The Best Place to See Autumn Leaves Downtown Beijing

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Plan your Beijing tour in Autumn? Beijing is at its best in autumn with blue sky, comfy sunshine and colorful leaves. The best time to see the foliage in Beijing spans about one month ranging from October 15 to November 15.

There are many places to view fall foliage in Beijing including the mountainous areas (all sections of the Great Wall) and downtown parks. Among them, Fragrant Hill is unanimously considered as the most ideal place to view autumn leaves in Beijing.

If you are scared of the huge crowds of domestic visitors at Fragrant Hill or don’t want to go up to the mountains or the Great Wall outside Beijing city proper, and would rather have a leisure time viewing the autumn leaves in downtown Beijing, Ditan Park ( The Temple of Earth ) is definitely your best option.

The Temple of Earth once served as the place where the emperors in Ming and Qing Dynasties offered sacrifices to the God of Earth. In 1957, the temple was turned into a public park names as “Temple of Earth Park” – Ditan Park in Chinese.

Tips for viewing autumn leaves in Ditan Park

1. Entrance Fee: RMB 2 per person
2. Opening hours: 06:00 – 21:00
3. How to get there
By Subway:
Take Subway Line 2 or Subway Line 5 to Yonghegong Station (Lama Temple Station), come out of the station at Exit A (northwest exit). You can see the entrance to the park then.

By Bus:
Take Bus No. 18, 75, 104, 108, 113, 119, 201, 328, 407, 426, 430, 558, 特2 to Ditan Ximen Stop
Take Bus No. 117, 125 to Ditan Dongmen Stop

4. Which gate for the foliage
The park is fairly large with an area of 37.4 hectars sectioned into several parts. Among them, Peony Garden is the best place to see foliage in the park. Peony Garden is by the east gate. So entry into the east gate is most convenient for you to see the autumn leaves in the park. The main gate is South Gate, just north of Lama Temple.

5. Don’t scared of the crowds outside Peony Garden
Very often the park administration would organize various kinds of events or activities during the golden autumn tim in Beijing. At the time writing, the “First Beijing Intangible Cultural Heritage Fair” is being held in the park.

Plenty of vendors sell all kinds of Beijing local stuff ranging from eating, wearing to cultural artifacts. Each event will attract huge crowds of local residents. But Peony Garden remains a quite and romantic place for you to have a low pace of life here.

Today is Oct 31, 2010, a sunny and azure day with the highest temperature 20 degree Celsius. I went to the Temple of Earth for photo taking. Below are some of the pictures taken around noon inside the Peony Garden of Ditan Park.

hopefully you would like them and help you understand a bit about the leisure life the local people as well as expats enjoy against the backdrop of the busy, cosmopolitan city.

A child with a father is happy and valuable.

A paradise in the busy Beijing

Autumn time, a play time

Talking and forgetting time

Catch the time and life

View and viewed

Playing Jianzi

Play cards

An expat family


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 Autumn Tour.

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

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

Any questions, just drop a line.

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10 Responses to “The Best Place to See Autumn Leaves Downtown Beijing”

  1. ivy edrosolan says:

    Hi, I’m visiting Beijing on November 28 – December 2 2012. Can I still see colors at Ditan Park? If not, is this scheduled date a good time still to visit the park? What are your other recommendations? Thanks a lot for your help!

  2. admin says:

    Sorry, you are unable to see the colors in Ditan Park in late November and eearly December. We suggest you go skiing in some of the ski resorts around Beijing which, normally will be open in early December. Please check for more information.

    Have a good time in Beijing.

  3. Dwi says:

    Hi, i’am going to Ditan Park on 13 October 2013. is it possible to see red maple leaf. thank you.

  4. Daniel says:

    Hello Dwi

    The best viewing time is late October and early November to see the yellow leaves of ginkgo trees in ditan park, not red maple leaf. For red maple leaf, please to go to Fragrant Hills Park ( ). October 13 is still a little bit early for the best fall foliage in Beijing.

  5. tony lim says:

    i am from singapore

    i will like to see the autumn leaves in china
    can you advise when is the best time – and where is the BEST place in china – to see red autumn leaves for the whole forest – where every tree is with the RED autumn leaves.
    it will be a great sight

    will appreciate your advice

    thank you tony lim

  6. Daniel says:

    Hi Tony Lim,

    The best time usually falls on October. But it has a slight difference between the southern and northern China, and even the eastern coastal area and the western inland China. It is not easy to answer your question ” Best Place in China to see the autumn leaves.

    Last year, I went to Ejina Banner ( Ejina Qi in Chinese ) of Alxa League ( Alashan ) in the west of Inner Mongolia in China to see Euphrates Poplar Forests.The view of the autumn leaves is stunning! Best time to see falls 01 October through 15. See my blog below for more information:

  7. Bell says:


    I’d like to visit Beijing for 6 days for autumn scenery (I love red leaves).

    Is the view better 10.14-10.19 (A) OR (B) 10.20-10.25?

    Appreciate for your opinion. Thank you.

  8. Daniel says:

    Hi Bell,

    The most ideal period is from mid-October throughout mid-November in Beijing with many trees stripped of their leaves by the end of October. Snap pictures or just take in a feast for the eyes!

  9. Bird says:

    I am travelling to Beijing from 8 Nov 2016 – 15 Nov 2016
    How is the weather there?
    Can I still see the red leaves during this period?
    Thank you.

  10. Beijing Tour says:

    Hi Bird,

    The best time for autumn foliage is late October. But you can still catch the last fading fall color.

    As for Beijing’s weather in November, please check out the link below:

    Have a good time in Beijing!

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