If you want to experience the charm of ancient Beijing and the real daily life of Beijingers, then Hutongs are your best choice.


Brief Introduction

Hutong, the unique street design to Beijing, was created to reflect the imperial ruling of the emperors from within the Forbidden City. One of the explanations of Hutong has it that "Hu" is the name Han people called the other small Chinese tribes and "Tong" means "same" or "together", so Hutong means a harmony of living together between different ethnic tribes in China.

Hutongs are small lanes or alleys formed by lines of siheyuans (a traditional type of courtyard residences) with elegance and primitive simplicity, where old Beijing residents live. As time goes by, the distinctive Hutong cultural has been gradually formed. So we can say that Hutongs are witnesses of the vicissitude of the city and the development of Beijing culture. 


Moreover, the daily life of common people in Hutongs brings endless charm to the capital Beijing. And you will experience the unique Oriental culture and various interesting activities in your Beijing tour.


What to Do & See

There’re numerous Hutongs in Beijing. The appearances of them seem all the same, but the insides of them are distinctive. Their naming rules are very interesting and creative. For example, name after the shape of the Hutongs, name after the landmarks in Hutongs, name after the most commonly planted trees in Hutongs, name after the directions of the Hutongs, name after Beijing dialects, name after lucky words, name after official organizations in Hutongs, name after the local markets names in Hutongs, name after the temples in the Hutongs, name after personal names who once lived in Hutongs, etc.

And when it comes to Beijing’s most fascinating cultural and historic relics, you should never miss the top 10 Beijing hutongs. Walking through the narrow alleys of quadrangle dwellings, one cannot fail to appreciate the city’s pristine, intoxicating atmosphere, and discover the old Beijingers’ lifestyle.


The 10 Most Famous Hutongs in Beijing

When to Visit

It is suitable for visiting at any time.

Recommended visiting hours: 1-3 hours


Travel Tips

1.Recommended 3 good ways to wander around the numerous crisscross hutongs: on foot, bicycle or take a rickshaw ride, and get to know more about the real Beijinger’s daily life.

2.Have a family visit in Hutongs: buy food ingredients with the host at local market, and then take a traditional Chinese cooking lesson at Hutong host family.

3.Other cultural activities can be arranged during your Hutong tour, such as learning Chinese calligraphy, making kites, playing mahjong, paper-cuttings, etc., which will let you experience a colorful Chinese cultural tour in Hutongs.

More Attractions in Beijing

  • Nanluoguxiang
  • Houhai Bar Street
  • 798 Art Zone
  • The Great Wall
  • Forbidden City