Despite what you hear in the news about Beijing’s pollution and dust storms, it can actually be quite pleasant to take a walking tour around the city. The pollution and dust storms (which only occasionally happens in the spring) have gotten a lot better in recent years. The Drum Tower historical district is especially interesting to walk around as you will get to observe many traditional neighborhoods, local people and shops:
Take a taxi and tell the driver to drop you off at the south entrance of Nan Luo Gu Xiang, which is on Di An Men Dong Da Jie (南锣鼓巷的南门，在地安门东大街). Start walking north up the 700 meters long alley – it is filled with bars, cafes, restaurants and gift/craft shops. Explore and walk north all the way until you hit a semi-major intersection – you should have arrived at Gu Lou Dong Da Jie (鼓楼东大街).
Head west along Gu Lou Dong Da Jie for about 400 meters and you will see the Drum Tower. If you wish you can take a look inside the Drum Tower for a small entrance fee!
In another post, I will continue the walking tour to Hou Hai Lake and Lotus Lane (He Hua Shi Chang; 荷花市场)..