Beijing Planetarium

Situated at Xizhimen Outer Street, Beijing Planetarium is a national level natural science museum, and it was the first large-scale planetarium in China. As an advanced education base, it aims at teenagers' science popularization and public astronomical exhibition. The planetarium consists of two main exhibition halls. Exhibition Hall A was first constructed in 1955 and opened in 1957, with an area of 837 square yards (700 square meters), while the new Exhibition Hall B, was built in 2001 with an area of 2,392 square yards (2,000 square meters) and opened in 2004. The Exhibition Hall A is in front of the Exhibition Hall B.


Exhibition Hall A

The Exhibition Hall A mainly includes the Entrance Hall, Space Theater, Revolving Starry Night and Compass Exhibits. In the middle of the Entrance Hall is the well-known Foucault pendulum. A French physicist named Foucault conducted a successful experiment in 1851 to prove the earth's rotation, so Foucault pendulum earned its name from the story.

The pendulum in Beijing Planetarium keeps revolving from west to east, showing visitors the principle of Earth's rotation. Experts will explain how daytime and night take turns on the earth to you. On the left of Entrance Hall is the Eastern Exhibition Region, where the Compass Exhibits are located. As one of the four great inventions of China, a number of compasses are lined in this hall to show its historical development. Visitors can get to know how the compass works, and how to use the compass in daily life.

In the Western Exhibition Region is Revolving Starry Night. This hall shows the rotation of the whole universe, for example, when the sun, earth, moon, planets and stars revolve on their own axis, they also spin around the same system center in the mean time. Meanwhile, visitors can try to identify and find their constellations under the aid of the star map. Through observing the changes of solar altitude angle, visitors can understand how four seasons take turns and different climates in different regions. The most splendid show is the eclipses of sun and moon. The fact that how sun rises and falls, and moon waxes and wanes will be demonstrated clearly to visitors.

Deep into the entrance hall of Beijing Planetarium lays the Space Theater. This theater, holding 400 seats, is equipped with excellent planetarium instruments from different countries. Zeiss lenses, IMAX digital projection system and surround sound system make itself one of the most advanced space theaters in the world.

Exhibition Hall B

The Exhibition Hall B contains two floors and a basement. The Exploration of Universe is situated on the first floor and second floor. On the right side of the entrance, many visiting projects have been developed, such as Experience on the Moon, Mars Landscape, Jupiter Tour, Saturn Wonder, Searching for Pluto and Space Cinema. On the second floor, there are a 3D Digital Universe Theater and a 4D Cinema. The Universe Theater can accommodate 200 people once. Adopting the most advanced projection technique, some program can take visitors to wander in the whole universe, even choose the direction and routine as they want. As for the visitors who never experience 4D movies, 4D Cinema must be a good option to hunt for excitement. Visitors also can explore the history of the universe and play various games there. The Sun Observatory is on the left side of the first floor, and it mainly shows solar activity. This device greatly meets the visitors' demands to observe in person. The sunspots, facula, solar flare and solar corona can be seen.

In the basement of Beijing Planetarium, Time Machine in Universe, Observatory Exhibits and Meteorites Exhibits are distributed in different zones. Time Machine in Universe is designed to interact with visitors. At first, you can acquire the warming-up knowledge to prepare for the test and assessment, and only when you pass them can you get a chance to enjoy the shuttle in universe and witness the Big Bang and evolution process of universe.

Ticket Fare:

 Exhibition Hall A&B: CNY 10
 Note: The minors and the old people over 60 enjoy free entry to the exhibition halls, and they can buy the discounted tickets for shows in theaters.

 Ticket Prices of Shows

Optical Planetarium in Building A CNY 45  (Discounted: CNY 35)
Cosmic Theater in Building B CNY 45  (Discounted: CNY 35)
4D Theater in Building B CNY 30  (Discounted: CNY 20)
3D Theater in Building B CNY 30  (Discounted: CNY 20)

Opening  Hours:

Monday Closed
Tue. - Thu. & Sun. 9:00 - 18:00
Fri. & Sat. 9:00 - 19:00
 Note: Ticket sale stops half an hour before the planetarium is closed.

How to get to Beijing Planetarium

 By Subway:
Take Subway Line 4 and get off at Dongwuyuan (Beijing Zoo) Station. Get out from Exit D and you can see the tourist center of Beijing Planetarium.
 By Bus:
Take bus 27, 87, 105, 107, 111, 129, 305,  332, 347, 360, 362, 534, 563, 604 or 632 and get off at Dongwuyuan Station. Then walk eastward to the gate.
Beijing Bus / Subway Search

In addition, Beijing Ancient Observatory, towering in southwest of Jianguomen, is an important part of Beijing Planetarium. It was originally built in 1442 as one of the world's earliest royal observatories in Ming Dynasty (1368 – 1644), two centuries ahead of the Greenwich in Britain (1675). After 1949, the observatory was handed over to the Beijing Planetarium for management. If you are interested in it, you can visit it at Jianguomen.

 Neighboring Attractions
 Paleozoological Museum of China
 Beijing Zoo

Further Reading:
Travel to Beijing with Kids - 11 Things to Do
- Last updated on Jul. 19, 2023 by Gabby Li -
Questions & Answers on Beijing Planetarium
Asked by Carmem Wehmuth from BRAZIL | Nov. 03, 2018 16:24Reply
Are Beijing Zoo and the Planetarium oppen May First?
Because May First is Labor Day and we are going to be in Beijing that day. Thanks
Answers (1)
Answered by Richard from UNITED KINGDOM | Nov. 06, 2018 17:19

Don't worry, they are opened on that day.
Asked by May from USA | Feb. 03, 2017 23:36Reply
Do students get a discount at entrance ticket?
I'm a student and am curious if showing my student ID will grant me a free pass. Thanks
Answers (2)
Answered by Robert | Feb. 04, 2017 02:13

I'm afraid no. The student card must be issued by a China school.
Answered by May from USA | Feb. 18, 2017 08:01

Yes I have a China-issued university card. Thanks
Asked by Ysh from SOUTH AFRICA | Aug. 08, 2016 20:08Reply
Is beijing planetarium OK for a 4 year old?
My daughter is intrigued by planets and I want to show her.
Answers (1)
Answered by Anna from AUSTRALIA | Aug. 08, 2016 20:35

Of course. It is one of the ten museums in the city that is suitable for children. Your daughter can see the artificial sky display and the multidimensional movies about astronomy. You will find many children there. Hope she will have fun!
Asked by mahsa from IRAN | Mar. 06, 2016 10:40Reply
is it better for a normal guy to visit the 4D Dynamic theater in beijing planetarium?
I mean I am not scientist-just for joy.
Answers (1)
Answered by Joe from USA | Mar. 07, 2016 18:36

Yes, the 4D cinema is very interesting and exciting. Have a try! :)
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