Nanjing Museum – Ticket, Opening Hours, HIghlights, and Tips

nanjing museum

Nanjing Museum (南京博物院), one of China’s three major museums, has a rich history and a remarkable collection of artifacts that showcase the country’s ancient heritage. It traces its origins back to 1933 when it was founded by prominent figures like Cai Yuanpei as the National Central Museum. It is not only one of the earliest museums in China but also the first large comprehensive museum funded by the state. Today, Nanjing Museum stands as a large and comprehensive national-level museum and was among the first batch of museums to receive the highest national ranking.

Covering an expansive area of over 130,000 square meters, Nanjing Museum is organized into six galleries, consisting of the History Gallery, Special Exhibition Gallery, Digital Gallery, Art Gallery, Intangible Cultural Heritage Gallery, and the Republic of China Gallery. Its extensive collection houses 432,768 sets of various artifacts, with an astonishing 371,032 sets of precious cultural relics, ranking second only to the Palace Museum in Beijing. These artifacts span from the Paleolithic era to contemporary times, encompassing both national and regional pieces, palace treasures, archaeological discoveries, as well as items collected and donated from the society. Each item is a masterpiece that has drawn the attention of scholars both domestically and internationally.

Table of Contents

Basic Information

Estimated Length of TourOver 3 hours
Ticket PriceFree
Opening Hours9.00 -17.00; Last admission: 16.00
Closed on Mondays
Telephone Number0086-025-84807923

Location and Transportation

The Nanjing Museum is located at 321 Zhongshan East Road, Xuanwu District, Nanjing, Jiangsu Province, China. It is situated in the southern part of Nanjing, next to the scenic area of Zhongshan Mountain. To get there, you can choose the following ways:

Bus: Take bus 5, 34, 36, 55, or 59, get off at Zhongshan Gate Stop (中山门站), and you will be standing right at the entrance to the museum.

Metro: The nearest metro station to Nanjing Museum is Ming Gugong (明故宫) on line 2. After getting out of the station from Exit 1, walk about 400 meters to reach the museum.

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Highlights of Nanjing Museum

ancient chinese artifacts in nanjing museum

Jiangsu Province, located in the eastern part of China and surrounded by rivers and seas, has a long and illustrious history, often referred to as the “Land of Fish and Rice.” The region, part of the vast Yangtze River basin, contributed significantly to the flourishing ancient Chinese civilization, alongside other great river basins. Jiangsu’s history is marked by economic prosperity, cultural richness, and a distinctive heritage. Through the historical artifacts and specimens in this gallery, visitors can embark on a journey through time to explore the ancient civilization of Jiangsu, gaining a deeper understanding of its traditional culture and artistic charm.

calligraphy and paintings in nanjing museum

Jiangsu has a rich tradition of painting, with numerous renowned artists and schools that have played a significant role in the national art scene. The region’s remarkable natural landscapes, thriving commercial economy, deep cultural heritage, and political importance have all contributed to the development of various painting styles. The Art Gallery at Nanjing Museum introduces ten representative painting schools from different historical periods in Jiangsu, providing a comprehensive view of the flourishing of Jiangsu painting since the Ming and Qing dynasties. Additionally, the gallery also features exhibitions of calligraphy from different dynasties and a collection of sculptures.

porcelian capital of china in nanjing museum

The Intangible Cultural Heritage Gallery of Jiangsu Province focuses on showcasing items that have been recognized by the “Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity” and the “National List of Intangible Cultural Heritage.” By doing so, it aims to promote the outstanding traditional culture of the Chinese nation. Located at the downstream of the Yangtze River, Jiangsu Province benefits from a rich and diverse cultural environment, blending the simple and solid Qilu style in the north, the mysterious and romantic Jingchu style in the west, and the delicate and gentle Baiyue style in the south. The intangible cultural heritage of Jiangsu reflects the richness and diversity of the region’s cultural heritage, making it a valuable resource and treasure. These intangible cultural heritage elements, covering folk literature, traditional music, traditional dance, traditional drama, folk art, traditional craftsmanship, traditional medicine, traditional sports, recreational activities, and folklore, form the spiritual wealth and emotional foundation of the people, constituting an indispensable part of the spiritual home of the Chinese nation.

historical exhibitions in nanjing museum

Situated beneath the Art Gallery on the east side, the Republic of China Gallery is dedicated to showcasing the unique characteristics of the capital city during the Republican era in Nanjing. The gallery presents a condensed representation of urban life during that period by creating a simulated street scene with European-style architecture. Through the use of sound, light, and electricity, visitors can experience the historical atmosphere, offering a nostalgic and retro ambiance. The street features functional shops like a post office, a train station, a barbershop, a traditional Chinese medicine store, a bookstore, and a bank. Dressed in Republic of China-style clothing, the shopkeepers can assist visitors in sending mail, prescribing herbal remedies, selecting books and silver jewelry, and even purchasing local Jiangsu snacks and phonograph replicas.

Architectural Marvel

architectural marvel of nanjing museum

The architectural design of Nanjing Museum aims to reflect the early Chinese architectural style while promoting the traditional culture of the Chinese nation. It distinguishes itself from the other ancient-style buildings on Zhongshan East Road by adopting a Liao Style. Liao-style architecture, which originated in the 10th to 12th centuries in northern China, combines traditional elements from the Tang Dynasty with innovations. It is known for its simple and robust design, gently sloping roofs, and gradually increasing pillars on the facade, giving the eaves a gentle upward curve and reducing the weight of the large roof.

Vlog about Nanjing Museum

Useful Tips Summarized from Reviews

Luggage Storage: Luggage can be stored for free at the service center.

Highly Recommended Republic of China Museum: The Republic of China Museum is strongly recommended. It recreates the architecture of Nanjing during the Republic of China period. The overall style is retro and nostalgic, featuring streets with a post office, train station, barber shop, traditional Chinese medicine store, bookstore, and bank. It’s especially picturesque for photography.

Dining Options: On the ground floor of the museum, there is a restaurant offering simple boxed meals, sandwiches, and beverages. Visitors can also bring their own snacks to enjoy in the rest area.

Recommended Tour Routes:

  • From the Historical Museum entrance: Historical Museum -> Digital Museum -> Special Exhibition Museum -> Art Museum -> Republic of China Museum -> Intangible Cultural Heritage Museum.
  • Alternatively, entering from the Art Museum (less crowded): Republic of China Museum -> Art Museum -> Historical Museum -> Digital Museum -> Special Exhibition Museum -> Intangible Cultural Heritage Museum.

Choose Weekdays for Visits: It is recommended to visit on weekdays as weekends and holidays can be extremely crowded. Many tourists have expressed surprise at the unexpected crowds, and due to the large number of people, the air can become stuffy.

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