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Top Best 15 Tourist Attractions in Beijing

Beijing Entertainment

There are some attractions in Beijing you should visit when you travel there.

Top 1: Tiananmen Square and Its Surroundings

Tiananmen Square

If you only stay at Beijing for a very short time and you may never travel there again, you should visit the Tiananmen Square. It is the largest center square of cities in the world and the symbol of Beijing even of China. Every Chinese must have seen its majestic appearance in pictures, but they will still be excited when actually get there.

A ticket fee of RMB15 for one adult and 5 for students to climb the Tiananmen gate tower. Your packages including water must be deposited. You can go sightseeing and take photographs to enjoy the history and human culture.

You can take buses No.1,2,4,5,9,10,17,20,22,44,52,53,54,59,110, etc. and straight line of Beijing Subway to Tiananmen West and Tiananmen East.

Tips on flag raising ceremony

The evening news and Beijing TV Station will announce when to hold the ceremony before the day. You can decide when to get up by your location. After the ceremony you can have breakfast nearby and take some rest, then walk around and take photos for memory.

There are a couple of buildings nearby you can visit. The first is Great Hall of the People, located at the west of the square, containing a grand hall available for 10,000 people and a banquet hall for 5,000 people. You can visit the hall from 9a.m to 2p.m every day, paying RMB30 for per adult ticket and 15 for per student with your packages deposited. Call the service line at 63096156. Secondly, the National Museum of China, located at the east of the square, is the integration of the original Museum of Chinese History and Museum of Chinese Revolution. The precious cultural relics deserve a good visit. Admission fee is determined by different exhibitions. Visiting time: 8:30a.m to 4:30p.m. Thirdly, the Chairman Mao Memorial Hall is opened at 8:30a.m to 11:30a.m from Tuesday to Sunday, 2p.m to 4p.m from Tuesday to Thursday and before 12 o’clock every day except for Monday in July and August. Admission is free but security check is required with packages deposited. Call service line at 65132277. The last one is the Grand National Theatre with a dome or egg-shaped roof. It is accessible during 9a.m and 5p.m from Tuesday to Sunday and during national holidays. You can either buy a ticket at RMB25 at official website or at RMB30 on the spot, and a family ticket at RMB40 or RMB65.

Top 2: The Palace Museum (Forbidden City)

The Palace Museum

Through the front door Tiananmen of the old imperial city, walk straight ahead northwards on the way paved with black bricks until a grand cluster of buildings takes you to a world of philosophy. Indeed, you are entering Forbidden City in the old days. 

Recommended routes: the central route starts at the Meridian Gate, goes through the Gate of Supreme Harmony leading to three grand halls, the Gate of Heavenly Purity, the Palace of Heavenly Purity, the Hall of Union, the Palace of Earthly Tranquility and the Imperial Garden and ends at the Gate of Godly Prowess. The east route begins at the Meridian Gate, passes through the Gate of Supreme Harmony leading to three grand halls, the Gate of Heavenly Purity, East of the Six Palaces and the Palace of Tranquil Longevity and ends at the Jen Concubine Well. The west route diverts from the first two at the Gate of Supreme Harmony, to the Hall of Mental Cultivation and ends at the West of Six Halls. If you only got half a day, the central route is your best choice. At least 5 hours will be spent to finish all the three lines. First the central route then the west and finally the east route is recommended. You can refer to the routes in detail on the guiding machine. On the east route erects a Treasure Hall with the Nine Dragon Wall and the Jen Concubine Well lying inside, which charges additional RMB10.

You can enjoy the ancient architectures, history and cultural humanity, also photographing.

