798 Art District 大山子艺术区
Engage in Asian art in this Bauhaus factory space
Noteworthy for: It's best known for being the site of the widely acclaimed UCCA centre, but by no means limited to that. Take time to venture further in the grounds.
Word to the wise: If you know your stuff and like to calmly contemplate art, this isn't the place. Head to the less commercial Caochangdi district instead.
Previously a military factory area, 798 Art District is an underground avant-garde art community turned international arts complex.
This original space has been victim to constant threats of demolition over the past decade, as the art presented here often contains overtly political and satirical messages. Now that it's a protected site, the area has grown into a major tourist attraction hosting over 100 galleries with the works of Beijing's modern art elite.
Though you won't be alone here, it's still a fantastic space and a solid introduction into contemporary Asian art. Many artists live and work in their galleries and are happy for you to watch them or discuss their work.
Short on time? Research where you want to visit beforehand and consult the maps at the entrance. Set aside an hour for drifting past the art features, sculptures and shops that are scattered amidst the rugged factory buildings.