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Shenyang Attractions: Top Things to Do in Shenyang, China

As an old city with a history of more than 2,600 years and the birthplace of the last dynasty in China, Shenyang (沈阳) has many historic sites worth visiting. Travelers may uncover the hidden history of the Qing Dynasty (1636 A.D. ~ 1912 A.D.) through the bricks and tiles of the Mukden Palace and the exquisitely carved granite of the Zhaoling Mausoleum; Appreciate the world-famous national treasure - “Ladies with Head-pinned Flowers” at Liaoning Provincial Museum; Visit Marshal Zhang Mansion and listen to the glorious deeds of Zhang Zuolin and his son (Zhang Xueliang); feel the charm of authentic northeast local opera - Errenzhuan at Liu Laogen Grand Stage...... All through the journey, you will find that the stories and people in Shenyang are far more interesting than expected.

Check the TOP 6 attractions & things to do in Shenyang and plan your own Shenyang, Liaoning tour in 2023/2024!

Things to Do in Shenyang, Shenyang Attractions

Shenyang Attractions Map

No.1: Mukden Palace - Trace the Glorious Past of the Early Stage of the Qing Dynasty

Things to Do in Shenyang, Shenyang Attractions

Mukden Palace
© pixabay / calvision

Things to Do in Shenyang, Shenyang Attractions

Mukden Palace Inner
© pixabay / BM10777

Type: Historical Site, Museum

Address: Shenhe District, Shenyang, Liaoning Province (辽宁省沈阳市沈河区)

Ticket: CNY 50/person

Opening Time: April 10th - October 10th 08:30~17:30, October 11th - next April 9th 09:00~16:30; Closed on Mondays

When it comes to must-visit places in Shenyang, Mukden Palace (沈阳故宫) can be ranked on the top of the list. It is one of the two most complete ancient palace complexes in China. Built in the 17 and 18 centuries, the Imperial Palace of the Qing Dynasty in Shenyang represents the founding stage of the Qing Dynasty before it expanded its power to central China and moved the capital to Beijing. This palace then became an auxiliary to the Imperial Palace in Beijing. It has high architectural and historical importance in providing testimony to the history of the Qing Dynasty and to the cultural traditions of the Manchu and other tribes in the north of China.

Mukden Palace is located in the historic centre of Shenyang, now one of the large industrial centres in northern China. The palace consists of 114 buildings, can be divided into three sections: the eastern, the central and the western sections. There is not only architecture of the former dynasty full of Manchu characteristics, but also a large number of precious cultural relics. In 2004, Mukden Palace was listed on the World Heritage List as a cultural heritage extension project of the Imperial Palace of the Ming and Qing Dynasties.

No.2: Beiling Park - See the Last Mausoleum in Northeast China

Things to Do in Shenyang, Shenyang Attractions

Beiling Park
© pixabay / 1084041

Things to Do in Shenyang, Shenyang Attractions

Zhaoling Mausoleum of the Qing Dynasty
© pixabay / 1084041

Type: Historical Site, Mausoleum

Address: No.12 Taishan Road, Huanggu District, Shenyang, Liaoning Province (辽宁省沈阳市皇姑区泰山路12号)

Ticket: Beiling Park CNY 6/person; Zhaoling CNY 40/person

Opening Time: April 1st - October 31st 07:00~17:00, November 1st - next March 31st 08:00~16:00

Beiling Park (北陵公园), located in the northern part of Shenyang city, is a park centered on the Zhaoling Mausoleum of the Qing Dynasty (清昭陵), where the second Emperor of the Qing Dynasty, Huang Taiji and empress Xiaozhuang, were buried. While Walking through the long footpath, ornamental columns and stone lions on both side are beautifully carved. After entering through the Zhenghong Gate, visitors may see two exquisitely carved stone horse and numerous ornamentations of Tibetan and Manchu characteristics.

Surrounded by lush trees and towering ancient pines, Beiling Lake is rippling with blue waves in spring and summer, making it a good place for a leisurely stroll. In winter, the park shows a beautiful northern snow scene. The antique park submerged in a piece of white. Travelers may also have a chance to enjoy the fun of skating on the lake.

