9am Take Bus 401,402,973,991 to Dashanzi Lukounan (大山子路口南). Start your day at Dashanzi Art District where art galleries, studios and eateries abound. You may find 3 hours not enough for taking in all you want here, as there is much to see and do.
12am From your morning explorations, you will have come across many choices for where to have your lunch. Restaurants, cafes, bistros and coffee bars can be found in abundance here. Spend a leisurely hour enjoying the atmosphere and rest up for your afternoon.
1pm Exit Dashanzi and head west to Jiuxianqiao Lu (酒仙桥路) and take Bus 402 at the stop called Dashanzi Lukounan (大山子路口南) on the east side of the road, get off at Caochangdi (草场地). Here you’ll find the East End Arts, located just five km north of the Dashanzi Art District. This is a relatively new artist community, with many of its resident artists formerly based in Dashanzi. Rising popularity, and therefore costs, caused many of the founding artists from Dashanzi to relocate, many of them to East End Arts. Its stated purpose is to provide more art studios and galleries, in a less commercial environment. Enjoy two hours making your way through the variety of workspaces.
3pm Take Subway Line 1 to Dawang Lu (大望路), leave through Exit B, then take Bus “930支1” at Bawangfen Dong (八王坟东) to Songzhuang (宋庄). Then you can take a private motorcycle taxi there (just a few RMB) to one of the sites in this village. Your first impression of this village may not be good—shabby unpaved roads, garbage everywhere and simple houses. But upon closer look, you’ll find some interesting artists who call themselves “villagers.” The original farmers, influenced by the artists who came to the area, call themselves “artists,” perhaps a strange mix, but it works. Offer to take their picture and they will happily “strike a pose.” Songzhuang Village is a “melting pot” of art and people. Take some time and walk around, enjoying the canal and natural scenery here, amidst the tranquility you may just come to understand why these artists wanted to quit their modern life and live here.
5pm End of the day.
(By courtesy of Streetwise Guide Beijing)