A picture post for a lazy, relaxing weekend. 

798 Art District or, simply '798', is located in the Chaoyang District of Beijing, a short 20 minute drive from the airport. It houses a thriving artistic community- most famously, 50-year old now-defunct military factory buildings of particular architectural style. Majority of the galleries are free to enter-making it an excellent place to browse for contemporary art and support local talent. 

How to go: Public transport to this area is scarce- taxis are your best bet. It would cost you roughly 160RMB from Beijing city center to 798. The drive is shorter from the airport as the area borers alleys number 2 and 4 on Jiǔxiānqiáo Lù (酒仙桥路), south of the Dàshānziqiáo flyover (大山子桥), which is linked to the airport flyover. For driving directions, refer to the map here

I first read about this place from a lonely planet guidebook- it was included in the top 10 must gos in Beijing, and because of this recommendation I made the trip down one late morning.

This is easily one of my favourite places to visit in Beijing- because of the large variety of artworks/installations on display, and because everytime I visit, the exhibitions are different. If you have a soft spot for art or anything avant garde but haven't been, save an afternoon for this, you won't regret it. 

moss overgrown building lending to a rustic feeling :)

'salute to our chairman'

The place is massive, and if could take two days or more if one desired to cover all the galleries and installations. If you only have one afternoon though, I'd recommend you visit the lovely Ullens Center for Contemporary Art 尤伦斯当代艺术中心. Some exhibits at the center have an entrance fee but are worth the price tag for the kind of artwork they showcase, and for the talent they are supporting. 

Ullens center for contemporary art
image credit to rightful owner

cable-tie magic