Great Hall of the People

sights / Architecture

Great Hall of the People information

Běijīng , China
Getting there
subway Tian'anmen West
adult ¥30, bag deposit ¥2-5
Opening hours
8.30am-3pm (times vary)
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Lonely Planet review

On the western side of Tiān’ānmén Square, on a site previously occupied by Taichang Temple, the Jinyiwei (Ming-dynasty secret service) and the Ministry of Justice, the Great Hall of the People is the venue of the legislature, the National People’s Congress (NPC). The 1959 architecture is monolithic and intimidating, and a fitting symbol of China’s remarkable political inertia. The tour parades visitors past a choice of 29 of its lifeless rooms named after the provinces of the Chinese universe. Also here is the banquet room where US president Richard Nixon dined in 1972, and the 10,000-seat auditorium with the familiar red star embedded in a galaxy of ceiling lights. The Great Hall of the People is closed to the public when the NPC is in session. The ticket office is down the south side of the building. Bags must be checked in but cameras are admitted.