Literally “the Street of Eternal Peace,” Chang'an Avenue runs through Beijing from east to west. Its core section, first built during the 15th century, houses Tiananmen Square, the Forbidden City, the National Center for the Performing Arts (aka the Egg), and Wangfujing. The name is sometimes written “Chang’an Avenue.”The Basics
Almost every traveler to Beijing will pay a visit to Tiananmen Square, located on Chang'an Avenue, and many will drive along this wide thoroughfare as they travel around the city. The illuminations make a nighttime drive on Chang'an Avenue a particularly dazzling experience, with the Gate of Heavenly Peace and the Forbidden City decked in sparkling lights, and the Egg appearing to levitate over the lake. Chang'an Avenue is a popular destination for Beijing night tours, both by vehicle and on foot.Things to Know Before You Go
How to Get There
- Chang'an Avenue by night is a must for lovers of illuminations.
- Cross the street using underpasses rather than attempting to stop traffic.
- Wide, well-maintained sidewalks make Chang'an Avenue reasonably accessible for travelers who use wheelchairs.
Chang'an Avenue is Beijing’s major thoroughfare, with its most historic section running around 2.5 miles (4 kilometers) between Dongdan to the east and Xidan to the west. Dongdan is on subway lines 1 and 5; Xidan is on lines 1 and 4. Alternatively, take line 1 to Tiananmen East or Tiananmen West for Tiananmen Square and the Forbidden City.When to Get There
Chang'an Avenue has something to offer the traveler at every time of day, although it’s worth noting that Tiananmen Square closes at midnight. Evening is the best time to experience the illuminations, although attractions such as the Forbidden City and museums are generally only open during the day.
Beijing by Night
Beijing is most magical at night during the Chinese New Year period, yet pretty intoxicating all year round. A driving tour of the city is one of the best ways to appreciate its illuminations. On Chang'an Avenue, highlights include the National Center for the Performing Arts, the Forbidden City, Tiananmen Square, and the Gate of Heavenly Peace. Elsewhere in the city, the Olympic Green and Shichahai are especially colorful.