Sightseeing in Beijing
Tiananmen Square and Surroundings
Tiananmen Square (天安门广场)
The vast, stone-paved Tiananmen Square is the center of Beijing and, figuratively, the center of China. While not particularly attractive, it is iconic, and the size and open space… (Read More…)
Directions: Take the subway to Tiananmen Dong station. It brings you up on the north-east corner of Tiananmen Square.
Monument to the People’s Heroes (人民英雄纪念碑)
Just to the north of Mao’s Mausoleum stands this towering obelisk, a testament to the memory of the Chinese people who died in revolutionary struggle in the 19th and 20th centuries… (Read More…)
Directions: The Monument to the People’s Heroes stands in the middle of Tiananmen Square – just north of Mao’s Mausoleum.
Mausoleum of Chairman Mao Zedong (毛主席纪念堂)
The first leader of the People’s Republic of China, Chairman Mao Zedong died on September 9th 1976… (Read More…)
Admission: Free. Open: Mon-Sat 8:30am-11:30am; Tue & Thur 2pm-4pm.
Directions: The Mausoleum of Chairman Mao looms at the southern end of Tiananmen Square.
Qianmen (Front Gate) (前门)
Consisting of two gates that were formerly linked together, Qianmen dates from 1419 and was originally part of the Beijing City Walls… (Read More…)
Admission: ¥20 (Zhengyangmen). Open: 9:00-16:30.
Directions: Qianmen is at the southern edge of Tiananmen Square. It has its own eponymous subway station: Qianmen.
Gate of Heavenly Peace (天安门)
Adorned with the world-famous portrait of Chairman Mao, the Gate of Heavenly Peace serves as the entrance to the Imperial City… (Read More…)
Admission: ¥25. Open: 8:30-16:30.
Directions: At the north of Tiananmen Square, a short walk from Tiananmen Dong subway station.
The Forbidden City and Surroundings
The Forbidden City (紫禁城)
This massive imperial palace, the largest palace complex in the world, is the most visited tourist attraction in China… (Read More…)
Admission: ¥60. Open: 8-17 (Apr 1-Oct 31); 8:30-16:30 (Nov 1-Mar 31).
Directions: Just west of Tiananmen Dong subway station. Walk through the arch under the Gate of Heavenly Peace and keep going straight.
Jingshan Park (景山公园)
Directly behind the Forbidden City (north side) is Jingshan Park. The main reason to go in is for the views of the Forbidden City… (Read More…)
Admission: ¥2. Open: 6am-9pm.
Directions: Jingshan Park is at the north side of the Forbidden City. It’s best visited after you exit the Forbidden City (if you still have the energy).
Beihai Park (北海公园)
This beautiful park teems with history and interesting sights, not to mention that it’s simply a picturesque place to stroll through… (Read More…)
Admission: ¥10 (another ¥10 for Yong An Temple). Open: 6:30am-9pm (park); 9am-5pm (attractions).
Directions: It’s easiest to enter via the south or north gate…
Other Major Attractions in Beijing
Temple Of Heaven (天坛)
A massive park and temple complex, the Temple of Heaven served as a venue for emperors of the Ming and Qing dynasties to honor the heavens and pray for good harvests… (Read More…)
Admission: ¥35. Open: 6am-8pm (park); 8am-6pm (buildings).
Directions: Tiantandongmen subway station (Line 5) is right outside.
The Summer Palace (Yiheyuan) (颐和园)
The stunning Summer Palace is a cacophony of serene gardens, stately palaces and sumptuous sights in north-west Beijing. The 2.9 square kilometer complex is mainly covered with water… (Read More…)
Admission: ¥35. Open: 6:30-18 (summer); 8-17 (winter).
Directions: The Summer Palace has its own subway station on Line 4.
Lama Temple (Yonghegong) (雍和宮)
This beautiful Buddhist temple and monastery is a must-see sight for any visitor to Beijing. What really distinguishes the Lama Temple is its massive size and the sheer splendor… (Read More…)
Admission: ¥25. Open: 9am-4pm.
Directions: Yonghegong subway station (circle line) is right outside.
Other Beijing Attractions
Beijing Underground City (北京地下城)
NOTE: Beijing Underground City is currently closed. It is unclear when it will reopen. A massive network of tunnels and rooms built under the threat of nuclear attack.. (Read More…)
Admission: ¥20. Open: 8:30am-5pm
Directions: 15 minutes walk from Chongwenmen subway station.
Ming City Walls (明城墙遗址公园)
Built in the early 15th Century, Beijing’s city walls were once 23.5km long, 20 meters wide at the base, up to 15 meters high and surrounded by a moat. Unfortunately… (Read More…)
Admission: ¥10 (to the watchtower). Open: 8:00-17:30.
Directions: The walls start directly east of Chongwenmen subway station.
