Xicheng District is the birthplace of the old capital. Layers and layers of historic ruins have endowed Xicheng District with rich cultural relics and historical sites, prosperous commercial and cultural activities, as well as a string of unique cultural traditions that draw strength from the Xuannan area, the imperial courts, regions, folklore, and social clubs. With many magnificent structures and its glorious scenery remaining from the imperial days, Xicheng District is also known as the best-preserved area with most authentic, diverse Beijing styles and flavours. Today, a large number of museums, cultural centres and theatres in the district have created a strong modern atmosphere. Of the 25 historical and cultural conservation areas in Beijing, Xicheng District has 18. There are 24 items under national intangible cultural heritage protection, including the Changdian Temple Fair, Watercolour Block Printing and Beijing Figurine Standing on Bristles.
By tapping into the traditional culture while taking advantage of its existing resources and industrial edge, Xicheng District has fostered a high-end cultural industry and established a national-level performing arts centre, a publishing industrial park, a national artefacts trading centre. It also encourages film and television production and services and has promoted the activities of software and information-service and cultural-tourism organizations.
By the end of 2017, Xicheng District has 26 public libraries with 2.837 million holdings. The amount of the collection of books has reached 2.261 million. There are 181 cultural relics under protection in Xicheng District, including 42 under state protection, 61 under city protection and 78 under district protection. During the whole year, 7669 cultural events have been held in Xicheng District, benefiting 1.9 million people.