Beijing Hutongs

One thing you can’t overlook on your trip to Beijing are the Beijing hutongs or small alleyways that are formed by lines of old traditional courtyard residences called siheyuan and are scattered all over the city. Sadly, many of these hutong areas are being torn down for development but thankfully there are still a few left. We headed for the Bell Tower area of hutongs and weren’t disappointed. Once you break away from the crowds and enter into these old neighborhoods, it’s easy to get swept up in the sites and smells of the past. Pack your walking shoes because you’re going to want to spend hours weaving through all the Beijing hutongs.

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bejing hutong

  • Meg

    I love all of your photos – everything looks so exotic and magic. It makes me want to jump on a plane :)

    • Chelsea @ Lost in Travels

      awe thanks so much! you rock for saying that. i give full credit to my husband though and his photog skills

  • Country Girl’s Daybook

    Looks like some cool places to explore. :)

    ~ Country Girl’s Daybook, recently posted: Catholic beauty & our student chapel:

    • Chelsea @ Lost in Travels

      definitely, you can’t miss it if you head to beijing

  • Susannah

    I grew up in Taiwan so this totally makes me feel like I’m back “home” :-)

    • Chelsea @ Lost in Travels

      that’s so awesome. taiwan is a place that we never got to make it to but i’ve heard such great things about!

  • Kate Hall

    So cool! I can’t wait to see this :)

    • Chelsea @ Lost in Travels

      i hope you guys get to, it beautiful!

  • Johlet

    WOW very pretty! Haha look at the guy sleeping in that little cart!

    • Chelsea @ Lost in Travels

      haha he was a little more than tired : )

  • sarahdweaver

    Hey Chelsea, you say to pack your walking shoes. How do you manage to balance looking cute yet wearing practical footwear? It’s something I always struggle with then backpacking.


    Sarah at

    • Chelsea @ Lost in Travels

      on this trip i had a great pair of fleece lined boots that i literally wore until they fell apart in nepal. they felt like slippers yet they still looked put together. in warmer weather i usually pack chucks or toms which are compatible and lightweight with still looking put together. or reef sandals, because there’s nothing that comfortable anywhere : )

  • thediynurse

    I love it!

    • Chelsea @ Lost in Travels


  • Amy | Club Narwhal

    This looks like such a fun way to explore Beijing–though I have zero sense of direction and would be sure to get lost :) I love finding the unique places that tell the story of a given place and hutongs seem like a great place to start with Beijing!

    • Chelsea @ Lost in Travels

      that’s when i just depend on my husband that seems to have quite possibly the best sense of direction. otherwise i’d be wandering around lost for a long time!

  • Caroline L.

    Hutongs are one thing that are still on my Beijing bucket list – I’ve never had the time to go check them out, but I really, really want to! And I love those little yogurts!

    • Chelsea @ Lost in Travels

      oh man, you SO have to go! and i’ll admit, i was a little weary of trying the yogurt!

  • Clouds Creator

    Really great pictures … Très intéressant !

    • Chelsea @ Lost in Travels

      thanks so much!

  • Robert Wareham

    Wow, this took me back! I think I was standing in that red doorway a little over a year ago. And I agree, the Beijing hutongs are amazing, aren’t they. Such a shame they’re all being ripped down, although I do see why it’s necessary in some cases – a few I went to on the other side of the city had no plumbing system at all. Definitely not cool.

    • Chelsea @ Lost in Travels

      that’s so awesome! it’s such a fun place to wander around for an afternoon. there are so many places in the world that while i understand that they can’t last forever, part of me wishes that they would!

  • Danielle

    Wow, I love your pictures…making me want to get up and go right now! I only recently discovered your blog after starting blogging myself. Looking forward to reading more.

    • Chelsea @ Lost in Travels

      GO go go!!! i’m so glad that you found our little corner of the internet : ) hope you’ll stick around for more of our adventures!

    • Chelsea @ Lost in Travels

      oh and ps, your blog is so incredibly cute : )

  • EmilyHornburg

    These are such beautiful photos! You know, before I started to read your blog I was never very interested in going to Asia. But now I’m thinking I need to add some of these places to my list of places to travel to!

    • Chelsea @ Lost in Travels

      I’m so glad that I helped to change your mind! My job is now complete : )

  • Anna

    These alleyways look like such interesting places to wander around and explore!

    • Chelsea @ Lost in Travels

      I could have spent all day there! I feel like it’s a never ending maze with cute shops and coffee shops around each corner.