Temple of Heaven

Vacation Travel Guide
Temple of Heaven showing a city, a temple or place of worship and religious elements

Behind a high wall stands an ancient building once used in sacrifices. This huge historical place of worship is a quiet oasis in busy Beijing.

Temple of Heaven is bigger than the Forbidden City. It was originally constructed as a ceremonial space for emperors during the 15th century, but has been open to the public since 1918. Nowadays, the site is a gathering point for local musicians, dancers and other performers who practice their martial arts and hobbies here.

Hidden behind high walls, the Temple of Heaven park offers a welcome respite from the hectic city streets of Beijing. The northern section is semi-circular, representing heaven. The square southern part symbolizes Earth.

Explore the halls, pavilions and gardens filled with interesting architecture. You’ll get insight into the practices of ancient Chinese philosophy, history and religion.

Be prepared for a lot of walking if you set out to follow the traditional ceremonial route. Start at the Zhaoheng Gate in the south and follow the main stone pathway. You’ll soon reach the tiered Circular Mound Altar, where emperors would offer sacrifices in the hope of getting a good harvest. Ancient philosophical symbols are incorporated in the design of the temple.

Notice how the altar’s architecture is built around the number nine, a significant number in ancient Eastern culture. Count out how each terrace is constructed with stones grouped in multiples of nine.

A short distance ahead, you’ll find the round Imperial Vault of Heaven Pavilion. Inside, glance upwards at its ornate ceiling with a colorful design centered on a large gilded dragon. If you have a travel companion, try out the Echo Wall surrounding the pavilion: The acoustics of this space means that your whisper will be heard all the way at the other end.

Temple of Heaven is located in the Dongcheng District. To get there, take the subway to Tiantandongmen Station. Exit A leads to the East Gate entrance of the temple. There are additional fees to visit the various sections of the park. Electronic guides in English are available for rent.

Top Hotels Close to Temple of Heaven

Novotel Beijing Peace
Novotel Beijing Peace
4 out of 5
No 3 Jinyu Hutong, Beijing, Beijing
The price is $69 per night from Jan 3 to Jan 3
This family-friendly Beijing hotel is located in the historical district, within 1 mi (2 km) of Wangfujing Street, Forbidden City, and Tiananmen Square. Tiananmen ...
3.9/5 Very Good! (993 reviews)
Aircon doesn't works
"The air conditioning doesn't work. The temperature inside the rooms is high enough to sweat. Noticed other guests complaining about this"

Reviewed on Aug 2, 2021

Novotel Beijing Peace
Beijing Hotel Nuo Forbidden City
Beijing Hotel Nuo Forbidden City
5 out of 5
33 Chang An Avenue, Dongcheng District, Beijing, Beijing
Fully refundable
The price is $146 per night from Dec 18 to Dec 18
Located in Downtown Beijing, this luxury hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Tiananmen Square, Tiananmen, and Wangfujing Street. Forbidden City and Temple of ...
4.5/5 Wonderful! (997 reviews)
Stay in this iconic hotel!
"The hotel is so beautiful and the staff is super helpful and friendly. It is close to the Forbidden city and an amazing hotel to stay in. I ate in the downstairs lounge which is very elegant and the food delicious."

Reviewed on Jun 21, 2021

Beijing Hotel Nuo Forbidden City
Beijing Tiantan Xingcheng Hotel
Beijing Tiantan Xingcheng Hotel
2.5 out of 5
No. 89 TianTan Road, Dongcheng District, Beijing, Beijing
Located in Downtown Beijing, this hotel is within 1 mi (2 km) of Hongqiao Market and Temple of Heaven. Forbidden City and Wangfujing Street are also within 3 ...
3.3/5 (6 reviews)
What we expected for the price
"The breakfast buffet is suited to Eastern tastes and does not have the variety that a Westerner would expect. Our selection was narrowed down to toast and plain bread which is what we had for breakfast. We could not eat at the hotel restaurant at dinner time for the same reason and looked elsewhere ..."

Reviewed on Jul 8, 2011

Beijing Tiantan Xingcheng Hotel
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.

Popular places to visit in Temple of Heaven

Temple of Heaven

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Best Lodging Options Near Temple of Heaven

Novotel Beijing Xin Qiao
Novotel Beijing Xin Qiao
4 out of 5
1 Chong Wen Men Xi Da Jie, Beijing, Beijing
The price is $65 per night from Dec 24 to Dec 24
Novotel Beijing Xin Qiao
Novotel Beijing Peace
Novotel Beijing Peace
4 out of 5
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The price is $69 per night from Jan 3 to Jan 3
Novotel Beijing Peace
Beijing Hotel Nuo Forbidden City
Beijing Hotel Nuo Forbidden City
5 out of 5
33 Chang An Avenue, Dongcheng District, Beijing, Beijing
The price is $146 per night from Dec 18 to Dec 18
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Beijing Tiantan Xingcheng Hotel
Beijing Tiantan Xingcheng Hotel
2.5 out of 5
No. 89 TianTan Road, Dongcheng District, Beijing, Beijing
Beijing Tiantan Xingcheng Hotel
Grand Hyatt Beijing
Grand Hyatt Beijing
5 out of 5
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The price is $133 per night from Dec 5 to Dec 5
Grand Hyatt Beijing
Renaissance Beijing Capital Hotel
Renaissance Beijing Capital Hotel
4.5 out of 5
61 Dongsanhuan Middle Road, Beijing, Beijing
The price is $133 per night from Dec 8 to Dec 8
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ibis Beijing Tiantandongmen Metro Station Hotel
ibis Beijing Tiantandongmen Metro Station Hotel
1 out of 5
No. 66 Tiantan East Road, Dongcheng, District, Beijing, Beijing
ibis Beijing Tiantandongmen Metro Station Hotel
Manxin Beijing Temple of Heaven
Manxin Beijing Temple of Heaven
3.5 out of 5
38 Xixiaoshi St, Dongcheng District, Beijing, Beijing
Manxin Beijing Temple of Heaven
Jinjiang Inn Beijing Zhushikou
Jinjiang Inn Beijing Zhushikou
2.5 out of 5
No. 72 Xixiaoshi Street, Dongcheng, District, Beijing, Beijing
Jinjiang Inn Beijing Zhushikou
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.