Forbidden City, Beijing

Forbidden City, Beijing (must see)

A trip to Beijing is incomplete without a visit to Forbidden City, the huge, majestic and best preserved imperial Chinese palace. This impressive and gorgeous palatial structure exemplifies traditional Chinese palatial architecture and has influenced cultural and architectural developments in East Asia and elsewhere.

This Palace Museum houses precious historical and cultural relics of China. In 1961, it was listed by the Chinese central government as a historical monument to be specially preserved. Forbidden City was declared a World Heritage Site in 1987 and is listed by UNESCO as the largest collection of preserved ancient wooden structures in the world.

This palace is listed as one of the five most important palaces in the world. It was home to 21 Ming and Qing dynasty emperors between 1368 and 1911. In keeping with the traditional beliefs, the palace was constructed to resemble the Purple Palace in heaven, believed to be the residence of God. "Forbidden" referred to the fact that no one could enter or leave the palace without the emperor's permission.

The palace is built over an area of 72 hectares. There are 8704 rooms, 980 buildings and 90 palaces with 150,000 square meters total floor space. Structures including the palace and all the gates of the Forbidden City are arranged around Beijing’s south-north central axis.

A ten-meter high wall encloses the complex of 3,430-meter circumference. The moment you reach this impressive complex, you will be stunned by the magnificence of the four watchtowers at each corner and the moat that acted as the first line of defense.

Why You Should Visit:
Forbidden City should be at the top of any Beijing itinerary. Taking in the scale and majesty of the buildings is a terrific experience.

Tip:
Don't forget your passport – you will need it to buy a ticket and gain entry. Get there as early as you can to avoid the hoards of tourists. When hiring a guide, make sure they speak good English and negotiate on price and time. At the very least, rent the audio guide. Make sure you visit the Imperial Gardens before exiting and go to Jingshan Park (through the underground passage) for a panoramic view of the Forbidden City from above.

Opening Hours: daily: 8:30am-5pm (April-October); 8:30am-4:30pm (November-March)

This sight is featured in a self-guided walking tour of Beijing, China within the mobile app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" which can be downloaded from iTunes App Store or Google Play. Please download the app to your mobile phone or tablet for travel directions for visiting this sight. The app turns your mobile device to a personal tour guide and it works offline, so no data plan is needed when traveling abroad.

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Forbidden City on Map

Sight Name: Forbidden City
Sight Location: Beijing, China
Sight Type: Attraction/Landmark
Guide(s) Containing This Sight:

Walking Tours in Beijing, China

Create Your Own Walk in Beijing

Create Your Own Walk in Beijing

Creating your own self-guided walk in Beijing is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
Beijing's Historical Temples Tour I

Beijing's Historical Temples Tour I

Chinese temples are of unique beauty and have withstood many dynasties. However because the temples have always been connected to the imperial families, many of them were destroyed when the last dynasty ended in 1911. Nevertheless, a great number of beautiful temples with great history still stand in Beijing. Take this self-guided walking tour to discover a few famous temples in the northern part...  view more

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.8 Km or 1.1 Miles
Beijing's Historical Temples Tour II

Beijing's Historical Temples Tour II

The places of worship are some of the best links to the city's history. The unique churches, Buddhist and Taoist Temples, and beautiful Muslim Mosques all tell great tales of the history of Beijing. Despite that many of them have been partially or completely destroyed over the years either by wars or by the changes of political power, a good number of them still remain. You can visit a few...  view more

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.1 Km or 1.3 Miles
Beijing City Center Walking Tour

Beijing City Center Walking Tour

Beijing has been a political, educational, cultural and economic center for centuries. Today, it is one of the greatest remnants of the Chinese Imperial past. Along with its famous City Wall and Forbidden City, this self-guided walking tour will take you through Beijing's most popular attractions in the heart of the city.

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.7 Km or 2.3 Miles
Olympic Park Walking Tour

Olympic Park Walking Tour

The Olympic Park in Beijing was built for the Olympic and Paralympic Games of 2008. This modern complex represents a contemporary architectural approach as compared to the more traditional buildings that dominate the city. Among its signature items are the iconic Bird's Nest, otherwise known as the main Olympic stadium, and the beautiful Water Cube – the Aquatics Center for water sports.
...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.8 Km or 2.4 Miles

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