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Front Gate (Qianmen Gate)

This grand structure was the original front gate to the once-walled city of Beijing. Climb to the top for fantastic views over its archery tower and Tiananmen Square.

The centrally located Front Gate (Qianmen Gate) is also known as Zhengyangmen and was originally part of the old city walls. The towering structure with typical Chinese curved roof stands 138 feet (42 meters) tall and was once one of the main entrances to the imperial city. The carefully preserved structure is symbolic of Beijing’s cultural heritage, linking the royal imperial domain with the suburban outer city.

The Front Gate was originally built in 1419 and restored in the early 20th century. The complex now consists of just the Gate of True Sun and the grey Arrow Tower, which is also called Jianlou. The rest of the wall has been taken down.

Come here to see one of only a few preserved examples of Beijing’s old fortifications. For a small entrance fee, you can venture inside and see an exhibit about the history of the city. See how the imperial city would have looked at its peak by browsing the old photos and relics on display. The small museum traces Beijing’s development throughout the centuries.

After delving into the capital’s past, climb up the stairs to the top of the structure to see present-day Beijing in full glory. Most buildings in this area are low-level, so you can enjoy uninterrupted views of the city’s urban center. It’s also a great location to watch the hive of activity on Tiananmen Square below.

Admire the formidable structure of the Arrow Tower from the outside. Note the large number of windows, once used by guards to keep watch and to shoot arrows at approaching enemies. It is worth coming back here at night, when the buildings are lit up.

For souvenirs, modern fashion and a lunch of Peking duck, dumplings or noodles, visit historic Qianmen Street. This pedestrian area begins at the watchtower and is a major shopping precinct.

Front Gate looms over the southern end of Tiananmen Square. The gate is a short walk from the Forbidden City and close to the Qianmen subway station.


Guide to Exploring around Zhengyangmen


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Lodging Near Zhengyangmen

See all 1,040 Hotels near Zhengyangmen
$92
Park Plaza Beijing Wangfujing

Park Plaza Beijing Wangfujing

97 Jinbao St Dongcheng Distrt, Beijing
4.5
of 5, from 1,989 reviews
4.0 out of 5.0

Park Plaza Beijing Wangfujing Hotel is a modern oasis, ideal for both leisure and business guests. Centrally located in the heart of Beijing's bustling and developing cultural, commercial, business and entertainment district, the hotel is within walking distance of the Forbidden City and Tiananmen Square.

$74
Hotel Kapok - Forbidden City

Hotel Kapok - Forbidden City

16 Donghuamen Street, Beijing
4.2
of 5, from 1,136 reviews
4.5 out of 5.0

In the heart of Beijing, this contemporary boutique hotel is about an 8-minute walk from the east side of the Forbidden City, as well as the Wangfujing shopping hub. A metro station is 300 meters away.

$20
King's Joy Hotel

King's Joy Hotel

No.81,Meishi Street, Xicheng District, Beijing
3.6
of 5, from 166 reviews
3.5 out of 5.0

Located in Downtown Beijing, this hotel is within a 15-minute walk of Qianmen Street, Chairman Mao Memorial Hall, and China Museum of History. Tiananmen Square and Great Hall of the People are also within 1 mi (2 km).

$99
Grand Hotel Beijing

Grand Hotel Beijing

No 35 East Chang An Avenue, Beijing
4.2
of 5, from 439 reviews
5.0 out of 5.0

Located in Downtown Beijing, this luxury hotel is within a 10-minute walk of National Museum of China and Tiananmen Square. Tiananmen and Chairman Mao Memorial Hall are also within 15 minutes.

$159
Legendale Hotel Beijing

Legendale Hotel Beijing

90-92 Jinbao Street, Beijing
4.6
of 5, from 399 reviews
5.0 out of 5.0

Located in Dongdan, this luxury hotel is within 1 mi (2 km) of Peking Union Medical College, Tiananmen Square, and Wangfujing Street. Forbidden City and Tiananmen are also within 2 mi (3 km).

Beijing Shindom - Qianmen Hotel

Beijing Shindom - Qianmen Hotel

No. 114 Xiheyan, Qianmen, Beijing
2.4
of 5, from 22 reviews
3.0 out of 5.0

Located in Downtown Beijing, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Beijing Planning Exhibition Hall, Chairman Mao Memorial Hall, and China Museum of History. Tiananmen Square and Great Hall of the People are also within 1 mi (2 km).

$202
Layering Courtyard Hutel Qianmen

Layering Courtyard Hutel Qianmen

No. 159, Xi He Yan Street, Beijing
4.0 out of 5.0

Located in Downtown Beijing, this hotel is within a 15-minute walk of Lao She Teahouse, Chairman Mao Memorial Hall, and China Museum of History. Tiananmen Square and Great Hall of the People are also within 1 mi (2 km).

$231
Twisting Courtyard Hutel Qianmen

Twisting Courtyard Hutel Qianmen

No. 27 Pai Zi Hu Tong, Beijing
4.0 out of 5.0

Located in Downtown Beijing, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Beijing Planning Exhibition Hall, Chairman Mao Memorial Hall, and China Museum of History. Tiananmen Square and Great Hall of the People are also within 1 mi (2 km).