Of Beijing’s royal altars left over from the Ming and Qing Dynasties, this is the last remaining temple dedicated to the God of Earth. (The Temple of Heaven is a popular stop on many day tours of Beijing.) The altar is based in Ditan Park, which these days is a public space that’s open all year round with a small entrance fee.
Autumn’s changing colors, when the park’s many ginkgo trees turn golden, makes this a popular time of year to visit Ditan Park, although the open spaces and tree-lined pathways make for a pleasant visit at any time of the year. Traditional Chinese pagodas and archways are also dotted throughout the park.
The annual Chinese Spring Festival held at Ditan Park is incredibly popular, attracting huge crowds to its large temple fair, with traditional performances and plenty of vendors providing food and entertainment.
Insider’s Tip: The best time to visit Ditan Park is in the early morning, when you’ll be greeted by locals dancing or practicing tai chi. Take a stroll using the circular path around the park’s four main gates so that you can explore the entire area.
Ditan Park has four entrances at its north, east, south, and west corners. The south gate is easily reached by taking Line 2 on the subway to the Yonghegong Lama Temple stop and using Exit A.