the china guide blog

Travel Blog

How to Book Forbidden City (Palace Museum) Tickets Online Last updated on 2018-09-19

How to Book Forbidden City (Palace Museum) Tickets  Online

Starting from October 2, 2017, all visitors to the Palace Museum (often referred to as the Forbidden City) must book their tickets online. If you are a foreign traveler and don't know where or how to book the tickets, this article will be your guide!

1. Book tickets on the Palace Museum official website
2. Book tickets via online shops
3. Let The China Guide book tickets on your behalf
4. Buy tickets in person
5. How to pick up your tickets and enter the Palace Museum
6. Opt for a guided, hassle-free tour

1. Book tickets on the Palace Museum official website

The official online ticket booking website is http://gugong.228.com.cn/. Unfortunately, the website has no English version. If you cannot read Chinese, you could try using Google Translate. We tested translating the page into English, and the translation is understandable.

In addition, in order to finish the purchase, you need to provide a local mobile phone number to verify your order, as well as an Alipay account or a local Chinese bank card (foreign credit cards not supported). If you happen to have these or have a Chinese friend that can help, here is a guide to walk you through the booking procedure:

Step 1: Select visiting time

Book tickets on the Forbidden City official booking website: Select visiting time

On the homepage of the official booking website (http://gugong.228.com.cn/), select the time (date and AM [entering before 12:00PM]/PM [entering after 12:00PM]) that you plan to visit the Forbidden City, then click “快速购买 (Quick Buy)" to proceed.

Step 2: Fill out visitor information

Book tickets on the Forbidden City official booking website: Fill out visitor information

There are three types of ticket to choose from: Adult, Senior, and Student. Select “港澳台身份证/护照 (Passport)", then fill in the passport number and the full name shown on the passport and click “添加 (Add)". Continue to add all of the members of your party. Once all the visitors are added, click “下一步 (Next)" to proceed.

Please note: all of your party must check in together at the entrance of the Forbidden City or there is a chance that you won't be granted admission.

Discounts for foreigners:
*Free admission for children under 1.2 meters in height

Step 3: Select gallery tickets

Book tickets on the Forbidden City official booking website: Select gallery tickets

The Treasure Gallery and the Hall of Clocks are two small museums inside the Forbidden City that require additional tickets. If you wish to visit either of them, please select accordingly. Otherwise, click "下一步(Next)" to proceed.

Step 4: Confirm order information

Book tickets on the Forbidden City official booking website: Confirm order information

For this step, you need provide a local mobile phone number and click " 获取短信验证码 (Obtain a Verification Code)". After receiving the message with the verification code, input the code and click “下一步 (Next)" to proceed (leave the invoice field blank unless you need an invoice).

Step 5: Pay

Book tickets on the Forbidden City official booking website: Pay

Either select Alipay or a local bank (internet banking) then click "网银支付 (Pay)”. You will be redirected to a separate page to complete the payment process.

Step 6: Complete

Book tickets on the Forbidden City official booking website: Complete

Once you have successfully paid, return back to the payment method page and click “已完成支付 (Payment Successful)."

Book tickets on the Forbidden City official booking website: Complete

The booking process is now complete and you can click the order number to view the details of the order and take a screenshot for future reference.

2. Book tickets via online shops

There are Taobao shops and other online shops that provide booking services. However, like the official booking website, they are all in Chinese and mainly serve Chinese tourists, so we will not go into details about this method. If you can read Chinese and have a local phone number and payment method, then these shops are a convenient choice.

3. Let The China Guide book tickets on your behalf

The China Guide is a Beijing-based travel agency that creates private, guided tours and offers customised travel services all over China. To have us book tickets to the Palace Museum on your behalf, please fill and submit the form below:

Forbidden City Ticket Booking Form


1. Ticket prices (per ticket):
Palace Museum + Ticketed Galleries: 11 USD (Nov. 1st to Mar. 31st) / 15 USD (Apr. 1st to Oct. 31st)
Palace Museum: 9 USD (Nov. 1st to Mar. 31st) / 13 USD (Apr. 1st to Oct. 31st)
2. Ticketed galleries: Treasure Gallery and Hall of Clocks






1. All visitors listed above must check in together at the Forbidden City entrance. Otherwise, some guests may not be allowed to enter.
2. If any of the visitors is under 18 or above 60 years old, please tell us his/her age for possible price discount.





Once we receive your booking request, we will send a Paypal invoice to the email address you provide and by which you can pay us either using credit card or your Paypal account. After the payment is done, we will book the tickets within two hours (during normal working time) and send you the booking results by email.


Important information:
1. Tickets can only be booked online 10 days before the date of your visit. We suggest you book tickets at least one day before your visit.
2. There are usually fewer visitors in the afternoon.
3. On the day of visiting, you will need to go to the Forbidden City and check in by yourself.(check the map and read the travel tips of the Forbidden City)

If a mistake on our part leads to an incorrect booking, we will rebook tickets for you free of charge or issue you a full refund.

4. Buy tickets in person

Scan QR code to buy tickets to the Forbidden City

Visitors who have not bought tickets in advance have two ways to buy a ticket in person. Firstly, if you have Alipay (Zhifubao) on your mobile phone, you can use it to scan a QR code and buy tickets after you arrive at the Forbidden City. Secondly, you can go to the Comprehensive Service Window (综合服务窗口) to the east of the entrance of the Forbidden City and ask the staff to buy tickets on your behalf.

However, please note that there is a risk that tickets will be sold out, as the Forbidden City limits daily visitors to 80,000. In addition, you may have to spend more time waiting in line.

5. How to pick up your tickets and enter the Palace Museum

You don't need hard copy tickets to enter the Forbidden City. Once you have booked your tickets online, just show up with your passports on the date and time selected and scan them to check in directly at the entrance to the Forbidden City and its inside galleries. Be sure to check the map and read our tips before you go.

6. Opt for a guided, hassle-free tour

If you are visiting more attractions or destinations, you may opt for one of our guided, hassle-free tours. Here are some of our most popular package tours:


Learn more about booking tickets to Mutianyu Great Wall, Badaling Great Wall, Jinshanling Great Wall or Terracotta Army.


Subscribe to our Newsletter

Five-Year Winner of the Certificate of Excellence on TripAdvisor

tripadvisor certificate of excellence

We are in TripAdvisor's Hall of Fame!

Our Popular Tours

The Classic China Tour The Classic China Tour
The Ancient Capitals The Ancient Capitals
Beijing in 48 hours Beijing in 48 hours

TOP