Historically, New Year’s Eve in Beijing hasn’t been very exciting, but locals are beginning to jump on the Western holiday bandwagon. If you’re traveling in Beijing this New Year’s Eve, here are a few suggestions for where to celebrate.
Temple of Heaven—In 2011, Beijing hosted its first ever official televised New Year’s Eve countdown at the Temple of Heaven, a Taoist temple in downtown Beijing. The festivities included a modern LED light and laser show and a giant LED countdown clock right in the middle of things. Expect something similar to welcome 2013.
New Year’s Eve Dinners—Many of Beijing’s more foreigner-friendly hotels host set-menu or buffet dinners on New Year’s Eve. This year, St. Regis Beijing will continue their tradition with a midnight dinner, and the Ritz Carlton will host a lavish six-course affair a bit earlier in the evening, so diners will have plenty of time to head to an after party.
New Year’s Eve Parties—Practically every bar and club in Beijing will have some sort of special event happening in honor of the New Year, but perennial favorites include the YEN Countdown, a giant warehouse party, and the Genesis New Year’s Eve Countdown, hosted each year by Acupuncture Records.
Enjoy the Sights—Since New Year’s Eve isn’t a holiday in China, you can still enjoy all of the city’s museums and attractions both before and after your celebrations.