16 Dongchang’an Jie, east side of Tian’anmen Square
HOURS: Tues.-Sun. 9 a.m.-5 p.m. (last ticket issued at 4 p.m.)
METRO: Tian’anmen East (Line 1)
The newly refurbished National Museum on Tian’anmen Square  is the biggest in the world and contains a comprehensive overview of Chinese history, geography, politics, and society from prehistory to the end of the Qing Dynasty. Renovations, including the addition of 28 new halls, were completed in April 2011.
The museum originally opened in 1959 for the 10th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic and is owned and curated by the Ministry of Culture. Inside the imposing column-fronted building are 200,000 square meters (2.1 million sq. ft.) of floor space. Highlights include the remains of Yuanmou Man dating back 1.7 million years, the Simuwu Ding cooking pot from the ancient Shang Dynasty, and a Han jade burial suit.
The museum’s front has been used to display important countdowns, such as the 2008 Olympics, 2010 Shanghai Expo, and the handover of Hong Kong in 1997.