Great Hall of the People

The Great Hall of the People lies to the west of Tian'anmen Square and south of Chang'an Street. It is where the National People's Congress is held and also where state leaders hold diplomatic meetings and the masses stage political activities.

As one of the 'Ten Great Constructions' completed in celebration of the 10th anniversary of the founding of PRC, Great Hall of the People was built in just 10 months between October 1958 and September 1959. Facing east, the hall covers an area of 150,000sqm, 336m long from south to north, 206m wide from east to west and 46.5m high. The building area reaches to 171,800sqm, even larger than that of the Forbidden City, hence the largest among hall structures in the world.

The grand hall takes on a '山' shape in a bird's eye view, with center wing higher than the two outer wings, and has doors on four sides. The main gate of the Great Hall of the People is the East Gate, the lintel above which is beset with the national emblem of PRC.
Great Hall of the People
Great Hall of the People

Inner Structures of Great Hall of the People

The Great Hall of the People is divided into three sections. The central part mainly includes the Great Auditorium, and the Central Hall. The northern section consists of the State Banquet Hall, the Salute State Guest Hall and other magnificent halls. The southern part is the administrative building of the Standing Committee of the People's Congress of China. Each province, special administrative region and autonomous region of China has its own hall within the Great Hall, such as Beijing Hall, Hong Kong Hall and Taiwan Hall. Each hall is uniquely decorated and furnished according to the local style of the province it represents.

 Great Auditorium & Central Hall

Entering through the East Gate, and passing through two halls, one will reach the Central Hall. Covering an area of 3,600sqm, The Central Hall has a colorful marble floor and walls. Six main gates standing in the Central Hall lead to the Great Auditorium. In the heart of the Great Hall, the Great Auditorium is 60m deep from east to west, 76m wide from south to north and 33m high. Fan-shaped, the dais is visible everywhere. The Great Auditorium seats 3,693 in the lower auditorium, 3,515 in the balcony, 2,518 in the gallery and 300 to 500 on the dais, holding as many as 10,000 representatives in total. The lower auditorium is equipped with electrical devices, available for simultaneous interpretation into 12 languages. The ceiling is decorated with a large ruby like star surrounded by a galaxy of lights. 

Interior of Great Hall of the People
Great Auditorium
Inside of the Hall
Guest Hall

 Salute State Guest Hall & State Banquet Hall
Entering through the North Gate of Great Hall of the People, passing through two halls, one will reach the Companionship Hall. With an area of 4,500sqm, the Companionship Hall is paved with marble floor. To the east is the State Guest Meeting Hall and to the west is the State Guest Banquet Hall, serving as the sites for state leaders to meet and the banqueting of state guests. To the south is a big white marble staircase with 62 steps that led up to the State Banquet Hall. At the top of the staircase is the Salute State Guest Hall, the place for state leaders and guests to take group photos as souvenirs before the banquet. The biggest traditional Chinese painting of the Great Hall, Jiangshanruciduojiao (Literally means 'Beauty is the land'), is placed in the Salute State Guest Hall. The State Banquet Hall rests on the second floor. With an area of 7,000 square meters, it can entertain 7,000 guests, and up to 5,000 people can dine at a single sitting, as was done on the occasion of Richard Nixon's visit to China in 1972.


The Political Hub

Great Hall of the PeopleThe Great Hall of the People is the political hub of Beijing and home of the National People's Congress. Every year, in March, it plays host to the liang hui, literally means "two meetings" (Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference and the National People's Congress) event. Representatives of the two meetings meet in sessions lasting for two to three weeks at the Great Auditorium. The Communist Party of China (CPC) also holds its National Congress every five years. This enormous building is open to the public when the national conference is not in session, and visitors are shown in a selection of routes. In recent years, some non-political conventions and concerts have also been held here.

How to get to Great Hall of the People

By Bus:
1. Take Tourist Bus Line 1 to Tian'anmen.
2. Take bus 1, 5, 52, Sightseeing Bus Line 1, Sightseeing Bus Line 2 or Tourist Bus Line 2, and get off at Tian'anmen West.
3. Take bus 1, 2, 52, 59, 82, 120, Sightseeing Bus Line 2 or Tourist Bus Line 2 to Tian'anmen East, and then walk west for about 3 minutes.

By Subway:
1. Take Subway Line 1 to Tiananmen West Station, and you'll find the Great Hall of the People on the west of the Tianmenmen Square.
2. Take Subway Line 2 to Qianmen Station and walk north.
Beijing Bus / Subway Search
Entrance Fee CNY 30
Opening Hours Dec. - Mar.: 9:00-14:00; Apr. - Jun.: 8:15-15:00; Jul. - Aug.: 7:30-16:00; Sep. - Nov.: 8:30-15:00

1. Tickets can be bought with passports, and take turns to get into the Great Hall from the East Gate.
2. Bags should be stored in the Left Luggage Room before entering the Great Hall.
3. It is closed to the public when there are national conferences or other big political activities.
 Read  more: China Sightseeing Tours to Top 6 Attractions on CNY Banknotes
- Last updated on Dec. 19, 2023 by Kate Liu -
Questions & Answers on Great Hall of the People
Asked by Wendy from USA | Oct. 14, 2019 22:00Reply
Will Great Hall of the People be open to the public during October 22 - 25?
Answers (2)
Answered by Grace from MALAYSIA | Oct. 16, 2019 19:29

Yes, it will be open from 8:30 to 15:00.
Answered by Wendy from USA | Oct. 17, 2019 12:24

Thank you, Grace!
Asked by Wendy from USA | Oct. 14, 2019 21:58Reply
Will Tiananmen Square be open to the public during October 22 - 25,2019?
Answers (2)
Answered by Andy from UNITED KINGDOM | Oct. 16, 2019 19:24

Yes, it will.
Answered by Wendy from USA | Oct. 17, 2019 12:23

Thank you, Andy!
Asked by Jan from USA | Sep. 27, 2019 15:30Reply
Will Tiananmen Square be open to the public on September 28,2019?
Answers (1)
Answered by Alice from CANADA | Sep. 29, 2019 19:35

Yes, it will.
Asked by Abby from USA | Mar. 21, 2019 19:50Reply
Will Great Hall of the People be open May 25 or June 1, 2019?
Answers (1)
Answered by Celeste from CANADA | Mar. 25, 2019 23:23

Yes, it will open during that period of time.
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