Our favorite place in Beijing. We have seen it 4 times and never got bored of it. It’s one of the most beautiful places in the capital, especially when the sunset sets the polished stones on fire right before the closing hour (around 5pm during summer). Built in 1429 during the Ming Dynasty, the Temple of Heaven is not only one, but a lot of temples and a park of 66.7 acres with 100 year old trees ! The place was used by the emperors to pray for good harvests. The particularity of the main temple is that no nails were used to build it!
The area is the perfect place to discover local culture. If you get there early or walk around a little, you will find intense mahjong games, choirs, old people practicing ballroom dancing or Tai Chi Chuan. To get there, it’s easy !
Take subway line 5 and get off at Tiantandongmen station (天坛东门站 in which “Tiān” = sky, “Tán” = temple, “Dōng” = East, “Mén” = Gate, “Zhàn” and which basically means “The station of the East gate of the Temple of the Sky”). The entrance fee is 35 yuans for the whole park + temples. The temples are open from 6am to 6pm and the park, until 9pm.