11 Things for a Good Beijing Summer

Summer(夏天) is here! Although the temperatures(温度) are steadily rising, ensuring that this will be one hot() summer in Beijing, there are still many things to be excited about doing now that the sun rays are out and everyone is officially out of hibernation.

1. Rooftop Parties

Beijing has an abundance of rooftops(楼顶) that the warm(暖和) weather now beckons you to sit back and relax(放松) on. From wandering() around hutong neighborhoods looking for a shady roof where you can crack open a few cold ones, to friends and friends of friends that have their own access to a rooftop, to numerous venues around the city that host summer rooftop parties; now is the time to take advantage of the beautiful(美丽) city views and relaxing rooftop vibes.

2. Sun dresses, short shorts, and sandals

It’s getting hot enough now that you start sweating(出汗) five minutes after you’ve stepped outside(外边). So it’s time to whip out those sun dresses(裙子), short shorts(短裤), sandals, and bathing suits(泳衣). The locals(当地人) are already dawning their Beijing bikinis, so take off those layers and get some sun(阳光)!

3. Days at the Park

There are many beautiful parks(公园) in Beijing and the surrounding areas so use a nice Saturday to go hang out in one! You can choose to go to a public one like Chaoyang Park and have a picnic(野餐) with beers and a game of frisbee or spend a little money() to venture outside of the city for fresh air(新鲜空气) and great views(景色).

4. Hiking Activities around the City

This summer has already been full of gorgeous blue sky(蓝天), breezy days, which is the perfect weather(天气) to venture out of the city to some of the surrounding areas for a nice day of hiking(爬山). Of course, you can go to the Great Wall(长城) and even camp there. But don’t forget some of the other awesome locations for hiking like Miaofengshan, Songshan Forest Park, Wulingshan Nature Reserve, Xiaolongmen Forest Park, and more.

5. Weekend Trips

Hop on a train(火车) to a nearby destination to get out of Beijing and visit other cool cities nearby. Weekend getaways are great because they give you a chance to explore a new place in China while using your set of Chinese skills. Some good nearby locations to check out include Pingyao(平遥), Nanjing(南京), Qingdao(青岛), and Hangzhou(杭州).

6. Summer Music

During the summer, music events are in abundance. Not only are venues around the city hosting local and touring bands(乐队), there are also numerous music festivals(音乐节). But there’s a catch to these music festivals…they’re all very 随便, such as when the venue of Intro Festival got moved from Chaoyang Park, conveniently located in the middle of Beijing, to a random outdoor shopping mall in Hebei province(河北省) a week before the event. So make sure to catch bands playing in Beijing and also, be prepared to attend a fun music festival at the drop of a hat.

7. Boat ride on Beihai

A favorite activity(活动) for Beijingers in the summer, so don’t miss out on this when the weather’s warm and pleasant(舒服).

8. BBQ galore

Did you say cookout? Saturdays and Sundays are the perfect time to grill out in Beijing. Whether you rent out a space or are lucky(幸运的) enough to find someone with a grill, a barbeque is an excellent way to spend an afternoon(下午) and get day drunk.

9. Bike rides in the hutongs

Whether you have your own bike(自行车), borrow a bike from a friend(朋友), borrow() a random bike off the street that you return later, or rent a bike, riding around the hutongs is a must in Beijing. So go on an aimless adventure inside the second ring road hutongs when the city is bustling(热闹) with fruit(水果) stands, Beijing bikinis, crowded card games, and outdoor merriment.

10. Occasional Pool Party

If you can find an outdoor pool(室外游泳池) on a mostly sunny and clean air day in Beijing, it’s a good day. We rarely get tan in the capital so it’s always a nice surprise when we can get a little color and cool off at the same time.

11. Cold Drinks all the time

Most foreigners love a cold beverage, whether it be water(), juice(果汁), soda(可乐), or beer(啤酒). Now is the time when shops actually refrigerate their drinks(饮料), so enjoy it while it lasts!

Tess Fairbanks is from Natchez, Mississippi in the United States. She graduated from Rhodes College with a major in International Business and a minor in Chinese Studies. She studied abroad in China for the first time in Beijing in 2013 with China Studies Institute at Peking University. She graduated and moved to Beijing in 2014 and has been studying Chinese since then. She works in the Marketing Department at the Sinology Institute.