Great Hall of the People

One of the best sites in Beijing is the Great Hall of the People. It is never included in Group Tours because it is used by the Government so often and is the Assembly Hall of their Congress. It is used for State Dinners and the reception of Foreign Diplomats and High Government Representatives. Built in the 1950’s by the Russians for the Chinese Government, it has the largest Auditorium seating over 10,000 people with the largest stage in China. There is a reception Hall decorated in the style of each Province of the country. Although you can not go into these, the doors are open and large windows allow you to peek into them. When it is open to the public, you can also have lunch in the large banquet hall. Located on the west side of Tiananmen Square in the central area it is truly a site not to be missed. Next to the Great Hall on the south side of Tiananmen Square is Mao’s Tomb which also has an erratic schedule of openings. On the East side is the History Museum and across the street on the North side is the wonderful Forbidden City which is usually included in all tours of Beijing. Another must is taking a walk through the Beijing Hotel only a few blocks east as it is part of the history of Beijing too. For more sights of interest keep reading my blog.


One of the places you must visit in Beijing and seldom ever visited by Group Tours is the Great Hall of the People on Tiananmen Square. It is like visiting our Congress building in the U.S. Note above the largest stage in Asia and perhaps the world with seating for over 10,000 people. The bottom photo is one of the reception rooms for foreign dignitaries. President Nixon was received in this particular room. Each Province has a room in the building decorated for their particular province. Although you can not tour the individual rooms, there is glass so you can look into them. You can take a self guiding tour of the building which features a banquet room as well as a cafeteria where you may have lunch. The stairways are 20′ wide and during receptions are covered with inch thick red carpeting. Another building to tour is the Beijing Hotel on the corner of Changon Ave. and Wangfujing street Mall. The reception hall if open has had many historical meetings there. Although updated the hotel is now split into three hotels in one which share many of the common areas including many restaurants which are open to the public. These buildings not included in Group Tours are good places to go on your own during some of your free time. For more places to visit and see on your own not included on group tours, contact us at Private Custom Tours to China are our specialty for over 18 years.