Admission fee charges RMB60/40 during the peak season from April 1st to October 31th/off season from November 1st to March 31th, women can get half the price at Women’s Day (March 8), children and soldiers in service for free admission at the Children’s Day (June 1st) and at August 1st respectively. The Palace opened at 8:30 a.m to 4:30 p.m during October 15 to March 31 and at 8:30 a.m to 5p.m during April 1st to October 14th. Tickets sold before 3:30 p.m in the former period and half an hour later in the latter period. Take buses No. 1, 4, 5, 10, 20, 52, 101 or 103 or subway line 1 to Tiananmen East and Tiananmen West, then get the spot on foot from Tiananmen Square. If you only got half a day to go sightseeing, the central route is a good choice. You don’t want miss the San Xi Room in the West Warmth Chamber of the Hall of Mental Cultivation if you are fond of calligraphy. Call service line at 65132255.


Admission fee to the Treasure Hall and Hall of Clocks and Watches is RMB10 respectively. A current hearing is going on. If passed, the new admission to the Palace Museum will rise to RMB80/100 during slack/peak season.

The Palace Museum, mighty and glorious, will definitely appeal you, as it is said to be endowed with the spirit of the great universe, but you have every reason to appreciate the architecture art. Building materials and techniques are stressed in the Palace, which is characterized by structure of wood and brick, yellow glazed tile roof and bluish white stone pedestal with the walls ornamented with resplendent and magnificent color painting.

There is a moat of 52 meters wide and 6 meters deep at the periphery of the palace, inside which is a nearly 10m tall and 8.62m wide city wall 3 kilometers in girth. On the city wall open four doors, the Meridian Gate at south, the Gate of Godly Prowess at north, Donghua Gate at west and the West Flowery Gate at west. At the four corners of the city wall tower over four turrets. The moat and the city wall are the most fascinating spots under the imperial palace, at which you can enjoy people’s entertainment and photograph. I suggest you going through Donghua Gate to a totally different world from the imperial city. The sunset here in summer days is extremely beautiful. Walk straight to the east after the moat you can arrive the famed Donghuamen night market and Wangfujing.

Top 3:  Temple of Heaven

Temple of Heaven

Temple of Heaven, the largest ancient complex of worship buildings in the world, was built based on the concept of that the Earth was represented by a square and Heaven by a circle, so several features of the temple complex symbolize the connection of Heaven and Earth, of circle and square. The Hall of Prayer for Good Harvest can be the most graceful and famous classic building in China, which was once the tallest one (38m) in Beijing. The gross area of the temple is more than four times of that of the Forbidden City. Under the dense shade of the old grand trees emerge exquisite and extraordinary buildings. Every spring wild flowers everywhere blossom among the grove while the golden fall brings the leaves down all over the ground. You will feel the running time in the early morning or at dust. For visitors from other places, it’s more meaningful to take a day or half a day on tasting the refined Temple of Heaven in serenity rather bustling about the modern man-made attractions.

The Temple of Heaven is an ancient building where you can travel on foot, enjoying human history and culture, as well as photographing. Every day from 6 to 21o’clock, you can pay RMB10 to buy a ticket during slack seasons (from November 1th to March 31th) while RMB15 during peak seasons (the rest time of the year), and besides the entrance ticket, scenic spots in the park cost additional RMB20. You can take Bus No.6, 15, 17, 20, 35, 36, 39, 106, 120, 122 or 803.

Other Ancient Worship Buildings

The first one is Temple of Agriculture, or Altar of Agriculture, located near the Temple of Heaven. It was used by Ming and Qing emperors to perform sacrifices to ensure that nature provided a bountiful harvest, and is the one and only sacrifice relic existing in China. There stands the Tai Sui Hall which is as large as the Hall of Supreme Harmony in the Forbidden City as well as a field for the emperor to plough personally in ancient times. Pay RMB15 for admission. The temple is opened from 9-16 o’clock. Bus No.14, 20, 54 and 106 get there. Second, the Temple of Earth is located in the northern part of central Beijing, around the Andingmen area. It is also famous for the temple fair during the Spring Festival. Besides, the Temple of the Sun, small but exquisite, is located near the Jianguomen, and the Temple of the Moon lies on the North Yuetan Street in the Xicheng District, Beijing.

