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The best things to do this weekend

Your weekend guide to the best of Beijing


The weather forecast may be looking fairly dreary, but there's still plenty to do in the capital. Check out our top picks for the best way to spend the next couple days in Beijing.

Things to do

Matt Davis

Critics' pick

Billed as not for the easily offended, American stand-up Matt Davis, as seen at Just For Laughs Montreal, San Francisco Sketchfest and more, comes to The Bookworm this Sunday to perform his brand of 'dirty but smart' comedy.

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The Bookworm (书虫) , 4 Sanlitun Nan Lu 22 Jul

Food and Drink

Jing-Jing Beer Garden pop-up

Critics' pick

For those of you still mourning the loss of Jing A's courtyard in 1949 The Hidden City, the beer maestros have teamed up with Jing Yaa Tang (Jing-Jing, get it?) to serve up ice-cold beers and Chinese street bites at The Opposite House's Sunken Garden. Running throughout the remainder of summer, Jing A's set up their original 12-tap tower to offer a wide selection of beers plus Zeffer cider.

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The Opposite House , 11 Sanlitun Lu 18 Jul - 12 Aug Free

Beijing's best al fresco dining spots

If you want to spend even more time outside, make the most of the weekend's sunshine (we're optimists) with a meal outdoors. Check out these recommendations and try out a new outdoor spot this weekend. 

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Nightlife

Frau

Critics' pick

Melbourne-born DJ Frau, aka Matt Hildebrandt, swaps Shanghai for Beijing this weekend thanks to the folks behind ByeByeDisco. Known for his varied sets, the vinyl DJ and selector mixes together different genres with little reliance on effects and tricks.

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Zhao Dai (招待所) , Glass Hotel, 19 Xinyuanli Xi Lu 20 Jul

Tujamo

Critics' pick

German producer Tujamo is currently ranked number 46 on DJ Mag's Top 100 DJs list and his track, 'Booty Bounce', has over 10 million streams on Spotify alone. He returns to Beijing after making his blistering debut at Elements last year.

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One Third , 6 Workers’ Stadium West Road 20 Jul

Broken English Club

Critics' pick

LIES-endorsed Oliver Ho, better known as Broken English Club, drops a live set at Dada as part of Say Yes' raucous third birthday celebrations. Expect avant-garde techno, house and 'brutal futurist' sounds. Support by rising British bass star Batu.

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Dada , 206 Gulou Dong Dajie (below Temple Bar) 21 Jul

Music

Carl Barât

Critics' pick

What became of the likely lads? Beijing gets to find out what one former Libertines frontman has been up to since the celebrated lad rock outfit fell apart back in 2004 – and then reunited.

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Tango , 79 Hepingli Xijie 20 Jul

Chui Wan

Critics' pick

Having positioned themselves at the forefront of Beijing's experimental music scene, the indie psych-rockers and Maybe Mars stalwarts return to where it all began after a jam-packed world tour. Excellent Shanghai rockers Dirty Fingers support.

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Yugong Yishan (愚公移山) , 3-2 Zhangzizhong Lu 21 Jul

Chinese Football

Critics' pick

Wuhan-based post-emo rockers Chinese Football return to the capital to share the stage with other scrappy up-and-comers, including Nova Heart, SNSOS, Last Goodbye, Island Mood and more.

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Tango , 79 Hepingli Xijie 21 Jul

Stage

Jin Xing Dance Theatre: Wild Flowers

Critics' pick

China's foremost contemporary dance company continues its visit to Beijing with a performance of Wild Flowers, their latest stunning production that displays the troupe's effortless ability to combine Western and contemporary Chinese dance.

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NCPA , 2 Xi Chang'an Jie 20-21 Jul Buy tickets

Beijing Symphony Orchestra

Critics' pick

Renowned for the depth of its western and Chinese repertoire, the Beijing Symphony Orchestra performs a programme of Leonard Bernstein classics, including West Side Story and 'Glitter and be Gay' from Candide, lead by acclaimed conductor Lihua Tan.

