Lama Temple (Yonghegong)

#8 in Best Things To Do in Beijing
Lama Temple (Yonghegong)
Juan Ignacio Sánchez Lara/Getty Images

Key Info

12 Yonghegong Dajie, Dongcheng

Details

Churches/Religious Sites Type
1 to 2 hours Time to Spend
4.0scorecard
  • 4.0Value
  • 3.5Facilities
  • 4.5Atmosphere

Originally an imperial residence, this "lamasery" (a monastery for Lamaist monks) features decadent gateways and intricate artwork. You'll immediate notice the rigid symmetry of the complex, which derives from the imperial architectural style. As the seat of Tibetan Buddhism in Beijing, you'll see this temple of prayer is still used by religious followers, so be respectful.

The humble grandeur of the Lama Temple and its accompanying buildings impresses many visitors. One TripAdvisor user remarks, "Amongst the many lovely and interesting things to see is the 18m tall Buddha statue carved from a single trunk of the sandalwood tree."

You can reach Lama Temple by taking subway Lines 2 or 5 to Yonghegong Station. Admission is 25 CNY (about $4 USD), and visitors are welcome from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. every day.

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Tiananmen Square
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#1 Tiananmen Square

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.

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