10 of the most weird and wonderful Beijing museums

Tap water, watermelons, bees and more!

You've done your trips to the Forbidden City and the National Museum and, sure, they were great, but maybe just a little bit passé. Luckily, the city is home to a whole host of diverse and niche historical establishments that commemorate and celebrate things you didn't even think could be commemorated and celebrated.

China Bee Museum (中国蜂蜜博物馆)

Tucked away in the northwest corner of the Beijing Botanical Garden is a small museum that tells you everything you need to know – and perhaps a little bit more – about honey bees. The five small rooms are full of floor-to-ceiling info boards (mostly in Mandarin) with everything from their ...

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1 Xiangshan Bei Gou (Shunyi)

Red Star Erguotou Museum (北京二锅头酒博物馆)

The Red Star Erguotou Museum – way up in Huairou district – is worth the journey. Incredibly clean and well-maintained, the entire complex is a factory that’s still used to distil vats and vats of Erguotou – a brand of the throat-burning clear spirit, baijiu. At the entrance a ...

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1 Hongxing Lu

Beijing Waterworks Museum (北京自来水博物馆)

Moisture is the essence of water, and water is the essence of one of Beijing’s most offbeat museum experiences. Formerly known, nay, famed as the Beijing Museum of Tap Water (in a city not exactly famed for the stuff), this place has in recent years moved home and upgraded, to become the more ...

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3 Xiangheyuan Jie (Miyun county)

China Watermelon Museum (中国西瓜博物馆)

There’s nothing seedy about the Watermelon Museum of China. In fact it’s a modern, well-laid-out shrine to China’s favourite summer fruit. The museum is filled with facts about cultivation, breeding technology, distribution and more. Unsurprisingly it is not geared towards foreigners, so be ...

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Inside Zhengfu Dayuan Penggezhuangzhen (Fangshan)

Marbury's Home (马布里之家)

Foreign sports stars have poured into China over the last decade, but few have known the admiration, accolades, statues, permanent residency, range of commemorative stamps, dedicated museum, loosely biographical musical and then feature film that former NBA star Stephon Marbury can now boast....

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18 Jianguomen Dajie (Miyun county)Free

Beijing Museum of Lost Love (北京失恋博物馆)

Since late 2015, the Museum of Lost Love has been collecting the unwanted love letters, photos, gifts and stories of brokenhearted Beijingers, and putting them on display for the wider public. Inspired by a successful museum in Zagreb, Croatia, finance worker Wang Ying and three ...

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20 Renzhuangcun Bei

Beijing Police Museum (北京警察博物馆)

Nothing to do with Sting, this is actually a masterclass in subtle agitprop, full of pictures of smiling coppers saving lives. The museum gives a full history of the city’s police from the end of the Qing Dynasty (1644-1912) to the present day, using old uniforms, official papers and so on. Some ...

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36 Dongjiaomin Xiang (Miyun county)

Beijing Folk Custom Museum (北京民俗博物馆)

The Beijing Folk Custom Museum unobtrusively surrounds the main courtyard of the Daoist Dongyue Temple. Walk along the walls for wax displays of Taoist customs regarding earthly conduct and the netherworld (be warned: punishments for evildoers can be a little graphic). Make your way through ...

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141 Chaoyangmenwai Dajie

China Science & Technology Museum (中国科学技术博物馆)

Following a comprehensive redesign, China's biggest and best science and technology museum reopened in 2009, boasting five floors filled with impressive interactive exhibits. Built to resemble a wooden block puzzle, the museum shows off the scientific solutions that have shaped our world and ...

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5 Beichen Dong Lu (Changping)

China National Post and Postage Stamp Museum (中国邮政邮票博物馆)

The temporary nature of its stamp exhibitions mean that budding philatelist may be left a little wanting at the collection here, but for postal history enthusiasts, it’s jackpot time: from explanations of early forms of distance communication, to scale models of primitive, camel-based kuaidi ...

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6 Gongyuan Xi Jie (Dongcheng, Dongcheng)

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