Cookies help us to deliver our services. By using our website, you agree to our use of cookies. Learn more.

Best Temples in Beijing

In Beijing there are many temples to know and discover, that is why I would like to describe you the experience of visiting some of the most interesting ones.

Andressa García

Andressa García

9 min read

Best Temples in Beijing

Temple in Beijing | ©Magda Ehlers

In the 15th century, active construction of temples and palaces began in the city , and many of these ancient structures have survived to this day to become popular tourist destinations, whose visits should be included in your list of things to see and do in Beijing.

There are many temples in the city worth exploring and each of them has its own history and architecture that make them fascinating for visitors, among them is the Temple of Heaven, which embodies the unity of Earth and Heaven and is among the most visited places by tourists.

1. Zhengjue Temple

Zhengjue Temple| ©tak.wing
Zhengjue Temple| ©tak.wing

This is a Buddhist temple that was built during the Qing Dynasty in the former summer palace and is the only temple that survived the fire of 1860. After years of repair and reconstruction, it is finally possible to visit it, you can do it on your own or sign up for one of the best tours in Beijing. Inside the palace you will find ancient elements of more than 300 years old.

Something interesting you have to know about this temple is that archaeologists are still working on reconstructing and learning about the architecture of the Qing Dynasty to decipher the original appearance of the temple. The goal of this quest is to revive the ancient Buddhist architectural monument. However, there are several exhibits that you can enjoy inside that showcase the cultural relics that have survived to this day.

Details of interest

  • Price: To enter this place you will have to pay an entrance fee of around 6 euros.
  • Hours: The temple is only open to the public during the weekend between 00:00 and 23:59.
  • Location: It is located at 28 Qing Hua Xi Lu Street, Hai Dian Qu of Beijing.

Book the Summer Palace, Lama Temple and Panda Garden Tour

2. Niujie Mosque

Niujie Mosque| ©Bismika Allahuma
Niujie Mosque| ©Bismika Allahuma

The Niujie Mosque in Beijing is considered the oldest mosque built in the city, dating back to the distant year 996, and I recommend you to include it among the points to visit if you sign up for a bike tour in Beijing. Over the years, there were several major reconstructions in its construction, but despite the changes, it was possible to maintain the original appearance of the mosque to achieve the finish that can be seen today.

Within the mosque area you will find a main prayer hall, where about 800 Muslims attend daily. You will also discover a special place for women. You will be struck by the exterior facade of the building, which is made of wood and decorated with bright red, blue and gray colors. Before visiting the mosque, you should know that mass visits take place on weekends.

Interesting details

  • Price: The entrance fee is around 2 euros per person.
  • Hours: The mosque is open every day between 9:00 and 16:30.
  • Location: It is located at 18 Niu Jie, Xi Cheng Qu in Beijing.

Book the Summer Palace, Lama Temple and Panda Garden Tour

3. Yellow Temple

Forbidden City| ©cattan2011
Forbidden City| ©cattan2011

Another must-see temple is the Huangsi Temple, also known as the Yellow Temple. It is a complex of Buddhist temples in which you will find two halls constructively identical and its name comes from the yellow glazed tile that covered the roof. It is a visit you have to do along with the visit to the Forbidden City.

You have to know that the temple is divided into eastern and western. And the curious thing about them is that in their structure they are identical, but in their interiors they differ completely. The Eastern Yellow Temple, known as the Temple of Universal Purity, was built around 1651 for the Buddha Naomuhan. And the Western Yellow Temple was erected a year after the eastern temple. The latter is called the Dalai Lama Temple, and served as the residence of the Fifth Dalai Lama.

Details of interest

  • Price: To enter the Yellow Temple, you will have to pay an approximate price of 4 euros.
  • Hours: This temple is open every day between 09:00 and 16:00.
  • Location: It is located on the main street of Huangsi, in the Chaoyang district.

Book Summer Palace, Lama Temple and Panda Garden Tour

4. Yonghe Tibetan Buddhist Temple

Yonghe Tibetan Buddhist Temple| ©Y. Hila
Yonghe Tibetan Buddhist Temple| ©Y. Hila

The first thing you need to know about Yonghe is that it is one of the largest Buddhist temples in China and currently functions as a monastery and temple of the Tibetan Buddhist school. It was erected in 1694, but it was not until 1744 when it became a monastery where the Qianlong emperor installed 500 Lamaist monks. This temple will catch your attention because it is painted in gold and red colors. In addition, its extension is 66,000 square meters.

Behind the central entrance, you will see a long avenue that ends in a beautiful high arch. You will also see towers that hold the bell and drum, which are used for different rituals and celebrations. Inside the complex you will see the Hall of Heavenly Kings, with sculptures of four wrathful guards and the statue of Maitreya Buddha, believed to be carved from a single sandalwood trunk. Visiting this temple is as much a must-do activity as taking a trip to the Great Wall of China to see it.

Details of interest

  • Price: You must pay around 4 euros per person to visit this place.
  • Hours: It is open between 8:00 and 17:00.
  • Location: It is specifically located at number 12 Yonghegong Street, Dongcheng Qu, Beijing.

Book the Great Wall of China, Forbidden City and Tiananmen Tour

5. Temple of Earth

Temple of Earth| ©Patty Councill
Temple of Earth| ©Patty Councill

The Temple of the Earth is an interesting temple to visit in China, although it is important to know that the building was damaged during the "Cultural Revolution" in China, but later it was restored and restructured according to its original version, so you will love to see how its current structure looks like.

Inside the complex you will see five buildings distributed in: the imperial house, a palace, a warehouse, a sacrificial pavilion and an altar. You can also see about 170 ancient trees, including gingko, elm and juniper. In addition, you will be able to see the Temple of Heaven, the Temple of the Earth, the Temple of the Moon and the Temple of the Sun. With the amount of valuable and historical objects inside this compound, it could easily be considered one of the best museums in Beijing.