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NCPA , 2 Xi Chang'an Jie 21 Jul Buy tickets

Roméo et Juliette

Critics' pick

Based on Shakespeare's masterpiece, Charles-François Gounod's five-act opera Roméo et Juliette first premiered in 1867 and quickly became one of Gounod's most famous operatic works. On the bicentennial of Gounod's birth and 125th anniversary of his death, the NCPA has invited Stefano Poda to handle the direction, set design, costume design, lighting and choreography. 

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NCPA , 2 Xi Chang'an Jie 18-22 Jul Buy tickets

Art

Xu Bing: Thought and Method

Critics' pick

Globally renowned for his conceptual and installation pieces, Xu Bing creates a space where viewers can immerse themselves within his world. Xu brings his keen observation skills to bear as he displays his unique insight, encompassing both a reflection on traditional East Asian culture as well as a nuanced view of contemporary societal changes.

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Joan Cornellà

Critics' pick

Spanish illustrator, cartoonist and artist Joan Cornellà is best known for his dark and surreal comedic comic strips that make clever, if a little absurd (and sometimes even offensive) social commentaries, and has amassed a huge social media following of nearly seven million. After a string of Asia exhibitions in recent years, this is his first Beijing solo show.

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Parkview Green Art 798 (芳草地画廊798) , D09 798 Zhong Er Jie 6-28 Jul

Shang Yang, Wang Chuan, Yan Shanchun: A State of Mind

Critics' pick

Despite all being born during the '40s and '50s, artists Shang Yang, Wang Chuan and Yan Shanchun have forged notably distinct paths in response to China's '85 New Wave movement, yet share a similar interest in painter Cy Twombly's extensive oeuvre. This exhibition displays the latest work from these artists and explores their affinity for the American artist.

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Chambers Fine Art Beijing (前波画廊) , Caocangdi Every day except Monday

Hello, My Name is Paul Smith

Critics' pick

From his company’s modest beginnings in Nottingham to its international prominence today, this exhibition showcases Paul Smith’s intuitive take on design, and the British fashion designer's journey in building his brand, as well as his evolving stylistic tastes.

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Today Art Museum (北京今日美术馆) , 32 Baiziwan Lu Every day except Monday Buy tickets

Film

Dominion

Critics' pick

An exposé into the dark underbelly of modern animal agriculture, this Australian documentary explores the numerous ways animals are exploited and abused by humans, whether it's for food, entertainment, clothing or research. 

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Camera Stylo , 64 Dongsishiyitiao 22 Jul

Skyscraper

Critics' pick

All Dwayne Johnson wants to do is live in his Hong Kong mega-tower in peace – so why won't these terrorists let him do it? Sounds like an updated Die Hard, but only time will tell if Skyscraper can match what is (in our opinion) the greatest Christmas movie of all time.

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Cinemas around Beijing 20 Jul - 24 Aug Buy tickets

Hidden Man (邪不压正)

Critics' pick

This crime drama pits spies and swordsmen against each other in 1930s China. A follow-up of sorts to gangster flick Let the Bullets Fly – which Chinese film buffs will remember for breaking box office records back in 2010 – expect sharp wit, political intrigue and plenty of action.

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Cinemas around Beijing 13 Jul - 17 Aug

Dying to Survive (我不是药神)

Critics' pick

This slick Chinese noir comedy (and box office hit) loosely adapts the true story of a cancer patient who peddled imported medication in China. Think Dallas Buyer's Club, without the moustaches and Texas twangs, in the backstreets of Shanghai.

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Cinemas around Beijing 06 Jul - 04 Aug

Incredibles 2

Critics' pick

Superheroes may save the world, but parenthood requires skills far more advanced than extendable limbs. Brad Bird’s Incredibles 2 – Pixar’s most spirited sequel since Toy Story 3 – lovingly expresses this certainty through a bighearted familial portrait wrapped in '60s-inspired design.

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Cinemas around Beijing 22 Jun - 27 Jul Buy tickets

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