Interesting Facts about the Beijing Forbidden City that We Should Know before Visiting

Consider visiting the Beijing Forbidden City for your next vacation. Some people claim that the Forbidden City in China is one of the places to visit before they die. This is the palace complex located in Central Beijing. The complex that was constructed from 1406 to 1420 now has 980 buildings including the Palace Museum. The complex that has been used as the home for China emperors and their households for almost five hundred years covers seventy-two hectares. In 1987, the Forbidden City was considered one of the World Heritage Sites.

UNESCO has considered the Forbidden City the palace complex with the biggest collections of ancient structures made from woods with great preservation. The Beijing Forbidden City that has been used as the China Government’s political and ceremonial center for hundred years is under the Palace Museum supervision. The Palace Museum has been the home of a lot of artifacts and artwork pieces made during the Ming and Qing Dynasties. Before the Chinese Civil War, some valuable collections were moved to the Taipei National Palace Museum which belonged to the same institution with the Palace Museum. After the Civil War of Chinese people, Taipei including the museum split from China Government.

beijing forbidden city
beijing forbidden city

The Construction of the Palace Complex

The construction of the Beijing Forbidden City which employed more than one hundred experts at and more than a million laborers took about fourteen years.

  • The most important halls of the palace have the pillars made from a kind of precious wood from the jungles of South Western China called Phoebe zhennan. From one emperor to another, there were some corrections and reconstructions to the complex that is why the today’s pillars are seen to have different pieces of pinewoods from the Qing Dynasty.
  • The large stone carvings and the grand terraces were made from the stones produced in the quarries located not far from Beijing. There is an interesting story about the largest pieces of stones to build the terrace and carvings. It was not an easy thing to do to carry bigger stones. People dug the land along the way to build wells. In winter, the water from those wells poured the roads forming ice layers. So, people were easier to drag the stones along the iced roads.
  • The major halls’ floors were formed by the golden bricks baked with the clay coming from seven Chinas counties. Every batch took about a month to bake and the result was the smooth bricks with metal sound when ringing. The today’s paving interior is original and is six centuries old.
  • People excavated the soil to create a moat. The soil piling up to the north was used to create an artificial hill now called the Jingshan Hill.
  • Nine months after the moving of Emperor Zhu Di to Beijing in 1420—when the complex was completed, the Throne Room in the main halls was burnt down.
beijing forbidden city
beijing forbidden city

During the invasion of Japan to China, national treasures like artifacts located in the palace complex were moved from the Beijing Forbidden City and split into three lots. One was shipped to Sichuan through Yangtze River, another to Shaanxi, and the last one was shipped to Guangxi. Those three collections were finally gathered in Sichuan until the war ended. Japan only took large brown tubs and pieces of cannon which all were returned after the war. In 1945, all of the artifacts were safely removed to the palace complex and nothing was missing or damaging. In the Chinese Civil War, some of the valuable artifacts were moved to Taipei. They have been in Taipei’s Museum until now.

3 Hacks to Enjoy the Forbidden City in Beijing
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3 Hacks to Enjoy the Forbidden City in Beijing

Do you have a plan to visit the Forbidden City in Beijing next vacation? Then you should read our 3 top hacks to enjoy the Forbidden City that most people do not know. Let’s check it out!

Always brings your passport with you

In 2015, there is a new policy for international visitors to visit the Forbidden City. You need to show your national identification for every purchase of a ticket. The most powerful national identification is your passport. The security guard also will check your belonging especially if you bring a lighter. It is forbidden to bring a lighter inside this 600-year-old palace especially most of the materials used were wood! You must leave your lighter in the hotel or it will be taken by the security guard in the front door.

Go to the palace in the morning

The limit sales of the Forbidden City are only 80,000 each day. Maybe it sounds many, but during the holiday isn’t! There are so many people who want to go there too like you. That’s why you need to go there in the morning to get the ticket. There is an online reservation which you can buy up to 10 tickets for your family and friends. But the tricky part is that the website is only available in Chinese. You need to find someone who can read Chinese and do the reservation for you. The acceptable payment methods are only Zhifubao and Alipay.

