4 star rating: Recommended 98 Reviews

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  • Address: 4 Jingshan Front Street, Beijing, Northern China 100009, China
  • Hours: 8:30am–5pm daily
  • Admission: 40–60 RMB

Beijing ATTRACTIONS See all

Forbidden City (Imperial Palace)

The Forbidden City is the largest palace complex in the world, with more than 800 buildings and some 8,000 rooms set in the heart of Beijing. Deemed off-limits to visitors for some five centuries while two dynasties of Chinese emperors ruled, today this UNESCO World Heritage site is one of the city’s most popular attractions.

Most visitors enter the Forbidden City, also known as the Imperial Palace, through the Gate of Heavenly Peace in Tiananmen Square. This entrance leads to the Inner Court, where emperors, empresses, and concubines once lived, while the Meridian Gate takes travelers into the outer court, where ceremonies and state affairs were conducted centuries ago. Galleries to either side of the main north-south axis display an impressive collection of imperial art and artifacts, while a number of gardens, museums, pagodas, and pavilions dot the area.

With so much to see at this quintessential Beijing landmark, many visitors opt to visit with a guide who can navigate the vast complex and point out its most interesting features. Those short on time in the Chinese capital can opt for a day tour that combines a Forbidden City visit with time at other Beijing attractions, such as Tiananmen Square, the Temple of Heaven, and the Summer Palace.

Insider's Tip: As many as 80,000 people visit the Forbidden City each day. To avoid the crowds, book in advance and consider a tour that allows special access to lesser-known sites in the complex, such as the Treasure Gallery or the Clock Exhibition Hall.

Practical Info

Arriving by public transport is preferred over taxi service, as taxis are not allowed to stop outside. Take the subway Line 1 to Tiananmen West or Tiananmen East, or catch one of the many buses going to Gugong.

Tours & Tickets

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Beijing Classic Full-Day Tour including the Forbidden City, Tiananmen Square, Summer Palace and ... 
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Beijing Classic Full-Day Tour including the Forbidden City, Tiananmen Square, Summer Palace and Temple of Heaven

4.5 star rating: Recommended 2534 Reviews

See all the classic Beijing sights on a full-day sightseeing tour covering Tiananmen Square, the Forbidden City, the Summer Palace and Temple of Heaven. Along ...  Read more

Location: Beijing, China
Duration: 9 hours (approx.)

From USD $82.99
Viator VIP: Beijing's Forbidden City with Special Viewing of Treasure Gallery and the Great Wall ... 
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Viator VIP: Beijing's Forbidden City with Special Viewing of Treasure Gallery and the Great Wall Ruins at Badaling

5 star rating: Highly Recommended 160 Reviews

Enjoy a VIP tour of two UNESCO World Heritage Sites from Beijing – the Forbidden City and Badaling Great Wall Ruins. With your expert guide, gain special ...  Read more

Location: Beijing, China
Duration: 9 hours (approx.)

From USD $195.90
Private Beijing Bike Tour at Night, Beijing, Viator VIP Tours
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Private Beijing Bike Tour at Night

5 star rating: Highly Recommended 112 Reviews

See the beautiful city of Beijing light up at night on this private bike tour of the Chinese capital. Your expert guide will lead you through the winding ...  Read more

Location: Beijing, China
Duration: 3 hours (approx.)

From USD $70.00
Beijing Essential Full-Day Tour including Great Wall at Badaling, Forbidden City and Tiananmen ... 
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Beijing Essential Full-Day Tour including Great Wall at Badaling, Forbidden City and Tiananmen Square

4.5 star rating: Recommended 1328 Reviews

If your time in Beijing is short, take this full-day tour to see all the essential sights: Tiananmen Square, the Forbidden City and the Badaling section of ...  Read more

Location: Beijing, China
Duration: 9 hours (approx.)

From USD $86.99
Private Tour: Tiananmen Square, Forbidden City and Temple of Heaven in Beijing, Beijing, Bus & ... 
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Private Tour: Tiananmen Square, Forbidden City and Temple of Heaven in Beijing

5 star rating: Highly Recommended 184 Reviews

On this dynamic private tour of Beijing, discover world-famous monuments and experience local customs with your friendly local guide. Visit culturally ...  Read more

Location: Beijing, China
Duration: 7 hours (approx.)

From USD $160.00
Beijing Historical Tour including the Forbidden City, Tiananmen Square and Temple of Heaven, ... 
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Beijing Historical Tour including the Forbidden City, Tiananmen Square and Temple of Heaven

4.5 star rating: Recommended 520 Reviews

Get to know Beijing and its amazing history by visiting three of the city's most impressive historic attractions: Tian'anmen Square, the Forbidden City, the ...  Read more

Location: Beijing, China
Duration: 7 hours (approx.)

From USD $56.99
Imperial Beijing Private Tour: Forbidden City, Tiananmen Square and Jingshan Park with Lunch, ... 
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Imperial Beijing Private Tour: Forbidden City, Tiananmen Square and Jingshan Park with Lunch

5 star rating: Highly Recommended 80 Reviews

Learn about China’s capital city on this guided sightseeing tour. Your private guide will share interesting stories and facts about Beijing’s history as you ...  Read more

Location: Beijing, China
Duration: 9 hours (approx.)

From USD $133.00
Small Group Beijing City Tour, Beijing, Private Sightseeing Tours
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Small Group Beijing City Tour

5 star rating: Highly Recommended 60 Reviews

Get an insider’s view to China’s capital city, Beijing, and see all its top attractions. Feel the buzz of Tiananmen Square, the tranquility of the ...  Read more

Location: Beijing, China
Duration: 6-7 hours

From USD $77.00

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