Top 4:  Beihai Park

Beihai Park

Beihai Park was an imperial garden and now a public park located to the northwest of the Forbidden City in Beijing. The park features the elegance of gardens in the Yangtze Delta and the splendor of the imperial gardens. You can go skating on Beihai in winter while rowing in other seasons. It is a beautiful spot worth sitting down and relishing the moment. The prominent Nine Dragon Wall lies in the park.

Beihai Park is an ancient building where you can travel on foot, enjoying human history and culture, as well as photographing. Take bus No.5, 101, 103, 109 to the front door of or No. 13, 42, 107, 111118, 701, 810 to the back door of the scenic spot. From 6:30 to 20 o’clock, you can visit there, paying RMB5 for a ticket (RMB15 for a through ticket) during slack season and RMB10 for a ticket (RMB20 for a through ticket) during peak season.

Top 5:  Prince Gong Mansion

Prince Gong Mansion

Prince Gong Mansion is a museum and tourist attraction located in Xicheng District, Beijing, just north of the Shichahai Lake. It consists of large siheyuan-style mansions and gardens, which is the largest quadrangle courtyard, or siheyuan, in the world as well as the best-preserved imperial mansion over the 60 or so mansions built during the Qing Dynasty in Beijing. According to research, gardens of the mansion constructed by Prince Gong was much desirable for its luxurious decoration after being inhabited by Heshen, a prominent court official in the reign of the Qianlong Emperor. Nowadays, the mansion has been increasingly reputed and a popular spot in Beijing since the filming of Chinese TV series such as Princess Pearl and Yongzheng Dynasty. The mansion lies in the West Qianhai Street.

You can buy a ticket at RMB20 to have a visit during 8:30am to 5pm every day, taking bus No. 13, 42, 111, 107, 701, 118, 810, 823, or 850 to the north entrance of Beihai station.

Top 6: Hutong and Siheyuan

Hutong and Siheyua

Beijing’s siheyuan, shaped a courtyard surrounded by buildings on all four sides, serves as the cultural symbol of Beijing. A siheyuan as a whole develops on its own, enabling the host enjoying nature and family happiness. Nowadays, with the demolition of old urban buildings, the siheyuan are disappearing in large numbers while some few have been protected to remind people of Old Beijing. Shichahai, composed of Qianhai, Houhai and Xihai, all long has been deemed to the cultural vein of Beijing and the most exquisite spot rich in culture climate. Hutong and siheyuan in neighborhood were most livable dwellings in Beijing, which were planned to be residence of people in and beyond middle class. Today, the area is center of the siheyuan and Hutong preserved.

Prince Gong Mansion is one of the siheyuan-styled buildings. Besides, the Yandai Street, a spot bustling with noise and excitement in the Houhai area, seethes with siheyuan, cafes and fashion shops. Nanluoguxiang is a well-preserved ancient part of the town in Beijing. It is approximately 1,000m long from north to south, with eight symmetrical hutong lying in the east-west direction, shaped a centipede, so Nanluoguxiang is also known as the Centipede Street. Hutong here is grey, clean and tidy, along which the dwellings are all built with grey bricks and tiles, which forms its own taste. With the Central Drama Academy in Peking located at the Dongmianhua Hutong, a drama theater at the Beibingma Hutong and National Theater of China at the Maoer Hutong, Nanluoguxiang and surroundings have been the most drama-featured place in Beijing. There are ten more new pubs now in the Hutong, and a new pub street is emerging. The No.13 yard of the Black Sesame Hutong is prominent among the architectures in Nanluoguxiang, which is a classic siheyuan composed of five courtyards. No.108 here lies Guoke, meaning passers-by, where is a wonderful place to drink tea, chat or contemplate.