Details of interest

  • Price: Entrance to the temple complex costs approximately 5 euros per person.
  • Hours: You can visit these temples between 6:00 and 21:00.
  • Location: It is located on the Andingmen Outer Street of AnDingMen, Dongcheng Qu.

6. Temple of Heaven

Temple of Heaven| ©m w
Temple of Heaven| ©m w

The Temple of Heaven has become one of the main symbols of the city because of its shape and structure. Although formerly the Temple of Heaven functioned as a place of shelter for prayers of Thunder, Clouds, Heaven and Earth, today it is a sacred place where you will have the opportunity to learn about the history and culture of China. Something curious to know about this place is that its name is originally translated as "Altar of Heaven".

This place is located very close to the Imperial Palace, so you can visit both places, and even sign up for a tour of the Hutongs on the same day. In fact, this place is one of the visits that you should include in your list of things to see and do in Beijing in winter, because in this season takes place a tradition that has more than five centuries of history. In it, the emperor, after three days of very strict fasting, visits the temple to offer generous gifts to heaven.

Interesting details

  • Price: You will have to pay around 4 euros per person to visit the temple.
  • Hours: It is open from Monday to Sunday between 6:00 and 20:00.
  • Location: The exact address is 1 Tiantan E Rd, Dongcheng Qu.

7. Temple of the Heavenly Clouds

Beijing Park| ©Enrique RG
Beijing Park| ©Enrique RG

The Temple of the Heavenly Clouds is located very close to the north gate of Xianggshan, in Beijing Park. Its construction dates back to the 14th century and part of what you can see inside are its ancient sculptures. It also has a unique panoramic view of the surrounding area and the Luohan Hall. Not all of the original ancient buildings have been preserved to this day, however, there is still much to see in the complex.

Also, inside the monastery you will have the opportunity to visit the Hall of the Heavenly Kings, where you can see the bronze figure of Milefo. On the other hand, and in the western area of the temple, you will be able to see the "Hall of the Hundred Immortals", which is a large and luminous room whose visit you will surely enjoy very much.

Details of interest

  • Price: You will have to pay around five euros to enter the temple.
  • Hours: It is open from 06:00 to 18:00.
  • Location: It is located in Xiangshan Lu, in the district of Haidian. As a reference, you should know that it is next to the north entrance of the Fragrant Hills Park.

8. Wanshou Temple

Wanshou Temple| ©Beijing Tourist
Wanshou Temple| ©Beijing Tourist

If you want to know the Wanshou Temple, you have to know mainly that it is a quiet and peaceful place. To contextualize a bit the history of this temple, it is necessary to say that in the past it was the main place for ceremonies to celebrate the emperor's birthday. Today it is home to the Beijing Art Museum, so inside you can find different exhibitions, among which are the exhibition of furniture, another on the history of the monastery, and one of the art of Buddhism.

You can also see an exhibition of porcelain and an exhibition of Beijing's cultural values. But in addition to all that, inside the museum you can see about 50,000 exhibits on all kinds of ancient Chinese art, from the primitive era to the time of the Qing and Ming emperors. Since August 1979 it was named as a key asset, basically because it demonstrates the essence of Chinese culture, while preserving inside, rare examples of the achievements of the civilization in general.

Details of interest

  • Price: You need to pay around 6 euros per person to enjoy the temple.
  • Hours: Open from Tuesday to Sunday between 9:00 and 16:30. On Mondays it is open from 9:00 to 16:30.
  • Location: It is located on the Zizhu Bridge in Haidian.

9. Confucius Temple

Confucius Temple| ©David Stanley
Confucius Temple| ©David Stanley

The Confucius Temple is quite old and dates back to 1306, but throughout history it has been repaired and rebuilt several times. Despite this, most of the buildings in the temple complex retained their original form. It is the largest Confucian temple and the second largest among all the temples in Beijing. The temple is divided into two parts, the first part being a courtyard with approximately 30,000 square meters.

The rest of the temple is owned by the State Academy, which is also known as the Imperial Academy and the Academy of the Wise. Something interesting you will like to know about this Academy is that, at first it was just a school, but later it became a study center, and later the Guojiang Academy.

Details of interest

  • Price: You will have to pay around 5 euros for each adult and approximately 3 euros for each child.
  • Hours: You can visit this temple between 8:30 and 17:00 every day.
  • Location: It is located exactly at 13 Guozijian Street.

10. Guangji Temple

Guangji Temple| ©Sun Child
Guangji Temple| ©Sun Child

One of the most recommended places to visit in Beijing is Guangji, because it is one of the oldest temple complexes in the city. It is located in Sichen, on Fuchenmen Street, and basically it is a place where you will find a lot of history and tradition. Although the construction of the temple dates back to the 12th century, it has been destroyed and rebuilt several times, although the most valuable exhibits of ancient China have been preserved for you to enjoy today.

The complex is quite a large site, and inside, each of the buildings are separated by massive gates. Plastered on the walls, you will see numerous images of Buddhist deities. Likewise, you will find a library with more than 100 thousand volumes of books and an incredible collection from the Minsk period inside the complex. You will be impressed by the white marble altar, a bronze statue of Maitreya, Buddha statues and other treasures the place has to show.

Details of interest

  • Price: You will have to pay around five euros per person.
  • Hours: To visit Guangji, you will have to go between 8:00 and 17:00.
  • Location: It is located exactly at 25 Fuchengmen Inner Street, Xicheng Qu.

Book the Summer Palace, Lama Temple and Panda Garden Tour