Code: BJ-T04

Beijing 1-Day Tour: Exploration of Royal Cultural Sites

Tour Route: Yonghe Temple - Guozijian Street - Temple of Confucius - Imperial Academy - Shichahai Hutongs
Stop 1: Yonghe Temple
Yonghe Temple
Yonghe Temple or Yonghe Lamasery, also known as the Lama Temple, was a royal Tibetan Buddhist temple built during the Qing Dynasty (1644 - 1911). Before rebuilt into the royal temple, it used to be the residence of Emperor Yongzheng (1678 - 1735) when he was still a prince.

How to get there:
By subway:
This site can be easily reached by Beijing subway line 2 or line 5; get out from Exit C of Yonghegong subway station to enter the temple.

By bus:
Alternatively, you can take city bus 13, 84 (684), 116 or 117 to get there. From the Yonghegong bus stop, walk southwards for no more than 65 meters (70 yards) to the gate of Yonghe Temple.

How to enter:
Book the ticket through the official WeChat accounts. When you arrive there, pay for the ticket fee and get the ticket with your booking information and your passport. The ticket price is CNY25 for one people. Then get into the temple after check-in.

Tips: Each visitor to Yonghe Lamasery will be served a buddle of incense for free. You may not miss the chance to make a wish in this popular imperial temple.
Stop 2: Guozijian Street
This 700-year-old hutong used to be the academic center of Beijing, housing the Temple of Confucius and the Imperial Academy.

How to get there:
After getting out of the Yonghe Temple from its south gate, walk through the arch on the west side, go cross Yonghegong Street and turn northward to find the eastern end of the Guozijian Street. You’ll walk for totally 110 meters (120 yards).
Stop 3: Temple of Confucius
Temple of Confucius
Since the Yuan Dynasty (1271 - 1368), people often gathered there to fete the Confucius, a renowned ideologist and the founder of Confucianism. Especially for scholars who desired to gain official titles in the court, most of them would go there to pray for blessings before attending the imperial examination. Even emperors would hold grand ceremonies there to pay homage to this great scholar.

How to get there:
After 180 meters’ (200 yards') walking to the west on Guozijian Street, you will be at the Xianshi Gate (Gate of the First Teacher) of the Temple of Confucius.

How to enter:
Firstly, book the ticket online, via either the official website or the official WeChat account. The ticket charges CNY30 per one. At the entrance of Temple of Confucius, the staff will check your booking information and then give you the ticket. After the health check, you can enter the temple.
Stop 4: Imperial Academy
It used to be the national administrative headquarter of educational organization and also the top state-run academic institute throughout the Yuan, Ming, and Qing Dynasties (1271 - 1911).

How to get there:
Temple of Confucius and Imperial Academy are next to each other. From the Statue of Confucius at the gate of Temple of Confucius, walk through the Chijing Gate to the west to find the Imperial Academy.

How to enter:
Imperial Academy and Temple of Confucius share the same ticket. To visit the two sites, one ticket is needed only.

How to visit:
Walk along the central axis, you will pass the major buildings one after another. Along a gallery, you will find 189 stone steles carved with Thirteen Classics of the Confucianism, which were largely popularized and taught in institutes throughout the country.

Stop 5: Shichahai Hutongs
Shichahai is Beijing's most popular Hutong area with crisscrossing lanes. In old times, royal princes preferred to build their mansions in this area and some of them still remain. It’s free to visit.

How to get there:
From Imperial Academy, you are advised to walk to the western end of Guozijian Street; and turn south onto the Andingmen Inner Street, to take bus no.124 from the nearby Fangjia Hutong bus stop to Gulou bus stop. After getting off, walk across the road to find the entrance of Wannian Hutong to start the exploration of the Shichahai area. The whole transfer takes about 30 minutes in total.

How to leave:
After viewing these exquisite hutongs and courtyards, you may still leave from Wannian Hutong. Get out of Wannian Hutong from its eastern end to Di’anmen Outer Street, then turn south and walk for a while to take subway line 8 at the Shichahai Station to leave.

 Recommended Guided Tours:
    Beijing One-Day Tours from $59 per person

 Other Independent Beijing 1-Day Tours:
    Badaling & Sacred Way: day trip to Badaling Great Wall and Sacred Way of the Ming Tombs
    Ox Street Mosque & Liulichang: visit Ox Street Mosque, Fayuan Temple, Taoranting Park, Liulichang Cultural Street
    CCTV Tower & 798 Art Zone: to the National Centre for the Performing Arts, CCTV Headquarters, 798 Art Zone

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