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Ancient Observatory (Guguanxiangtai)

#143 of 1,606 things to do in Beijing
Certificate of Excellence
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Address: No.2 Dongbiaobei Hutong, Dongcheng District, Beijing 100005, China
Name/address in local language
Phone Number:
+86 10 6524 2202
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Fee: Yes

Eight huge astronomical instruments are displayed on an elevated platform...

Eight huge astronomical instruments are displayed on an elevated platform at this observatory, which was used during the Ming and Qing dynasties, and is one of the oldest observatories in the world.

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TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 56 reviews
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You don't see this kind of history quite often

Take Jianguomen subway station exit C,turn on right and in one minute you are there.Although my edition Rough Guides from 2006 says it is closed during the weekend I tried luck... read more

Reviewed 4 weeks ago
Jan S
Kosice, Slovakia
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56 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 32: English reviews
Kosice, Slovakia
Level Contributor
13 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 4 weeks ago

Take Jianguomen subway station exit C,turn on right and in one minute you are there.Although my edition Rough Guides from 2006 says it is closed during the weekend I tried luck and a lot has changed since 2006.It is opened every day from 9am until 5pm and the ticket costs 20RMB. Unlike the other sightseeing in Beijing this one is... More 

Thank Jan S
Cheshire, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
78 reviews
35 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
Reviewed 18 December 2016

A little gem of a place in central Beijing, like most of the previous reviews we saw this place as it was near our hotel, also right alongside Jiangoumen subway. station (lines 1 and 2). Free to Chinese and 20 Yuan to others, need to show passport. Not at all crowded. If you are at all interested in the heavenly... More 

Thank Seadog40
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Level Contributor
415 reviews
139 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 224 helpful votes
Reviewed 14 November 2016

From ancient observatory, which covers an area of 10,000 m², has survived only its astronomical playground, which is located on a stone platform height of 15 m and represents a square of 40 by 40 m. This stone platform is a preserved part of the fortress wall time of the Ming Dynasty, which then surrounded the city. On the platform... More 

Thank Vladimir M
Level Contributor
884 reviews
683 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 718 helpful votes
Reviewed 9 November 2016

Located in the lee of the robust archaic city wall, close to where we were staying, we saw the solid ancient structure most every day. It was fascinating to visit it. Completed in the 1440s it served a key purpose in monitoring the heavens for the Emperor who was the Heavenly representative on earth. Important nautical control of the seas... More 

1 Thank permia
San Diego, California
Level Contributor
47 reviews
37 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed 13 September 2016

The Ancient Observatory in Beijing is more if you are looking for a place to go because you have time to fill, or if you are interested/studying the subject. My husband is very interested and so we went and he had a blast. They have some of the earliest astronomy instruments on display and almost all the exhibits are quoted... More 

Thank HWCrew
Level Contributor
28 reviews
10 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed 10 September 2016 via mobile

I visited here as we were walking past on our way to the hotel - though interesting I don't think that I would have gone out of my way to visit, as there really isn't enough there to warrant more than a fifteen minute visit. I did notice there were tours available though, so I imagine if there was some... More 

Thank applefishuk
Level Contributor
30 reviews
20 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed 26 June 2016

Nice stop for science-minded folks passing through the area or simply looking for a unique place to visit if one has plenty of time in Beijing. When we visited yesterday there were three somewhat interesting small indoor exhibition halls open for a visit, each staffed with a young, clearly bored attendant who barely even looked up much less budge from... More 

Thank Vespid23
Level Contributor
50 reviews
21 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
Reviewed 17 May 2016

The ancient observatory has a display of large astronomical instruments both on the grounds and on the roof of the observatory from which you can get a view of this part of modern Beijing. There is little in the way (at least in English) of explanation of how the instruments were used or the history of the observatory. There are... More 

Thank KSfamily00
Beijing, China
Level Contributor
1,414 reviews
986 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 749 helpful votes
Reviewed 14 May 2016

We were bored and I have been living in Beijing for 4 years already and had never seen one of the world’s most ancient observatories so we went. It is rather small and there are no crowds so you can go and actually read all of the exhibits and take some photos of the ancient artifacts. It’s not super exciting... More 

Thank Daniel A
Lowick, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
72 reviews
21 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
Reviewed 25 March 2016

I walked to the Ancient Observatory from my nearby hotel and purchased entry ticket for 20 Yuan. Consists of observation tower with a variety of old astronomical equipment, a garden with more instruments and exhibitions in a couple of buildings around a court yard. There are English sections on all interpretation panels, and while I found them insufficient to understand... More 

Thank Rabby1

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