Beijing's hutongs are a glimpse - fast disappearing - of what the city used to look like before the skyscrapers started munching the skyline. A hutong is a narrow alleyway formed by joining together courtyard residences. When you hear people speak of 'the hutongs', they will often be referring to the neighborhoods formed by these alleys.

Development has destroyed many of these traditional neighborhoods, but some have been preserved, most notably those around the Bell Tower and the Drum Tower. These hutongs, close to the Forbidden City, are the spacious and orderly kind that would have belonged to aristocrats and top-ranking officials.

Beijing's poorer hutongs are far more haphazard and cramped, but are still an important part of the city's history. Each hutong has its own name - sometimes many layers of names - and its own set of stories. 

Practical Info

Most of the oldest and most beautiful hutongs, those visited on the majority of tours, are clustered around the Forbidden City. This is because the hierarchy of the Imperial Court was concentrically arranged, with the most important officials living close to its gates and the residences of the less important officials radiating outwards from it. 

Tours & Tickets

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Private Beijing Bike Tour at Night

5 star rating: Highly Recommended 11 Reviews

See the beautiful city of Beijing light up at night on this private bike tour of the Chinese capital. Your expert guide will lead you through the winding ...  Read more

Location: Beijing, China
Duration: 3 hours (approx.)

From USD $98.00

Private Cultural Tour: Hutong Rickshaw Ride and Dumpling Making in Beijing

5 star rating: Highly Recommended 10 Reviews

Experience the authentic lifestyle of a Beijing local on this private tour. Interact closely with locals and ride a rickshaw through Old Beijing’s 'hutong' ...  Read more

Location: Beijing, China
Duration: 5 hours (approx.)

From USD $105.00

Beijing Old Hutongs Tour by Rickshaw

3.5 star rating: Worth doing 30 Reviews

Take a historical tour of Beijing’s narrow streets, known as hutongs, on a traditional rickshaw (a type of tricycle designed to carry passengers in addition ...  Read more

Location: Beijing, China
Duration: 3 hours (approx.)

From USD $54.99

Small-Group Beijing Night Walking Tour

5 star rating: Highly Recommended 29 Reviews

Watch as Beijing’s winding ‘hutongs’ (alleys), glimmering waterways and recreational parks come alive at night on this 3-hour walking tour. Follow your ...  Read more

Location: Beijing, China
Duration: 3 hours (approx.)

From USD $70.00

3-Hour Beijing Hutong Bike Tour

The hutongs means the ancient alleys or lanes typical in Beijing. As the city develops, its traditional hutongs are disappearing quickly. Hutongs wind ...  Read more

Location: Beijing, China
Duration: 3 hours (approx.)

From USD $56.00

Beijing Private Hutong Food Walking Tour

An authentic culinary tour through Lishi hutong, one of the lesser tourist visited hutongs. Visit Lishi Hutong area where you will be immersed into the real ...  Read more

Location: Beijing, China
Duration: 4 hours (approx.)

From USD $77.50

Full Day Cultural Tour in Beijing: Chinese Calligraphy, Paper Cutting and Hutong Experience

Learn traditional Taichi lesson in the morning, take a rickshaw riding through the old hutong alleys, walk in the locals home for a visit and learning the ...  Read more

Location: Beijing, China
Duration: 4 hours (approx.)

From USD $118.00

Beijing Day Trip of the Forbidden City, Hutong, Beihai Park and the Lama Temple

Although Beijing has modernized along with the rest of the country there are still a lot of historical charms remaining. This is a full day tour with ...  Read more

Location: Beijing, China
Duration: 8 hours (approx.)

From USD $153.00

Beijinger for a Day: Hutongs, Chinese Cooking Class and Tea Ceremony Tour

To experience authentic Beijing life, there is no better way than spending the day in Beijing’s Hutongs, the narrow residential lanes. You’ll visit the hutongs ...  Read more

Location: Beijing, China
Duration: 8 hours (approx.)

From USD $149.00

Beijing Hutong Heritage Insider Walking Tour

Explore the Beijing ancient streets including the old Hutong area, gain deeper insight of history and local life, get full picture over the Forbidden City, ...  Read more

Location: Beijing, China
Duration: 8 hours (approx.)

From USD $72.99

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