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Forbidden City

Forbidden City

Forbidden City: Our most recommended tours and activities

Beijing: The Forbidden City or Tiananmen Square Entry Ticket

1. