To get to the National Museum of China:
1. Pass the control post at Tiananmen Square
2. Go to the queue
3. Stand about 20-30 minutes
4. Go to the passport control
5. Go to another control post
6. HURRAY, you're here!
But of course it's not so bad as it seems. Yes, it will take some time to get in but this musum is huge and an amaing! Firstly, it's free! FREE! I just don't get it, why the biggest museums in Beijing and Seoul ( South Korea ) are free... Really, why?!
There SO MANY floors and so many rooms so you will get lost. It will be difficult to see everything so before going there you hould think what would you like to see.
Pottery, porcelain, jade, currency, paintings, calligraphy, lewelry...
Personally, I really really liked this museum!!
The National Museum is China's largest museum, with an outstanding collection of historic artifacts and exhibits. It is a must-see if you are visiting Beijing and will take you at least a few hours to tour. The museum is in a single huge building, which is located on the eastern side of Tiananmen Square in central Beijing.
The museum's collection spans the history of China. The lower floor begins with relics from China's prehistory and then exhibits items from China's various ancient dynasties, including pottery, bronzes, paintings, and jewelry. There are also sections of the museum that cover China's more recent history. Unfortunately, we ran ouf time before getting to these sections. The museum also hosts traveling exhibits from other parts of the world. For example, in the summer of 2012 it was hosting a traveling exhibit of Renaissance art from Florence, Italy.
Admission to the museum is free. However, you must show your passport in order to get your free ticket to enter the museum.
China Railway Museum (Zhengyangmen) is located south of Tian'anmen Square, east side of Qianmen Street. It is a colonial style building with four levels of exhibition halls.
It starts with the ancient history of China Railway like introducing the "Dragon Locomotive" for one golden dragon varved on each side of the body respectively, was used for Tangshan-Xugezhuang Railway constructed in 1881, having axle arrangement as 0-3-0 and operating speed up to 32km/h. It also displays a Franch-made Hundred-year Old Clock Used in Paomachang (Xibianmen) Station on Beijing-Hankou Railway. Badge of Locomotive Named after Mao Zedong was used in some of the locomotive after October 30, 1946.
On the ground floor of the Museum, it displayed the current development and routes of High Speed Rail (HSR) in China. China Railway has the ambitious to continue to built HSR to support the tourist industry and china business development. The signboard was written as:
" Nowadays, China is endeavouring toward the goal of building a moderately prosperous society in all respects. in accordance with the requirements of Scientific Outlook on Development, Chinese railway construction scientifically and orderly, ensuring the perfect safety of railway, taking efforts to safeguard the interests of railway workers. The fundamental criterion for railway development is adapting the requirements of economic and social development as well as the satisfaction of people. By the end of the Twelfth Five-Year Plan, the railway open to traffic all over the country will increase to 120,000km from 91,000km now, among which there will be 45,000km fast railway, 50,000km western area railway. The rate of complex line and electrification will be more than 50% and 60% respectively.
To realize the modernization of Chinese railway is not only dream of several generation of Chinese railway workers but also an expectation of all Chinese people. Looking into the future, we are encouraged and believe that Chinese railway has promising prospects and a more brilliant future! "
Opening Hours: 9:00-17:00 (Close on Monday)
In Chinese: 中国铁道博物馆 (Zhong Guo Tie Dao Bo Wu Guan)
The museum is located in a lovely area within the Peking University campus, near the West Gate. Opened on 1993 the buildings take the inspiration from buildings that already exist on campus and fits in well with the Chinese architecture.
The collection of Chinese art and artifacts housed in the museum contains more than 10,000 objects and spans a period of 280,000 years, from Paleolithic hominids and stone tool remains to costumes, ceramics and paintings of the present era.
I loved the displays; this is an intimate museum so different from the many large and impersonal museums.
You can get a foreign speaking guide if needed - I just wandered.
Open 9 am to 4 pm
The National Museum of China houses two museums: the Museum of Chinese History and the Museum of the Chinese Revolution. The museum has been reorganized and restaurated since 2003. It will be opened again in 2010.
Just everything, which China is famous of, can be seen here. The museum is a great place to start a trip to China with, as it gives you an impression of the long history of this country. Ancient machines are exhibited as well as old silk and paintings.
