With over 170 museums, the number of museums in Beijing ranks the first place among all the cities in China. Beyond the great number, the genre of museums in Beijing ranges from the ancient imperial treasures to the intangible Opera art. The following are top 10 best museums listed for you to explore!
Among all the 10 museums, the Palace Museum, and National Museum of China, and Beijing Capital Museum are the best of the best, for their large scale, numerous exhibits, fancy collections, various categories, and convenient locations. Especially the Palace Museum (Forbidden City), if you come to visit Beijing, it is definitely a super museum that you should not miss out!
The Palace museum used to be the imperial palace of the royal families of the Ming and Qing Dynasties in China. It was built in 1420. Located in the center of Beijing's central axis, it covers an area of 720,000 square meters and has a building area of about 150,000 square meter, with more than 70 palaces and over 9,000 houses. It is one of the largest and most complete ancient wooden structures in the world. It was listed as a world cultural heritage in 1987. Beijing Palace Museum contains a large number of precious cultural relics. According to statistics, there are 105,2653 pieces in total, totally 1 million pieces of cultural relics, including many priceless national treasures.>>Learn More about Palace Museum (Forbidden City)
• Chinese: 故宫（紫禁城）• Pinyin: gù gōng (zǐ jìn chéng）
• Opening Hours: Apr – Oct: 8:30 - 17:00 / Nov – Mar: 8:30 - 16:30 /Closed Monday
• Ticket: Apr to Oct: ￥60 / Nov to Mar: ￥40
• Address: #4 Jingshanqian Street, Dongcheng District, Beijing 北京市东城区景山前街4号
The total building area of the National Museum of China is nearly 200,000 square meters, with more than 1 million collections and 48 exhibition halls. It is the third largest museum in the world, presenting one of the richest collections of Chinese cultural relics. Its overall scale ranks first in the world's museums and is one of the most popular museums for tourists in the world. Besides the most treasured Ancient China exhibits including jades, sculptures, porcelains, coins, bronzes, here you can also find the state gifts from other countries and African collections.>>Learn More about National Museum of China
• Chinese: 中国国家博物馆 • Pinyin: zhōng guó guó jiā bó wù guǎn
• Opening Hours: 9:00 - 17:00; Closed on Monday
• Ticket: Free
• Address: #16 East Chang'an Avenue, Dongcheng District, Beijing 北京市东城区东长安街16号
The original site of Beijing Capital Museum is a "Confucius Temple". The museum, which integrates collection, exhibition, research, archaeology, public education and cultural exchange, is a large museum in Beijing. The total building area of the Capital Museum is 63,390 square meters. The number of permanent exhibits is 5,622. The permanent exhibitions include cultural relics from an ancient Buddhist pagodas in Beijing, Ancient Porcelain Exhibition, Ancient Buddha Sculpture Exhibition, Ancient Jade Exhibition, Ancient Bronze Exhibition.
• Chinese: 首都博物馆 • Pinyin: shǒu dōu bó wù guǎn
• Opening Hours: 09:00 - 17:00; Closed on Monday
• Ticket: Free
• Address: #16 Fuxing Menwai Street, Xicheng District, Beijing北京市西城区复兴门外大街16号
Besides the top 3 comprehensive public museums, there are other incredible themed museums for you to visit, including Beijing Opera Museum, Beijing Museum of Ancient Architecture, The Great Wall of China Museum, National Art Museum of China, Paleozoological Museum of China, and Beijing Folklore Museum, etc. If you are a museum lovers, they are all nice and interesting spots for you to explore deeper about Chinese culture.
It collects more than 100,000 works of various kinds, mainly from the period before and after the founding of P.R. China. It also has masterpieces of artists from the late Ming Dynasty, the Qing Dynasty and the early Republic of China. The collections are mainly modern fine art, representative work of famous contemporary Chinese artists and award-winning work of major art exhibitions, as well as folk art work. Among them, there are numerous works on Beijing folk customs, which fully reflect the old Beijing culture. Besides Chinese art works, there are also lots of African and western fine art works, including 4 Paintings from Picasso.
• Chinese: 中国美术馆 • Pinyin: zhōng guó měi shù guǎn
• Opening Hours: 9:00 - 17:00 ; Closed on Monday
• Ticket: Free
• Address: #1, Wusi Street, Dongcheng District, Beijing北京市东城区五四大街1号
The Antiquarium of the Palace Museum started to open the public in 1958. It is one of the most important perennial exhibition halls of the Palace Museum. It mainly consists of exhibitions of cultural relics of the Qing Dynasty, such as calligraphy and painting, ceramics, bronze and curios, as well as other imperial treasures. The Palace Museum is located in the east of Beijing Palace Museum. It is a treasure house with all kinds of precious gems, gold wares and silver utensils, Pearl, jadeite, silk, crowns, Ivory carvings, all kinds of treasures are unparalleled in the world; the most prominent one is a tower, weighing up to 5,000 kilograms of large jade carvings. The New Museum covers an area of about 220 square meters and exhibits more than 440 cultural relics.