Enter the palace through the west or east

It is strongly recommended to avoid entering the palace through Tiananmen or from the south. The reason is that the line is much longer specially to pass through the security guards. The alternative way to enter the palace is from the west or east. You can walk through the Park of Zhongshan and continue it until you find the west gate of the palace. The line is shorter compared to the south gate. Just skip a long line anytime possible if you travel to Beijing in order to save a lot of your time.

Forbidden City
Forbidden City

Exit through the East Gate

Most people choose to go out of the palace through the North Gate. The fact is that the transportations are limited to trickshaws and crowded buses. We strongly recommend you to go to the East Gate or Donghuamen to exit from there. It is much nearer to the subway and there are taxis. The streets are much quieter too. There are also nice restaurants where you can find agen bola  that face directly to the moat of the palace. One of the famous restaurants is Siji Minfu which you can find near the exit gate.

We hope that those four hacks can help you enjoy the Forbidden City. Enjoy Beijing!

What Makes Beijing Forbidden City Special to Visit?
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What Makes Beijing Forbidden City Special to Visit?

There are many reasons why people from all over the world want to visit Beijing Forbidden City—the largest Palace Complex in the world that houses a lot of traditional valuable artworks. The collections include paintings, calligraphy, timepieces, ancient books, historical documents, ceramics, bronzes, and jade pieces. Architects, architecture students, and art lovers will love to see its carpentry, roof decoration, materials, building, and complex designs, and its colors.

The History

In 1406, Emperor Yong Le from Ming Dynasty ordered his people to construct a palace complex. The construction lasted in 1420. From 1420 to 1644, there were 14 emperors of the Ming Dynasty to live in this palace. In October 1644, Forbidden City was used as the palace of the emperor from Qing Dynasty. During the second Opium War, the palace was occupied by the Anglo-French Forces until the end of the war. After Pu Yi—China’s last emperor, abdicated in 1912, the palace complex couldn’t be used as the home to the emperors anymore. The Forbidden City became the Palace Museum in 1925 and it was only in 1987 that UNESCO considered this palace as the World Heritage Site.

The Layout

The Palace Complex consists of three parts: the Inner Court, the Outer Court, and Defenses. See more explanation below.

  • The Inner Court consists of three main structures. The first is the Heavenly Purity Palace for the emperor to sleep. The second one is the Union and Peace Palace for storing the imperial seals. The last one is the Terrestrial Tranquility Hall for the emperors to hold their wedding parties.
  • The Outer Court consists of three main buildings. The first one is the Supreme Harmony Hall where the emperor’s Dragon Throne was located. The second one is the Central Harmony Hall where the emperors rehearsed their speeches and presentation before going to the Temple of Heaven for doing the sacrifices. The third one is Preserving Harmony Hall that was used for imperial examinations and banquets.
  • The Defenses includes the fifty-two-meter-deep moat used as the defense-first line, a ten-meter-high defensive wall with a big watchtower on its corner, four gates called the Meridian Gate on the south, the Glorious Gate on the east, the Glorious Gate on the west, and the Divine Might Gate on the north.
beijing forbidden city
beijing forbidden city

The Treasures

The Palace Museum houses more than a million valuable and rare artworks and exhibited in five different galleries.

  • The Clock Gallery
  • The Paintings and Calligraphy Gallery
  • The Treasures Gallery
  • The Bronze-ware Gallery
  • The Porcelain and Ceramic Gallery

What do you think? Don’t you think it is great to visit this palace complex? Hopefully, the article sharing the information of Beijing Forbidden City does give you enough information.

3 Facts about the Forbidden City in Beijing You should Know
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3 Facts about the Forbidden City in Beijing You should Know

China is one of the most favorite tourist destinations for most people around the world. As the capital city of China, Beijing also keeps its secret gem such as to attract tourists. Now, let’s explore the Forbidden City in China.

