There are dozens of fascinating museums located all over the city of Beijing. Visitors will need to be selective about which museum they choose visit, if they are only in this history-packed city for a short time.
Trace the history of the Forbidden City at the Palace Museum, one of Beijing's true highlights. Alternatively, take in some interactive fun at the Beijing Planetarium, the China Science and Technology Museum or the Natural History Museum, all of which are full of hands-on displays.
Address: 138 Xizhimenwai Avenue of Beijing, Beijing, China, CN
Tel: +86 010 6835 2453
The first museum of its kind in China, the Beijing Planetarium is a truly start-of-the-art building and offers 45-minute presentations, taking the viewer through space. Two observatories make it possible to view the moon, planets and star clusters, amongst other astronomical delights. This museum makes a nice contrast to the Ancient Observatory, which is also a popular place to visit.
Open hours: daily - 09:30 to 16:00
China Science and Technology Museum
Address: No 1, Beisanhuan Zhonglu, Beijing, 100006, China, CN
Tel: +86 010 6237 1177
Visitors can take in permanent and visiting exhibitions at this hub of science, which has been open since the late 1980s. Learn about ancient Chinese technology, from astronomy, the compass, gunpowder, bronze smelting and casting to papermaking and printing, or explore modern developments such as electromagnetism, mechanics, heat, acoustics, optics and nuclear technology. A true highlight at the China Science and Technology Museum is the Astro-vision Theatre, where viewers feel that they are participating in actual events rather than simply seeing a film.
Open hours: Tuesday to Sunday - 09:00 to 16:30
Admission: charge, discounts for students and children
Great Wall Museum
Address: Ba Da Ling Special Zone, Great Wall, Yanqing County, Beijing, 102102, China, CN
Tel: +86 010 6912 1890
Located at Ba Da Ling, this museum covers the history of the Great Wall of China through interesting exhibitions, models and photographs that are spread across nine exhibition halls. See artefacts that have been found along the wall and learn about the military equipment that has been used in defending it.
Open hours: Monday to Friday - 08:00 to 12:00, 03:30 to 18:00; Saturday and Sunday - 10:00 to 16:00
National Museum of China
Address: 16 East Chang'an Street, Dongcheng, Beijing 100006, China, CN
Tel: +86 010 6513 2801
Housing all sorts of national treasures, the National Museum of China is one stop off that history buffs will not want to miss. Tracing the country's history through maps, cultural relics and interesting exhibitions, Beijing visitors can explore the museum's extensive permanent collection, as well as the countless temporary exhibits and displays.
Open hours: daily - 08:30 to 16:30
Natural History Museum
Address: 126 Tianqiao Nandajie, Beijing, China, CN
Tel: +86 010 6702 4431
Housed in an attractive mid-20th century building, the Beijing Natural History Museum features many impressive portraits of famous historians, together with spacious exhibition halls and an unusual group of fossilised trees. Many people come to this museum for its extensive dinosaur exhibitions, which are to be found on the ground floor and include reconstructions of actual dinosaurs that once used to roam around this part of China, many millions of years ago.
Open hours: daily, May to September - 08:30 to 16:00, October to April - 08:30 to 15:30
Imperial City Museum
Address: 9 Changpu Heyan, Beijing, China, CN
Tel: +86 010 8511 5104
This impressive museum celebrates the history of the Imperial City Wall, which has now almost completely disappeared, with only a few small stretches still in existence. A modern museum surrounded by a particularly beautiful garden, complete with marble bridge, the main highlight here is without doubt the surviving section of this ancient wall. Audio tours are available in English.
Open hours: daily - 09:30 to 16:30