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Beijing Visitor Attractions

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Jingshan Park

If you only have 1hr in Beijing, go to Jingshan Park

Beijing’s Jingshan Park is highly recommended – primarily for the amazing view of the Forbidden City. Jinghshan Park is also a great place to see Beijing residents practising calligraphy, tai chi and martial arts, and Chinese musical instruments like the Chinese flute. It’s a calm leafy oasis in the middle of a noisy city, and very charming of its own right.

The hill was formed from earth excavated to make the moat around the Forbidden City, and its location directly to the North protects the Forbidden City from evil spirits according to Chinese feng shui. It also serves as a useful windbreak, and was once part of the Forbidden City.

The hill is about 50 metres high, and on a good day you can see not only the entire Forbidden City, but the city of Beijing for miles around too. The park’s very popular, but most of the tour groups don’t get up here.

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Five pavilions sit atop the hill. At the Northern foot of the hill is Shouhuang hall, once dedicated to ancestor worship, now used for childrens’ activities. Just to the East lie Yongsi and Guande Halls, where the bodies of Qing Emperors lay in state. There are displays of art and calligraphy by the Park’s North Gate.

It was in Jingshan Park that the Ming Emperor, Chongzhen hung himself from a pagoda tree as rebels stormed the city and brought down the dynasty. A replica of the tree, (The Chinese Scholar Tree) is to be found on the Eastern side of the Park.

Jingshan Park is famous for peonies, which are at their best in April and May.

The hill was formerly known as Coal Hill. The current name, Jĭngshān, rightly suggests rightly that the hill commands excellent views. (Jĭng 景=scenery, Shān 山= hill).

Jingshan Park Practical Information

Jingshan park is open from 6am-9.30pm, and admission costs 10Y.

The Park is right by the Forbidden City. If you’re in the Forbidden City, go out of the North Exit, cross the moat, cross the road and there you are.

A taxi from anywhere in the city centre should cost less than 30Y.

To get there by subway, go to the Tiananmen East on subway Line 1 and it’ll be a walk of 10-15 minutes. You have to skirt around the Forbidden City, so take the road which runs up the East side of the Forbidden City, then turn left. You could do the same from Tiananmen West.

Buses 5, 13 and 107 all stop here.

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