No.3: Marshal Zhang Mansion - Explore Chinese Architecture Art and Witness the Modern History of Northeast China

Things to Do in Shenyang, Shenyang Attractions

Marshal Zhang Mansion
© wechat / 张氏帅府公众号

Things to Do in Shenyang, Shenyang Attractions

Marshal Zhang Mansion Inner
© wechat / 张氏帅府公众号

Type: Historical Site, Mansion, Museum

Address: No.46 Shaoshuaifu Alley, Chaoyang Street, Shenhe District, Shenyang, Liaoning Province (辽宁省沈阳市沈河区朝阳街少帅府巷46号)

Ticket: CNY 46/person

Opening Time: May 1st - October 15th 08:30~17:30, October 16th - next April 30th 08:30~17:00; Closed on Mondays

The so-called "a marshal mansion, half of the history of the Republican Period"- Marshal Zhang Mansion (张氏帅府) is the best-preserved former residence of celebrities in northeast China. It was the official and private residence of Zhang Zuolin (张作霖), the last head of state of the Beiyang Government, and his eldest son, the great patriot General Zhang Xueliang(张学良). So far, the mansion has gone through a century of wind and rain. 

Covering a total area of 36,000 square meters, the architectural system of the mansion consists of four parts: the east courtyard, the central courtyard, the west courtyard and the buildings outside the courtyard. Each architecture style is different. There is traditional Chinese style, Chinese and Western style, Roman style, Nordic style and Japanese style. Travelers can also enjoy the stone carvings, wood carvings, brick carvings, murals, as well as the many precious Chinese calligraphy works of Zhang and his son in the luxurious mansion, and listen to the touching love story at the Miss Zhao Si Building (赵四小姐楼).

No.4: Liaoning Provincial Museum - Admire China’s Prestigious National Treasures

Things to Do in Shenyang, Shenyang Attractions

Liaoning Provincial Museum
© travel.qunar

Things to Do in Shenyang, Shenyang Attractions

Auspiciou Cranes (瑞鹤图)
© lnmuseum.com

Type: Museum

Address: No. 157 Zhihui Third Street, Hunnan New District, Shenyang, Liaoning Province (辽宁省沈阳市浑南新区智慧三街157号)

Ticket: Free

Opening Time: April 1st - October 31rd 09:00~17:00, November 1st - next March 31th 09:30~16:30; Closed on Mondays

Liaoning Provincial Museum (辽宁省博物馆), located in Hunnan District, is the first museum established in New China. With so many treasures handed down from the past, it is suitable to take out half a day or a full day to savor.

The museum has three floors, with a total of more than 100,000 pieces of cultural relics on display, including the three major cultural relics in famous TV program National Treasure: Bronze Awning Gold Wood Core Stirrup (铜篷金木芯马镫), the Tang Dynasty Copying Wang Xizhi's Calligraphy (唐摹王羲之一门书翰) and the Song Dynasty Copying Gu Kaizhi's Luoshenfutu (宋人摹顾恺之《洛神赋图》卷). Besides, the world-renowned Ladies with Head-pinned Flowers (簪花仕女图) and the amazing artwork of Emperor Huizong of the Song Dynasty - Auspiciou Cranes (瑞鹤图), etc. can also be seen in the painting exhibition hall of the museum. With so many high quality collections, Liaoning Provincial Museum is definitely a valuable highlight for your Shenyang tour.

No.5: Xiaonan Catholic Church - Take Photos with the Beautiful Gothic Church

Things to Do in Shenyang, Shenyang Attractions

NanGuan Church
© travel.qunar

Things to Do in Shenyang, Shenyang Attractions

NanGuan Church Inside
© travel.qunar

Type: Architecture, Church

Address: No.40 Nanlejiao Road, Xiaonan Street, Shenhe District, Shenyang, Liaoning Province (辽宁省沈阳市沈河区小南街南乐郊路40号)

Ticket: Free

Opening Time: 8:00~17:00

Xiaonan Catholic Church (小南天主教堂) is a Gothic building. Locals also call it "NanGuan Church". The church was originally built by French missionaries during the reign of Emperor Guangxu, but was later burned down during the period of social unrest of Boxer Rebellion. It was rebuilt on the original site in 1912 by France with boxer indemnity from the Peace Protocol of 1901.