"Some of the most important collections at the National Museum of China are the "Simuwu Ding" (a form of vessel) from the Shang Dynasty, which was casted over 3,000 years ago and weighing 832.840743a kg, and it is the heaviest ancient bronze ware in the world; the Shang Dynasty square bronze "Zun" (wine vessel) decorated with four sheep heads, a large rare inscribed Western Zhou Dynasty (11th century BC - 771 BC) bronze Pan, gold-inlaid bronze tally in the shape of a tiger from the Qin Dynasty, a Han Dynasty (206 BC - 220 AD) jade burial suit sewn with gold thread, and a comprehensive collection of tri-colored glazed sancai of the Tang Dynasty and ceramics from the Song Dynasty."
Closed for renovation
Meanwhile you should try the Beijing Capital Museum. See my tip about Beijing Capital Museum.
Fa yuan Temple is a temple and an university, and so well a museum, which was built about two thousands years ago and now became part of The Buddhist Academy Of China. It still maintain the whole buildings including hundred rooms and always have exhibitions about Buddhist. During the spring, many people enjoy lilacs here.And during the Spring Festival in Jan or Feb, visitors can taste the traditonal rice porridge for free, the rice porridge with nuts and dried fruit eaten on the eighth day of the twelfth lunar month.
I think it is interesting, for this temple has an old friend nearly, the oldest mosque in Beijing. Actually, they are neighbors for thousand years.
Impressive building of the Military museum is typical Socialist realism architecture; large, massive, uniform, controlled with perfect symmetry - and with red star as the highest point dominates the square in front of the building at Fuxing road. Total area is 60 000 square meters. Inisde there are 4 floors with 10 large halls arranged into different historical periods and themes - the biggest one is Hall of Weapon.
Outisde you can see two large sculptures of Chinese people - one at each side of the massive stairway - with serious and bold faces, proud standing and passionate look in the eyes. One of the sculpture is of peasant woman with child greeting soldiers while another woman - probably her adult daughter - offers fruit to one of man - it is like different generation in their typical (or wanted) role - all happy here. Another sculpture is of three people (2 men, one woman) looking straight, all armed and ferocios, somehow - here their bodies and determination feels unbreakable.
When you enter the first place in the museum - large reception hall with shining red star upon its high ceiling, you will be greated by few meters tall Mao Zedong sculpture, all white, powerful and below the star. On the front wall there are large photographies of Zhou Enlai and Deng Xiaoping - and soon you'll start exploring the museum from the Hall of Weapon first with its 20 m high ceiling and exhibits of modern military hardware with tanks and rockets. Here it seems lays the focus of people's attention as cameras flash most frequently.
Worth observing is exhibition of old guns, daggers, swords and knives - some of them decorated with interesting details. Into some halls I looked for very short time: the Sculpture hall was just collection of work of one man, all those CP men and acts made of odd material added recently (since 1997). Hall of Ancient wars was somewhat small and Hall of Presents wasn't so interesting to me either, although they gained impressive collects from their foreign friends.
It is those places where you spend a lot of time again: the early revolutionary era, anti-colonial resistance and all those propaganda posters, tactics and map displays and models of fighting. One can also see items used by Mao - nothing exciting, though.
The museum is impressive collection of warfare - and it helps you understand the powers behind all that. The building itself is monumental, one of those relics from cold war. It was established in 1959. Walking around the halls take its time but unfortunatelly toilets are better to avoid if possible.
In museum shop you can nowsadays buy plastic imitation of military hardware and some more advanced copies of weapon and models made of metal, books, knives and practical tool - although it doesn't look like there's some extra quality here - it's not for specialists.
Museum is open between 8.30 - 16.00
No admission fee.
The Beijing Folk Custom Museum is housed in a few halls towards the rear of the Taoist Dongyue Temple in the Chaoyang District of Beijing. It is the only museum of its type in the city. It exhibits over 1,600 pieces of folk ornaments from more than ten provinces including Beijing, Shandong and Inner Mongolia from the Ming and Qing dynasties. The museum also displays photos from recent renovation projects plus a model of the temple complex.
Open: 8:30am - 4:30pm. Admission: RMB10.
The collections of the Palace Museum are based on the Qing imperial collection. According to the results of a 1925 audit, some 1.17 million items were stored in the Forbidden City. However, some of these items were shipped to Taiwan when the Japanese invaded in 1933.
The Palace Museum holds 340,000 pieces of ceramics and porcelain. These include imperial collections from the Tang Dynasty and the Song Dynasty, as well as pieces commissioned by the Palace, and, sometimes, by the Emperor personally. The Palace Museum holds close to 50,000 items of paintings. Of these, more than 400 date from before the Yuan Dynasty (1271-1368). This is the largest such collection in China. The Palace Museum's bronze collection dates from the early Shang Dynasty (founded c. 1766 BC). Of the almost 10,000 pieces held, about 1,600 are inscribed items from the pre-Qin period (to 221 BC). The Palace Museum also has one of the largest collections of mechanical timepieces of the 18th and 19th centuries in the world, with more than 1,000 pieces. The collection contains both Chinese- and foreign-made pieces. Chinese pieces came from the palace's own workshops, Guangzhou (Canton) and Suzhou (Suchow). Foreign pieces came from countries including Britain, France, Switzerland, the United States and Japan. You'll have to pay extra to see some of the palace museum collections such as the clocks which are well worth visiting.
