The Best Place to Watch Sunrise in Beijing

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Looking for a romantic place to capture the sunrise in the downtown Beijing area on your Beijing tour? There is no better place in than Jingshan Park sitting on the centre of the north-south axis of Beijing.

The hill in Jingshan Park is 45.7 meters at relative height and 94.2 at sea level, the highest sea-level viewpoint in Beijing where you are able to have a panoramic view of the city of Beijing – East: Beijing Central Business District; South: Forbidden City; West: the Beihai Park and the North: Drum Tower and Bell Tower on the north-south axis of Beijing.

Tips for watching the sunrise from the hilltop of Jingshan Park
1. It is important to know when the sun will rise and set. Different day and season has its unique sunrise or sunset time. Check Beijing Real Time Photos for the general ideal of the sunrise time.

2. It is better to get up early to be on the hilltop of Jingshan Park and have ample time to check the surroundings and understand where would be a good spot to take pictures. The shortcoming is that the official opening hour of Jingshan Park is set at 6:30am, which makes some seasons, especially summer time impossible to capture the first rays of the sunrise. The sunrise time from March to October is after 6:30am in Beijing. That means people cannot watch the first rays of sunrise from the hill top of Jingshan Park.

3. So the best time for watching the sunrise from Jingshan Park falls on later autumn (November) to the early spring (February) when the sunrise time is after 6:30am, the opening hour for Jingshan Park.

4. Though the time between March and October is not the good time for watching the sunrise from Jingshan Park, basically it won’t deter you to go there for a splendid sunrise experience! Before you clamber up the hilltop of Jingshan waiting for the sunrise, you are advised to go to the northwest corner outside the moat of Forbidden City, a perfect spot capturing the first rays of sunrise over Forbidden City and the moat, an amazing supplement for the shame caused by the improper opening hour of Jingshan Park.

After watching the sunrise over the moat and Forbidden City, continue to walk to the Jingshan Park to watch the sunrise already a bit higher over skyline in the east of Beijing.

How to get to Jingshan Park
Jingshan Park is located just across the north gate to Forbidden City. Jingshan Park has three gates with south gate facing the north exit of Forbidden City. At such early hour in the morning, you’d better take a taxi from your hotel, and ask your taxi driver to drop you off at any of the three gates – east, west and south.

Opening hours: 6:30 am – 9:00pm. Entrance fee: RMB 2 (RMB10 per person during Peony Festival April and May). Basically it takes 3-5 minutes to walk up to the hilltop of the a park. On the hill, there are five pavilions with Wanchun Pavilion perched in the middle along Beijing’s North-south axis and two couple of pavilions on both side the Wanchun Pavilion. The Wanchun Pavilion is the best spot to watch the sunrise.

If the sunrise time is before the opening time of the Jingshan Park, you may go to the northwest corner outside the moat of Forbidden City, a perfect spot capturing the first rays of sunrise over Forbidden City and the moat, a amazing supplement for the shame caused by the improper opening hour of Jingshan Park.

For information on Jingshan Park, please read my earlier post of Jingshan Park not to be missed  and Sunset View at Jingshan Park.

Now, follow me to experience the sunrise from Jingshan Park.

Leaving my home around 5:50am and drive directly to the west gate to Jingshang Park. After parking my car at the parking lot west of the west gate,  I have to walk fast to the northwest corner of Forbidden City to catch the rising sun since it has been already 6:00am, a sunrise time today!

It is a 3-5 minute walk from the parking lot to the northwest corner of Forbidden City. To my pleasant surprise, there have been already a few crazy people there chatting, and taking pictures. This is a perfect spot to shoot the magnificent turret of Forbidden City and its reflection on the moat.

there have been already a few crazy people there chatting and taking pictures 1

there have been already a few crazy people there chatting and taking pictures 1

It is a cloudy today and the sunrise is blurred and shreds dotted rays, adding much colors to the skyline decorating the Turret ornately.
adding much colors to the skyline decorating the Turrent ornately.

adding much colors to the skyline decorating the Turret ornately.

