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Temple of Heaven

Behind a high wall stands an ancient building once used in sacrifices. This huge historical place of worship is a quiet oasis in busy Beijing.

Temple of Heaven is bigger than the Forbidden City. It was originally constructed as a ceremonial space for emperors during the 15th century, but has been open to the public since 1918. Nowadays, the site is a gathering point for local musicians, dancers and other performers who practice their martial arts and hobbies here.

Hidden behind high walls, the Temple of Heaven park offers a welcome respite from the hectic city streets of Beijing. The northern section is semi-circular, representing heaven. The square southern part symbolizes Earth.

Explore the halls, pavilions and gardens filled with interesting architecture. You’ll get insight into the practices of ancient Chinese philosophy, history and religion.

Be prepared for a lot of walking if you set out to follow the traditional ceremonial route. Start at the Zhaoheng Gate in the south and follow the main stone pathway. You’ll soon reach the tiered Circular Mound Altar, where emperors would offer sacrifices in the hope of getting a good harvest. Ancient philosophical symbols are incorporated in the design of the temple.

Notice how the altar’s architecture is built around the number nine, a significant number in ancient Eastern culture. Count out how each terrace is constructed with stones grouped in multiples of nine.

A short distance ahead, you’ll find the round Imperial Vault of Heaven Pavilion. Inside, glance upwards at its ornate ceiling with a colorful design centered on a large gilded dragon. If you have a travel companion, try out the Echo Wall surrounding the pavilion: The acoustics of this space means that your whisper will be heard all the way at the other end.

Temple of Heaven is located in the Dongcheng District. To get there, take the subway to Tiantandongmen Station. Exit A leads to the East Gate entrance of the temple. There are additional fees to visit the various sections of the park. Electronic guides in English are available for rent.

Popular Activities at Temple of Heaven

You could comfortably spend a whole afternoon at Temple of Heaven. The list below provides a nice selection of the activities you can try here:

If you're seeking more options, have a look at our Beijing things to do page.


Guide to Exploring Temple of Heaven


Map

Top Hotel Deals

See all 1,221 Properties near Temple of Heaven
Novotel Beijing Xin Qiao ¥7,100
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.

    New World Beijing Hotel ¥13,706
    New World Beijing Hotel

    New World Beijing Hotel

    No. 8 Qinian Street, Chongwenmen, 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 Beijing Qianmen Street, Beijing New World Shopping Mall, and Beijing Shengmi E'er Catholic Church. Soshow and Tiananmen Square are also within 1 mi (2 km). Chongwenmen Station is 10 minutes by foot and Wangfujing Station is 15 minutes.

      The Emperor Tiananmen Beijing ¥9,045
      The Emperor Tiananmen Beijing

      The Emperor Tiananmen Beijing

      No.87 Xianyukou Street, Qianmen Business Street, Dongcheng Dist, Beijing, Beijing
         
        4.5 out of 5.0 Stars

        Located in Downtown Beijing, this luxury hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Beijing Qianmen Street and Chairman Mao Memorial Hall. Lao She Teahouse and National Museum of China are also within 15 minutes. Qianmen Station is 11 minutes by foot and Chongwenmen Station is 17 minutes.

        pentahotel Beijing ¥7,967
        pentahotel Beijing

        pentahotel Beijing

        3-18 Chongwenmenwai Street, Dongcheng District, Beijing, Beijing
           
          4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

          Located in Downtown Beijing, this hotel is within 2 mi (3 km) of Wangfujing Street, Temple of Heaven, and Tiananmen Square. Forbidden City and Xidan Shopping Center are also within 3 mi (5 km). Chongwenmen Station is only a 4-minute walk and Ciqikou Station is 11 minutes.

          Capital Hotel ¥10,019
          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.

            Grand Hyatt Beijing ¥14,421
            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 ¥14,811
              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.

                Beijing Tiantan Xingcheng Hotel
                Beijing Tiantan Xingcheng Hotel

                Beijing Tiantan Xingcheng Hotel

                No. 89 TianTan Road, Dongcheng District, Beijing, Beijing
                   
                  2.5 out of 5.0 Stars

                  Located in Downtown Beijing, this hotel is within a 15-minute walk of Temple of Heaven and Hongqiao Market. Chairman Mao Memorial Hall and Wangfujing Street are also within 2 mi (3 km). Tiantandongmen Station is 9 minutes by foot and Ciqikou Station is 11 minutes.