The biggest royal palace

Did you know that the Forbidden City was built on more than 700,000 square feet? It is three times bigger than the museum of Louvre Palace. It was predicted that there were more than one million workers completed the Forbidden City. You can see over 85 palace courtyards and “quarters, more than 8,000 rooms, and over 970 buildings. This palace is definitely huge. It is the size of the Vatican and the Kremlin merges together. Even though you have a plan to admire the whole complex in three days, it won’t be enough!

The Chinese impressive architecture

If you want to see the collection of medieval structures which the material was wood, you can see them in the Forbidden City. It has the biggest collection of them that are really well-preserved. Many people think that the huge palace will be a boring architecture. But hold on that thought! You can enjoy every amazing detail and ornament you can find in this huge architecture building. Every ornament reflects the amazing culture of Chinese. The examples are the decorations of the doorway in the Forbidden City. The decorations were nine by nine stupendous studs of the gilded door. The meaning behind the number nine reflects the eternity and supremacy in the culture of China. Since China’s symbols of good fortune and prosperity are strong, you can also see lions, dragons, and Phoenix along the ridges’ roof.

Forbidden City
Forbidden City

No trees in the Outer Court

There are two types of courts in the Forbidden City in Beijing. The first one is the Inner Court. And the second one is the Outer Court. What makes them different? The trees! You can see a lot of trees in the Inner Court meanwhile in the Outer     Court there isn’t any. There is no explanation why people can’t see any tree in the Outer Court. But there are two speculations about this the first theory is because the Outer Court used to be the place of public ceremony and the kings’ “power” was shown in this place. That’s why the existence of the trees could overshadow the “magical” atmosphere there. The second theory is to see the enemy clearly to protect the palace.

The Forbidden City in Beijing is surely the-must-visit tourist attraction for you. Are you ready to reveal the mystery there?

All the Things You Should Know Before Visiting Beijing Forbidden City
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All the Things You Should Know Before Visiting Beijing Forbidden City

When visiting any places including Beijing Forbidden City, you should know about its address, its contact number, how to get there, admission fees, and what to do there Knowing all of these will make your visiting time efficient.

The address of the Forbidden City and the best way to get there

The palace museum to visit is located on No 4 Jingshanqian Street, Dongcheng District 100009 Beijing-China. You can take the bus number 1, 2, 10, 52, 59, 82, 99, 120, 126, 728, Zhuan 1, and Zhuan 2 to go to Tiananmen East, so you should get off at Tian’an men dong Stop. If you take the bus number 1, 5, 10, 22, 52, 99, 728, Zhuan 1, and Zhuan 2 heading to Tiananmen West, you should get off at Tian’an men xi Stop. If you want to Forbidden City by metro subway, just take the Beijing Subway Line 1 heading to the stations Tiananmen West or Tiananmen East.

The Opening Hours

  • From April 1 to October 31, the Palace Museum opens from Tuesdays to Sundays, at 08.30 am and closes at 17 pm. During China’s public holidays, July, and August, the museum opens.
  • From November 1 to March 31, the Palace Museum opens from Tuesdays to Sundays, at 08.30 and closes at 16.30 pm. During China’s public holidays, the museum opens.

The Admission Fees

Entrance Fees:

  • From November 1 to March 31, adults have to pay 40 Yuan.
  • From April 1 to October 31, adults have to pay 60 Yuan.
  • Children who are below 120 centimeters in height are free to enter.

