Yonghe / Lama Temple, Beijing

Yonghe / Lama Temple, Beijing (must see)

Located in the north east part of Beijing city, Yonghe Temple is popularly known as the Lama Temple. This monastery and temple attached to Tibetan Buddhism’s Geluk School is one of the most important and largest Tibetan Buddhist monasteries and is constructed in Tibetan and Han Chinese style.

Construction of this temple started during the Qing Dynasty in 1694 and originally the building was used as the residence of court eunuchs. Later on, it was converted to Prince Yong’s court. He was the son of Kangxi Emperor and the future Yongzheng Emperor. When he ascended the throne in 1722, Yongzheng converted half of the building into a monastery for the Tibetan Buddhism monks while retaining the other half as the imperial palace. This temple houses his coffin since 1735 when he died.

Qianlong Emperor, his successor, elevated the temple to the imperial status by symbolically changing the turquoise tiles to yellow tiles, usually reserved for emperors. Monks from Tibet and Mongolia started using this monastery as their residence and ever since this Lamasery has grown to be the national center of Lama Administration.

Yonghe Temple has successfully survived the Cultural Revolution of the 1960s-70s, largely due to the protection of Zhou Enlai, then Prime Minister of China. In 1981, the temple was reopened to the public. Today it attracts tourists from all parts of the world.

Why You Should Visit:
The temple is quite beautiful in itself and the largest Buddha carved from a single piece of wood is a major highlight here.

Tip:
Upon entering, you can receive free incense to burn on site or take home as a nice memento. Across the street from the subway exit, there's a tea shop that also sells ice cream, very popular with locals!

Opening Hours: daily: 9am - 4:30pm

This sight is featured in a self-guided walking tour of Beijing, China within the mobile app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" which can be downloaded from iTunes App Store or Google Play. Please download the app to your mobile phone or tablet for travel directions for visiting this sight. The app turns your mobile device to a personal tour guide and it works offline, so no data plan is needed when traveling abroad.

Download The GPSmyCity App

Download 'GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities' app for IOS   Download 'GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities' app for Android

Yonghe / Lama Temple on Map

Sight Name: Yonghe / Lama Temple
Sight Location: Beijing, China
Sight Type: Religious
Guide(s) Containing This Sight:

Walking Tours in Beijing, China

Create Your Own Walk in Beijing

Create Your Own Walk in Beijing

Creating your own self-guided walk in Beijing is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
Olympic Park Walking Tour

Olympic Park Walking Tour

The Olympic Park in Beijing was built for the Olympic and Paralympic Games of 2008. This modern complex represents a contemporary architectural approach as compared to the more traditional buildings that dominate the city. Among its signature items are the iconic Bird's Nest, otherwise known as the main Olympic stadium, and the beautiful Water Cube – the Aquatics Center for water sports.
...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.8 Km or 2.4 Miles
Beijing's Historical Temples Tour II

Beijing's Historical Temples Tour II

The places of worship are some of the best links to the city's history. The unique churches, Buddhist and Taoist Temples, and beautiful Muslim Mosques all tell great tales of the history of Beijing. Despite that many of them have been partially or completely destroyed over the years either by wars or by the changes of political power, a good number of them still remain. You can visit a few...  view more

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.1 Km or 1.3 Miles
Beijing City Center Walking Tour

Beijing City Center Walking Tour

Beijing has been a political, educational, cultural and economic center for centuries. Today, it is one of the greatest remnants of the Chinese Imperial past. Along with its famous City Wall and Forbidden City, this self-guided walking tour will take you through Beijing's most popular attractions in the heart of the city.

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.7 Km or 2.3 Miles
Beijing's Historical Temples Tour I

Beijing's Historical Temples Tour I

Chinese temples are of unique beauty and have withstood many dynasties. However because the temples have always been connected to the imperial families, many of them were destroyed when the last dynasty ended in 1911. Nevertheless, a great number of beautiful temples with great history still stand in Beijing. Take this self-guided walking tour to discover a few famous temples in the northern part...  view more

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.8 Km or 1.1 Miles

Useful Travel Guides for Planning Your Trip


Shopping in Beijing: 18 Travel Mementos

Shopping in Beijing: 18 Travel Mementos

Today, it is safe to assume that 9 out of 10 souvenirs worldwide (regardless of the country) are made in China, the workshop of the world. But how about shopping for souvenirs in China itself and Beijing, in particular? Presented here are some of the traditional Chinese-made goods, initially...
Most Popular Desserts and Drinks in Beijing

Most Popular Desserts and Drinks in Beijing

No meal is complete without a sweet touch and a proper drink to wash it all down. Beijing's food scene is rich and colorful in many ways, and the dessert & drink areas are no exception. Some of the signature Beijing delicacies have gained popularity across Asia over the centuries, whereas...
Top 10 Foods to Try in Beijing

Top 10 Foods to Try in Beijing

Centuries went by and the regional Chinese, Manchurian, Mongol and Muslim cuisines boiled together to produce what's now known and loved as traditional Beijing cooking. Whenever you're in the Chinese capital, don't leave without tasting at least some of the key local meals or your...
Best Street Foods to Try in Beijing

Best Street Foods to Try in Beijing

China's passion for food – long in history as The Great Wall of China itself – is clearly manifested in its street food culture. This is particularly noticeable on the streets of Beijing, teeming with numerous vendors and thick with aromas. Whether you're a vegan, vegetarian or a...