The National museum of Beijing is situated right next to the Tiananmen square, to the right looking at the palace museum. This big museum is free of charge and the only thing you need to be in possession of is your passport, when shown at the ticket hall you'll get a ticket. This procedure is not that obvious as there are automatic ticket machines for holders of Chinese IDs, as a tourist you have to go to the counter, although the representative at the desk is not always so informative that this is how it works.
But when in the museum, after going through the customary security check where you even have to taste your water, you will find a great collection of objects. Actually one of the better ones I've seen. There are permanent as well as temporary exhibitions. This is quite a large building and some of the exhibitions areas are not at use at all times. Except the regular exhibitions you might expect to find there is also, when I visited, two more propagande like ones, one with gifts that the Chinese state has received from visiting foreign heads of state and one exhibition explaining why China is great.
As this museum has so many exhibitions, with many great objects, and is free this museum should make its way onto your schedule. And by the way, being such an important museum I'll bet this house has some of the cleanest air in Beijing.
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