Drum Tower & Bell Tower

sights / Historic

Drum Tower & Bell Tower information

Lonely Planet review

Repeatedly destroyed and restored, the Drum Tower originally marked the centre of the old Mongol capital. The drums of this later Ming-dynasty version were beaten to mark the hours of the day. Stagger up the incredibly steep steps for impressive views over Běijīng's hútòng rooftops. Drum performances are given hourly from 9.30am to 11.30am and from 1.30pm to 4.50pm.

Fronted by a stele from the Qing dynasty, the Bell Tower originally dates from Ming times. The Ming structure went up in a sheet of flame and the present structure is a Qing edifice dating from the 18th century. Augment visits with drinks at the Drum & Bell Bar.

Both the Drum and Bell Towers can be reached on bus 5, 58 or 107; get off at the namesake Gǔlóu stop.