Beijing Planetarium (北京天文馆)

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138 Xizhimenwai Dajie
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 interactive space-age toys to excite the imagination. Enter a large, dark dome and press buttons to see different star constellations, or poke your head inside the crust of a scaled-down version of Mars – who needs space travel? The regular 3D films showing in the Zeiss Cosmos Theatre (45RMB) are worth the trip alone – the wonders of space are projected on the ceiling of the main building’s massive dome. It’s an impressive sight for us, but for kids it’s awe-inspiring.

Don’t miss The Space Invaders-type video game playable inside a giant model sun.
Estimated time Two hours.
English provisions Decent translations accompany most exhibits.
Venue name: Beijing Planetarium (北京天文馆)
Opening hours: 9.30am-3.30pm Wed-Fri; 9.30am-4.30pm Sat-Sun
Admission: 10RMB
English address: 138 Xizhimenwai Dajie, Xicheng district
Chinese address: 西城区西直门外大街138号
  • 4 out of 5 stars