National Museum of China (NAMOC)
A history buff’s dream, the museum’s collection is vast, comprising a million items that range from replicas of a Peking man’s bones to scientific instruments from the eighteenth and ninth centuries. It also features many hundreds of decorative artifacts, such as porcelain items, bronzes, pottery, lacquerware, textiles, and various artworks. Few city sightseeing tours include the museum, but those with a special interest in Chinese history can book a private tour of the collection, along with the Military Museum.
Things to know before you go
- The National Museum is a must-visit for history buffs.
- While entrance into the museum is free, daily admittance is limited, so you may want to consider reserving a ticket online in advance.
- Security is extremely tight; don’t forget to bring a valid photo ID.
How to get there
The museum is on the east side of Tiananmen Square, easily reached on foot from most places in central Beijing. To get there by public transportation, take Subway Line 1 to Tiananmen East or Line 2 to Qianmen.
When to get there
The museum is open Tuesday to Sunday from 9am to 5pm, but the ticket office closes at 3:30pm. Since a limited number of visitors are permitted each day, it’s a good idea to book ahead of time or show up a few minutes before the museum opens.
Highlights of the Collection
While visiting the museum, pay particular attention to some of its most cherished treasures, including the 1.7 million-year-old teeth of the Yuanmou Man, the biggest piece of bronze ware in China, and a shroud embellished with jade and gold thread dating back to the Han Dynasty.
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- Monument to the People’s Heroes
- Tiananmen (Gate of Heavenly Peace)
- Chairman Mao Memorial Hall (Maozhuxi Jinian Tang)
- Wangfujing Street (Wangfujing Dajie)
- Marco Polo Bridge (Lugou Qiao)
- Great Hall of the People
- Tiananmen Square (Tiananmen Guangchang)
- Meridian Gate (Wumen)
- Qianmen Street
- National Center for the Performing Arts (NCPA)
- Treasure Gallery
- Imperial Garden of the Palace Museum
- Inner Court (Nei Ting)
- Nine Dragon Screen at the Palace Museum
- St. Joseph's Church