Chairman Mao Memorial Hall

Address: Tiananmen Square, Dongcheng District, Beijing, China

- Free


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.

Value for money

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.

Recommended for

  • Families with teenagers
  • Seasoned travellers
  • People watching
  • History