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Price & Hours

Free

Details

Free, Neighborhood/Area, Sightseeing Type
1 to 2 hours Time to Spend

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  • 5.0Value
  • 0.0Food Scene
  • 4.0Atmosphere

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. 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, the Mausoleum of Mao Zedong, the National Museum of China and the Forbidden City sit on the edges.

Recent visitors warned the area is usually crowded, with lots of guards, which some found disconcerting. Nonetheless, most visitors said it's a must-see landmark. 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.

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More Best Things To Do in Beijing

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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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