Lama Temple

Price guide: Budget

Yonghegong Avenue, Dongcheng District, Beijing

Price guide: Budget

Lama Temple
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By Tom O'Malley, your Beijing expert

I write for Travel and Leisure (SE .... Read more
#10 of 20
expert-rated things to do in Beijing
Expert overall rating:4.2 out of 5
Value for money:
Recommended for:
Culture vultures, Families with teenagers, First-time travellers, Design and architecture, History

Expert review of Lama Temple

Light a few sticks of incense at Beijing’s most important Tibetan Buddhist temple.

A former Imperial palace turned lamasery, this magnificent Buddhist temple is still very much active, with ‘state-approved’ monks and worshippers prostrating themselves at various alters throughout its incensed-filled halls. If you’re particularly interested in learning which mystical deity or tantric statue is which, I’d suggest hiring one of the English-speaking guides around the temple entrance. Otherwise you probably need only spend an hour or so here, but make sure you get all the way to the Wanfu Pavilion to see the gargantuan statue of the Maitreya Buddha, said to be sculpted from a single block of sandalwood.

Price advice: 

Tickets cost about 25 RMB, with audio guides available for a supplement.

Expert tips: 
After your visit, cross Yonghegong Avenue west to Wudaoying Hutong, a hip alley lined with cafes, arty shops and cute restaurants.

More information on Lama Temple:

Price guide:
Historic site, Religious site
Yonghegong Avenue, Dongcheng District, Beijing
Months open:
All year round
Opening times:
Daily 9am-5pm

Have you been to Lama Temple? Would you recommended it?