The whole church is divided into two parts. The main church in the east is built of blue brick. The large rose window in the center is very beautiful. The interior of the church is broad and quiet. The four-story exquisite building in the west is the bishop’s house, which is a perfect place to take photos.

No.6: “September 18” Historical Museum - Uncover the Real History of Manchurian Incident

Things to Do in Shenyang, Shenyang Attractions

“September 18” Historical Museum
© mafengwo

Things to Do in Shenyang, Shenyang Attractions

Historical Display of Sep18 Incident
© mafengwo

Type: Museum, Historical Site

Address: No.46 Wanghuanan Street, Dadong District, Shenyang, Liaoning Province (辽宁省沈阳市大东区望花南街46号)

Ticket: Free

Opening Time: April 1st - October 31st 08:30~17:00, November 1st - next March 31st 09:00~16:30

Shenyang has always played an important role in modern Chinese history, and “September 18” Historical Museum (九·一八历史博物馆) is a witness to the ups and downs of the city's fate. In 1931, the Japanese blew up the railroad next to Willow Lake. Since then, the Second World War has begun in eastern countries. The site of the museum is where the Manchurian Incident occurred in 1931. There are 7 galleries in the museum. Stone tablets, instruments of torture, weapons and other exhibits on display reflect the city's unforgettable history. Entrance is free. The exhibition is cruel, but it reminds visitors how important peace is.

More Fun in Shenyang

Things to Do in Shenyang, Shenyang Attractions

Qipan Mountain Scenic Spot (棋盘山风景区)
© mafengwo

Things to Do in Shenyang, Shenyang Attractions

Shenyang Zhongjie (中街)
© mafengwo

Except for the must-visit attractions mentioned above, tourists to Shenyang can also watch ice carvings and ski in Qipan Mountain Scenic Spot (棋盘山风景区) in winter; Stroll along Zhongjie (中街), China's first pedestrian street, in search of the cate of the world's oldest old dumpling house; Join a lively temple fair during the Spring Festival; Try the legendary "Northeast Bathhouse (东北澡堂文化)"; If you are interested in Errenzhuan, you can head to Liu Laogen Grand Stage (刘老根大舞台) to feel the charm of northeast local opera... Only Shenyang can bring you such sensory collision!

How to Plan a Shenyang Tour?

It takes 1~2 days to visit the essence of Shenyang City. Take 1 day to visit Marshal Zhang Mansion and two UNESCO World Heritage Sites - Mukden Palace and Zhaoling Park and another half day or a day to meet national treasures at Liaoning Provincial Museum.

☛ 2 Days Classic Shenyang Tour

For those who are visiting Shenyang in autumn, you can extend your trip to Benxi (1~2 days) and have a “red maple” chasing journey by driving along Hengben Road, visiting Yanghugou, Laobiangou, Guanmenshan and the world's longest underground water-filled cave - Benxi Water Cave.

Some of our guests also prefer to spend more days and have a classic northeast China tour, which normally takes 8~9 days. Visit Shenyang together with highlights in Dalian (1~2 days), Jilin(1 Day), Changchun (1 Day), Harbin (3~6 days) and Changbai Mountain (2~3 Days), etc.

☛ 8 Days Northeast China Tour with Harbin Ice & Snow Festival

Travel Shenyang with China Discovery

Looking for a historical tour but feel hard to arrange your day by day itinerary and site to site transportation? Travel with us China Discovery and let our experienced travel consultant help you. We know Mukden Palace and all highlights of Shenyang well and we have helped numerous visitors to enjoy a tour there. If you go with us, we will customize a Shenyang Tour for you! Your guide will accompany you all the way and show you the best viewing and photography spots.

The tour is tailor-made according to your interests, budget, group size and every special need! If you are interested, please feel free to contact us!

Things to Do in Shenyang, Shenyang Attractions Benxi Guanmen Mountain
© 搜狐 / 南方Plus客户端
Things to Do in Shenyang, Shenyang Attractions Dalian City
© 搜狐 / 热风DL

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