The Forbidden City

Attraction 4 Jing Shan Qian Jie Dongcheng, Beijing China Published on: 08-08-2016

1 hours 30 mins
08:30 AM - 04:30 PM
09:00 AM
10:30 AM
First-time visit
Must see
Cultural & Theme
People watching
8.85 USD

The Forbidden City is good for

Good for family with kids Family with kids Good
Good for senior Senior Good
Good for couple Couple Good
Good for solo Solo Good
Good for group Group Good
  • Highly recommended by fellow travellers.
The Forbidden City, the imperial palace in the heart of Beijing, is home to 24 emperors of the Ming and Qing Dynasties.

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Why The Forbidden City is special ?

The Forbidden City, situated in the very heart of Beijing, was home to 24 emperors of the Ming (1368–1644) and Qing (1644–1911) Dynasties.

The construction of the grand palace started in the fourth year of Emperor Yongle of the Ming Dynasty (1406), and ended in 1420.

In ancient times, the emperor was said to be a son of Heaven, and therefore Heaven’s supreme power was bestowed upon him. The emperors’ residence on earth was built as a replica of the Purple Palace where God was thought to live in Heaven.

In 1961 the Forbidden City was listed as an important historical monumentunder Chinese central government special preservation.

In 1987, it was nominated as World Cultural Heritageby UNESCO. The Palace Museum is a treasure house of Chinese cultural and historical relics.

It is recognized as one of the most important five palaces in the world (the other four are the Palace of Versailles in France, Buckingham Palace in the UK, the White House in the US, and the Kremlin in Russia).


What to explore at The Forbidden City?

The palace is 960 metres long and 750 metres wide. It has 9,999 rooms - a room being the space between four pillars.

The well guarded palace is surrounded by a moat 3,800 metres long and 52 metres wide. Intruders were discouraged by guards in watchtowers with bow and arrows.

There are five entrances to the gate - the central one reserved for the emperor. The empress was allowed through it only once - on her wedding day.

As well as walking through the wide open courtyards along its central axis, the sides offer some museum exhibits and small courtyards worth exploring.

An excellent view of the Forbidden City from the north is seen atop Coal Hill in Jingshan Park. The hill is made from the dirt excavated from the moat surrounding the Forbidden City, and according to Feng Shui, keeps the evil spirits from the north from entering.


How to get to The Forbidden City?


Take subway line 1, get off at Tiananmen East Station (Exit A) or Tiananmen West Station (Exit B), find the Tiananmen Tower, and then walk north to the Meridian Gate;

Take subway line 2, get off at Qianmen Station (Exit A), walk north through the Tiananmen Square, pass the Tiananmen Tower, and then find the Meridian Gate further north.


Take bus no. 1, 2, 52, 59, 82, 99, 120, 126, Tourist Line 1, or Tourist Line 2, and get off at Tiananmen East Station;

Take bus no. 1, 5, 52, 99, Tourist Line 1, or Tourist Line 2, and get off at Tiananmen West Station.


Selling points

  • The best-preserved imperial palace in China
  • The largest ancient palatial structure in the world
  • Traditional Chinese architectural accomplishment
  • World Cultural Heritage by UNESCO
  • The five palaces in the world
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4.0 days
143.03 USD
Total travel distance
Number of places
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4 Jing Shan Qian Jie Dongcheng, Beijing China

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Tips for you

  • Unless you know how to bargain, gifts shops INSIDE the Museum is all of the places and offers great selections.
  • Once you are inside the Palace, try to get a free palace map to help you navigate your tour inside
    Things to do
  • Make sure you see the garden courtyard from the emperor and empress/concubines
    What to see
  • Take some water with you to sip whilst wandering the grounds
    What to bring
  • Wear comfortable shoes as there is a lot of walking to do here.
    What to wear
  • There is easy access for limited ability and a few steps to climb to get up to the buildings
  • Prepare yourselves for a lot of walking
  • There is no need to join a TOUR, just find your way there and rent a self guided audio tour device.
  • The complex can get quite busy at times, but it's large enough to avoid the large crowds. Go early in the morning to beat the rush.
  • If you go early enough the crowds are reduced and security much quicker
  • Some exhibitions required separate admission tickets
    Ticket and Pricing
  • There are some areas and exhibits within the complex that require additional tickets to access.
    Ticket and Pricing


TripAdvisor View more

I suppose I should start this review by saying that it has always been a dream of mine to visit the Forbidden City. That said, I can say that it totally lived up to my expectations. It was breathtakingly beautiful. A little bit of reality though. If you aren't as enthusiastic as I was about seeing this ancient city, and particularly if you dislike crowds, this might not be an enjoyable experience. There are a lot of people here. At the entrance, loudspeakers will tell you they have limited entries to 80,000 (!) people per day to prevent too much damage on the site. I suspect every one of those 80,000 turned up at 9am as I did. Take a patience pill of it'll be a long day. If you'd like to see anything in one of the great halls, experience in a mosh pit or rugby scrum is a prerequisite. Just remember that the throngs of people will literally elbow their own grandmothers in the face for a good shot (seriously though, I saw someone do that). Take it all In good humour and you'll have a great time. I found the local visitors friendly and despite the crowds I was able to find a few quiet spots to rest.

FourSquare View more

A must see in China. Best to arrive at 8am for tickets. Opens from 8:30, gets very busy after 10am. Very crowded usually.

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