Located just south of the Bell Tower, the Drum Tower is similar in size and architectural style. A steep, narrow staircase brings you up to the top floor, where 25 drums are on display – including one original. These include one large drum, representing the year, and 24 smaller ones, representing the 24 solar terms.
The Drum Tower was originally built in 1272 and subsequently rebuilt several times – most recently in 1539. It was used to signal the end of nighttime curfew at the start of each working day until 1924.
There is also a small museum of timekeeping around the back of the main staircase.
There are performances four times a day during peak season – check the schedule posted at the entrance.
Tickets: 20 RMB (single) or 30 RMB (combination ticket with Bell Tower).
Opening hours: 9:00 – 17:00.
Recommended visit: 1 hour.
Transport: take metro line 8 to Shichahai (什刹海) and walk north for 500m from exit A2.