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Beijing Tourist Attractions

The Palace Museum
Known also as the Forbidden City, where 25 emperors of the Ming and Qing dynasties resided, the Palace Museum is the largest royal palace in the world. It has more than 9,000 halls and rooms, and houses a large number of valuable historical and cultural relics.  Construction began in 1406 and took many years to complete.  Today, it is classified as one of the world’s great cultural heritage sites.

How to get there: Take a bus (numbers 1, 20 and 52) and disembark at the Tian’anmen Bus Stop. Once you go through the Tian’anmen Gate Tower and the Duanmen Gate, you will reach the Meridian Gate (the front gate) of the Palace Museum. You can also take a trolley bus (numbers 101, 103 and 109) and disembark at the Palace Museum Bus Stop, from where you can walk to the rear gate: The Gate of Military Powers.


Tian’anmen Square
At the center of Beijing lies Tian’anmen Square, the world’s largest city central square, measuring 440,000 sq m. Tian’anmen (Gate of Heavenly Peace) was once the front gateway of the imperial palace, during the reign of the Ming and Qing dynasties. In those times, imperial edicts were made public at Tian’anmen Square. The inauguration ceremony of the People’s Republic of China too was held here on October 1, 1949. In the center of the square stand the Memorial Hall of Mao Zedong and the Monument to the People's Heroes.

How to get there: Take any of the following buses: Numbers 1, 2, 5, 9, 10, 17, 20, 22, 52, 59, 66, 110, 120, 802, 803 and 808; they go directly to Tian’anmen Square

Yonghegong Lama Temple
The Yonghegong Lama Temple, the largest lama temple in Beijing, was constructed in 1694 (the 33rd year of the Kangxi reign of the Qing Dynasty) in Dongcheng District. It stands on the eastern side of Yonghegong Street. The largest wing of the lamasery, the Wanfu Tower, houses a majestic piece of sculpture, the statue of the Buddhist saint Maitreya, 26 metres tall.

How to get there: Take any of the following buses: Numbers 13, 62, 116, 406, 606 and 807, or the Subway Line 2. Open: 09:00­16:00 on all days except Mondays. Website:

Temple of Heaven
The Temple of Heaven dates back to 1420, the 18th year of the Yongle reign of the Ming Dynasty. The temple became the spiritual retreat of emperors of the Ming and Qing dynasties. Their visits to the temple were driven by a single purpose: to pray for good harvests

The temple, an architectural wonder, is now part of the World Heritage List and is open to visitors as a scenic park.

How to get there: Take any of the following buses: Numbers 7, 34, 36, 39, 102, 120, 705 and 723. Website:

The Great Wall at Badaling
75 km from the city, in south Yanqing County, stands the Great Wall at Badaling. Now a World Heritage site, the Great Wall was constructed in 1505, in the 18th year of the Hongzhi reign of the Ming Dynasty, but was renovated later. Dangerously steep, the Great Wall was a military pass during the Ming rule, and an important protective screen for the city of Beijing.

How to get there: Take bus number 919 from Deshengmen to the Great Wall or train number A237/8 trains from the Beijing North Railway Station, which leaves at 08:07 and returns at 15:13.
Open from 07:00­19:00 in summer and 07:00­18:00 in winter.

The Ming Tombs
50 km from Beijing, in the southern foothills of the Tianshou Mountain in Changping District, ensconced in a basin of 40 sq km circumference, are the famous Ming Tombs. 13 emperors, 23 empresses and several imperial concubines, crown princes and princesses lie buried here.
The tombs are part of the World Heritage List.

How to get there: Take any of the following buses: You 1, You 5 and You 9. Or take bus number 345 from
Deshengmen to Dongguan Bus Stop in Changping, and then transfer to bus number 314.
Open: 08:30­17:00

The Summer Palace
A spectacular example of Qing architecture, the Summer Palace is a vast imperial garden, artistic at every turn. The palace houses tens of thousands of cultural relics and is part of the World Heritage List.

How to get there: Take bus number 332 from the Beijing Zoo, or bus number 375 from Xizhimen, directly to the Summer Palace.
Open: 06:30­18:00 from April 1­October 31 and 07:00­17:00 from November 1­ March 31.
Website: http://www.summerpalace­

Beihai Park
Beihai Park was a classical imperial garden in the Liao (907­1125), Kin (1115­1234), Yuan (1206­1368), Ming (1368­1644) and Qing (1644­1911) dynasties. The complex has the famous Jade Islet at the center, and temples neatly arranged temples in the south against a backdrop of mountains.

