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What is 798 Art Zone

798 Art Zone (798艺术区) is a complex of 50-year-old decommissioned military factory buildings boasting a unique architectural style that houses a thriving artistic community in Dashanzi, Chaoyang District of Beijing.

When I went, I fell in love with it and promised to bring my wife and we managed to go there when we had a stopover from Huhhot.

The complex began as an extension of the “Socialist Unification Plan” of military-industrial cooperation between the Soviet Union and the newly formed People’s Republic of China. The project was left to the East Germans, due to USSR’s unwillingness to take it on, who chose a functional Bauhaus-influenced design.

Now, the space is occupied by contemporary artists and galleries creating an amazing vibrant artistic feel.

I believe this “art movement” of changing old factory spaces into art district started from here and spread throughout China like Zhongshan 4 Lu in Chongqing, Shapowei Artzone in Xiamen and M50 in Shanghai.

5 Reasons to visit 798 Art District

1. 798 Artzone is ever-changing!

I have been there 3 times and each time I go, it feels different!

There are, of course, schedule for selected art exhibitions. When I visited the galleries, I ddid not check what exhibitions were ongoing because there are so many to choose from.

2. 798 Artzone is super instagram-worthy.

You don’t need to be art lover to appreciate the art. Most of them are contemporary art and probably something you can relate to.

3. Most of the art installations and galleries are free.

Yes, you do need to pay for some the galleries but the free ones are enough to occupy your time!

4. 798 Art District is BIG

I suggest you set aside at least half a day to explore the maze of art installation and look at the galleries. There are also cafes dotted around the whole art zone for your tired feet.

5. Buy unique souvenir in Beijing

In China, sometimes, you get overly commercialised souvenirs which is like the same everywhere. Not here. Most of the items are one-of-a-kind but of course, you expect premium prices as well.

How to get to 798 Art Zone

I would recommend that you take a taxi / didi if you are a foreigner.

By Subway:
Take Subway Line 14 and alight at Wangjing Nan Station. Get out from Exit B1. Then take bus 403 and get off at Dashanzi Lukou Dong Station or take a 20-minute northeast walk to the destination.

By Bus:
1. Take bus 401, 402, 405, 418, 445, 973, 988, 991 or Fast Transit Line 117 to Wangyefen Station or Dashanzi Lukou Nan Station.
2. Take bus 403, 593, 851 or 854 to Dashanzi Lukou Dong Station.

Admission Fee798 Art district is open for free, but some galleries and exhibition halls sell admission tickets.
Opening HoursThe art district is open all day long. Most shops and galleries inside are open from 10:00 to 18:00 and some may close on Monday.