Top things to do

Top Choice Park in Temple of Heaven Park & Dōngchéng South

Temple of Heaven Park

A tranquil oasis of peace and methodical Confucian design in one of China’s busiest urban landscapes, the 267-hectare Temple of Heaven Park is absolutely unique. It originally served as a vast stage for solemn rites…
Top Choice Peking Duck in Temple of Heaven Park & Dōngchéng South

Lìqún Roast Duck Restaurant

As you walk in to this compact courtyard restaurant, you're greeted by the fine sight of rows of ducks on hooks glowing in the ovens. The delectable duck on offer is in such high demand that it’s essential to call a…
Taoist Site in Temple of Heaven Park & Dōngchéng South

Hall of Prayer for Good Harvests

The most visually striking structure in the Temple of Heaven complex, this magnificent hall mounted on a three-tiered marble terrace is supported by pillars made of pine wood imported during the Qing dynasty from Or…
Watchtower in Temple of Heaven Park & Dōngchéng South

Southeast Corner Watchtower & Red Gate Gallery

This splendid fortification, with a green-tiled, twin-eaved roof rising imperiously south of the Ancient Observatory, dates to the Ming dynasty. Mount the battlements for views alongside camera-wielding Chinese trai…
Museum in Temple of Heaven Park & Dōngchéng South

Běijīng Red Star

Set up by the government-owned Red Star báijiǔ (literally ‘white alcohol’; a face-numbing spirit) company, this museum is dedicated to the 'drink for the people'. There are no English captions but it takes you throu…
Peking Duck in Temple of Heaven Park & Dōngchéng South

Biànyífāng

Biànyífāng claims to be the original Peking duck restaurant – it cites a heritage that dates back to the reign of the Qing emperor Xianfeng. The birds here are roasted in the mènlú style (in a closed oven, as oppose…
Museum in Temple of Heaven Park & Dōngchéng South

Běijīng Planning Exhibition Hall

It doesn’t see much foot traffic, but a lot of thought has gone into making this modern museum a visitor-friendly experience. True, it strains every sinew to present Běijīng’s gut-wrenching, hútòng-felling metamorph…
Dumplings in Temple of Heaven Park & Dōngchéng South

Dōuyīchù

Still located on the street where it opened during the mid-Qing dynasty, Dōuyīchù specialises in the delicate dumplings called shāomài. The shrimp-and-leek and veggie ones are especially good, and are presented very…
Landmark in Temple of Heaven Park & Dōngchéng South

Round Altar

The Round Altar in Temple of Heaven Park is all about the number nine. Odd numbers were considered sacrosanct in imperial China and nine is the highest single-digit odd number. This white marble structure dates to 1…
Historic Site in Temple of Heaven Park & Dōngchéng South

Fasting Palace

Used by the emperor while he was abstaining from food and drink (and women) prior to the winter solstice ceremony, the dry moat around this attractive pavilion in Temple of Heaven Park is now mostly home to feral ca…