Tiananmen Square – Tickets, Opening Times, Highlights, and Tips

tiananmen square tour

Tiananmen Square (天安门广场) is one of the largest squares in the world, occupying an area of 440,000 sq. meters at the center of Beijing, and is spacious enough to hold a gathering attended by 1 million people. Its history can trace back to the Ming dynasty. And in the hundreds of years thereafter, it has witnessed the rises and falls of the empire, the establishment of the People’s Republic of China in 1949, the unprecedentedly large-scale demonstrations during the cultural revolution from 1966 to 1976, and the bloodshed in 1989. If the bricks paved on the ground can talk, each of them will have a lot of exciting or harrowing stories to share.

Table of Contents

Basic Information

Estimated length of tour0.5 – 1 hour
Ticket PriceTiananmen Square: free, but you have to book online at least one day in advance. The website address is yuyue.tamgw.beijing.gov.cn
Tiananmen Tower: 15 RMB for adults; 5 RMB for senior citizens over 70, and free for children under 1.2 meters.
Opening hoursTiananmen Square:
open an hour before sunrise and close at sunset. The times vary from day to day.
Tiananmen Tower:
08.30 – 16.00 (November 1st – March 31st); Last entry: 15.30
08.30 – 17.00 (April 1st – October 31st); Last entry: 16.30

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Location and Transportation

Tiananmen Square is located right at the center of Beijing. There is very convenient public transport leading there, and the taxi cost is pretty affordable.

Bus: Take No.2 or 120 and hop off at Tiananmen West or East Stop, and walk for about 200 meters to reach the entrance.

Subway: take subway line 2, get off at Qianmen station, and walk about 300 meters to reach the entrance.

Highlights of Tiananmen Square

Flag-raising ceremony

flag-raising ceremony in Tiananmen Square

The flag-raising ceremony is held every morning in Tiananmen Square. The honor of guards (consisting of 66 soldiers regularly and 96 soldiers on the first day of every month) would escort the national flag from the tower to the pole and hoist it in exactly 2 minutes and 7 seconds so that when it reaches the top, the sun just hops out from the horizon. 

The ceremony is exceptionally magnificent. The soldiers devote at least 8 hours a day to training to guarantee uniformity and avoid any mistake.

The Great Hall of the People

The Great Hall of the People

Like Capitol Hill in America and Parliament in Britain, the Great Hall of the People is one of the political centers in China, where representatives gather together and talk about budgets, projects, and priorities of the government.

It is located to the west of Tiananmen Square, in a classic Soviet style, and even bigger than the Forbidden City. You are not allowed to go inside and observe the various meetings. But you can still get a general concept of its grandness from the outside.

The Memorial Hall to Chairman Mao

The Memorial Hall to Chairman Mao

If you are an admirer of Mao Zedong or interested in his magnificent story about leading Chinese people to fight against invaders and for independence, you should not miss the Memorial Hall to Chairman Mao. It is located south of the square and has his body displayed inside.

Monument to the People’s Heroes

Monument to the People’s Heroes

The Monument to the People’s Heroes erects right at the heart of Tiananmen Square. It is built to commemorate the heroes and predecessors that have died in the fight for independence from the first Opium War in 1840. On its base are carved 170 figures, representing people from various backgrounds, and on the front are engraved the words hand-written by Chairmen Mao – “The immortal people’s heroes.”

Tiananmen Tower

Tiananmen Tower

If you have ever watched any documentaries about China, you must be impressed by the pictures where Chinese leaders declare important decisions or review troops on the Tiananmen Tower. Well, this place is actually open to the public. With merely 15 RMB, you can climb on the tower, stand at the rostrum, and picture yourself as the leader, speaking to the massive groups of people.

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Useful Tips Summarized from Reviews

1. Security Check: You will go through the strictest security check before entering Tiananmen Square. Lighters, knives, and combustible gases are completely prohibited. And you are not even allowed to bring bags, even the smallest ones, into the Memorial Hall to Chairman Mao (there are places for you to check in your belongings at the entrance of the building). So, make sure you do not take too many items.

2. Soldiers: There are soldiers standing guard at a lot of places near and in Tiananmen Square, like the entrances and exits of subway stations and the checkpoints of the attractions. But please do not be intimidated. They are just doing their jobs and will not hurt you anyway.

3. Crowds: There are many people coming to Tiananmen Square to watch the Flag-Raising ceremony every day. If you have added this activity to your plan, make sure you arrive there at least an hour before sunrise on workdays (also the time the ceremony ends) and two hours on weekends to get a better view.

4. Booking Tickets: Currently, you have to register your information online at least one day before the tour. Otherwise, you will be banned from entering Tiananmen Square. It is very convenient and completely free.

5. Clothes: The early morning in Beijing can be chilling even during summer. You had better bring an extra jacket before you leave the hotel to avoid getting a cold.

6. Flag-lowering ceremony: Besides the flag-raising ceremony, there is also a flag-lowering ceremony held every day at sunset. So, if you miss the first one but still want to watch something, you can wait for the lowering. It is much less crowded, but also magnificent.

Interesting Facts

Attractions near Tiananmen Square

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