Beijing Museum of Natural History

Museum of Natural History
Museum of Natural History
Beijing Museum of Natural History is located on Tianqiao South Street in Dongcheng District. It was the first comprehensive museum of natural science in China and was formally opened on Oct. 1st, 1959. It is mainly engaged in specimen collection, scientific research and science popularization work in the fields of paleontology, zoology, botany, anthropology and others. More than a hundred thousand artifacts, fossils and specimens are reserved in Beijing Museum of Natural History, and the number of complete large ancient mammal fossils ranks it the second in the world. Among all the specimens and fossils, that of the Stegodon zdanskyi (a kind of ancient elephant) is the most famous and precious..

Permanent Exhibitions

Going straight ahead after entering Beijing Museum of Natural History, one would come to the Gallery of Ancient Reptiles and Dinosaurs. Here are exhibited the mamenchisaurus (a species of dinosaur), the largest sauropod dinosaur fossil discovered in China, and the Lufengosaurus huenei Young - the first dinosaur fossil discovered by Chinese scientists.

Having seen the giant dinosaur skeleton and learned about the evolution of ancient reptiles, visitors can head to the Gallery of Ancient Mammals, situated on the left of the entrance. Audiences can see the Stegodon zdanskyi, which is the most complete skeleton of a stegodon ever found in the world. The skeleton was found near the Yellow River, so it is also called the Yellow River Stegodon. Apart from the skeleton, audiences can see the earliest angiosperms fossil - the Archaefructus liaoningensis, the earliest known flowering plant.

Passing through the Ancient Mammal Gallery, visitors can enter the Origin of Life Gallery and the Prosperity of Ancient Invertebrates. This gallery reproduces the rich environment of the ocean of 530 million years ago and displays a comprehensive history of ancient invertebrates. The complex evolution is presented through plenty of fossils. The abundant ancient animal fossils of the Jehol Biota, especially the hairy fossils of dinosaurs, discovered in western Liaoning Province, would be the best attraction.

After finishing the visit in the Origin of Life and the Prosperity of Ancient Invertebrates Gallery, one can go upstairs and visit the Plant Kingdom, where one can get to understand the evolution from prehistoric extinct plants to modern plants. There are some interactive activities. For instance, audiences can see the whole process of flowers sprouting, growing and blossoming all through the push of a button. Through these changing perspectives, one can also see the changes of the seasons.

After leaving the Plant Kingdom exhibition, going straight ahead one enters the Beauty of Animals Gallery. The exhibits here are based on the invaluable animal specimens donated by Mr. Kenneth E. Behring. By the use of new technologies, it reproduces the natural habitat and exhibits typical wild animal specimens of Africa, North America and Eurasia.

Going downstairs from the Beauty of Animals Gallery, the last part of permanent exhibitions is right in front of you, the gallery of Animals -- the Friends of Human Beings. The basic animal exhibits including six thematic units: Preface (Biodiversity), Invertebrates, Fish, Amphibian, Animal Protection and the Insects' World. The most important part is the Insects' World. This gallery introduces the colorful insects' world by various kinds of fossils and specimens.

Temporary Exhibitions

Beijing Museum of Natural History also holds some temporary exhibitions every year. Most of them focus on dinosaurs, plants, animals, and environment protection.

4D Cinema

In the 4D cinema, visitors can enjoy four scientific and educational films favored by many kids and their parents. The schedules are as follows:

4D scientific and educational films Schedules
Black-feathered Elf Sat.: 10:00;
Wed., Fri. & Sun.: 11:00;
Tue. & Thu.: 13:30
The adventures of Little Juramaia Sun.: 10:00;
Tue., Thu. & Sat.: 11:00;
Wed. & Fri.: 13:30
Prehistoric Adventure Wed. & Fri.: 10:00;
Sun.: 13:30
A turtle’s Adventure Tue. & Thu.: 10:00;
Wed., Fri., Sun.: 15:00

How to get to Beijing Museum of Natural History

 By Bus:
1. Take bus 2, 7, 20, 36, 53, 72, 93 or 120 to Tiantan West Gate, then walk northward to the entrance.
2. Take bus 7, 105, 110, 120, 141, 622 to Tiantan Station, then walk southward to the entrance.

 By Subway:
Take subway line 8 and get off at Tianqiao Station. Get out from Exit B and walk northward to the entrance.
Beijing Bus / Subway Search


It is free, but one needs to make a reservation online at least one day before the visit.
 The admission fee for the 4D Cinema is CNY 20 per person.

Opening Hours:

09:00-17:00 (Tuesday-Sunday)
Time to pick up tickets: Tuesday-Sunday 09:00-16:00
 Visitors are not allowed to enter the museum after 16:00.

See more: 
10 Fun Things to Do in Beijing with Family
12 Free Things to Do in Beijing
Travel to Beijing with Kids - 11 Things to Do

- Last updated on Jul. 19, 2023 by Gabby Li -
Questions & Answers on Beijing Museum of Natural History
Asked by Tim Hopf from USA | Nov. 05, 2018 15:39Reply
are there audio guides in English? are there senior discounts? is photography allowed?
Answers (1)
Answered by Madge from AUSTRALIA | Nov. 06, 2018 23:16

The museum is free but you need to make an appointment in advance. There are audio guides in English and you are allowed to take photos.
Asked by Yesenia from PORTUGAL | Aug. 06, 2015 02:55Reply
Ticket reservation for Beijing Museum of Natural History
I would like to know if there isn't an email adress to make the reservations. Do I really need to call? I'm thinking about visiting this museum on the first day I arrive.
Thank you in advance.
Answers (1)
Answered by Lily | Aug. 08, 2015 01:41

I'm afraid no. Actually, ticket shouldn't be a problem in this museum. Generally speaking, there are enough tickets for visitors.
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