Favorite tourist streets - Nanluoguxiang

East of the Drum and Bell Towers and Houhai you can find Nanluoguxiang (NLGX), which is one of the new favorite streets of tourist interest, a bit similar to Sanlitun. What used to be a run down alley of hutongs and some bars catering to foreigners has become a shiny street pulling in foreign and Chinese tourists alike.

NLGX street sign

No idea what number 36 features…

Where is it at?

The easiest way to find anywhere in Beijing is to hop on a taxi and scream the name of your destination at the cabbie, in this case 南锣鼓巷. Alternatively, you can show a written version of the name. Of course, the cabbie has to know your destination in the first place, which is not always the case (a story was once circulated about a passenger wanting to go to 天安门 Tian'anmen and the cabbie drove from gate to gate – 西直门, 德胜门, 安定门, 东直门 – on the 2nd ring road in hopes of finding his destination. Why? 门 means gate in Chinese). Much safer and cost effective is the subway option, if you can figure out the maps. Line 6 stops at NLGX and takes you right to the south entrance.

nanluoguxiang subway

If you leave the subway by this exit you are in good shape

One insider recommendation

If you are into rock music, make your way to the north end of the street and turn right. In front of you there will be a rust colored building of considerable size. This is Mao Livehouse. It is one of the best live venues for rock music in the city and features mostly local bands, a lot of them to be considered rather underground. Tickets are about 50 RMB but the quality of the sound and bands is usually quite acceptable. They even have (perhaps had) foosball in the lobby.

Mao livehouse

The mysterious looking entrance to all your Chinese rock'n'roll dreams

Useful Chinese words