Beijing Museums & Parks Finally Reopen, But There’s a Catch

By Bridget O'Donnell, May 8, 2020

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As COVID-19 lockdown measures are eased across China, culture vultures in Beijing can finally look forward to visiting the city’s major attractions.

READ MORE: Hooray! Beijing Finally Downgrades COVID-19 Lockdown Measures

Parks and musuems in the capital began reopening on May 1, just in time for the five-day May Day holiday. The Palace Museum and the National Museum of China were among the venues permitted to reopen, after having been temporarily shut for nearly three months due to the coronavirus outbreak.

But there’s a catch: visitors will have to register online ahead of time and capacity for both venues will be drastically reduced for the time being. 

The Palace Museum at the Forbidden City will impose a daily cap of 5,000 visitors – 3,000 in the morning and 2,000 in the afternoon. Prior to the pandemic, the museum allowed up to 80,000 visitors per day.

Visitors to the Palace Musuem will be required to provide an ID card number when registering online, which can be done up to 10 days in advance. Admission can be booked through their official website (

Forbidden City
The Forbidden City in busier days. Image via Pexels

The National Museum of China will likewise be limited to 3,000 visitors per day, with online registration available up to seven days in advance. Bookings can be made on the official musuem website (

Both museums will also require visitors to undergo a temperature check and provide a green health QR code upon entry. Large-scale group activities also remain on hold, according to the Associated Press.

Similarly, the city’s parks will operate at 30% normal visitor capacity. Real-name ticket booking has already been enforced at multiple parks – including Jingshan Park, Yuyuantan Park and Taoranting Park – for several weeks.

READ MORE: China’s Domestic Travel Fell 40% During May Day Holiday

Despite the restrictions, Beijing officials have recently taken special measures to boost spending in the cultural sector. State-run news agency Xinhua reports that over the May 1 holiday, the cultural assets administration center began issuing RMB50 million worth of e-vouchers to promote the consumption of books, art performances, entertainment and tourism-related purchases. 

Meanwhile, enterainment spots like cinemas, theaters, arcades, internet cafes, KTV bars and sports facilities in the city remain closed for epidemic prevention purposes, according to Xinhua

Though it’s unclear when these venues will reopen, some industry experts predict things will start picking up again next month. According to The Hollywood Reporter, movie theaters in China will likely get the green light to reopen in early June, following the conclusion of the annual Two Sessions.

READ MORE: China’s Top Legislature to Convene After Monthslong Delay

[Cover image via Pexels]

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