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“Thumbs Up!!!”

National Center for the Performing Arts
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Beijing Evening Vintage Sidecar Ride
Ranked #20 of 1,604 things to do in Beijing
Certificate of Excellence
Johor, Johor, Malaysia
Level Contributor
22 reviews
10 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“Thumbs Up!!!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 16, 2013

The amazing architecture have made my jaws dropped. The exterior are maintained properly and the vegetations around it are trimmed regularly.

Visited December 2013
Thank BenjaminHon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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616 reviews from our community

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Melbourne, Australia
Level Contributor
107 reviews
73 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 46 helpful votes
“Amazing architecture”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 12, 2013

The architecture of the place is amazing, worth paying to view the interior and visit the exhibitions inside. The day I went the actual theatre was closed to public due to a show, so not sure what that looked like. Overall, I definitely recommend a visit!

Visited November 2013
Thank elle_g11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia
Level Contributor
124 reviews
58 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 100 helpful votes
“Beautiful and stunning”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 8, 2013

Closes on every Monday. Do plan well.
Popularly known as "The Giant Egg". The building and its surrounding man-made lake are stunning and great to photograph. During bright clear day, the reflection on the lake giving the impression of it floats on the water. At night it is illuminated with varying coloured lights.

The tour inside the building is quite an experience. Walking through long corridor while gazing to the glass ceiling with the man-made lake above. There is a museum displays historical performing theater models from Ming and Qing dynasties, and stories of some popular performances.

Visited September 2013
Thank bambooKK
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lisbon, Portugal
Level Contributor
11 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Amazing architecture.”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 5, 2013

Great to photograph in sunset light. It's an amazing architectural wonder that is as beautiful by the day as by night.

Visited October 2013
Thank Soniacsantos
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Albany, New York
Level Contributor
20 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
“Stunning venue; professional performances; worth the visit but plan well”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 30, 2013

The NCPA is a stunning venue. There are three aspects to visiting, which can be combined in one trip (with good planning and timing) or can be done individually.

The building and surrounding man-made lake are both exciting and calming to view from the outside. By day, the dull gray structure seems to float on the water. It is especially stunning on a clear blue-sky day, but also has character when the skies are half gray, as they more often are. By night it is illuminated with lights of varying color, and is very striking against the black water and sky. It is quite large so allow extra time of you wish to walk all the way around. No charge for exterior viewing.

To visit the inside, one can either buy a ticket to attend a performance (usually evening) or by day, buy a ticket to tour the building. The daytime tour ticket gives access to the inside of the shell, but not to the inside of the three theaters within the shell. If visiting when it is light outside (daytime, or prior to a performance during summer) it is quite an experience to walk through the long entry corridor and gaze upward to the glass ceiling with the man-made lake above. The interior walls, floors, and fixtures are expertly crafted with unique and costly marbles, woods, and metals. There is a small but interesting museum along the entry corridor, and there is a cafe on the main theater level. The cafe food is limited to sandwiches and cakes, but at least there is something if you've arrived hungry. The gift shop has some unique items.

The three theaters are, as their names suggest, differentiated for concerts, theater, or opera. The acoustics are very good, and the views are generally very good from all seats. The seats themselves are comfortable, however all of the theaters have a MAJOR flaw which is that there is very little space between the rows - so little in fact that an average sized person will find his/her legs right up against the row in front, or will struggle to claim a few inches to the left or right.

Planning: as others have mentioned, those who have tickets to performances cannot enter until one hour prior, which severely limits the amount of time one can visit the museum, gift shop, cafe, and enjoy the public spaces. But for visitors who wish to see it all and must do it on one day: first purchase a ticket for a 7:30pm performance, which can be done online in advance or at the box office; arrive at 5:30-6:00pm to spend 30-60 minutes walking around outside; enter the theater at 6:30pm and spend 45-60 minutes in the public spaces; 7:30pm enjoy your performance.

There is a bag and coat check immediately beyond the ticket and security checkpoint. No food, drink, or cameras are allowed (but no limitations on smartphones - go figure) however if you don't have any of those things you can keep your bag/coat if you prefer. As mentioned seats are tight so checking what you don't want to carry is convenient.

The performances are well-done and often presented by the best of Chinese and foreign troupes and musicians.
Program literature is usually available for performances, but only in Chinese, so if you are really attending for the performance and don't read Chinese, then do your online research before you go.

The Centre can be directly accessed from the subway (but note the last train is around 11pm). There is also underground car and bicycle parking.

As a resident of Beijing, I often visit for performances. NCPA is a must see for anyone interested in architecture or who needs a bit of culture.

Visited November 2013
6 Thank Eegulleye
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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