The Treasure Gallery Fee:

  • The ticket to enter this place is 10 Yuan

The Clock and Watch Gallery

  • The Ticket to enter this gallery is 10 Yuan

Special Tickets:

  • Chinese primary and secondary schools students are to pay only 20 Yuan.
  • University students with valid ID card have to pay 20 Yuan.
  • Foreign students and students from Hong Kong, Taiwan, Macau, but not included post-graduate and adult education students, are to pay 20 Yuan.
beijing forbidden city
beijing forbidden city

The Things to do

  • Prepare yourself to visit the whole palace complex four for hours. To avoid visitors in groups to make crowds, explore the passageways and alleys to enter the palace.
  • If you want to enter the Clocks and Watches Gallery, know that the entrance opens at 11 am and at 14 pm. Here you can enjoy the most amazing mechanical clocks collections of the Imperial.
  • In summer which is so crowded and hot, you should drink a lot of water. However, on the site, water is very expensive. Prepare water before entering the museum. If you want to avoid the hotness and crowds, just visit the Treasure Gallery located in the inner court.
  • Make sure your Passport is in your bag and take the guidebook available at the entrance gate to ease you when browsing the place.

All the information mentioned has to be kept for your own good. It is also a must to gain more knowledge in its website. This article about Beijing Forbidden City is beneficial, right?

Complete Guide to Visit Beijing Forbidden City
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Complete Guide to Visit Beijing Forbidden City

Visiting China will not be complete without visiting Beijing Forbidden City. This China imperial palace is considered to be the largest in the world. Well, what can you see there? And what is the best way to visit the imperial palace?

What to See in the Palace

Before visiting the palace, you should know that it consists of 980 buildings. There are also more than 8,700 rooms with a large collection of relics that you can find in the Beijing Forbidden City.

#1. 6 Famous Halls on the Central Line of the Imperial Palace

There are 6 halls located on the central line of the palace that become favorite spots of tourists. They are also considered to be the most important part of the palace that most tour groups choose to visit the halls along with the visit to the imperial garden. Each of the halls is built with a unique design that differs from one to another based on their function. However, the halls are usually full of visitors since they are the most favorite spots. If you want to visit other spots with fewer visitors, here are some places that could be your destination.

  • Yangxin Dian (Hall of Mental Cultivation)

This hall was formerly the bedchamber of the Chinese Emperor. The Hall of Mental Cultivation also functioned as the office of the emperor.

  • Cining Gong (Palace of Compassion and Tranquility)

This was the place where the emperor’s wives lived. Unlike the kings in Europe, and the Chinese Emperor could have thousands of wives in time.

  • Wenyuan Ge (Hall of Literary Profundity)

This hall was formerly used as the royal library. It is the only place in the complex that uses green roofs to cover the building.

  • Yanxi Gong (Palace of Prolonging Happiness)
Yanxi Gong (Palace of Prolonging Happiness)
Yanxi Gong (Palace of Prolonging Happiness)

Among all the buildings you can find in the imperial palace, the Yanxi Gong is the only one that comes with a Western-style design from This is also called as Crystal Palace that is preserved in its unfinished state.

#2. The Palace’s 5 Main Exhibitions

Palace Museum is a place where millions of artworks include bronzes, calligraphy, paintings, and ceramics are preserved. There are some main exhibitions that you can see in the Beijing Forbidden City like Clocks Gallery, the Treasures Gallery, the Paintings and Calligraphy Gallery, the Porcelain and Ceramics Gallery, and Bronzeware Gallery.

#3. A Hilltop View from Jingshan Park

Hilltop View from Jingshan Park
Hilltop View from Jingshan Park

There is no better place to view the whole complex of Beijing Forbidden City than the Jingshan Park. You can enjoy the integrated and scale of the palace’s Fengshui design as well as the bird’s-eye view.

All the Bests to Visit Beijing Forbidden City
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All the Bests to Visit Beijing Forbidden City

If you want to enjoy Beijing Forbidden City maximally, be smart enough not to face crowds. Otherwise, you feel exhausted easily and you cannot see the ancient things you want to see. The best time to visit the Forbidden City and the best way to enter and exit are the things you should know well.  Here are the things you should pay attention to when visiting the palace complex.

The best hours

First thing first, know that the busiest hours in Forbidden City every day is from 10 am to 13 pm. So, you can come to this place at the opening time or after 14 pm. On weekends, Forbidden City is even more crowded.

