History of China in 50 Objects Tour: From Neolithic To Republic


Inspired by the New York Times bestseller and wildly popular radio series, Newman Tours has created a tour that explores the human history of China through 50 of the most celebrated art objects in Beijing’s National Museum of China. Our guide will take you on an informative and entertaining journey of 4,000 years, using the most venerated objects of the museum’s collection to illustrate the principal developments of China’s epic history.

Please note all guests must bring their passport to be granted access to the National Museum of China.

Find out why these ancient sowing needles are one of the most important leaps forward in human evolution.
See some of Neolithic China’s most important inventions.


  • Meet outside exit A of Qianmen Metro Station. Following an introduction to Tiananmen Square we will enter the National Museum of China.
  • Hear a brief history of the collection as you go through the museum’s security checks.
  • Start your journey with the infamous 1.7 million old remains of the ‘Peking Man’ and end with the collapse of the Qing Dynasty in 1900s.
  • Learn about the mythological animal motifs on the Houmuwu Ding, the world’s largest piece of intact 4,000 year old bronze ware.
  • See the Han Dynasty Jade Suit burial practices of 200BC.
  • Marvel at the Ming Dynasty indulgence of Empress Xiaojie’s coronet encrusted with 100 rubies and 5,000 pearls.
  • Understand the origins of Chinese civilization by examining Xia, Shang, and Zhou Dynasty bronzes.
    What three functions would this bronze pan have served?
  • Find out why these ancient sowing needles are one of the most important leaps forward in human evolution.
    See some of Neolithic China's most important inventions.
  • Learn about the Terracotta warriors

Getting There

The Standard Meeting Point for Private and Select 50 Objects Tours is outside exit A of Qianmen Metro Station on East Qianmen Road (前门地铁站A口,在前门东大街上).


(All prices in Chinese Renminbi per guest)

(2 hours)
(2.5 hours)
1 guest 980 1320
2 guests 520 700
3 guests 360 490
4 or more guests 290 390

Tour Types

Private Tours can be scheduled for your group at any time you like.
VIP Tours are led by Newman Tours’ most experienced guides, and guarantee the provision of an iPad to enhance the content of your tour. They can start at any time you want, and feature exclusive content described in red italics under the Tour Schedule section of this page.
Terms & Conditions can be viewed here.

Understand how feng shui was used when laying out the home of an ancient Chinese clan.
Understand the Confucian principals that have determined the layout of Chinese houses for hundreds of years.

What Our Guests Say

What the Media Says

“Will tell you folk stories known only to natives”
Christie Lee, China Daily                                               

“Plenty of fascinating historical information”
John Sunyer, Time Out

50 Objects Tour Follow Up

Guests on the History of China in 50 Objects Tour will receive a follow up email featuring informative and entertaining links including the following:

  • China’s most precious antiques and why they are abroad
  • Additional information on the long history of China
  • Interesting articles about priceless artifacts

National Museum of China Information

Opening Hours 9:00 to 17:00, closed on Mondays
(Tickets issued up until 15:30; Last entry at 16:00)