Ancient Observatory (古观象台)
Dating from 1442, the Beijing Ancient Observatory is one of the oldest in the world… (Read More…)
Admission: ¥10. Open: Wed-Sun: 9:00-11:30; 13:00-16:00.
Directions: The Ancient Observatory is on the south-west corner of the Jianguomen intersection, right by Jianguomen subway station.
Drum Tower (鼓楼)
Standing proudly to the north of the Jingshan Park, the Drum and Bell Towers are impressive, historically significant structures of Imperial Beijing… (Read More…)
Admission: ¥20. Open: 9am-4:30pm. Tel: +86 (010) 8403 6706.
Directions: About 15 minutes walk directly south along Jiugulou Dajie from Gulou subway station.
Bell Tower (钟楼)
The Bell Tower was also first built in 1272 and rebuilt in 1420. But it was once again destroyed so that the present structure dates from 1745. To prevent further destruction it was rebuilt in stone… (Read More…)
Admission: ¥15. Open: 9am-4:30pm. Tel: +86 (010) 8403 6706.
Directions: The Bell Tower is right behind (north of) the Drum Tower.
Beijing Zoo (北京动物园)
Go to the Beijing Zoo to see the pandas, and then wander around the other animal enclosures until you become so depressed you have to leave… (Read More…)
Admission: ¥20. Open: 8:00-17:00.
Directions: The Beijing Zoo has its own subway station on Line 4.
Temples, Mosques and Cathedrals in Beijing
Confucius Temple & Imperial College (孔庙)
There is a lot to see in this complex that conforms to the ancient architectural structure of combining a temple with a school… (Read More…)
Admission: ¥10. Open: 9:00-17:00.
Address: 13-15 Guozijian Jie. Subway: Yonghegong. Tel: +86 (010) 8401 1977.
Directions: On Guozijian Jie off Yonghegong Dajie.
Dongyue Temple (东岳庙)
Hidden among the concrete and glass jungle of Beijing’s CBD is this intriguing temple, once the most important place of Taoist worship in Beijing… (Read More…)
Admission: ¥10. Open: Tues-Sun 8:30-16:30.
Directions: 10-15 minutes walk directly east of Chaoyangmen subway station.
Guangji Temple (广济寺)
One of the most important Buddhist temples in Beijing, the origins of Guangji Temple date back to the Jin Dynasty (1115-1234 AD)… (Read More…)
Admission: ¥5. Open: 8:30am-5pm.
Directions: Guangji Temple is on Fuchenmennei Dajie, about 50m west of the intersection with Xisi Dajie.
Imperial Temple of Emperors (Li Dai Di Wang Miao) (历代帝王庙)
This one is a bit out of left-field: a temple where the emperors of the Ming and Qing dynasties came to worship emperors of the past… (Read More…)
Admission: ¥20 (¥10 for students). Open: 9:00-16:00.
Address: 131 Fuchengmennei Dajie. Subway: Fuchengmen. Tel: +86 (010) 6612 0186. Website: www.lddwm.com
Cow Street Mosque (Niujie Mosque) (牛街礼拜寺)
It’s an effort to reach and isn’t impressive visually, but if you have time on your hands or are interested in Chinese mosques then the Cow Street Mosque might be worth visiting… (Read More…)
Admission: ¥10. Open: 8:00-16:00. Address: 88 Niu Jie.
Directions: Closest subway is Changchunjie – a good 20 minute walk.
Fayuan Temple (法源寺)
Despite being the oldest extant temple in Beijing, Fayuan Temple doesn’t attract a lot of tourists… (Read More…)
Admission: ¥5. Open: 8:30-16:00. Address: 7 Fayuan Si Qian Jie.
Directions: From the Cow Street Mosque, continue south along Niu Jie and turn left into Nanheng Xi Jie. Go straight until you reach a square on your left.
Bei Tang (North Cathedral) (北堂)
The largest Catholic Church in Beijing, the imposing gothic North Cathedral has been standing in its current location since 1887… (Read More…)
Admission: Free. Open: 9am-5pm.
Directions: The North Cathedral is just off Xishiku Dajie, near where it meets Xi’anmen Dajie. It is directly west of Jade Islet in Beihai Park.
Nan Tang (South Cathedral) (南堂)
The origins of the South Cathedral date from the start of the 17th Century, when the emperor granted Jesuit missionary Matteo Ricci the funds to have a chapel built on the spot… (Read More…)
Admission: Free. Open: During Mass times and all day Sunday.
Directions: Right outside Xuanwumen subway station.
Beijing Art Galleries
China Art Gallery (National Art Museum of China) (中国美术馆)
This is the place to check out Chinese art in Beijing. The China Art Gallery houses… (Read More…)
Admission: ¥20. Open: Tue-Sun: 9:00-17:00.
Address: 1 Wusi Dajie. Tel: +86 (010) 6401 7076.
Directions: From Dongsi subway station, head west along Dongsi Xi Dajie.