What’s more, The Old Drum-Tower Street is adjacent to the noisy Houhai and quiet bell tower, with siheyuan centering on a drum tower in the periphery. With the most antique Hutong in Beijing, It was an ancient street back to Yuan Dynasty, which has gone through the street widening project. Now there are a couple of pubs and restaurants with their own characteristics. At No.183 of the street stands a manual workshop of traditional culture featuring light Chinese sentiment, which is in concert with the ancient street. At No.17 in Zhangwang Hutong of the Drum-Tower street lies a Bed shop, displaying various beds in the rooms with its design idea centering upon bed.

The Eight Hutongs, a surname of the red-light district in Old Beijing, is located in the west of the Guanyinsi Street. Generally, the eight hutongs recognized include Baishun Hutong, Rouge Hutong, Han Family Hutong, Shaanxi Lane, Stone Hutong, Wangguangfu Street, Zhu Family Hutong and Lishamao Hutong. There are two reasons to visit the eight hutongs: to investigate the streets and architectures of Beijing in the old times and to see what the old brothels look like. The eight hutongs embody the living environment of grassroots Old Beijingers and have remained their shapes.

Top 7: Beijing Zoo

Beijing Zoo

Beijing Zoo, a real garden-style zoo, boasts more than 50,000 wild animals of 640 species from China and other regions all over the world, which can be regard as the largest zoo in China. The zoo charges RMB15 and RMB10 for entry during peak and slack season respectively. You can take bus No.7, 27, 103, 105, 111 to the zoo, or by subway to Xizhimen Station then walk 15min westwards. Opening hours: 7:30am to 6pm in summer days and 7:30am to 5pm in winter days.

Firstly, the aquarium in the zoo is the largest one inland all over the world, possessing more than 1,000 kinds of ornamental fishes in standing inhabitation. Besides, spectacular performances of dolphins and whales are held there, which charge RMB100 for entry. Students can get half of that. Secondly, the zoo is large enough like others attractions in Beijing, so you have to prepare for long-time walk. Thirdly, a mass clothing wholesale trading area is in the neighborhood of the zoo, with various cheap clothes, shoes and bags in novelty. Remember to bargain.

Top 8: Yonghe Temple

Yonghe Temple

The Yonghe Temple, also known as the Yonghe Lamasery, or popularly as the Lama Temple, is a temple and monastery of the Gelug school of Tibetan Buddhism located in the Dongcheng District, Beijing. The building and artwork of the temple is a combination of Han Chinese and Tibetan styles. Today there are still many monks cultivating themselves there.

The temple is an ancient religious building full of human culture and history. It charges RMB25 for entry, opening from 9am to 5pm during peak season and 9am to 4pm to off season. Lines 2 and 5 of the Beijing Subway both stop at Yonghegong Lama Temple Station, as do a number of city buses such as No.2, 13, 44, 62.

Top 9: Summer Palace

Summer Palace

The Summer Palace, known as Yiheyuan in Chinese, is a vast ensemble of lakes, gardens and palaces in Beijing. It serves as a popular tourist destination and recreational park. The palace was ravaged for two times in the history, once by French and British troops in 1860, after which the palace was rebuilt and renamed as Summer Palace, once by the Eight-Power Allied Forces in 1900. It has maintained the scale as today since reconstruction in 1902.

The Summer Palace with gorgeous landscape and antique architecture is a feast of eyes of human culture and history. Opening hours: 6:30am-6pm. Ticket fee: RMB20 during November 1 and March 31, RMB30 during April 1 and October 31. The palace is located 15kilometers from downtown. City buses No.301, 303, 330, 331, 332, 346, 362, 374, 375, 904, 905 stop there.

Top 10: Old Summer Palace

Hutong and Siheyua

The Old Summer Palace was known for its extensive collection of garden and building architectures and other works of art (a popular name in China was the "Garden of Gardens"). Its land building area is as large as the Imperial Palace while water area equals a Summer Palace. If you are fond of prosperous landscape, the Old Summer Palace is not a good choice for you, for it’s a relic garden merely with slack and desolated sights. In 1860, the French and British troops reached the palace and relentlessly robbed treasures, at last burned down this great palace, leaving only ruins on the site.