This interesting museum is located on a street that runs off the western side of Tiananmen Square. Money can come in many different forms: bulky as bronze shovels, iron knives and gold bars, or as small as shells and silver dollars. With a collection of nearly 1,000 items of currency, this educational museum traces the evolution of Chinese currency.
Open: 9am-4pm Tue-Sun. Admission: RMB10
Not my type of place but I went with Chinese friends who loved the place.
The museum is huge, you can’t miss the building with the emblem of the Chinese People's Liberation Army, a golden star, on top and a missile in front.
If you are interested in the history of Chinese warfare this place is definitely worth a visit. If you’re not – don’t bother. There are lots of weapons, and artifacts from military history.
There is not a lot of English language info and I thought that there were only so many stately statues and black and white photos, (without English captions) that I could tolerate.
A Chinese interpreter will definitely help you to appreciate this museum (didn't help me tho!).
Apparently since the admission-free policy was introduced in March 08 there has seen a huge surge in visitors, so be prepared to spend some time queuing...
I was lost and found this museum by accident. Being a cold day I wandered inside. I didn't go into all halls (different costs for admission) about 20 - 30Yuan each.
It was a fun place and KIDS would love being able to interact with the games and experiments.
The museum is made up of three parts: Hall A, B & C. Hall A is filled with games (explained in both Chinese and English), covering things like air and space, energy and transportation, life science, environmental science and basic sciences.
Hall B: Has lots of aeronautics; astronautics; energy; communications; and environmental science.
Hall C: The Astro-vision Theater is one of the museum's major attractions (I didn't go in)
and also one of the largest Astro-vision theaters in the world.
Check for the robot performance times.
Note: You may well stay for longer then you plan so take supplies. Opening times: 9:00-4:00pm
The Big Bell Temple was first built in 1733, and called the Temple of Righteous Awakening. In 1743 a giant bell was transferred from the Temple of Longevity to this temple and from then on, it has been called the Big Bell Temple.
The temple compound contains three rows of halls, and in the courtyard in front of the first big hall is an ancient cypress which has an elm branch grafted onto its trunk - just for something different.
The bell hangs in the Bell Tower at the rear of the compound. The tower is 16.7 meters high, the bell is 6.87 meters high, 3.3 meters in diameter, 0.22 meter thick and weighs 46.5 tons. Many say it is the largest bell in China.
If you climb the spiral stairway to the top of the tower, (at an extra cost) you have nice views of the surrounding areas. You can also rub the bell for luck (at a cost).
Another small and interesting place away from huge crowds.
The souvenir and art shops in the compound were great value for money.
Traditional looking building, but with an amazing collection. I've only seen the special exhibitions, but they were so good, it took me by surprise. The quality of the (modern) art was high, figurative as well as abstract. The artists showed skill and influences from both China and the rest of the world. I met one artist here, Yong Zhou, and we talked about his beautiful works.
If you love art, try to squeeze this gallery in your schedule!
The Military Museum of the Chinese People's Revolution is a fascinating museum to visit if you are interesting in military paraphernalia and relics. Also it is a great place to get a political and historical education of China, at least as how the current rulers see it. The museum is house in a rather ugly old 1950's grey block of a building. Inside on the main floor is a warehouse full of tanks, cannons, jets and machine guns. The collection is quite impressive if rather dusty. For us Westerners, you can see weapons captured by the Chinese during the Korean War where we were considered the bad guys.
From the Ground floor you then can proceed upwards to the rest of the four floors of the building. Starting from the second floor you have more early historical exhibits depicting Chinese military conflicts during the Imperial years with many life-size dioramas. The remaining floors are dedicated to the military conflicts of the 20th century. This includes the two phases of the Chinese Civil Wars, the Second Sino-Japanese War (World War II to the rest of us) and the Korean War. Some might find the propaganda here a little offensive but remember that the Chinese see themselves as being bullied by foreigners for most of the last two centuries. Read some history of China are might learn that to a large degree they are right.
The Military Museum is open from 8:30 to 4pm daily. It costs 10 yuan for admission.