In the heart of Beijing lies the largest city centre square in the world, the famous Tiananmen Square. With a total area of 440,000 square metres, Tiananmen Square can hold up to one million people. Considered one of the top tourist attractions in Beijing, the square is home to a plethora of rich Chinese history, from the Memorial Hall of Chairman Mao to the National Museum of China. When visiting Tiananmen Square, you’ll experience China’s heritage with treasured artefacts to explore, beautiful architecture to admire and unique Chinese traditions to witness.
Here are our top five attractions in Tiananmen Square.
National Museum of China
You’ll have the opportunity to see China’s most treasured collections of both history and art at the National Museum of China. Located on the east side of Tiananmen Square, this national museum is one of the largest modern museums in the world. With forty eight exhibition halls reflecting the long history of China, you’ll see over three thousand cultural relics and materials. Recently renovated, this huge museum also has an auditorium and a seven hundred seat theatre.
Great Hall of the People
Built in 1959, the Great Hall of the People is an impressive building at the west end of Tiananmen Square. Divided into three sections, the Central Hall, the Great Auditorium and a Banqueting Hall, this site is often used for political and diplomatic activities. Richly decorated, you’ll spot twelve marble posts in front of the hall with beautiful bronze doors that will open to expose marble paved floors and crystal lamps hanging from the ceiling.
Monument to People’s Heroes
Right in the middle of Tiananmen Square, you’ll find the stunning Monument to People’s Heroes. Ten stories high, this giant statue commemorates China’s revolutionary heroes and is widely acknowledged as one of the largest monuments constructed in China’s history. A famous quote from Chairman Mao is engraved on the monument and two rows of white marble railings surround the statue.
Flag Raising Ceremony
For a unique experience in Beijing, witness the flag raising ceremony in Tiananmen Square. Every morning before sunrise, the honour guards will raise the Chinese flags, salute and return to the Tiananmen Gate. Despite the early time, this ceremony manages to attract thousands of people every day. To witness this Chinese tradition, make sure you arrive early to stake out a good viewing spot.
At the northern end of the square is the famous Tiananmen Gate, which marks the entrance to the Forbidden City. This impressive palace was the home of former Chinese emperors but is now a museum displaying the history of the Chinese empire. You’ll be in awe of the grandeur of the Forbidden City, from the detailed art on the ceilings to the beautiful Imperial Gardens.