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Forbidden City

Kind Notice: 
From July 2, 2011, visitors are only allowed to enter Beijing Forbidden City through the Meridian Gate (south gate) and leave from  the Gate of Divine Might.

From January 1st, 2014, the Forbidden City is closed on Mondays (except for national holidays and summer vacation (July 1st to August 31st)) out of relics protection and renovation.

Palce of Celestial Purity, Forbidden City, BeijingOffering comprehensive information on the Forbidden City where twenty-four emperors reigned over the country for over 500 years.

The Forbidden City, also named the Palace Museum, shares the honor of being one of five world-famous palaces with the Palace of Versailles in France, Buckingham Palace in England, the White House in the U.S. and the Kremlin in Russia. The palace, the most magnificent and splendid palace complex in China, was listed as a World Cultural Heritage Building in 1987. It was built in the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) and the construction of this group of buildings took fourteen years from 1406 to 1420. In the Ming Dynasty and the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911), it was the imperial palace where twenty-four emperors ascended the throne and exercised their strong power to the nation.

Palace of Terrestrial Tranquility, Beijing Forbidden City
Beijing Forbidden City - Hall of Preserved Harmony

The incomparable palace occupies an area of 720,000 square meters (177.9 acres) and has approximately 8,700 rooms. A high red wall with a total length of 3,400 meters (3,718 yards) encases the palace. There are four gates in each side, with Meridian Gate (Wu Men) as the main entrance. Four exquisite watchtowers sit at the corners of the wall. With roofs covered with golden glazed tile, red painted walls and grey-white bases, the rectangular palace appears extremely luxurious and grand. Spectacular halls in it are neatly arranged in bilateral symmetry along a central axis that conforms to the axis of Beijing City.

Forbidden City MapThe palace has two primary parts: the Outer Court and the Inner Court. Some halls are converted into art galleries to exhibit paintings, clocks, bronze wares, pottery and other invaluable treasures. It is said that there are over 1,000,000 articles in this museum that account for one-sixth of such national treasures. Tourists can enter into the palace from the Wu Men (Meridian Gate) or the Shenwu Men (Gate of Divine Might). It is impossible for visitors to see every corner of the palace in a single day. Let's start our virtual guide  from the Wu Men to make our route clear.

Admission Fee:
Peak Season 
(Apr. 1 - Oct. 31)
CNY 60
Off Season 
(Nov. 1 - Mar. 31)
CNY 40
Opening Hours:
Peak Season 
Off Season
Bus Route:
101, 103, 109, 124, 202, 211, 685, 810, 814, 846 to Gugong (Forbidden City, 故宫)  
Subway line 1 to Tian'anmen East or Tian'anmen West.

 Forbidden City Attractions

Meridian Gate
Gate of Supreme Harmony
Hall of Supreme Harmony
Hall of Central Harmony
Nine Dragon Wall
Imperial Garden
Gate of Heavenly Purity
Hall of Heavenly Purity
Hall of Preserving Harmony
Huge Stone Carving
Palace of Tranquil Longevity
Hall of Joyful Longevity
Six Western Palace
Six Eastern Palaces
Hall of Union and Peace
Hall of Earthly Tranquility
Hall of Mental Cultivation
Hall for Ancestral Worship

Recommended Beijing Tour Itineraries:
Beijing One-Day Tours: 5 itineraries for you to choose.
Beijing Two-Day Tours: 2 itineraries to visit Tiananmen Square, Forbidden City, Temple of Heaven, Summer Palace, Badaling Great Wall, etc.
4-Day Beijing Travel: to the most popular attractions in Beijing.

  • China Tours
  • Early Bird Booking

Comments and Questions

I will be going this November to visit the Forbidden City. My plan is to go Thursday November 8th. Should I buy tickets in advance or since this is off season is does not get that busy and I can be guaranteed a ticket if I am there by open time?

Reply2/19/2018 11:53:37 AMIlia,   United States

Dylan :2/23/2018 12:15:03 AM

Oh, the Forbidden City is always very busy, and it is best to book the ticket in advance. In fact, only online booking is accepted now. Visitors cannot buy the ticket on the spot.

What do you think is the prettiest about the Forbidden City? I think it is very pretty and aesthetically pleasing.

Reply2/25/2013 9:42:54 AMMr. Daliessio,   United States

Kendall ( United States ) :5/6/2016 1:16:42 PM

How Much did it cost

Kate ( Germany ) :5/8/2016 11:45:32 PM

It costs CNY 60 from April to October; CNY 40 from November to March. In addition, you need to pay CNY 10 to visit Treasure Gallery; CNY 10 to visit Hall of Clocks.

where was this city bult

Reply4/26/2013 6:40:24 AMjoosiviya

Fred :4/26/2013 6:19:19 PM

in the center of Beijing, capital of China.

Bo ( China ) :1/6/2016 1:48:47 AM

The Frobidden City was first built by Zhudi, the third emperor of Ming dynasty (1368-1644). When Man people defeated Ming troops and peasant movement led by Lizicheng in 1644 and set Beijing the capital of Qing dynasty (1644-1912), they summoned lots of skilled artichetures and labors to renovate the imperial palace groups, which makes The Forbidden City what it looks like today.

are wheelchairs available at The Forbidden City

Reply10/6/2014 6:06:50 AMSue

heidi :11/8/2014 9:49:06 PM

As I know, there is no wheelchair rental service in this scenic spot. So you are suggested to rent one in advance in other place and there is special passages and roads for the wheelchairs.

Hi, is it possible to order some of those illustrated maps? they are beautiful!

Reply4/8/2013 10:57:33 PMChristopher,   United Kingdom

Bonnie :4/9/2013 6:15:42 PM

the map of Forbidden city?
it can be bought in the market.

How long did it take to build the Forbidden City? Thanks :)

Reply5/28/2012 1:47:48 AMMadeleine,   Australia

Rain :5/28/2012 6:55:32 PM

i found the answer from the above article:
14 years from 1406 to 1420.

ght :3/27/2013 9:30:37 AM

were is the forbidden city

what goes on in the forbidden city??

Reply2/25/2013 7:44:36 AMShaun,   United States

how many gates are there? and also how many buildings are in the forbidden city itself?

Reply10/9/2011 4:38:57 PMnatalie,   United States

Susan :10/9/2011 8:15:52 PM

there are 23 gates and 8,600 houses (palaces) in the forbidden city.

Mina :11/30/2011 3:03:48 AM

23, 980 buildings in total... Glad to help! *^ + ^*

Emily ( United States ) :12/3/2012 8:48:43 PM

4 main gates, and 800 buildings

why was the forbidden city built ?????????????

Reply9/19/2012 4:49:32 AMzoe,   Australia

Hebe :9/19/2012 7:40:25 PM

it was built as an imperial palace for the royal family in ancient times.

What is the role of the Emperor in the Qing Dynasty? Maybe I just read over it, but I'm not completley sure.

Reply9/5/2012 8:15:06 AMLuke,   United States

Iris :9/5/2012 6:59:19 PM

the emperor was the ruler of the whole country in the Qing Dynasty, and he represented power. he was the imperator of the country.
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