Opening hours: 7am-7pm during summer days, 7am-5:30pm during winter days.

Entry fee: RMB10, additional RMB15 for the Dashuifa Site. Students get half of the fee.

Transportation: buses No.331, 365, 375, 801, 810 stops there. If you leave from the Summer Palace, you can take No.333, 375, 801, a distance of three stations.

Top 11: Peking University and Tsinghua University

Peking University and Tsinghua University

Peking University and Tsinghua University, next to each other, are in the neighborhood of the Old Summer Palace. The two campuses with picturesque landscapes have their own characteristics. Peking University features abundant cultural relics, quaint and elegant, while Tsinghua University features noted architectures of the early time of last century, secluded and beautiful. The two spots are both characterized by rich cultural atmosphere.


First, there are some pubs nearby Peking University, whose customers are mainly students. Second, the Fengrusong Bookstore and Haiding Bookstore near the Peking University are wonderful places to buy books. Third, you don’t want to miss the food plaza of Tsinghua University, dubbed the No.1 Canteen of Asia, where the foods are cheap and delicious. It is suggested to rent a bicycle, which charges RMB10 for an hour, taking an hour to stroll over the Peking University. Remember to carry your ID card with you because it is requested check in.

Top 12: Fragrant Hills

Fragrant Hills

The Fragrant Hills not only are endowed with amazing red leaves but also attractions and fitness places favored by the citizens. Before sunrise there are countless people climbing the hills and doing exercises, which have been a special view on the Fragrant Hills. It’s a famous forest park in Beijing, boasting unique and peaceful hills, temples, courtyard and springs. The best time to enjoy the red leaves is from mid-October to early November.

The attraction accessible from 6am to 6:30pm charges RMB10 for entry during peak season, RMB5 during slack season. It is 20 kilometers away from the urban areas. Buses No.331, 360, 318 and 634 stop there.

Top 13: 798 Dashanzi Art Zone

798 Dashanzi Art Zone

798 Art Zone, often called the 798 Art District or Factory 798, is a 50-year-old decommissioned military factory buildings with unique architectural style. Located in Dashanzi, Chaoyang District of Beijing, that houses a thriving artistic community. It’s a fantastic trip to wander the spot where you will enjoy a feast of eyes. The open factory not just houses cumbersome machines, although red slogans in revolutionary days still hang on the wall; the broadcasting calling on revolution and production has gone forever, leaving the memory of lives in the past. Today, the spot has been the base of pioneers and experiences, and the workshops have been evolved into offices of arts, art gallery, pubs, restaurants, clubs, sculpture plant, magazine newsroom, fine home furnishing and fashion house, creating indigenous culture.

It’s located at the Jiuxianqiao Road. Take bus No.401, 402, 405 to Dashanzi Station.

Top 14: Bird’s Nest and Water Cube

Bird’s Nest and Water Cube

Taking line 8 to the Olympic Center Station or the Olympic Sports Center Station, you can pay RMB50 to visit the Bird’s Nest and RMB30 to the Water Cube for a visit, RMB50 for a two-hours swimming or RMB200 to the water park, especially for those intending to go to a summer resort.

Top 15: The Great Wall

The Great Wall

The Great wall in Beijing mainly refers to Badaling Great wall or Mutianyu Great Wall. The entry ticket which also as a postcard charges RMB45. You can take bus No.919 at the Deshengmen Station towards Yanqing, or spend RMB6 to take line S2 of the bullet train at the North Railway Station of Beijing, which takes about one hour and a half. The shifts prior to 9am are recommended. At the Great Wall, you can take a cable car with a round trip costing RMB60, yet if you are energetic, just climb the Great Wall from the entrance towards Haohanpo.