Tiananmen (Gate of Heavenly Peace)
The Gate of Heavenly Peace features on most Beijing sightseeing tours, along with Tiananmen Square and the Forbidden Palace. The gate is made up of a tower on top of a platform with five arched gateways. Admire its sheer size and ornate decorations features, including the decorative columns, stone lions, and marble bridges. Have your photo taken in front of the massive framed picture of Chairman Mao. Climb the tower for expansive views of Tiananmen Square.
Those short on time can choose a day tour that includes other top Beijing attractions such as the Temple of Heaven and the Summer Palace, or even a nearby section of the Great Wall, such as Badaling or Mutianyu. For a more personal and customized experience, opt for a private tour.
Things to know before you go
- The Gate of Heavenly Peace is a must-see for first-time visitors to Beijing.
- There’s no fee to walk through the gate, but there is a fee to climb the tower.
- Wear comfortable shoes if you plan to explore the surrounding areas; Tiananmen * Square and the Forbidden City are massive.
- Bags are not permitted inside the tower and must be stored during the visit.
How to get there
The Gate of Heavenly Peace is located at the northern end of Tiananmen Square. By subway, take Line 1 to Tiananmen East Station or Tiananmen West Station, or Line 2 to Qianmen Station. A number of buses also stop nearby, including bus nos. 1, 2, 5, 52, 59, 82, and 120.
When to get there
The Gate of Heavenly Peace is open daily from 8:30am to 5pm (with the last entrance at 4:30pm). Expect large crowds during peak tourist season in the summer, weekends, and public holidays.
Meaning of the Placards
On the Gate of Heavenly Peace are two placards, one on each side of the photo of Chairman Mao. The left one reads, “Long Live the People’s Republic of China,” while the right one reads, “Long Live the Great Unity of the World’s Peoples.” The phrasing and use of “long live” was symbolic: what was once reserved solely for the emperor is now available to the common people.
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- Monument to the People’s Heroes
- National Museum of China (NAMOC)
- Great Hall of the People
- Tiananmen Square (Tiananmen Guangchang)
- Chairman Mao Memorial Hall (Maozhuxi Jinian Tang)
- Meridian Gate (Wumen)
- National Center for the Performing Arts (NCPA)
- Wangfujing Street (Wangfujing Dajie)
- Treasure Gallery
- Imperial Garden of the Palace Museum
- Inner Court (Nei Ting)
- Marco Polo Bridge (Lugou Qiao)
- Qianmen Street
- Nine Dragon Screen at the Palace Museum
- St. Joseph's Church