Great Hall of the People
Many travelers walk past the Great Hall of the People during a visit to Tiananmen Square, but few step inside the monolithic building featured on the ¥100 note. Visitors can see the grand auditorium with its red star embedded in the ceiling, as well as the banquet hall where President Richard Nixon dined in 1972. Some tours to Tiananmen Square include a visit to the Great Hall of the People, but it’s a good idea to double-check before you book. In-depth tours of the Tiananmen Square area include the hall, as well as several other of Mao’s Great Buildings.
Things to know before you go
- The Great Hall of the People is an interesting diversion for those interested in Soviet architecture or Maoist history.
- Bags must be checked at the ticket office on the south side of the building if you plan to go inside.
- The building’s interior is sometimes closed to tourists when the NPC is in session.
- Cameras and photography are permitted within the hall.
How to get there
To enter the Great Hall of the People, take the metro to Tiananmen West and enter the building through the East Gate.
When to get there
Plan to visit the Great Hall of the People after touring the Forbidden City. The building is open daily, with shorter hours in the winter (December to March).
Mao’s 10 Great Buildings
A total of 10 structures were built in 1959 to commemorate the 10-year anniversary of the People’s Republic of China. The Great Hall of the People was one of them, along with the National Museum of China, the Cultural Palace of Nationalities, Beijing Railway Station, Minzu Hotel, and the Chinese People’s Revolutionary Military Museum (among others).
- Monument to the People’s Heroes
- Tiananmen Square (Tiananmen Guangchang)
- National Center for the Performing Arts (NCPA)
- Chairman Mao Memorial Hall (Maozhuxi Jinian Tang)
- Tiananmen (Gate of Heavenly Peace)
- National Museum of China (NAMOC)
- Qianmen Street
- Meridian Gate (Wumen)
- Wangfujing Street (Wangfujing Dajie)
- Treasure Gallery
- Marco Polo Bridge (Lugou Qiao)
- Imperial Garden of the Palace Museum
- Inner Court (Nei Ting)
- Nine Dragon Screen at the Palace Museum
- Forbidden City (Palace Museum)
- Beijing Suggested Itineraries
- Beijing Cuisine
- Climb the Great Wall
- Acrobatic Shows
- Beijing Temples
- Summer Palace Cruises in Beijing
- Exploring the Hutongs of Beijing
- How to Spend 3 Days in Beijing
- Know Before You Go: Visiting the Great Wall of China
- Guide to Climbing the Great Wall of China
- How to Spend 1 Day in Beijing
- Food Lover's Guide to Beijing