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Tiananmen Square

From national celebrations to mass protests, Beijing’s main square has been the scene of many of China’s most important gatherings and is a must-see for any visitor.

Tiananmen Square is one of the most iconic – and biggest – squares in the world. Palatial gates, ancient architecture and fascinating history draw hundreds of thousands of visitors every year from China and beyond. This gigantic plaza is at the heart of Beijing in more ways than one and is enclosed by many of the city’s most important attractions.

At 44 hectares, Tiananmen Square is the 4th largest square in the world and its scale is matched only by the splendour of the surrounding architecture. To the north and south lie the magnificent imperial gates, the Gate of Heavenly Peace (Tiananmen Gate) and the Front Gate (Qianmen Gate). The seat of the Chinese government, the Great Hall of the People, is located to the west and the National Museum of China is to the east.

At the centre of the square is the Chairman Mao Memorial Hall, in front of which you’ll more than likely find tourists and locals having their picture taken at the Monument to the People’s Heroes. Stepping inside the hall you can join the queues to see the mummified remains of Mao Zedong, China’s famous communist leader who died in 1976. It’s an eerie but unforgettable experience, filing past the body (or a wax replica, depending on who you believe) of one of the 20th century’s great figures.

The square is most famous in the Western world as being the site of the pro-democracy student uprising in 1989 which was brutally put down by the government, and this history of protest in the square has meant that there is a heavy security presence at all times, with security cameras, metal detectors and plenty of police officers.

The atmosphere is very friendly despite this and it’s a pleasant place to stroll around at your own pace. You can pose for photos or even buy a kite from one of the many vendors. Tiananmen Square is on nearly all major bus routes and is served by three different subway stations – Tiananmen East, Tiananmen West and Qianmen Station.

Popular Activities at Tiananmen Square

You could comfortably spend a whole morning at Tiananmen Square. The list below provides a selection of the activities you can enjoy here:

For more things to do, check out our Beijing things to do page.


Guide to Exploring Tiananmen Square


Map

Top Hotel Deals

See all 1,216 properties near Tiananmen Square
Novotel Beijing Xin Qiao AU$110
Novotel Beijing Xin Qiao

Novotel Beijing Xin Qiao

1 Chong Wen Men Xi Da Jie, Beijing, Beijing
     
    4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

    Located in Downtown Beijing, this spa hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Dongcheng Dongjiaomin Lane, Beijing New World Shopping Mall, and Beijing Shengmi E'er Catholic Church. Wangfujing Street and Qianmen Street are also within 1 mi (2 km). Chongwenmen Station is only a 4-minute walk and Wangfujing Station is 14 minutes.

    Grand Hyatt Beijing AU$212
    Grand Hyatt Beijing

    Grand Hyatt Beijing

    1 East Chang An Avenue, Beijing, Beijing
       
      5.0 out of 5.0 Stars

      Located in Dongdan, this luxury hotel is within a 15-minute walk of Wangfujing Street, Tiananmen Square, and Oriental Plaza. National Museum of China and Forbidden City are also within 2 mi (3 km). Wangfujing Station is 6 minutes by foot and Dengshikou Station is 15 minutes.

      Beijing Hotel Nuo Forbidden City AU$241
      Beijing Hotel Nuo Forbidden City

      Beijing Hotel Nuo Forbidden City

      33 Chang An Avenue, Dongcheng District, Beijing, Beijing
         
        5.0 out of 5.0 Stars

        Located in Downtown Beijing, this luxury hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Tiananmen Square and Tiananmen. Wangfujing Street and Forbidden City are also within 1 mi (2 km). Wangfujing Station is 8 minutes by foot and Tian'anmen East Station is 12 minutes.

        Novotel Beijing Peace AU$150
        Novotel Beijing Peace

        Novotel Beijing Peace

        No 3 Jinyu Hutong, Beijing, Beijing
           
          4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

          This family-friendly Beijing hotel is located in the historical district, within a 5-minute walk of Peninsula Beijing Shopping Arcade and Wangfujing Street. Forbidden City and Tiananmen Square are also within 1 mi (2 km). Dengshikou Station is only a 5-minute walk and Dongsi Station is 16 minutes.

          Hilton Beijing Wangfujing AU$267
          Hilton Beijing Wangfujing

          Hilton Beijing Wangfujing

          8 Wangfujing East Street, Dongcheng, Beijing, Beijing
             
            5.0 out of 5.0 Stars

            This family-friendly Beijing hotel is located in the business district, within 1 mi (2 km) of Peninsula Beijing Shopping Arcade, Wangfujing Street, and Forbidden City. Tiananmen Square and Tiananmen are also within 1 mi (2 km). Dengshikou Station is 8 minutes by foot and Wangfujing Station is 11 minutes.

            Prime Hotel Beijing Wangfujing AU$129
            Prime Hotel Beijing Wangfujing

            Prime Hotel Beijing Wangfujing

            No.2 Wangfujing Main Street, Dongcheng Qu, Beijing, Beijing
               
              4.5 out of 5.0 Stars

              Located in Downtown Beijing, this luxury hotel is within 1 mi (2 km) of National Art Museum of China, Wangfujing Street, and Forbidden City. Sanlitun and Beihai Park are also within 2 mi (3 km). Dongsi Station is only a 2-minute walk and Dengshikou Station is 11 minutes.

              Capital Hotel AU$167
              Capital Hotel

              Capital Hotel

              3 Qianmen East Street, Beijing, Beijing
                 
                5.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                Located in Downtown Beijing, this luxury hotel is within a 15-minute walk of Dongcheng Dongjiaomin Lane and National Museum of China. Tiananmen Square and Qianmen Street are also within 1 mi (2 km). Qianmen Station is 10 minutes by foot and Chongwenmen Station is 11 minutes.

                The Peninsula Beijing AU$414
                The Peninsula Beijing

                The Peninsula Beijing

                8 Jinyu Hutong, DongDan, Dongcheng Qu, Beijing, Beijing
                   
                  5.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                  Located in Dongdan, this luxury hotel is steps from Peninsula Beijing Shopping Arcade and Wangfujing Street. Forbidden City and Tiananmen are also within 1 mi (2 km). Dengshikou Station is only a 3-minute walk and Dongsi Station is 14 minutes.