Lama Temple (Yonghegong)

#9 in Best Things To Do in Beijing
Lama Temple (Yonghegong) picture1 of 3
Lama Temple (Yonghegong)2 of 3
Juan Ignacio Sánchez Lara/Getty Images

Key Info

An Ding Men, Dongcheng Qu

Details

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

You'll immediately 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. Throughout its halls, you'll see Buddha temples, statues, murals and carvings.

The humble grandeur of the Lama Temple and its accompanying buildings impresses many visitors, who find the temple a pleasant surprise in the bustling city. Meanwhile, others delighted in the peaceful, incense-filled air.

You can reach Lama Temple by taking subway lines 2 or 5 to Yonghegong Lama Temple station. Admission is 25 yuan (about $3.60), and visitors are welcome from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. (4 p.m. in winter) every day. Visit the Temple's website for more information.

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Time to Spend
#1 The Great Wall of China

Just north of Beijing, you'll find one of the most famous monuments in the world: the Great Wall of China. Although it's unlikely you'll see the whole thing, you should aim to experience a portion of it. That begs the question: Which section?

Only an hour's drive northwest of Beijing, the Badaling section is convenient, hosts a large souvenir market, and has a gondola to whisk visitors up and down the wall. Sounds perfect, right? Well, and that's why thousands of tourists decide to venture here. This can create mob-like scenes that can spoil the trip, but it's unpredictable. Plenty of visitors rave about this section of the wall and say a visit is a must. Entrance to the Badaling section of wall (not including the gondola ride) costs 40 yuan (about $6) in the winter and spring and 45 yuan (about $6.60 ) in the summer and fall. You can start hiking the Badaling portion at 6:40 a.m., and you must be down by 6:30 p.m. every day.

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