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 National Art Museum of China

National Art Museum of China

Written by GavinUpdated Aug. 1, 2023

National Art Museum of China is the largest art museum in China, a national level art museum focused on collecting, displaying and researching the works of the artists in China modern times. If you're interested in contemporary Chinese art, you'll be excited about this colossal treasure house.


The National Art Museum of China is a quiet, peaceful oasis for art lovers. Five floors of ever changing, well-lit and well-presented exhibits are there to entice every visitor. It houses over 100,000 works of art. In addition to the many national works of art, the museum is home to over a thousand foreign works in its permanent collection.

There are 20 exhibition halls in the museum covering an area of 7,000 square meters. The collection is divided into these categories: traditional Chinese paintings, oil paintings, prints, sculptures, New Year paintings, traditional picture stories, caricatures, watercolors, lacquer painting, kite, pottery and porcelain, folk costumes, toys, and masks.

Hosted Exhibitions

Over its long history, the National Art Museum has hosted thousands of exhibitions featuring many national and international works of art. The museum was the first in China to create a public education department.


Founded by Mao Zedong the National Art Museum was built between 1958 and 1962 for the collection, research, and display of Chinese art.

It is one of the Great Ten Constructions to mark the occasion of the 10th Anniversary of the Founding of the People's Republic of China. After over one year's decoration, it was reopened on July 23, 2003. The museum can be divided to three levels as the upper, middle and lower respectively. Various art exhibitions of masterpieces of famous artists at home and abroad are usually held in the museum.


The building itself is a work of art. Renovated in 2003 it still has its original style which is that of the traditional ancient Chinese Attic. The main building is surrounded by corridors and pavilians and is roofed with colorful yellow glazed tiles.

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Visitor Information

Get lost in the ancient and contemporary Chinese and western art collections or, if you are short for time, you can zip through the highlights in about an hour. Before you leave be sure to see what treasures await you in the museum shop.

  • Open 9 AM – 5 PM, last admission 4 PM. The museum is open year round, including holidays and festivals.
  • Tickets: The museum offers 4,000 free tickets daily. To get a ticket simply show up with your passport.
  • Food: The café, offering cakes and drinks, is located on the east side of the first floor. It is open 9:30 – 16:30. If you are looking for a meal the museum has a restaurant that is open 11:00 – 14:00.
  • Shops: bookstore and an art shop.
  • Auxiliary Facilities: Wheelchairs, strollers, and umbrellas are available for free with a passport or deposit at the reception counter.
  • Guide: Audio guides are available at the reception counter.
  • Parking: 8 yuan/hour.

Location and Transportation

The museum is located in central Beijing approximately two kilometers east from the north entrance of the Forbidden City.

  • Address: 1 Wusi St, Dongcheng, Beijing, China

By Bus:

  • Art Museum Stop (美术馆站): bus 103, 111, 202 (night bus), or 211 (night bus)
  • Art Museum East Stop (美术馆东站): bus 101, 109 (trolley bus 电车), 109, 112, 420, 609, or 685
  • Art Museum North Stop (美术馆北站): bus 104 (express 快), 104, 108, 201 (night bus), or Special 11 (特11)

By Subway:

  • Art Museum Station: Line 8
  • Dongsi Station: Line 5 or 6, walk 300 meters west
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