The sun defies the blocking of the clouds and gives out radiant rays.
The sun defies the blocking of the clouds and gives out radiant rays.1

The sun defies the blocking of the clouds and gives out radiant rays.1

The red sunrise rays cut through the thick clouds with pretty reflections on the moat.
The red sunrise rays cut through the thick clouds with pretty reflections on the moat.

The red sunrise rays cut through the thick clouds with pretty reflections on the moat.

Mesmerized by the stunning view, I’ve almost forgotten the time. It is past 6:30am, so I walk quickly to the west gate to Jingshan Park and walk up to the hilltop – Wanchun Pavilion and enjoy myself with the whole city below me.

The sun has been higher over the skyline

The sun has been higher over the skyline

The sun has been higher over the skyline

Below the east sunrise is the skyline of the new CCTV office building, World Trade Center Phase 3 Building (at 330M Beijing’s Tallest)…

The rising sun finds a hole in the clouds and appears triumphantly

The rising sun finds a hole in the clouds and appears triumphantly

The rising sun finds a hole in the clouds and appears triumphantly

Wanchun Pavilion is the best place in the park to watch the sunrise.
Wanchun Pavilion is the best place in the park to watch the sunrise.1

Wanchun Pavilion is the best place in the park to watch the sunrise.1

In the north below my feet is the massive Forbidden City looking brilliantly under a radiant rising sun.
the massive Forbidden City looking brilliantly under a radiant rising sun.

the massive Forbidden City looking brilliantly under a radiant rising sun.

In the north below my feet is the massive Forbidden City looking brilliantly under a radiant rising sun.
the massive Forbidden City looking brilliantly under a radiant rising sun.1

the massive Forbidden City looking brilliantly under a radiant rising sun.1

On the west is the famous Beihai Park with its beauty – White Stupa and the lake.
On the west is the famous Beihai Park with its beauty - White Stupa and the lake.

On the west is the famous Beihai Park with its beauty – White Stupa and the lake.

To the north is the Drum Tower and Bell Tower on the north-south axis of Beijing.
To the north is the Drum Tower and Bell Tower on the north-south axis of Beijing.

To the north is the Drum Tower and Bell Tower on the north-south axis of Beijing.

Watching the sunrise at Jingshan Park is a non-ending process for me!
Watching the sunrise at Jingshan Park is a non-ending process for me

Watching the sunrise at Jingshan Park is a non-ending process for me

 Surely, I will come back!
Surely, I will come back!

Surely, I will come back!

Tip:  Hassle-free Beijing Guided Tours
If you don’t want to go the do-it-yourself route and prefer the hassle-free escorted tours,  here are some options for guided tours to Beijing:

Beijing Dinner & Night Boat Tour. from US$ 59P/P

Beijing by Night Illuminations Tour  from US$33 p/p

Beijing Hutong Highlight One Day Tour  from US$59 p/p

Beijing Highlight Day Tour from US$59 P/P
(Tiananmen + Forbidden City + Mutianyu Great Wall)
Beijing Classic City Tour from US$65 P/P
(Tiananmen + Forbidden City + Temple of Heaven + Summer Palace)
Beijing Excursion Tour from US$59 P/P
(Mutianyu Great Wall + Ming Tomb)
Beijing Hutong Highlight Tour from US$59 P/P
( Hutong + Rickshaw)

Mutianyu Great Wall Half Day Tour from US$55 p/p
Hike from Jiankou to Mutianyu Great Wall Day Tour from US$69 p/p

Mutianyu Great Wall Layover Tour from US$65 p/p
Beijing Highlight Layover Tour from US$75 p/p

Further Readings


How to Visit Grand Canal in Hangzhou.
Top 10 Attractions in Beijing
How to Visit Forbidden City
How to Visit Temple of Heaven
How to Visit Summer Palace
How to Visit Ming Tombs
How to Visit the Great Wall of China
How to Visit Tiananmen Square
How to Visit Hutongs
How to Visit Olympic Sites

Top 10 Markets in Beijing
Top 10 Shopping Malls in Beijing
Beijing Shopping

Wangfujing Night Snack Street
Qianmen Commercial Street
Beijing Huguosi Street

For any questions, just drop a line.

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