5 star rating: Highly Recommended 3 Reviews

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Beijing Opera (Peking Opera) has been around since the late eighteenth century and was originally performed for the imperial family of the Qing Dynasty. It didn't fare well in the Cultural Revolution, when it was reviled as a corrupt luxury of the upper classes and outlawed. It was replaced by eight state-sanctioned operas that centered around class struggle.

Beijing Opera has enjoyed something of a revival, although its wailing and clanging aren't for everyone (kind of like Western opera, perhaps). Like so much of Chinese traditional culture, it's highly stylized, with dress, movement and even face paint taking on symbolic meaning. 

If you go to a performance, you have a choice between a tourist-oriented, cut-down version, or the real deal. If you're going to go there at all, try a full performance: let it wash over you and enjoy the exquisite precision of the movement. Be warned, it's loud!

Practical Info

If you want to take in a quick dose of Beijing Opera, one pitched more at tourists, try the Liyuan Theatre, inside the Qianmen Jianguo Hotel (take Line 2 of the subway to the Hepingmen stop, then walk south for about 10 minutes). 

If you want something more traditional, check out the Huguang Guild Hall, located just nearby on Hufang Lu.

Tours & Tickets

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Private Tour of Beijing: Shichahai, Nanluoguxiang and Peking Opera with Peking Duck Dinner

5 star rating: Highly Recommended 3 Reviews

On this private tour of Beijing, experience unique cultural activities and locales that present a diverse mix of Chinese culture. Discover the wonderful form ...  Read more

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

From USD $100.00

Beijing Opera Night Show

4 star rating: Recommended 1 Reviews

This is a Peking Opera show at night with round-way transfer and English-speaking tour guide to direct you to the theater.

Location: Beijing, China
Duration: 1 day (approx.)

From USD $47.00

Peking Opera Experience at Liyuan Theater

2 star rating: It was OK, but could have been better 1 Reviews

Peking Opera, or Beijing Opera, is the most celebrated of China's 300-400 different opera styles. With its fascinating and artistic music, singing and ...  Read more

Location: Beijing, China
Duration: 70 minutes (approx.)

From USD $42.00

Sightseeing Tour of Beijing with Peking Opera Show

This is a tour to see some of the most exciting cultural sights that Beijing has to offer: the Forbidden City, Tian’anmen Square, the Summer Palace, and you ...  Read more

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

From USD $150.00

Half-Day Cultural Tour in Beijing: Nanluoguxiang, Beijing Duck Dinner and Peking Opera Show

This tour focuses on showing Beijing’s ancient residential culture as you’ll explore the hutong area in the afternoon by visiting Shichahai and  ...  Read more

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

From USD $145.00

Beijing Night Show of Peking Opera

The Liyuan Theater is co-run by the Beijing Qianmen Hotel and Peking Opera Theatre where performers offer a wide repertoire of Peking Opera routines. Sometimes ...  Read more

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

From USD $65.00

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