With such a vast collection, the Capital Museum offers an excellent introduction to the history of Beijing and Imperial China. A guided tour of Beijing museums provides special insight. Those with a few days to spend in the Chinese capital can see the museum as part of a 3-day city tour. Museum tickets are free, but it’s a good idea to reserve at least one day in advance.
Things to Know Before You Go
The Capital Museum is a must-visit for history buffs and those looking to get off the beaten path.
Give yourself at least 2–3 hours to tour the collection.
Bring your passport or other photo ID, and be prepared to pass through a security check.
A free audio guide is available in English and Mandarin.
The museum is wheelchair accessible.
How to Get There
The Capital Museum is easy to reach via public transportation. Take subway Line 1 to Muxidi Station and head east, or take one of several public buses to Gonghui Dalou bus stop.
When to Get There
The Capital Museum is open Tuesday to Sunday throughout the year. If possible, visit on a weekday morning right when the museum opens, or later in the afternoon an hour or two before close. Avoid visiting on Chinese national holidays when crowds are heaviest.
Highlights of the Museum Collection
There’s a lot to see in this excellent museum. The ancient porcelain exhibit is a favorite, as are the ancient bronzes. Visit the second-floor History and Culture of Beijing gallery, which traces the history of the city. Learn more about the culture of Old Beijing in the fifth-floor Folk Customs of Old Beijing exhibit. The jade exhibit contains nearly 200 intricately carved jade pieces and provided magnifying glasses allow you to easily see the detail.
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- Miaoying Temple
- Beijing Zoo
- National Center for the Performing Arts (NCPA)
- Huguang Guild Hall
- Beijing Aquarium (Beijing Haiyangguan)
- Tiananmen Square (Tiananmen Guangchang)
- Liyuan Theatre
- Great Hall of the People
- Beihai Park (Beihai Gongyuan)
- Forbidden City (Palace Museum)
- Tiananmen (Gate of Heavenly Peace)
- Monument to the People’s Heroes
- Chairman Mao Memorial Hall (Maozhuxi Jinian Tang)
- Meridian Gate (Wumen)
- Treasure Gallery