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“Yes, yes, red buildings and yellow roofs...”

Forbidden City-The Palace Museum
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USD 69.00*
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5-Hour Skip The Line Ultimate Discovery of Forbidden City Tour in Beijing
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4-Hour Private Layover Tour: Forbidden City
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Private Historical Tour of Beijing Including Forbidden City, China World Trade...
Ranked #8 of 1,611 things to do in Beijing
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Fee: Yes
Recommended length of visit: 2-3 hours
Owner description: Consisting of more than 9,000 rooms and spread over 250 acres, this huge palace complex was built in the 15th century and later extensively renovated and restored during the Qing Dynasty in the 18th century.
Reviewed 21 December 2012

I thought this was a bit disappointing really, given how everyone puts it at the top of their list of places to visit.
Starting from the south (Tian'anmen GAte), after you've fended off several blokes offering to be your guide, you then traipse past an interminable number of largely identical Palace of Somethingly Somethings with thrones inside. All a bit lethal with added snow and ice, as I had when I was there.
Finally you get to the nice bits - the Imperial Gardens at the northern most edge (beautiful!) and the big rockery bit in the middle of it. And there are plenty of souvenirs to buy if that's your sort of thing.
For an extra few yuan, you can go off to the eastern side for the nine-dragon mural and the treasures (mostly lumps of carved jade, which get a bit samey after a while too!).
The electronic guide (with GPS-ish map) was quite cool and useful, and, to be fair, the history as you looked at each of the Palaces of Somethingly Something was interesting (e.g. linking into Zheng He, the great ocean going admiral, the Boxer rebellion, etc.). Worth getting there as soon as it opens (8.30/9am) as, by the time I was bailing out just before lunch, it was heaving - even in the cold snowy conditions.
Personally, I found the Qianmen/Dazhalen shopping areas (restored, Disney-style, to resemble a fantasy verion of their 1920's heydey, complete with statues of merchants) south of Tian'anmen Square to be more interesting.

2  Thank Russ H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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4,719 - 4,723 of 10,568 reviews

Reviewed 21 December 2012

i went there during China National Holiday. there were millions of people. I would suggest that don't go there during their national holiday. i was packed up with humans. very packed up.

Thank fMY13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 21 December 2012

wow what an impressive place Spent a full day exploring the palace so much to see and take in. The only down side is the Chinese tourists from rural China who are on guided tours.They are very rude and have no manners at all.Just push and shove you out of the way.

Thank navyfenton
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 21 December 2012 via mobile

It was way overcrowded on a weekday and it was hard to see much. It felt appropriate to stand back to let the Chinese tourists fight over glimpses of the main attractions as the struggle often turned feverish.

Thank Ronarchy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 December 2012

This place is a must see because of the rich Chinese history it represents. Knowing how long it has been around and viewing the architecture makes this place worth it. Wear your walking shoes.

Thank PeterL23
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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