Beijing's best science and natural history museums

No lab coats required

Unleash your inner scientist at one of Beijing's best scientific and natural history museums, covering prehistoric times to now, with everything from the earth's smallest creatures to the universe's biggest stars on display.

Beijing Planetarium (北京天文馆)

The abundant light pollution and smog-thick air may prevent any actual stargazing in Beijing, and indeed at this planetarium, too, but there are plenty of attractions here to entice wannabe astronomers. The majority of the action is to be found in the more modern Building B, which houses ...

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138 Xizhimenwai Dajie (Xicheng, Xicheng)

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 (Olympic Park, Chaoyang)

The Wangfujing Paleolithic Museum (王府井古人类文化遗址博物馆)

When high-end shopping mall Oriental Plaza was built in 1996, developers stumbled upon ancient fossils while digging the foundations. They brought in archaeologists who discovered human fossils, bone tools and other artefacts used by early man 25,000 years ago. This small, one-room museum – ...

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1 Dongchang'an Jie (Wangfujing, Dongcheng)

National Zoological Museum of China (国家动物博物馆)

On the Chinese Academy of Sciences campus, the Zoological Museum houses animal specimens from all corners of the world. Spiralling up through three storeys stuffed full of taxidermied land beasts and preserved marine animals, it all revolves around the museum’s centerpiece – an enormous whale ...

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Beichen Xi Lu

Paleozoological Museum of China (中国古动物馆)

One of the most notable paleontological museums in Asia, this place is packed to the rafters with dozens of dinosaur fossils – mostly from the Jurassic and Cretaceous periods. Some of the larger creatures’ skeletons are reproductions but many are the real deal – including several complete ...

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142 Xizhimenwai Dajie (Xicheng, Xicheng)

Beijing Museum of Natural History (北京自然博物馆)

If taxidermy isn’t for you, then the Beijing Museum of Natural History probably isn’t either. The museum’s biggest sell may be its many dinosaur fossils – from a partial fossil of a woolly mammoth to a wholly intact fossil of a long-necked, diplodocus-like paracerathrium – but the rest of the ...

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126 Tianqiao Nan Dajie (Dongcheng, Dongcheng)

The Geological Museum of China (中国地质博物馆)

With four floors of fossilised remains, precious stones and almost no tourists, the Geological Museum is a rare gem in itself. The 'scientific earth' room is full of interactive exhibits, including the chance to build your own earthquake-resistant tower. Meanwhile, the amethyst geodes provide ...

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15 Xisiyangrou Hutong (Xicheng, Xicheng)

Zhoukoudian Peking Man Site (周口店北京猿人遗址)

Zhoukoudian, better known as the site of Peking Man – one of the first specimens of homo erectus – is one of the most important palaeontological sites in the world, and one of Beijing's seven Unesco World Heritage sites. All of the human remains in the museum are replicas (the originals vanished ...

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1 Zhoukoudian Dajie (Fangshan)

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 (Haidian, Haidian)

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