Ming Tombs

Ming Tombs

Ming Tombs (Thirteen Tombs of Ming Dynasty)

50 kilometers (31 miles) northwest from Beijing City, at the foot of Tianshou Mountain, is the Ming Tombs Scenic Area, aka Thirteen Tombs of Ming Dynasty, where lie the mausoleums of thirteen emperors of the Ming Dynasty (1368 - 1644). Since 1409 when Zhu Di, the first emperor of the Ming Dynasty, built his Changling Tomb here, the succeeding twelve emperors had their resting places built around Changling during the next 230 years, covering a total area of over 120 square kilometers (46.3 square miles). This is the best preserved mausoleum area with the most emperors buried. Every year millions of tourists come to the site to appreciate its long history and palatial architecture.
Dingling Mausoleum
Dingling Mausoleum of Emperor Zhu Yijun

In the Ming Dynasty Tombs scenic area, each mausoleum has its own independent unit. The layout and arrangement of all the thirteen mausoleums are very similar, but they vary in size as well as in the complexity of their structures. Each was built in an area at the foot of the mountain, with distances ranging from half a kilometer (547 yards) to eight kilometers (5 miles) between them.  The tombs stretch out on the two sides of Changling Tomb in a fan shape, except for the Siling Tomb, which sits separately in the southwest corner. From site selection to design, great attention was paid to the harmony and unity with nature, pursuing a perfect situation of ‘made by God’ and reflecting the philosophy ‘the unity of heaven and humanity’. As outstanding representatives of the ancient Chinese mausoleum, the Ming Tomb China demonstrate the richness of traditional Chinese culture.At present, only Changling Tomb, Dingling Tomb, Zhaoling Tomb and the Sacred Way are open to the public.

Changling Tomb International Tourism and Culture Festival
 The Sacred Way in Ming Tombs, also known as Changling Sacred Way, is the approach to the Changling Tomb. Along the Way from south to north, you will see a number of sites (or sights) of interest and beauty, including the Stone Tablet Archway, Great Red Gate, Tablet Pavilion, Ornamental Columns, Stone Figures, Lingxin Gate. 
Map of Ming Tombs
Ming Tombs Map (Click to enlarge)
Visitors at the Sacred Way
Visitors at the Sacred Way
 Walking along the Sacred Way to the end, you can see the Changling Tomb built in 1409, where lie the third Emperor of Ming Dynasty, Emperor Zhu Di and his Empress Xu. It is the largest, original and the best preserved among the 13 Ming Tombs, and has three courtyards in the front and a Treasure City in the round rear part. The magnificent Grace and Blessing Palace (Ling'en Palace) in the second courtyard is highly recommended.
 Built from 1584 to 1590, it is the mausoleum of Emperor Zhu Yijun, the thirteenth emperor of the Ming Dynasty and his two empresses. The highlight part is the stone Underground Palace, which was discovered between 1956 and 1958, and had a great deal of precious relics unearthed.
 Located in eastern foot of Dayu Mountain, Zhaoling is where the 12th emperor of the Ming Dynasty, Emperor Zhu Zaihou and his three empresses were buried. It features the special Dumb Yard in a crescent shape housing the imperial coffins.
The Empress' Crown
The Crown of Empress
Gold Wine Pot
Gold Wine Pot

Besides the three tombs above, other ten in Ming Tombs not open to the public are as follows:
Tombs Buriers
Yongling the 11th emperor of the Ming Dynasty Zhu Houcong and his three empresses
Xianling the 4th emperor Zhu Gaochi and Empress Zhang
Qingling the 14th emperor Zhu Changluo and his three empresses
Maoling the 8th emperor Zhu Jianshen and his three empresses
Kangling the 10th emperor Zhu Houzhao and Empress Xia
Jingling the 5th emperor Zhu Zhanji and Empress Sun
Tailing the 9th emperor Zhu Youtang and Empress Zhang
Deling the 15th emperor Zhu Youxiao and Empress Zhang
Yuling the 6th emperor Zhu Qizhen and his two empresses
Siling The 16th and last Ming emperor - Zhu Youjian and his Empress Zhou and Concubine Tian

How to get to Ming Tomb From Beijing

By Bus:
Take bus 872 from Deshengmen Bus Station to Dagongmen stop; the bus is available from 7:00 to 20:10.

