In Beijing the labyrinthine streets known as Hutongs re-define your typical “old” part of town – some date back centuries, to the Yuan and Ming dynasties. Beijing’s traditional living quarters that date back to the 13th century, comprised of narrow grey-bricked alleyways, slanting tile roofs, and square siheyuan courtyards.In these dynasties the emperors planned the city and arranged the residential areas according to the etiquette systems. The center of the city of Beijing was the royal palace — the Forbidden City.
The word “hutong” came from the Mongolian language about 700 years ago. It originates from the word “hottog” in Mongolian meaning “water well.” Where there was a spring or well, there were residents. The word “hottog” became “hutong” after it was introduced into Beijing.
Hutong means street, lane and alley, and is in fact the passage formed by lines of siheyuan (quadrangle) where most Beijing residents live.Most of the hutongs in Beijing are in east-west or south-north directions. That has resulted from the need for houses to face south so as to take in more sunshine.
After all, the hutongs are so much more than buildings; they’re communities, and they represent a community-based lifestyle that has existed for centuries.
Beijing hutongs are rapidly disappearing, along with their distinctive communal life.Unique Beijing Tours provide insider access to hidden corners we’ve discovered through our own hutong neighborhood and point out details of construction and daily life beyond guidebooks.
Please note: Hutong Museum is not open on Monday
Our guide will come to your hotel (lobby area) or any other indicated address to begin the tour from there. If you stay outside of the city area(4th ring road), please email us we get the update price
The First Hutong Museum
Shijia Hutong Museum is the first facility in Beijing specifically established to preserve hutong history. While the capital is dotted with courtyards offered protection either as outstanding examples of hutong homes or for their famous previous occupants, only this museum has been set aside as a model hutong in its own right.
Shijia Hutong itself has been protected for its entire length, stretching about one kilometer from Dongsi Nandajie/Dongdan on its western side to Chaoyangmen Nanxiaojie in the east.
Off -the-beaten Path Hutong Tour (2 hours)
Hutong means a lane or an alley, formed by rows of siheyuan (a compound with buildings around a courtyard) where old Beijing residents lived.The hutongs are so much more than buildings; they’re communities, and they represent a community-based lifestyle that has existed for centuries. ‘It’s more about the social fabric.
With our hutong tour we will take you away from the touristy spots, to explore the real hutong.
Your tour will start from a visit to Shijia Hutong Museum.The Shijia Hutong Museum is the first museum themed on one specific Hutong.It is a community museum to document Shijia Hutong’s history and culture, and enhance the quality of local community life.The permanent exhibition covers general information about Hutong, the history and photo archives of Shijia Hutong, the celebrities that once lived here, and the everyday life of the local residents.
Walk along the hutongs in this area and visit a hutong courtyard family to see the real Beijing People’s living quarter,this hutong family is our own home,no other tourists come
Lunch in the Local restaurant near the hutong (1 hour)
Unique Beijing Tours brings you the best in authentic travel experiences.You can choose to dining in the local family, this is our own home, not the big tourists attraction, we try to make your tour with us unique.We believe food tastes so much better when it’s shared with local people who have a story to tell. Perhaps that’s why our Be My Guest experiences are so popular.
You can choose traditional Beijing Noodle, Dumplings,or Dishes with rice.
Transfer back to your hotel in city