Drum Tower

Attraction Di'Anmen Wai Main Street, Beijing 100006, China Published on: 03-08-2016

1 hour
09:00 AM - 05:00 PM
09:30 AM
10:30 AM
First-time visit
Observation Deck
Must see
2.95 USD

Drum Tower is good for

Good for family with kids Family with kids Good
Good for senior Senior Good
Good for couple Couple Good
Good for solo Solo Good
Good for group Group Good
  • Highly recommended by fellow travellers.
Drum Tower (Gulou), originally built for musical reasons, it was later used to announce the time and is now a tourist attraction.

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Why Drum Tower is special ?

Drum Tower (Gulou), is situated at the northern end of the central axis of the Inner City to the north of Di'anmen Street. Originally built for musical reasons, it was later used to announce the time and is now a tourist attraction.

The Drum Tower was built in 1272 during the reign of Kublai Khan, at which time it stood at the very heart of the Yuan capital Dadu. At that time it was known as the Tower of Orderly Administration (Qizhenglou). In 1420, under the Ming Emperor Yongle, the building was reconstructed to the east f the original site and in 1800 under the Qing Emperor Jiaqing, large-scale renovations were carried out. In 1924, the name of the building was changed to the Tower of Realizing Shamefulness (Mingchilou) and objects related tot eh Eight-Power Allied Forces' invasion of Beijing and later the May 30th Massacre of 1925 were put on display. Nowadays, the upper story of the building serves as the People's Cultural Hall of the East City District.

Source: http://www.china.org.cn/

What to explore at Drum Tower?

Located 100 meters (109 yards) south to the bell tower, it was placed on a 4-meter-high (13 feet) stone and brick base. The Drum tower is a two-story building made of wood with a height of 47 metres (154 ft). The first floor contains the China Committee for the Promotion of the Minority Art. The second floor contains the exhibition area. Originally, there was one big drum and 24 smaller ones, but only the big remains. The method of beating it is to beat it quickly for 18 times and then slowly for 18 times. Altogether there are three rounds and 108 tollings. People knock the bell and the drum 108 times, because 108 times represent one year in ancient times.

Source: http://www.travelchinaguide.com/

How to get to Drum Tower?

By Bus: Take bus 5, 60, 107 or 124 and get off at Gu Lou Station.

By Subway:

Subway Line 2 (Ring Line): get off at Guloudajie Station, get out of the station from Exit B (southwest exit), and walk south.

Or Subway Line 8: get off at Shichahai Station, get out of the station from Exit A2 (northwest exist), and walk north straightly.

Source: http://www.travelchinaguide.com/

Selling points

  • Good to combine with visit to area
  • Good view and drums
  • Nice tower in a very interesting neighbourhood
  • History and wonderful carvings
  • Worth the climb for amazing views on a clear day
4 Days of Solo Backpacking in Beijing

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4.0 days
143.03 USD
Total travel distance
Number of places
12 places




Di'Anmen Wai Main Street, Beijing 100006, China

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Tips for you

  • Do not forget to take a look at the ancient Drum. Its all broken and can easily get unnoticeable.
    What to see
  • The Drum Performance starts from 9:30am every 2 hours.
  • The tower has a long flight of stairs to climb, about 5 stories up. It's pretty steep too, so be careful when small kids or the elderly are with you.
  • You can find a lot of interesting shops here, some local restaurant, like "Korean barbecue" or "Wangdelu", some candy and dairy product shops.
    Things nearby
  • After climbing down from the tower you can take a leisurely ride around this Hutong in a red rickshaw, or enjoy a drink in one of the quirky and character filled pubs that are on the road between the The Drum and Bell Tower.
    Things nearby
  • You should be wary of the many touts however who pose as official guides and charge you double the entry ticket price and an extortionate tip.
  • You can buy a combined entrance ticket (30 yuan) for both of towers or if you prefer you can opt just to explore one.
    Ticket and Pricing


TripAdvisor View more

We visited the drum tower last week after a morning at the summer palace and lunch at Houhai lake. We walked from Houhai (through some shopping hutongs) and made our way to the drum and bell towers. There was a wide courtyard in between and we let the kids play for a while. We walked up a steep stairway to the drum tower and I was excited to see lots of drums! I had not researched this place at all and did not know what to expect but it wasn't this. There are several performances throughout the day. We caught the last one before closing at 445pm. You are able to look out and have a great view of Jingshan park, as well as Houhai and the hutongs. It gives you a great feel for what Beijing used to look like. The performance lasts about 5 minutes and is wonderful! This is a hidden gem and is worth checking out if you are in the area, for sure!

FourSquare View more

It is 46.7 meters (153 feet) high, and is also a two-storey building; the first floor contains the China Committee for the Promotion of the Minority Art. Make sure you catch the exhilarating drum performance!

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