The best time to avoid visiting the Forbidden City

After that, make sure you know that the high season of a year starts from April 1 to October 31. From April 26 to May 4, you shouldn’t visit Forbidden City since there will be many crowds everywhere from You will see a very long waiting line and busy streets. The busiest months are July and August. Those months are when China’s school holidays take place. It is not advisable if you come to Forbidden City on the Golden Week—the early of October since many Chinese people usually have their seven-day holiday. Early of October is when the Chinese National Day takes place. The Chinese Labor Day is also the day you shouldn’t visit Forbidden City, many local tourists together with international tourists surely will fill this palace complex.

The best time to visit the Forbidden City

If you come to Forbidden City from November to March, you will obviously enjoy the place maximally. However, skip the visiting to Forbidden City in the Spring Festival that takes forty days and starts from February to March. Check the exact time for this. In low season, the visitors of the complex are only about forty thousand people per day. Make sure you know that China Government limits the visitors to only eighty thousand visitors per day. During the Golden Week and another peak season, the visitors can reach its limit by the middle of the day.

beijing forbidden city
beijing forbidden city

The best entrance and exit to take

It is suggested that you take the East or the West Gate to enter. Why? Many Chinese people want to take pictures with the photo of Chairman Mao hanging above the Southern Entrance Gate. Just avoid this gate. If you want to exit this palace complex, just take the East Gate. Many people use the Northern gate to go out from this place. The gate will be full of people and buses and you will be crammed among people and buses. If you take the East Gate of Beijing Forbidden City, you will be closer to the subway with rickshaws and taxis to alternate.

The Attractions of the Beijing Forbidden City that we cannot miss
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The Attractions of the Beijing Forbidden City that we cannot miss

If you are in China, you should make an attempt to visit the Beijing Forbidden City. The reason is it is too interesting to miss. Imagine how it is in the place surrounded by ten-meter-high walls and a fifty-two-meter-wide moat. You will see the complex that comprises seventy halls and the palace with 9,999 total rooms. When you enter the palace complex at the Meridian Gate or also called Wu Men and at the Divine Prowess Gate or also called Shenwu Men, you will hear the audio guidance in many different languages. If you need more information about this palace complex, you can go to Jian Ting or the Archery Pavilion.

Every year, more than fourteen million visitors from all over China and other countries come to visit this must-see place. Due to the fact that many people come to the Beijing Forbidden City every day, the China Government works very hard to prevent any forms of harms to this palace complex by keeping the visitors flow constant. More and more people want to visit the Forbidden City since it doesn’t require a visa anymore. If you want to understand and enjoy more of the complex with its history and culture, it is suggested that you hire a tour guide so you’ll be able to avoid crowds while paying attention to the guide bringing the history to life.

Some of tourists attractions in the Palace Complex

  • Those who want to see how large it is in the complex, you can go to the artificial hill—the Jingshan Hill, in Jingshan Park. Definitely, you’ll get the view of the whole place.
  • The detail of the architecture pieces located in the Beijing Forbidden City is one of the things you should see. This is so outstanding with every detail showing rich China’s traditional culture and architecture.
  • The residential inner court is great with so many trees to surround. The ceremonial outer court is with no trees at all. Interesting, don’t you think so? Find this fact when you visit the Beijing Forbidden City.
  • The arrays of ancient treasures which are preserved well are there to make you stunned. Many old and beautiful jades and porcelains are there to make you amazed as well. Relics, courtyards, and gardens are to enjoy with amazement.
beijing forbidden city
beijing forbidden city

After you spend time enjoying many attractions there, you will be confused about the fact that it is only sixty percent of the palace complex that you have enjoyed. Forty percent of the complex is forbidden to enter. The complex is now under the overall repair and planned to complete by 2020. By the end of 2018, the Beijing Forbidden City is expected to open to the public about eighty percent.