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Beijing's Weirdest Museums

Going abroad can be a pretty strange experience, especially in a country as unique as China. However, you can make your trip to Beijing even more interesting by a visit to one of these weird museums. We can assure you that none of these are available in any other city!

1. The Tap Water Museum

Tap Water Museum

What makes it unique: Located on the original site of the Beijing City Water Supply Company, just outside what used to be the old East City gate, the tap water museum serves the important purpose of spreading the message for water conservation to its visitors, as well as explaining Beijing's water history. It also has a little park with an old water pump, and displays a range of tools used to supply the huge landlocked city with its water. There is a tour guide at the museum, but their English tends to be extremely limited. However, they were keen to walk with us and point some things out, making for a really friendly museum experience.

  • Must-see attraction: An interactive map detailing Beijing's water supply, where it all comes from, and when the different reservoirs were opened.
  • Entrance fee: 5 yuan, 2 yuan (students)
  • Opening times: 9am–4pm, Wednesday–Sunday
  • Address: 6A Dongzhimenwai Beidajie, Dongcheng District
  • Telephone: +86 (0)10 6465 0787

2. China Honey Bee Museum

What makes it unique: Surprisingly big, the China Honey Bee Museum pays homage to these tiny, but extremely useful, pollinators. It does so in the picturesque Beijing Botanical Gardens. Within the museum, there are a total of 600 bee specimens, including some interesting bee fossils. There is also a great bee-keeping exhibition, for anyone who has been thinking about taking it up as a new hobby, or just wants to learn more about where their honey comes from.

  • Must-do attraction: Taste many different types of honey
  • Entrance fee: 10 yuan to get into the Beijing Botanical Garden where the museum is located, or 50 yuan combo ticket for the Beijing Botanical Garden and all its attractions, including Wofu temple.
  • Opening times: 8.30am–4.30pm, March–October
  • Address: Botanical Garden, Xiangshan Mountain, Haidian District
  • Telephone: +86 (0)10 8259 4994
Recommended Tours:

3. Daxing Watermelon Museum

What makes it unique: The Daxing Watermelon Museum is like a tribute to watermelons; Beijing's favourite summer fruit! It is located inside the Watermelon Research Institute and near a few of Beijing's largest watermelon plantations. This explains why most of the exhibits are about the cultivation of different types of watermelons. There are even a variety of comics, statues, paintings, and other art that feature this popular summer fruit.

  • Must-see attraction: Great statues by the entrance, and collection of watermelon comics.
  • Entrance fee: 20 yuan
  • Opening times: 10am–4.30pm, Tuesday–Sunday
  • Address: Panggezhuang Town, Daxing District
  • Telephone: +86 (0)10 8928 1181

4. Zhoukoudian Peking Man Museum

Zhoukoudian Peking Man Site

What makes it unique: Zoukoudian Peking Man Museum was built on the original site where the Peking Man was discovered in 1921, located in Zhoukoudian village about 50 kilometers southwest of Beijing. Peking Man was the first humanoid discovered in China, and belongs to the homo erectus species, originating in the Paleolithic Age. All around the museum are separate sites that have been excavated, boasting an abundance of animal fossils and rare stones. The latest discovery was in 2005, when over 100 animal fossils were discovered by the entrance of Apeman Cave.

  • Must-see attraction: Peking Man remains — the remains of a species that biologically links apes to men.
  • Entrance fee: 30 yuan, 15 yuan (children below 1.2 meters)
  • Opening times: 8.30am–4pm November 1 – March 31 (low season); 8.30am–4.30pm, April 1 – October 31 (peak season)
  • Address: 1 Zhoukoudian Dajie, Fangshan District
  • Telephone: +86 (0)10 6930 1080
Recommended Tours:

5. Beijing Police Museum

What makes it unique: Displays of violent crimes committed in the past, and a historical recording of operations of Beijing's first Public Security Bureau against Kuomintang forces and bandits are all on show at the Beijing Police Museum. The museum is located in the old Citibank building, and a walk through the street it is located on is definitely worth it as this is where the old foreign legation quarter was located. At the moment, these buildings are mainly in use by the government, and the street is heavily policed too.

  • Must-see attraction: The fourth floor of this museum exhibits a wide range of police weapons, from the past through to the present.
  • Entrance fee: 5 yuan
  • Opening times: 9am–4pm, Tuesday–Sunday
  • Address: 36 Dongjiaomin Xiang, Dongcheng District
  • Telephone: +86 (0)10 8522 5018

6. Beijing Diabolo Museum


What makes it unique: The Beijing Diabolo Museum displays one of Beijing's most popular outdoor activities — the diabolo, or a Chinese yoyo. Essentially, it is an empty roller shaped like a dumbbell which is spun and tossed on a string that is tied between two bamboo sticks. This museum has a total of 400 diabolos, and presents quite a few tricks for your entertainment.

