Ask a Beijinger: Which is the best Museum to visit?

2020-03-05   Leo Kui      0

Beijing’s cultural amenities are many, but none quite match the number, scale, and variety of its museums. There is literally an institution for every interest, whether it’s in art, history, science or quirkier subject. There is something for everyone.

Here is my local only to the best Beijing museums.  I have grouped them into themes and highlighted what I think is the best in each. Most of the contents you can only find here in Beijing.

A. General Museum

B. Natural history and science

C. Art Museum

D. Military and war museums

E. Chinese Ethnic Style Museum

A. General Museum

1. National Museum Of China 国家博物馆

Take your passport to the ticket office, and they will issue you a free ticket. Security is tight and you’ll have your bag searched and be patted down. The museum is big which needs at least 3 hours to finish. It is next to Tiananmen square, you can visit it before you go to visit the Forbidden City.

Location: No.16 East Chang’an Street, Dongcheng DistrictBeijing 100006, China

Hours:9:00-17:00 (Close on Monday)

Cost: Free

2. Beijing Urban Planning Exhibition Hall 北京城市规划馆

The best place to learn the history as well as the layout of the city. This exhibition featured a whole floor dedicated to a city model of Beijing. You need to show your passport and then it is free entry.

Location: No.20 Qianmendong Main Street, Dongcheng DistrictBeijing 100051, China

Hours: 9:00-17:00 (Close on Monday)

Cost: Free

3. Beijing Capital Museum 首都博物馆

An interesting sight for ancient life in Beijing. The exhibition shows Beijing history in an interesting way with a lot of artifacts, you could spend about 3 hours or even more here.

Location: No.16 Fuxingmenwai Main Street, Xicheng DistrictBeijing 100045, China

Hours: 9:00-17:00 (Close on Monday)

Cost: Free

B. Natural and science Museum

4.Museum of Natural History 自然博物馆

It is a great place for kids or people who like dinosaurs. You need about 1 hour to visit the museum. The museum, covering a floor space of 24,000 square meters, with more than 8000 square meters for display, owns more than 200,000 items in the collection, with the collection of paleontology, ornithology, mammals, and invertebrates coming out exceeding in the nationwide. The level of both scientific research and display is also in the lead.

Location: 126 Tian Qiao Nan RoadBeijing 100050, China

Hours: 9:00-17:00 (Close on Monday)

Cost: Free

5. China Railway Museum Dongjiao 中国铁路博物馆

This museum is a little hard to get. You have to walk for another 20 mins from the bus stop. However, It has the most railway collections in China. You can spend another RMB 20 to get into three carriages, including A Ten’ine2 type observation carriage, which was used on the Tairiku express train from Busan to Beijing.

Location: North of No.1 Jiuxianqiao North Road, Chaoyang DistrictBeijing, China

Hours: 9:00-17:00 (Close on Monday)

Cost: 20RMB per adult / 10 RMB per kid (2-12 yrs)

 C.Art Museum

6. National Art Museum Of China中国美术馆

The National Art Museum is near the north gate of the Forbidden City (10 minutes walk). accessible by metro, the museum is massive with several floors, with exhibits numbering in double digits, and ranging from pre-historic and ancient China to modern-day. I can’t say I have seen the most world-class museum, but have seen enough to know that this one surpasses all expectations.

Location: 1 Wusi Dajie, East District, Beijing, China, 100010

Hours: 9:00-17:00 (Close on Monday)

Cost: Free

7. Beijing Ancient Architecture Museum Xiannongtan Temple古建筑博物馆

The exhibition included highly specific details on ancient construction techniques, materials and various styles of architecture. This is a great introduction to the sights you will see around China, or recap the sights you have seen.

Location: No.21 Dongjing Road, Xicheng DistrictBeijing 100050, China

Hours: 9:00-17:00 (Close on Monday)

Cost: 15RMB per adult/8RMB per kid

8. Red Brick Art Museum 红砖艺术博物馆

The museum was very busy and has indoor exhibition spaces, large outdoor spaces including a small lake, and a snack bar, a coffee shop, and a restaurant. The museum is approximately a 45-minute drive from downtown Beijing and is quite close to the airport. It is beautiful and peaceful but for some of the spots, you need the patience to be able to get to take a photo as there are lots of people here at the weekends. A beautiful cafe inside that is also worthy of visiting. Read more>>

Address:  Maquanying West Road, Shunbai Road, Hegezhuang Village, Cuigezhuang Town, Chaoyang DistrictBeijing

Open time: 10:00-17:30 (It is not open on Monday)

Entrance Fee: 130RMB

D. Military and war museums

9. Military Museum of Chinese People’s Revolution 中国人民革命军事博物馆

There are lots of exhibits of historical equipment, relics, and art dealing with the warfare of the 20th century and a small amount from other periods. Much of the key information is displayed in Chinese and English.there are plenty of planes, tanks and other weaponry to see. There are some ‘trophies’ such as a downed U2 bomber, but overall a great experience, easy to get here via the subway.

Address:  No.9 Fuxing Road, Haidian DistrictBeijing 100038, China

Open time: 10:00-17:30 (It is not open on Monday)

Entrance Fee: Free

10. Chinese People’s Anti-Japanese War Museum 抗日战争纪念馆

The museum provides a first-rate narrative of the Chinese struggle against Japanese imperialism from the early 1930s through 1945, told from the perspective of the ruling Communist Party of China.  It’s a worth visit to understand the Chinese attitude towards Japan, Taiwan, towards peaceful coexistence. There are interesting bits on how the Chinese diaspora gave support back to China; how China issued visas to Jewish refugees to escape.

Address:  101 Chengnei St, Fengtai DistrictBeijing 100165, China

Open time: 10:00-16:30 (It is not open on Monday)

Entrance Fee: Free (It is inside the Marco polo bridge sight, so you need to buy the entrance to the Marco polo bridge which is 20RMB pp)

11. China Aviation Museum 中国航空博物馆

It is reopening in January 2020. The first thing to mention is that it is a long way out of town (about 40kms). A former Cold War-era air base with a collection of over 300 planes, mostly military, from the early days of Chinese military aviation to the present, with a few foreign examples. Free entry but nominal fees (20rmb) to enter the indoor exhibits. The indoor hall built into the mountainside in a former bunker is particularly impressive.

Address: Xiaotangshan Town, Changping DistrictBeijing 102211, China

Open time: 08:30-16:30

Cost: 20RMB

E. Chinese Ethnic Style Museum

12. Ancient Observatory 古观象台

t the Ancient Observatory Museum, they have displayed numerous old astronomical instruments. Despite being mounted and displayed outdoors, the instruments are well maintained and kept up. Informative descriptions of the astronomical instruments and their use were displayed (in Chinese and English).

Address:  No.2 Dongbiaobei Hutong, Dongcheng DistrictBeijing 100005, China

Open time: 9:00—17:00

Cost: 20RMB pp

13. Shijia Hutong Museum北京胡同博物馆

Shijia Hutong Model

The museum was an original hutong now converted into a museum. There is a lot of information in both Mandarin and English on how Beijing city was designed and developed with hutongs with its history to how it looks like today.

Address: No.24 Shijia Hutong, Dongcheng DistrictBeijing, China

Open time: 9:00—17:00

Cost: free

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