9 Important Things you must know before you go to Visit the Forbidden City

2019-03-01   Leo Kui      0

If you’re headed to Beijing and plan to visit the Forbidden City, you have homework to do to get the most out of your visit, particularly with kids who you want to both impress and leave a historical impact on. We have ten tips to help guide you through your visit, and save you time and whining, as a result, so be sure to read this before you go.

Check the HD map of the Forbidden and travel route from here:

Forbidden city map + best travel routes

Tips 1 Why it is called the Forbidden City

he Forbidden City, as the residence of the terrestrial emperor, was its earthly counterpart. Jin, or “Forbidden“, referred to the fact that no one could enter or leave the palace without the emperor’s permission.

Tip 2 How big is the Forbidden City?

Forbidden City is rectangular, 961 meters (1051 yards) long from north to south, 753 meters (823 yards) wide from east to west, encircled by a wall of over 3,400 meters (3,700 yards) long. Its construction area is 150,000 square meters (37 acres), the total area is about 720,000 square meters (178 acres). The total area of the Forbidden City is 10 times larger than that of the White House, nearly 5 times larger than that of Buckingham Palace and as large as 100 football fields.

Tip 3 It is not open on Monday

The Museum is CLOSED Monday (except for national holidays).

Please see the website for specific visiting hours.

To obtain admission tickets, please remember to book your admission tickets online in advance.

Tip 4 How to buy forbidden city tickets?

Bring your passport or ID card and go to the ticket office on the east side of the Forbidden City south gate. There are few windows only open for international travelers. It only takes you a few minutes to get the tickets.

Foreigners can’t buy the tickets online if you don’t have Alipay, wechat pay.

1. If you check the official site, you will find the website is only in Chinese, it will take you a long time to understand. (The link is the official site:https://gugong.228.com.cn/) There is one more thing that may make you a headache — you need to pay via Alipay or wechat pay which is only open for people who have a Chinese bank account. What you can do?

This is the payment page:

2. The Forbidden City sales 80000 tickets daily, if you don’t visit in Chinese holidays. It is ok just to buy the tickets at the ticket office next to the south gate. 

Bring your Passport with you! 

How to book the tickets in advance for foreigner tourists?

The online booking system allows individual visitors to purchase admission tickets 10 days in advance.

1. Use other online booking platforms such as trip.com

This is a Chinese company, I found it is much cheaper than other websites.

Here is the link: https://www.trip.com/things-to-do/detail/17573677

2. Book a tour and let the company help you book the tickets or ask your hotel to help you.

3. If you have a Chinese friend, you can ask him to help to book it for you.

Tickets price April to October November to March
Adults 60RMB 40RMB
Student 20RMB 20RMB
Senior 30RMB 30RMB
10 RMB for the Treasure Gallery;10 RMB for the Clock and Watch Gallery
Open time Open Stop tickets Stop-go inside Close
April to October 8:00 16:00 16:10 17:00
November to March 8:30 15:30 15:40 16:30

Tip 5 How to visit the Forbidden City?

There are so much to see, according to my experience, I have designed the best route for people with a different schedule.

2 hours route, half-day route and 1-day walking route posted on this blog: The best route to visit Forbidden City.

Forbidden City English Map

Tips 6 Try to avoid peak times

Times to Avoid

Every day from 10:00 am to 1:00 pm, the Museum receives the highest number of daily visitors.

Dates to Avoid

The following seasons and dates receive the most visitors. If you intend to avoid large crowds, the Museum suggests you plan your visit on alternative dates. National holidays and traditional Chinese holidays often draw large crowds. You may wish to avoid these peak visiting times. Since traditional Chinese holidays are based on the lunar calendar, please be sure to check the Internet for specific dates on the Gregorian calendar. National state holidays are based on the Gregorian calendar and remain the same each year.

Chinese Summer Vacation (July 1st – August 31st)

Chinese schools are on summer vacation from July 1st – August 31st. During this time, the Museum receives greater numbers of visitors.

National State Holidays

May Day (May 1st)

This holiday is every May 1st. The holiday break lasts for three days and often makes for a three-day weekend. Please check the Internet for specific dates.

National Day (October 1st)

This holiday is every October 1st. The holiday break lasts for seven days. These seven days usually include a full work week and a weekend. Please check the Internet for specific dates.

National Traditional Holidays

Chinese New Year

Also known as the Spring Festival, the festival includes a seven-day national holiday that usually falls in January or February. The dates vary each year. These seven days usually include a full work week and a weekend.

Tomb Sweeping Day

Also known as the Qingming Festival, the three-day holiday break usually falls on the 4th or 5th of April. This holiday sometimes makes for a three-day weekend. The dates vary each year.

Dragon Boat Festival

Also known as the Double Fifth Festival, the three-day holiday break usually falls in June. This holiday sometimes makes for a three-day weekend. The dates vary each year.

Mid-Autumn Festival

This festival (sometimes commonly called the Mooncake Festival) usually falls in September or October. This holiday sometimes makes for a three-day weekend. The dates vary each year.

Tip 7 Bring food and drinks

If you want to save money and time, and possible meltdowns, bring food from home or stop at local food trucks on your way to the Forbidden City. The food inside is very basic, but there are plenty of places you can buy food and drinks.

Tip 8 Enjoy a bird-eye view of the Forbidden City from Jingshan Park

Jinshan Park is a manmade hill outside the North Gate of the Forbidden City. The best place to see the Beijing skyline. Only 15 minutes to go up.

Tip 9 Have a good tour guide

As the Forbidden City is one of the most important sights for your China trip, have a tour guide will make your trip much easy and enjoyable.

Beijing UNESCO Heritage Walking Tour

Why there are 9999.5 rooms in the Forbidden City? Where is the half room?


Leave a Reply