• Chinese: 故宫珍宝馆 • Pinyin: gù gōng zhēn bǎo guǎn
• Opening Hours: 8:30 - 16:10 (May - October);8:30-15:40 (November - April); Closed on Monday
• Ticket: CNY 10
• Address: Ningshou Palace, Palace Museum,#4 Jingshan Qianjie, Dongcheng District, Beijing 北京市东城区景山前街4号故宫博物院宁寿宫内
This is the 100th museum built and opened in Beijing. Founded in 1807, it was once a tea house. At the same time, it has a fine cultural tradition of Peking Opera. Now the Beijing Opera Museum has become a cultural exchange site where you can watch Beijing Opera performance. Every evening in the elegant and quiet ancient theatre, there are excellent performances of Peking Opera. On weekends, there are performances by famous Beijing and Kunming opera masters. Every Sunday morning, there are classic Peking Opera performances. The main part of the exhibition is "A Brief Exhibition of the History of Beijing Opera". With detailed and precious opera documents, cultural relics, pictures and audio-visual materials, it shows the audience the development and history of Beijing Opera.
• Chinese: 北京戏曲博物馆• Pinyin: běi jīng xì qǔ bó wù guǎn
• Opening Hours: 10:00 - 20:30; Closed on Monday
• Ticket: Free (you may need purchase tickets for the performance)
• Address: #3-1 Hufang Road, Beijing北京市虎坊路3-1号
Beijing Museum of Ancient Architecture has scaled down "Temple of Heaven", as well as other ancient Chinese palace and folk architecture, with many interesting miniature landscapes. Beijing Ancient Architecture Museum is located in Beijing Xiannongtan. It is tranquil and far away bustling downtown area. The ancient cypress is towering in the sky and the trees are leafy and shady in the garden area. It is the first thematic museum in China that collects, studies and displays ancient Chinese architectural miniatures, art, its development and history.
• Chinese: 北京古代建筑博物馆 • Pinyin: běi jīng gǔ dài jiàn zhù bó wù guǎn
• Opening Hours: 9:00 - 16:00; Closed on Monday
• Ticket: CNY 15
• Address: #21 Dongjing Road, Xicheng District, Beijing 北京市西城区东经路21号
The Great Wall of China Museum is located in Badaling Great Wall Scenic Area. It is a special museum with the Great Wall as its theme. The building area of this museum is more than 4000 square meters. It shows the function and development of the Great Wall; the military defense system of the Great Wall in the ancient time; the major battles that happened around the Great Wall in history; the exhibition focuses on the cultural relics and presents unearthed relics along the Great Wall. By using models, projectors, touchable screens and other multimedia, you can have a better understanding of the Great Wall of China beyond just stones and bricks.
• Chinese: 中国长城博物馆 • Pinyin: zhōng guó zhǎng chéng bó wù guǎn
• Opening Hours: 9:00 - 17:00 (May - October); 9:00 - 16:30 (November - April); Closed on Monday
• Ticket: CNY 45
• Address: Badaling Great Wall, Badaling Town, Yanqing District, Beijing 北京市延庆区八达岭镇八达岭长城内
The museum exhibits specimens and models of prehistoric fossils and Paleolithic implements frommore than 500 million years ago to 10,000 years ago, showing the natural remains of prehistoric animals and ancient humans and their evolution. It is the largest museum of ancient animals in Asia. Among the precious exhibits on display at the Paleozoological Museum of China are ancient Fish from African, the largest dinosaur fossils in Asia, the first dinosaur found in China, the skeleton of the ancient Elephant,,and the mysterious replication of the skull of Peking Ape Man, etc.
• Chinese: 中国古动物馆• Pinyin: zhōng guó gǔ dòng wù guǎn
• Opening Hours: 9:00 - 16:30; Closed on Monday
• Ticket: CNY 20
• Address: #142 Xizhimenwai Street, Xicheng District, Beijing北京市西城区西直门外大街142号
The Beijing Folklore Museum is located in Dongyue Temple on the bustling Chaowai Street. It used to be a Taoist temple. Now it is the only Folklore Museum in Beijing. It covers an area of 60,000 square meters with 376 ancient buildings. It holds folk exhibitions with interesting folk activities almost all the year round, especially during the traditional festivals, like the Spring Festival, Dragon Boat Festival, Mid-Autumn Festival, Chongyang and other Chinese festivals.
• Chinese: 北京民俗博物馆 • Pinyin: běi jīng mín sú bó wù guǎn
• Opening Hours: 8:30 - 16:30; Closed on Monday
• Ticket: CNY 10
• Address: #141 Chaowai Street, Chaoyang District, Beijing 北京市朝阳区朝外大街141号