where NOT to visit in Beijing
If you’re asked to name three top sights in Beijing, I’m sure The Forbidden City would be one of them.
Yet I’m here to tell you not to bother with it, especially if you only have a few days in the city.
Once you’re inside the gates the mysticism of Forbidden land falls away quickly as you aimlessly wander around empty courtyards with no displayed information.
Almost all of the rooms are closed off, and each gate you walk through leads you to an almost identical area.
Unless you pay for a guide, you’ll be left wondering what it’s all about.
Note: if your curiosity gets the better of you, make sure you take your passport – you won’t be sold a ticket without it.
Top 3 things to do in Beijing
Forget destinations for a minute. This list of things is a bit different and they can all be done in several different places, it just depends on where you choose to go.
I guarantee your experience in Beijing will be very special indeed if you…
1. Walk around a park at sunrise and after sunset
Beijing is incredibly safe. In 14 months I never felt in danger even once. So please don’t miss out on the parks because of the timings.
No matter which park you end up in, you’ll witness (mostly) the older generation doing Tai Chi, dancing in groups, singing, playing traditional instruments and working out on an outdoor gym. Honestly, the list in endless.
It’s a must do if you want to see a bunch of people with zero inhibition.
2. Feast on local delicacies
Like a lot of Asian countries, China has its own selection of interesting foods.
If you’re not too squeamish and want to try something new, here’s a list of tasty(?) possibilities:
Scorpian on a stick
Smoked squid (usually whole and flattened)
Deep fried insects
Salty egg (boiled in extremely salty water)
Century egg (preserved for weeks in a mix of salt, clay, ash, lime + rice)
Balut egg (fertilised embryo of a duck)
Is your stomach rumbling?!
Head to Wangfujing Food Street and you’ll find most of the above. Many of the local restaurants will serve up the different egg types.
3. Get local and sing at KTV
This, in part, is similar to western karaoke. But in truth it’s actually much more fun!
Hopefully you’ll make some Chinese friends quickly and at the mention of KTV; they’ll jump at the chance to take you there.
At KTV you rent a room for a certain time frame and most places stay open until 3 am.
Inside you’ll find comfy sofas, microphones, a big screen and a huge selection of music. There’s room service offering yummy snacks and cheap beer, too!
Tip: KTV like the Chinese do and have an alcohol free night.
The brilliant atmosphere cannot be truly described so you must experiencepe it or yourself when visiting Beijing.
More Beijing Hostels worth a mention
We have listed the best of Beijing! Yeah, you read that right. The Chinese hostels listed above are our personal favorites, but we know that more is better.
So, you might want to check out the list of these hostels China has to offer. Check availability now!
Rooms come with a wooden floor, an electric kettle, and a writing desk. Bathrooms also come with a hairdryer and towels can be rented at the front desk.
Perks at International Youth Hostel:
Location: Hostel is located Dongcheng district. This hostel Hostel is a 30-minute walk from The Forbidden City and Tian’anmen Square. 250 m away from Nanluoguxiang Subway Station. The scenic Beihai Park is an 8-minute drive away and takes 40 minutes by car from the hotel to Beijing Capital Airport. This place is 1.8km away from Peking Yard Hostel.
Courtyard View Hostel is perfect for individuals who enjoy peace and quite time. This hostel is furnished with antique furniture, wooden decor and ancient Chinese art.
They also offer Chinese lessons, Mahjong lessons, and Chinese dumpling making lessons. Outside the hostel is a number of restaurants offering a wide range of superior cuisine.
Perks at Courtyard View Hostel:
Express check-in / out
Free Internet Access
Laundry Service Beijing
Location: Situated in Dong Cheng District, this hostel is only a short walk to the subway and short walk to several popular destinations. The hostel is 18 minutes drive from Beijing City Central Youth Hostel and 20 minutes drive from Easy Home Beijing.
This hostel uses modern facilities while keeping the traditional design. Perfect for people who enjoys “old and traditional” without the hassle.
Ideal for individuals who are more physically active, this Yue Xuan Courtyard Hostel has a bike rental. So, guests can explore the surroundings.
Perks at Yue Xuan Courtyard International Youth Hostel:
24-hour front desk
Location: Situated in the Hutong area this establishment is 2.2km from Wangfujing subway station and 2.8km from The Forbidden City. Beijing Double Happiness Hotel is 200m away from this hostel. Nearest airport is Beijing Capital Airport which is 25km away.
Leo Hostel Beijing, one of the picks by Lonely planet provides neatly arranged and air-conditioned rooms with plenty of light coming through the carved windows.
Perfect choice for Beijing backpackers or travellers. This Hostel is for you as the tourist attractions are just walking distance and they have bike rentals!
A good hostel China Beijing has to offer!
Perks at Leo Hostel:
24-hour front desk
Location: Situated in Hutong market street, this hostel is 10 minutes from The Forbidden City by foot and a 12-minute walk from Qianmen Square. the property is 17minutes drive to Saga Youth Hostel Beijing. Nearest airport is Capital International Airport. (Be sure to read some Beijing airport guide books)
Furnished with a mix of traditional Chinese, South East Asian and European styles, this hostel gives out that amazing vibe.
Kelly’s Courtyard Hostel provides airconditioned rooms with electric kettle, private bathrooms offer free toiletries and shower facilities.
Perks at Kelly’s Courtyard:
24-hour front desk
Location: Ideally located in the Hutong area, this place is 8km from Dashilan Street and Qianmen Street. Walking distance from the Forbidden City and the Behai Park. It is 26 minutes drive to Capital International Airport Hotel.
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Your Smart Packing List
It is time to see what you should pack in your backpack or suitcase. Make sure you always pick a quality hostel, it totally reduces the things you need to pack. Here is our ultimate hostel packing list. It features 23 items you should really throw in your backpack.