The Chairman Mao Memorial Hall is the resting place of Mao Zedong, where visitors are able to view his preserved body on display and pay respect. If you are visiting the Forbidden City/Tiananmen Square/Qianmenarea, you may be able to fit this popular tourist attraction into your schedule. Follow these tips to make sure your visit runs smoothly.
Before heading over to the Chairman Mao Memorial Hall, check the days and hours of operation: 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. Tuesday to Sunday; 8:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. & 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. on Sep 9 (date of Chairman Mao’s death) and Dec 26. On Sep 9, Dec 26 and Qingming Festival, prepare for larger-than-normal crowds. To get there, take Subway Line 1 or 2 and head toward the center of Tiananmen Square after exiting either Tiananmen East, Tiananmen West, or Qianmen station. Admission is free, but you should bring your identification (passport) just in case. Remember that visitors are subject to a dress code where visitors should wear appropriate attire (vests and sandals are not permitted).
In advance of entering the queue for visiting the Chairman Mao Memorial Hall, be aware that visitors are not allowed to bring in handbags, backpacks, cameras, video devices, or drinks. You will be permitted to bring your mobile phone, but keep it on silent or turn it off. Just to the east and across the street from the National Museum, there is a baggage deposit area where you may leave your unpermitted belongings for a fee (5-10 RMB per bag/camera). There will be a long queue, so make sure everyone in your party remembers to leave unpermitted items behind.
After leaving the baggage deposit area, you may then enter the main queue that takes you to a security checkpoint. The entire line moves at a decent pace due to multiple body scanners and security personnel. Just like airport security, lighters will have to be disposed and your body will be patted down. Once you pass through security, make your way toward the Hall’s entrance. A vendor will have plastic flowers for sale for about 3 RMB that can then be left inside the main entrance before being escorted to the crystal coffin that houses Chairman Mao’s body.
The entire visit lasts just a few minutes and visitors must stay quiet and respectful. After exiting the Hall, you will walk towards the exit to the south with a souvenir shop toward Qianmen. Remember to walk back to the baggage deposit area to collect your belongings. You will just enter without having to queue when you present your baggage deposit receipt.