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“Amazing”

Forbidden City-The Palace Museum
Ranked #5 of 1,569 things to do in Beijing
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
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 6 April 2018

I knew it was big, but it's ENORMOUS. It is also very beautiful. Go in the afternoon to avoid the crowds.

Date of experience: March 2018
Thank barbM4076XV
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 5 April 2018

At the heart of Beijing, this is a large palace complex with an interesting history and architectural style. Plan on about 2-3 hours once inside. To get there, you have to go through security near the front of the palace (where Mao's portrait is). That took about 40 minutes for us, but it gave us access to both Tiananmen Square and the Forbidden City. I would go through Tiananmen Square first, since after we exited the Forbidden City we had to go through security again to get to Tiananmen Square.

Once at the entrance, you'll need to pass through several large courtyards and find the ticket entrance for foreigners. It is to the left, right before the gated entrance to the Forbidden City. At this point you pay (40-60RMB), and they scan your passport, which enters it into their system. Then go to the turnstile entrance and show your passport again, and they let you through.

Once inside, you can purchase a self-paced audio guide (40 RMB). It didn't always work correctly, but it was still somewhat useful.

There is a lot to explore. Take your time walking around, exploring different places, and appreciated the scale of everything. There are several places to exit - at least one on the north side on one on the southeast side. It might make the most sense to just go south to north through the complex.

For some good background to the Forbidden City, I'd recommend watching the Last Emperor.

Date of experience: April 2018
3  Thank GregIndiana
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 April 2018

Make sure to hire a guide who has the historical knowledge to this huge assembly of palaces. We walked all the way from front to back since this is a one way tour and you cannot go backwards

Date of experience: March 2018
Thank Bavarian L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 April 2018 via mobile

Absolutely awful, no paper tickets available from the ticket counter, with no other options available unless you have a data plan on your phone.
Not really good enough, only in Beijing for 2 days so haven't been able to see the Palace Museum at all. A major foreign tourist destination and no option apart from 'come back tomorrow'.

Date of experience: April 2018
1  Thank Mike C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 5 April 2018 via mobile

Imperial Palace has many facets to it. Fascinating site that anyone should visit when you are in Beijing. Our tour guide Jimmy (WeiJun An) is very knowledgeable and personable. He knows his way around the Palace and showcase some other sites like the Emperor study house and clock museum. We enjoyed our visit and his company.

Vince and Jacqui

Date of experience: March 2018
Thank Vincent C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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