  • Must-see attraction: an interactive diabolo-making area, and there is even the chance to make your own diabolo with a pro. Saturday and Sunday mornings between 9:30am and 10:30am there are also special classes with an instructor, focusing on all different levels.
  • Entrance fee: free
  • Opening times: 9am–4.30pm, Tuesday–Sunday
  • Address: 9 Xiaoxing Hutong, near Baoguo Temple, Xuanwu District
Recommended Tours:

7. The Ancient Coin Museum

Beijing's Ancient Coin Museum

What makes it unique: Especially great for coin collectors or those with a particular interest in monetary history, the Ancient Coin Museum houses old Chinese shell coins, cloth coins, grimace money, and coins from every Chinese dynasty. It is located on an extremely busy intersection, and construction work is currently being done to the surroundings. There is also a good gift shop for friends and family at home who are into collecting coins.

  • Must-see attraction: Climb the arrow tower by the museum which used to be part of Beijing's city wall for a good view from above.
  • Entrance fee: 20 yuan
  • Opening times: 9am–4pm, Tuesday–Sunday
  • Address: Deshengmen Arrow Tower Second North Ring Road, Xicheng District
  • Telephone: +86 (0)10 6201 8073

8. Red Star Brewery's Erguotou Museum

What makes it unique: The Red Star Erguotou Museum is located in a factory which is still in use today to produce Erguotou, one of the most popular brands of Chinese rice wine. Although it has a very distinct taste, you may want to take this opportunity to try the traditional Chinese alcohol. Be careful not to go to this museum on an empty stomach though, as Erguotou (/err-gwor-toh/) comes in many different strengths averaging 56% alcohol by volume.

  • Must-see attraction: Tasting the Erguotou samples.
  • Entrance fee: free (reservation required)
  • Opening times: 9am–11am and 1pm–4pm, daily
  • Address: 1 Hongxing Lu, Huairou District
  • Telephone: +86 (0)10 6169 7259

9. Qianding Old Liquor Museum

Beijing's Qianding Old Liquor Museum

What makes it unique: The Qianding Old Liquor Museum is well hidden amongst the last remaining Beijing hutongs, and proudly displays over 1,300 liquor brands, making it a must for anyone interested in China's boozy history. Quite a few of the wines on display are considered very rare, or even one-of-a-kind, and you will not be able to see them anywhere else. The area around the museum is also definitely worth a wonder for an insight into inner-city Chinese living. Best to go soon, as many residences have already fallen victims to bulldozers, and the area is about to undergo a huge transformation.

  • Must-see attraction: The oldest liquor on show is the Double Happiness produced during the Kangxi Period of the Qing dynasty — it was bought by the museum for 1.15 million yuan, but is undoubtedly worth way more than that now.
  • Opening times: 9am–6pm, Tuesday–Sunday
  • Address: 69 Zhaofu Avenue, north of the Bell and Drum Towers, Dongcheng District
  • Telephone: +86 (0)10 6404 0299
Recommended Tours:

10. Beijing Nanhaizi Milu Park Museum

What makes it unique: The Milu Park Museum is a museum exhibiting Pere David's deer, or milu (/mee-loo/) in Chinese, which is a strange deer-like creature that became extinct towards the end of the Qing dynasty. Those on show at the park, located 14 kilometers outside of Beijing's urban jungle, are descendants of 18 animals that were collected in 1898 from zoos in Europe. All throughout the park, the deer are living freely, in a widely varied setting with swamps, grassland, ponds and forests. There is also an opportunity for bird-watching, especially during the mornings, as many migratory birds can be spotted.

  • Must-see attraction: more like must-gain knowledge; the museum aims to promote the message of environmental protection, through their World Extinct Wildlife Cemetery.
  • Entrance fee: free
  • Opening times: 9am–4pm, Tuesday–Sunday
  • Address: Nanhaizi Milu Yuan, Daxing District
  • Telephone: +86 (0)10 8796 2105

Our Beijing tours also cater to the unusual

If you are interested in visiting any of these museums, China Highlights can tailor them into your personal Beijing tours. Simply contact us to learn more about this. For some of our most popular tours, check out the Beijing tour page.

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