Things to do in Beijing for 50RMB or less: nightlife

Ladies nights, performances, dance lessons, live music and more


It’s a week more until payday and that horrible practice of coughing up three months of rent at a time is fast approaching. You're desperate for a night out, but you know you shouldn't. We’ve got your back. Here’s a huge heap of nightlife events and deals – all for 50RMB or less.

Laugh yourself into stitches



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Money can’t buy happiness – we won’t argue with that. But 50RMB can buy a lot of laughs. Beijing Improv puts on a handful of rip-roaringly hilarious shows every month and all for a cool green note. Their longstanding, last-Saturday-of-the-month gig at Penghao Theatre sells out quickly, so definitely book this bad boy. And if you want your laughs to be educational? Keep an eye out for the troupe’s bilingual arm BIG, who also typically perform every month. You can’t choose wrong. Keep an eye out on the website for the performance schedule.

Get in the limelight



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The bar that has produced Beijing’s current hippest band of foreigners (Tavey Lean and the Gold Dream Machine, who else?) is also home to a popular weekly open mic night. Every Thursday at 4Corners, host Ryan Brown kicks things off at 9.30pm. The crowd varies week to week, meaning you might get something just short of your 15 minutes of fame – or hours beyond it. One thing’s certain, though. The atmosphere is superlatively supportive and there’s a beer on the house for every performer.

Storytelling more your speed? Wednesdays – same place, same time, same story…(Seriously, 4Corners really does host a ‘Story Telling Wednesday’.)

Work on your super smooth moves



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Dancing until dawn on Friday and Saturday not enough for you? Migas offers two evenings of weeknight dancing: salsa on Mondays and kizomba (a very sensual Angolan partnered dance) on Tuesdays. There’s an educational twist to differentiate it from the usual drunken flailing that your girlfriend loves (we swear). Hour-long lessons for each style of dance start at 8.30pm, and after that the party really gets sweaty. All for absolutely zero kuai. Well, except for those drinks to bolster your courage.

Be a lady


Xiu bar


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No, really, just be female. And have friends. Ladies’ Night at The Park Hyatt’s Xiu bar offers a complimentary bottle of bubbly for groups of four or more girls after 6pm every Thursday. You might have to deal with the suit-and-tie crowd looking to get lucky, but hey it’s FREE CHAMPERS. Maybe that’s your scene, anyways – we’re into it.

Wile out at a free punk show


School Live Bar


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School Live Bar hosts a whole smattering of shows, but excels at highlighting local talent – especially from the punk rock scene. Gigs can be upwards of 50RMB, but most come shy of 50 kuai or are straight-up free.

Drop knowledge


Quiz nights


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Quiz nights are a dime a dozen in this city. They’re all free and they’ve all got drink prizes for winners – most often a bottle of booze – and sometimes the losers. If you haven’t developed an unhealthy affinity for a particular quizmaster already, The Local might just become your new stop. Besides the normal prizes for winners and losers, every participating team gets a pitcher of Tiger draft – even if you’re just middling – and happy hour privileges until the quiz ends. Tuesdays, 8pm, be there.

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