How to get there: Take any of the following buses: Numbers 5, 101, 103, 107, 109, 111, 118, 812 and 814. They take you directly to Beihai Bus Stop. You could also take bus number 13 and get off at the rear gate of Beihai Park. Open: 06:00­21:00

The Ruins of Yuanmingyuan
Known as “10,000 gardens in one park”, Yuanmingyuan (translation: ‘The Park of Perfection and Brightness’) is a large imperial garden constructed in the Kangxi and Qianlong reign of the Qing Dynasty. The park was later destroyed by the Anglo­French armies and the eight allied forces, but the park is under state protection and open to visitors

How to get there: Take any of the following buses: Numbers 331, 333, 716, 717 and 814.
Open: 07:00­19:00 from March 1­November 31 and 08:00­17:30 from December 1­ February 28)

Hutong Tour
Hutong is an ancient narrow lane that runs between the quadrangles of Beijing in the vicinity of the Forbidden City. The network of several thousand hutongs grew in the Yuan, Ming and Qing dynasties and has enthralled visitors for centuries.
The Hutong Tour takes you around the Shichahai Lake. You go back in time to old water scenes, residences of former princes, temples, the Bell Tower, the Drum Tower, among other sites. You get a glimpse of the original appearance of the city and its local life.

How to get there: Take the trolley bus numbers 107 and 118 or a bus, number 810, straight to Shichahai.

Lu Xun Museum
Influential 20th century writer, editor, translator, essayist, critic and poet, Lu Xun (1881-1936) left behind a vast intellectual imprint. His photos, books, magazines and works of art are on permanent display at the museum created at his residence.
How to get there: Take the bus numbers 13, 44, 101, 102, 103 and 121 or the subway to Fuchengmen.
Open: 09:00­15:30 (except Mondays)

China Millennium Monument
On the west of the Military Museum of the Chinese People’s Revolution stands the China Millennium Monument facing the Beijing West Railway Station. Created to celebrate the arrival of the 21st century, the symbolic structure measuring 45,000 sq m, combines both ancient and modern architectural styles. It is a center of education and cultural exchanges.

How to get there: Take a subway or bus (numbers 1, 4, 21, 57 or 33) to the Military Museum of the Chinese People’s Revolutionary then walk 50 m to the west.

Olympic Green
The Olympic Green, the main venue of the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, comprises the Olympic Forests Park and the Central Zone. The park with its sports arenas, including the National Stadium, the National Aquatics Center and the National Indoor Stadium and affiliated facilities, such as the Olympic Village and the News Center, was the main Olympic hub.

The National Stadium, with a capacity to seat 91,000 spectators, was the venue of the opening and closing ceremonies of the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, track and field competitions, men's football matches and other contests. Its unique architecture resembles a bird’s nest with interwoven twigs.
The National Aquatics Center, with a seating capacity for 17,000 spectators, resembles H2O molecules. Called the ‘Water Cube’, the façade simulates flowing water
The park is now a public venue for sports competitions, exhibitions, meetings, cultural events and entertainment.

How to get there: Take a bus (numbers 386, 407, 656, 737, 740, 753, 804, 827, 939, 944, 983 and Yuntong 113) to Beichengqiao West or (numbers 510 and 839) directly to the National Stadium.

National Center for the Performing Arts
Not far from the Great Hall of the People stands the largest dome building in the world, the imposing National Center for the Performing Arts. The complex, measuring 165,000 sq m, has an opera house, a concert hall, a vast theater, an art exhibition center, an audio-video shopping center and other affiliated facilities. The main building, surrounded by a manmade lake, takes on the appearance of a pearl in water. Greens lawns and a public square skirt the building. The main entrance in the north is a long corridor under water, measuring 80 m; so is the southern entrance and other passages leading to the complex. Visitors walk under water before they enter the complex.

How to get there: Take a bus (numbers 1, 4, 52 and 802).

Beijing Zoo
When you travel north of Xizhimenwai Street, you reach China’s largest zoo spread over 80,000 sq m, where 900 species of animals and 7,000 rare birds, both domestic and imported, await your arrival.
The Beijing Ocean Hall in the zoo is the largest of its kind in the world.

How to get there: Take a bus (numbers 15, 19, 45, 105, 107, 111, 332, 334, 347 and 360)
Open: 07:30­18:00 (April 1­October 31) and 07:30­17:00 (November 1­ March 31)
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