The Dongcheng District, literally "east city district" of Beijing, covers the eastern half of Beijing's urban core, the Old City. Its 40.6 km2 (15.7 sq mi) area, further subdivided into 17 subdistricts, includes all that section of the Old City inside the 2nd Ring Road with some areas outside, even crossing the 3rd Ring Road at its northernmost extent. The district's population was 535,558 as of China's 2000 Census.
Dongcheng includes many of Beijing's major cultural attractions, such as the Forbidden City and Temple of Heaven, both UNESCO World Heritage Sites. More than a quarter of the city's Major National Historical and Cultural Sites are inside its boundaries, with a similar percentage of those protected at the municipal level. Tiananmen Square is also in Dongcheng, along with other popular destinations for domestic and international tourists such as the bars and nightlife in the hutongs of Nanluogoxiang and the shopping in Wangfujing.