The Forbidden City
故宫 The Forbidden City was the former imperial palace which was the home to twenty-four Chinese emperors over 491 years between 1420 and 1911. The Forbidden City is now known as the Palace Museum and is open to Beijing's visitors.
Wear comfortable walking shoes as 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.
Average time for this activity (in hrs):
Opening hours: 8:30am until 5:00pm with last admission at 4:00pm
Longitude: 39.916418; Latitude: 116.390276. Satellite view does not match the Map view due to Google's rendering.
Customized with highlights by The China Guide
1 • CNY 450
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3 • CNY 1,550
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1 • CNY 360
This one day tour is ideal for those who have just one day and want to see the major sights. This is a lot of monuments in one day, and I only recommend it if you only have this one day to see the sights. Otherwise a more leisurely two day itinerary is better. We can customize this tour with airport transfers, hotel or other activities to suit your needs.
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Beijing → Xi'an → Guilin → Li River Cruise → Yangshuo → Shanghai
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Beijing → Xi'an → Chongqing → Yangtze River Cruises → Yichang → Shanghai
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Hong Kong → Guilin → Li River Cruise → Yangshuo → Chongqing → Yangtze River Cruises → Yichang → Shanghai → Beijing
3 • CNY 1,420
This tour is especially designed for people passing through China and entering on the three day transit visa, which is issued on arrival to approved countries. If you are on your way around the world and passing by Beijing or Shanghai, its a great opportunity to stop in for a look. For more details on the three day visa issued at the airport see our Visa section.
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Beijing → Hohhot → Datong → Beijing
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Beijing → Luoyang → Xi'an → Chengdu → Shanghai → Water Towns → Suzhou → Shanghai