Nanjing Museum

The Nanjing Museum hosts an extensive collection, with the quantity of precious artifacts second only to the Palace Museum. Visitors can spend an uninterrupted 4-5 hours immersing themselves in Chinese history and cultural arts. Every year, countless tourists from various places come to visit.

The museum is divided into six exhibition halls based on different themes, among which the History Hall, Special Exhibition Hall, and Republic of China Hall are the most worth visiting.

In the History Hall, do not miss the exquisitely crafted gold and silver thread clothing, the highly restored royal tomb chambers, and the maturely crafted pottery works.

The Special Exhibition Hall is mainly for appreciating the “Treasure of the Museum”, the gilded Tibetan-style pagoda, the exquisite western clocks from the Ming and Qing Dynasties, and various kinds of official kiln porcelains.

The Republic of China Hall, with its strong vintage and nostalgic atmosphere, is the best scene for taking retro-style photos.

Nanjing Museum

The Nanjing Museum mainly offers indoor exhibitions and can be visited all year round. As it usually receives a large volume of visitors, especially on weekends and holidays, it is recommended that tourists plan their visits for weekday mornings for a better experience.

Transportation: If driving from the city center (Xinjiekou), it takes about 30 minutes to reach the Nanjing Museum. For non-drivers, take Subway Line 2 to the Ming Palace Station, and the museum is just a few hundred meters walk away.

Although the area surrounding the museum is easily accessible, parking spaces can be tight over the weekend, so public transportation is recommended.

Cost: Admission to the six exhibition halls is free. Audio guides can be rented on-site for 20 yuan per person. Depending on the performance, the Intangible Heritage Hall charges between 20 and 30 yuan for opera performances, including tea.

Tips to Avoid Pitfalls

Nanjing Museum

  1. The museum is open from Tuesday to Sunday, 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM (entry stops at 4:00 PM). It is closed all day on Mondays except on national holidays.
  2. After reserving tickets, you must enter the museum during the specified time slot or cancel promptly. If you miss your reservation three times or more, you will be blacklisted and unable to make a reservation for the next 90 days. Morning tickets require entry before 1:00 PM on the day of the visit, while afternoon tickets allow entry between 12:00 PM and 4:00 PM on the day of the visit. These tickets are not interchangeable and require an ID card or social security card for entry.
  3. The museum experiences heavy footfall during the weekends. It’s advisable to plan your visit on a weekday if possible. If you must visit on a weekend, it’s recommended to reserve the morning slot. Remember to book your tickets a week in advance as same-day tickets are usually sold out.

Itinerary

Nanjing Museum

The museum’s exhibits are all indoors and not affected by weather, so it’s suggested to visit during the morning hours. You can follow the route of the History Hall, Special Exhibition Hall, Digital Hall, Republic of China Hall, Art Hall, and Intangible Cultural Heritage Hall.

The must-visit halls are the History Hall, Special Exhibition Hall, and Republic of China Hall. If you’re short on time, you may skip the Digital Hall and Art Hall. The crowd flow is moderate and it takes approximately four hours to tour each hall.

Detailed Guide

Nanjing Museum

  1. You can book a visit to the Nanjing Museum a week in advance through their official app or website. The system releases tickets daily at 6:00 PM. If you’re unable to secure a booking, try your luck early in the morning on the day of your visit.
  2. Simply swipe your ID card or social security card at the main entrance (the central entrance) to gain admission. Your luggage or backpack can be left at the free storage area at the service desk on the left. While there, grab an exhibition guide and rent an audio tour device.
  3. At each exhibition, you can either scan the QR code to start the audio guide or rent an audio tour device from the service center for 20 yuan per person. Once you’re done, return the device at the service desk on the first floor of the left entrance. There’s no need to return it to the original rental point.
  4. One ID card can rent multiple audio tour devices. Each device contains 130 audio tours that will automatically play when you approach an exhibit. You can also enter the exhibit number to replay the audio. When returning the device, just insert it into the slot or return it to the service desk.
  5. The History Museum and Special Exhibition Hall are in the same building. The Republic of China Museum, Art Museum, and Intangible Heritage Museum are in another building on the left of the entrance. You can enter directly after finishing your visit without needing to show your ticket again.
  6. The Intangible Heritage Museum, located in the basement level, features an old teahouse where traditional Chinese opera performances are held irregularly. You can listen for free standing from the side, or pay for a seat, which includes tea and snacks. Performances usually take place from 2 PM to 4 PM. Check the Nanjing Museum’s official account for related information.
  7. The Republic of China Museum is on the underground level, with dim lighting. The entire venue is modelled after the streets, banks, post offices, and train stations of the Republican era. You can purchase postcards for 5 yuan each at the post office and mail them on the spot. Although other scenes are set in the Republican era, the interiors are modern shops where you can grab a coffee or buy souvenirs. The commercial vibe is quite strong.
  8. The creative souvenir shop is located on the first floor of the Special Exhibition Hall and next to the entrance of the Republic of China Museum. It mainly sells postcards, fridge magnets, notebooks, mirrors, etc., with a wide variety. Prices during a secret visit ranged from 20 to 200 yuan.
  9. Across from the elevators on floors 2-5 of the Special Exhibition Hall, you will find restrooms and drinking water. On the 5th floor, there is a coffee shop where you can rest after a tiring walk. The average price for food and drinks is around 20 yuan.

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