Temple of Heaven Park (Tiatan Park)

#13 in Best Things To Do in Beijing
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Key Info

1 Tiantan E Rd. Dongcheng Qu


Parks and Gardens, Churches/Religious Sites, Monuments and Memorials Type
1 to 2 hours Time to Spend


  • 4.0Value
  • 3.5Facilities
  • 3.5Atmosphere

To reach the Temple of Heaven, you don't have to have an untimely passing. Just get off the subway at Tiantan Dongmen. As you'd expect, this green space is a peaceful asylum, immune to the urban bustle. In the Confucian spirit, the park offers respite among ancient cypress trees alongside remarkable structures. You shouldn't miss the Zhaoheng Gate, the Animal Killing Pavilion (no longer functioning as such) and the Hall of Prayer for Good Harvests.

Travelers are regularly floored by the beauty (and people-watching) in the park and say it's a highlight of any visit. Others were relieved to find the site wasn't as crowded as the Forbidden City. As with many of the other top sights in Beijing, travelers recommend you hire a guide to get the most out of your visit. Though there is an audio guide available for rent, some visitors were disappointed with its breadth.  

This UNESCO World Heritage site is located southeast of Tiananmen Square and accessible via subway line 5. Entrance to the park costs 15 yuan (about $2) in high season and 10 yuan (about $1.50) in low season. Some individual buildings in the park charge additional admission fees. For the full experience, purchase a "through ticket" (35 yuan or $5 in the high season), which permits you to explore all the buildings on the premises. The park opens at 6 a.m. (6:30 a.m. in winter) and closes at 10 p.m. every day, but the buildings maintain more limited hours.

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#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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