• See the sun plunge behind the Forbidden City from an oasis of flowers and trees
  • Sip expertly mixed rice liquor cocktails and watch the sunset from a rooftop bar

On weekends, beautifully landscaped Jingshan Park, directly behind the north gate of the Forbidden City, is a mecca for Chinese opera singers and ballroom dancers. Come dusk, climb less than 10 minutes (we promise!) to the top of Coal Hill, constructed from earth dug up to make the royal moat. No other vantage point beats this one for witnessing the sun plunge behind the Forbidden City’s red-lacquer, wing-tipped sprawl. Less motivated? The two-story rooftop Yin Bar confers a solidly second-best imperial sunset with hundreds of swooping tiled roofs in all directions. Mixologists here favor baijiu, China’s famously potent rice liquor otherwise known as Chinese firewater, so we blame the bartender on nights that end in the bar’s Jacuzzi.

​Located to the north of the Forbidden City, Jingsham Park lies on the edge of Xicheng District, the largest suburb of the old city. A good way to approach the park is via Jingshan Front Street which takes you past lush landscapes on the way up Coal Hill.


​​YIN BAR: Emperor Hotel, 33 Qihelou St.;86-(0)10-6526-5566