Chairman Mao Memorial Hall

Price guide: Free

Tiananmen Square, Dongcheng District, Beijing

Price guide: Free

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By Tom O'Malley, your Beijing expert

#19 of 20
expert-rated things to do in Beijing
Expert overall rating:3.8 out of 5
Value for money:
Recommended for:
Families with teenagers, Seasoned travellers, History, People watching

Expert review of Chairman Mao Memorial Hall

Witness the cult of Mao forever preserved in his mausoleum in Tiananmen Square.

After Mao’s death in 1976, his embalmed body was put on display in the Soviet-inspired mausoleum built slap bang in the centre of Tiananmen Square, interrupting the north south Imperial axis once the sole preserve of Emperors. If you want a glimpse at the waxy visage of the Great Helmsman wrapped in the national flag, arrive early – the mausoleum closes at noon. Signs instruct visitors to remove hats and remain solemn as they are brusquely hurried through the building, but true to form, no one seems particularly overcome with reverence, some folks chattering away on mobile phones much to the annoyance of the white-gloved guards.

Price advice: 

The mausoleum is free, but for a few RMB you can buy a flower and lay it at the foot of a statue.

Expert tips: 
Even when the queues stretch several hundred metres long, it shouldn’t take you more than 25 minutes to get through the building.
Camera and bags must be checked in to storage just across the street on the east side of the square. Follow the signs.

More information on Chairman Mao Memorial Hall:

Price guide:
Landmark / monument
Tiananmen Square, Dongcheng District, Beijing
Months open:
All year round
Opening times:
Daily 8am-noon

Have you been to Chairman Mao Memorial Hall? Would you recommended it?