The Palace Museum, Beijing

The Palace Museum, Beijing (must see)

Enjoying the distinction of being the largest museum in China, The Palace Museum is located at the centre of the city of Beijing. It is also referred to as the “Purple” Forbidden City in Chinese and was a royal palace for at least twenty-four emperors of the Ming and Qing dynasties. Spanning an area of 720,000 square meters, the museum contains a number of ancient halls grouped architecturally.

The Forbidden City has more than 9000 rooms and 70 halls of various sizes. Architecturally, the buildings are constructed in such a manner that they line up precisely and look completely imposing reflecting the unique Chinese architectural style.

The Palace Museum or Forbidden City is a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Site since 1987. At least eight million tourists visit this museum every year to view the vast gardens, extensive collection of treasures and interesting pavilions. It was built by Yongle of Ming Dynasty between 1406 and 1420 when he shifted the capital to Beijing from Nanjing. 24 Ming and Qing emperors lived here till the fall of the Qing dynasty in 1911.

The Palace Museum was opened to the public in 1925 displaying a well-organized exhibit that featured over a million treasures. You can take the help of audio guides available at the Meridian Gate to ensure that you do not miss out any part of this exciting palace.

Why You Should Visit:
Brilliantly displayed items going back centuries which tell the tale of the growth and creation of China from the earliest dynasties.
To anyone interested in history it is a fantastic experience to read about it from details in this museum rather than from a history book.

Tips:
As a foreigner, it is best to purchase your tickets online to avoid the long lines. Your passport serves as the ticket for all the 3 entrances that require tickets. Just hand the guards at these entrances your passport and they will scan them and you can be on your way to enjoying the exhibits in the museum.
If you want to walk around at your own pace, go for the electronic guide, as it offers sufficient information to keep one interested to explore the many buildings.
Pay attention to the interesting details hidden amongst the building. For example, the numbers of creatures lined up along the edge of the roofs is an indication of how important the building is.
Remember to schedule at least half a day for this beautiful palace. The quality of food had improved but the lines and seats may be a problem if one visits during the peak period.
Finally, remember to wear comfortable shoes as it is a very large complex.

Opening Hours:
8:30am-5pm (April 1 — October 31); 8:30am-4:30pm (November 1 — March 31)

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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The Palace Museum on Map

Sight Name: The Palace Museum
Sight Location: Beijing, China
Sight Type: Museum/Gallery
Guide(s) containing this sight: City Center Orientation Walk   Beijing Museums and Art Galleries  

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.
Walking Tour: Shopping in Downtown Beijing

Walking Tour: Shopping in Downtown Beijing

The downtown section of Beijing is famous for its shopping areas. You will be impressed with the diverse selection of stores on each street, ranging from flea markets to specialty shops offering authentic Chinese products. Take the following tour to discover the most popular and prominent shopping spots in Beijing:

Tour Duration: 3 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 7.4 km
Walking Tour: Beijing’s Modern Architecture

Walking Tour: Beijing’s Modern Architecture

Beijing is one of the most beautiful cities in the world, with a great history of more than 2000 years. The majority of buildings in the city preserve that history, though you will notice a fast rising number of modern buildings emerging with impressive design, size and shape. Check out the famous modern architecture of Beijing in the next self-guided tour:

Tour Duration: 3 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 5.9 km
Shopping in North Beijing

Shopping in North Beijing

Northern Beijing is home to the famous historic Shichahai area. This picturesque area between Forbidden City and Olympic Park consists of three lakes, the Confucius and Lama Temples and is a great illustration of a traditional Chinese district. Check out the most popular shopping places in North Beijing in the next self-guided tour.

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.6 km
Walking Tour: Popular Markets in Beijing

Walking Tour: Popular Markets in Beijing

Markets in Beijing are great places to get acquainted with locals. Many markets operate through the night so if you are out late enjoying the nightlife, don't forget to stop by to purchase unique items that are not found in shops or malls. Take the following tour to discover the most popular markets in Beijing:

Tour Duration: 1 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.3 km
Souvenir Shopping Guide

Souvenir Shopping Guide

It would be a pity to leave Beijing without having explored its specialty shops and bringing home something truly original. We've compiled a list of gifts and souvenirs, which are unique to Beijing, that a visitor might like to purchase to reflect their visit.

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 4.8 km
Shopping Around Chaoyang Park

Shopping Around Chaoyang Park

Chaoyang Park is located in the North-East area of Beijing. The park itself represents one of Beijing’s main attractions, with its great beauty and infrastructure, as well as a number of famous markets that lie in the area. This guide will take you to some of the best features of Chaoyang Park.

Tour Duration: 3 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 8.1 km

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