Drum Tower, Tianjin – Ticket Price, Opening Hours, Location, and Highlights

drum tower in tianjin

The Drum Tower (鼓楼), located at the heart of Tianjin, is a historic structure that was actually used as a bell tower with no drum inside. The city of Tianjin began its fortification efforts in 1404, initially consisting of simple earthen walls. Over the course of approximately ninety years, these rudimentary fortifications evolved into a sturdy brick-walled city. The construction included gates on the east, west, south, and north, as well as corner towers at various points along the city walls. The Drum Tower, situated in the center of the city, was erected during this period.

The Drum Tower rises three stories high. The first floor of the tower is a square platform made of bricks, widening at the base and narrowing at the top. It features four arched doorways, allowing passage to the four main streets intersecting at the tower. On this platform, two additional stories were built. The first floor is dedicated to the worship of Guanyin Bodhisattva, the Heavenly Queen Mother, and revered figures such as Guan Yu and Yue Fei.

The second floor of the tower houses a massive iron bell, weighing three hundred kilograms. This bell, with a diameter of 1.4 meters and a height of 2.3 meters, is renowned as the “Bell King” of Tianjin. Crafted from iron with exquisite workmanship, the bell exhibits an ancient and dignified appearance. Its body features raised reliefs, and the bell’s handle is shaped like intertwined dragons with clear distinctions between their heads and four legs. Although the bell is no longer rung, it is displayed on a cement pedestal in the Suoyuan Corridor, serving as a beautiful and intricate piece of art for visitors to appreciate.


Table of Contents


Basic Information

Estimated Length of Tour1 hour
Ticket Price27 RMB
Opening Hours8.30 – 22.00 (1st April – 25th October)
8.30 – 17.00 (26th October – 31st March)

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Location and Transportation

The Drum Tower of Tianjin is strategically located in the heart of the city, within the bustling Nankai District. Standing at the intersection of bustling commercial streets and historical neighborhoods, the tower holds a central position that reflects its significance in Tianjin’s cultural and architectural landscape. To get there, you can choose one of the following ways:

Bus: Take bus 161, 168, 169, 180, 184, 588, 635, 657, 658, 855, 863, or 865 and get off at the Drum Tower Stop (鼓楼站).

Metro: The nearest metro station to the Drum Tower is Gulou (鼓楼) on line 2. After getting out of the station from Exit D, walk about 450 meters to the north to reach the tower.


Highlights of the Drum Tower

Architectural Marvel

architectural marvel of tianjin drum tower

The architecture of the Drum Tower in Tianjin is a stunning representation of traditional Chinese craftsmanship. Standing tall with its wooden structure, the tower features a distinctive two-story design. Elaborate carvings adorn the vibrant red and green exterior, displaying intricate patterns and mythical motifs. The sloping roofs are crowned with graceful, upturned eaves, while the iconic curved ridge ornaments enhance its visual appeal. The precision of construction and attention to detail in its design are a testament to the Ming Dynasty’s architectural prowess. A visit to this remarkable tower offers a glimpse into the rich heritage and architectural splendor of ancient China.


Panoramic Views

panoramic views from the tianjin drum tower

Ascending the Drum Tower in Tianjin rewards visitors with awe-inspiring panoramic views that leave an indelible impression. From the tower’s observation deck, a breathtaking tapestry of sights unfolds before your eyes. The modern skyline of Tianjin with its towering skyscrapers and gleaming architectural marvels stretches across the horizon, contrasting beautifully with the city’s historical neighborhoods and charming traditional architecture below. The meandering Hai River winds its way through the landscape, reflecting the vibrant hues of the sky. As the sun sets, the city transforms into a mesmerizing sea of lights, illuminating the night and creating a captivating spectacle for all who behold it.


Historical Significance

historical significance of tianjin drum tower

The Drum Tower in Tianjin holds immense historical significance, serving as a tangible link to the city’s past. Built during the Ming Dynasty, it played a crucial role as a timekeeping and communication center, announcing the hours with its resounding drum beats. In ancient times, the tower’s rhythmic cadence regulated the daily routines of the residents and signaled important events. As one of the last remaining drum towers in China, its preservation symbolizes Tianjin’s commitment to preserving its cultural heritage. Today, it stands as a cherished monument, offering a glimpse into the city’s rich history and the cultural importance of timekeeping in traditional Chinese society.


Cultural Exploration

cultural exploration around tianjin drum tower

The Drum Tower in Tianjin offers a captivating cultural exploration in its surrounding area. Nestled amidst charming streets, visitors can immerse themselves in the city’s rich heritage. Tianjin Ancient Culture Street, a stone’s throw away, presents a vibrant display of traditional shops, teahouses, and local crafts, where one can experience the essence of ancient China. Nanshi Food Street tantalizes taste buds with authentic Tianjin delicacies, offering a culinary journey through the region’s gastronomic delights. Mingling with friendly locals and witnessing traditional performances adds to the immersive experience, making the area around the Drum Tower a cultural treasure trove waiting to be discovered.


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