- Type: Sightseeing, Neighborhood/Area
- Time to Spend: 1 to 2 hours
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Up there with Times Square, Red Square, and St. Peter's Square, Tiananmen Square is among the world's most famous public spaces. Almost anyone can recognize the Gate of Heavenly Peace—emblazoned with a portrait of Chairman Mao—as a symbol of Beijing. One TripAdvisor user comments, "It feels like you already know this place when you arrive. However, as you look around, the vast size of the place starts to impress upon you." The square is the geographic, political, and tourist center of the city, which makes it unavoidable. Although Tiananmen Square looks like a field of concrete (which it is), you'll want to see it for the surrounding attractions. The Great Hall of the People, Chairman Mao's Mausoleum, the National Museum of China, and the Forbidden City sit on the edges. Plus, taking a picture here is almost required to prove you've been to Beijing.
You can reach Tiananmen Square from any of the Tiananmen Square metro stations on Line 1. Note: The nearby attractions maintain different operating hours and admission fees, but you don't have to pay to walk around the square any time of day or night.