798 Art District

Price guide: Free

Jiuxianquiao Road, Beijing

Price guide: Free

Open air art
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By Tom O'Malley, your Beijing expert

I write for Travel and Leisure (SE .... Read more
#11 of 20
expert-rated things to do in Beijing
Expert overall rating:4.2 out of 5
Value for money:
Recommended for:
Culture vultures, Art, People watching, Trendiness

Best for Culture - Expert review of 798 Art District

Discover the best of Chinese and international contemporary art at this former factory complex.

Originally an East German electronics factory in northeast Beijing, the disused warehouses at 798 proved the perfect studio space for China’s up and coming art superstars. Ai Weiwei, Huang Rei and others first set up shop here in the 90s, transforming the aging industrial complex into a hotbed of independent artistic expression. These days the serious creative work has moved on, and 798 has become a commercial gaggle of domestic and internationally backed galleries with world class exhibitions, arty book shops, boho cafés and the occasional government sanctioned rave. There are literally dozens of galleries, exhibits and bits of street sculpture to check out, but I’ve always found something to inspire the mind and soul at UCCA, 798 Photo Gallery and the Iberia Center for Contemporary Art.

Price advice: 

Free, but some galleries will charge depending on the exhibition.

Expert tips: 
Seek out Timezone 8, a longstanding art and design book shop run by a passionate expat which has been in the area for ten years.

More information on 798 Art District:

Price guide:
Art gallery, Neighbourhood / street
Jiuxianquiao Road, Beijing
Months open:
All year round
Opening times:

Have you been to 798 Art District? Would you recommended it?