Once in Beijing, the Beijing Planning Exhibition Hall near the Tian’anmen Square is a great place to begin your visit. With a construction area of 16,000 square meters and an exhibition area of 8,000 square meters, this four-story museum introduces the long history Beijing, showcasing the achievements of Beijing urban planning construction as well as the future of the city development. Here, you can get a wealth of information about Beijing and understand the city better.
On the second floor, you can learn about the planning and construction of Beijing’s 14 districts and 2 counties, Beijing’s urban transport, environmental protection, water supply and energy-saving efforts.
The exhibition hall on the third floor, through advanced technologies, rich and colorful content and interesting forms, offers a vivid and comprehensive depiction of Beijing’s past, present and future urban construction and development. The historical section consists of “Vicissitudes of Beijing Old City” and “Protection of Beijing as a Historical and Cultural City”, both employing a large number of pictures, texts, physical objects, digital movies and models to reflect Beijing’s emergence, development and historical evolution during various periods from the Stone Age to modern times.
The highlight of the visit to the Beijing Planning Exhibition Hall is the extraordinarily detailed scale model of the city on the this floor. Made with a scale of 1:750, the model covers an area of 302 square metes, integrated with the 1,000-square-meter aerial photographs in the same scale, showcasing the charms of Beijing as a historical and cultural city. It is among the largest of its kind in the world, through which you can reach out to touch a miniature Beijing. In the model, every building within the Fourth Ring Road can be found. For better observation, you can use the14 binoculars hanging around the area to look for the building that you are most concerned about with its rendering in the model. It’s remarkable!
The fourth floor features an exhibition about the future Beijing. In the Movie Hall, you can watch the movie The City of Eternity, which tells the 3,000 years history of Beijing as a city and 850 years history as a capital in about 10 minutes; and the movie The Future of Beijing, which introduces the Beijing Master Plan from 2004 to 2020 in detailed information and figures in about 12 minutes. On this floor, you will find the models of the 2008 Olympic venues, including the well-known Bird’s Nest and the Water Cube.
Some rare or even world’s greatest works of arts are also exhibited here, like the bronze sculpture in the lobby – “Beijing Gulf” which shows geographic feature of Beijing that is a city surrounded by mountain ranges on its three sides, the bronze map on the wall between the second and the third floor – “Old Beijing” which fully illustrates the overall layout and characteristics of Beijing in 1949 with a scale of 1:1000, the meticulous painting scroll of the old Peking – “Tianqu Danque” and a wooden model of the Forbidden City on the third floor.
If you are curious about past, present and future of Beijing, the Beijing Planning Exhibition Hall is the place. And you won’t regret the visit!
Address: No. 20, Qianmen East Street, Dongcheng District, Beijing (southeast corner of Tian’anmen Square)
Opening Hours: 09:00am – 17:00pm (Closed on Mondays)
Traffic: Subway Line 2, Qianmen Station; Bus No 9, 110, and 729.