By Subway:
Take subway Changping Line to Changping Dongguan Station, then walk westward for 750 meters (820 yards) to transfer to bus 314 and get offf at Dagongmen stop.
Or walk westward for 500 meters (547 yards) to take Chang 67 to Dagongmen. At Dagongmen bus stop, walk for 300 meters (328 yards) to Ming Tombs.
Notice that don't get off at Ming Tombs Subway Station, since it is still 4 kilometers (2.5 miles) from the scenic area and you can only hire a local car and may be overcharged.
Beijing Bus / Subway Search

Ming Tombs Entrance Fee & Opening Hours

Entrance Fee Opening Hours
Apr. - Oct. Nov. - Mar. Apr. - Oct. Nov. - Mar.
Combo Ticket CNY 130 CNY 100 - -
Dingling CNY 60 CNY 40 08:00 - 17:30 08:30 - 17:00
Changling CNY 45 CNY 30 08:00 - 17:00 08:30 - 16:30
Zhaoling CNY 30 CNY 20 08:30 - 17:00 08:30 - 16:30
Sacred Way CNY 30 CNY 20 08:00 - 17:30 08:30 - 17:00
Note: Free for children under 1.2m (3.9 ft).

Recommended Ming Tombs Tour Routes

A popular itinerary for touring the Ming Tombs and the nearby attractions is recommended: Badaling Great Wall → Ming Emperors Wax Museum → Sacred Way → Dingling → Changling → Zhaoling
If you have only one day, you can omit some sites and go like this: Badaling Great Wall → Ming Tombs

How to Visit Ming Tombs from Badaling Great Wall?

Bus 877 can take you from Deshengmen Bus Station to Badaling Great Wall. After touring the wall, you can take Bus No. 919 to Dengzhuang stop, and transfer to Bus No.879 to Dagongmen stop to visit Ming Tombs.

 Further Reading:
Top 10 Things to Do in Beijing 

Top 10 Beijing Historical Sites You Should Not Miss

12 Best Places to Visit near Beijing

- Last updated on Mar. 13, 2024 by Kate Liu -
Questions & Answers on Ming Tombs
Asked by Lucky from THAILAND | Mar. 12, 2024 19:33Reply
Tiananmen to Ming Tomb Taxi cost
How much does it cost for taxi from Tiananmen square to Ming Tomb?
Answers (1)
Answered by Joshua | Mar. 13, 2024 17:44

It costs about CNY 210-250.
Asked by Jordan Henry from CANADA | Feb. 10, 2020 08:41Reply
Badaling to Ming Tombs and back to Beijing
Hello, I understand from the info above that I can take bus 879 from Badaling Great Wall to the Ming Tombs. Where exactly does the bus leave guests at the Ming Tombs area, and what time does the bus run from Badaling Great Wall? I'm thinking of leaving for the tombs around noon. Also, once you get to the Ming Tombs area, what is the easiest way to get around? I'm hoping to visit Dingling and Changling Tombs?
And also, curious about getting back to Beijing after visiting?
Thanks in advance for any help!
Answers (1)
Answered by Ray from AUSTRALIA | Feb. 12, 2020 17:19

The bus operates from 09:30 to 17:30.
At the scenic area, there are many detailed English signs that you can easily find the direct. Don't worry.
After touring around, you can take a taxi to Changping Metro Station. Then take metro Changping Line and then transfer to other metro lines to back to downtown area.
Asked by yey from SINGAPORE | Jan. 07, 2020 04:20Reply
travel time between badaling to ming tombs
hi, may i know the answer to a few questions:
1. what's the travelling time for bus 879 to reach the ming tombs from the badaling great wall of china?
2. what bus to take to go back to beijing?
3. what is the last bus timing?

thank you for taking the time off to answer my questions!
Answers (1)
Answered by Sally from USA | Jan. 08, 2020 17:36

1. It takes around 80 mins.
2. Where exactly will you go? You can take bus 872 from Nancincun station to Deshengmen station, then transfer to other line to your destination.
3. Bus 872 operates till 19:00.
Asked by Jeremy from AUSTRALIA | Oct. 22, 2019 22:49Reply
How long would it take to drive from Huang Hua Cheng to Ming Tombs?
Would it be better to do the Wall first, or the tombs first?
Answers (1)
Answered by Peter from USA | Oct. 27, 2019 20:39

If you take bus, you need to transfer several times and it takes around 3.3 hours. If you take taxi, it takes about 1 hour. You can visit the Wall first or tomb, it depends on your arrangement.
Ask a Question
Question Summary (100 characters)
Details (optional) (2,000 characters)