National Museum of China
National Museum of China (国家博物馆; Guójiā Bówùguǎn) is one of the China’s best museums. The complete history of China, starting with the period from 1.7 million years ago, until the last imperial Qing dynasty and Mao’s China, is shown in this museum. It is the museum that holds some of the most precious and rarest museum items that cannot be found anywhere in the world. This is definitely a must-visit place for anyone who is interested in the history of China, and for anyone who wants to get a better insight into the historical and cultural background of the visited places. It is a great place to get a quick overview of China history because it shows artifacts from all regions of China and from ancient time to today.
It was officially inaugurated in 2003, though it did not represent something new, but rather merging of the two older and developed museums; the National Museum of Chinese History and the Museum of the Chinese Revolution. With this, it got its special place as the biggest museums in China, and of course, one of the biggest in the world. It offers many interesting exhibits, including Chinese treasure, sculptures, paintings, calligraphy, diplomatic gifts, jade items, pottery, Buddha statues, furniture, money, and many more relics that testify the rich history of the country. It also exhibits the teeth of Yuanmou Man, which is the oldest item in the museum.
National Museum of China is huge, with an extensive collection of over 1 million artifacts, and you will need few hours just for a brief tour. For an extensive visit, you will need at least two full days. Items are labeled and explained in English, but you can also rent an audio guide for CNY30.
Make sure to line up to the right ticket office, because that one is for foreigners. Tickets are free, but you have to show identification with photo (passport, ID or driving license). Usually, there are visiting exhibitions that are not free. After the last reconstruction in 2007, it got much more space, including some shops offering souvenirs, great bookshop, and cafe with drinks and snacks, all at reasonable prices.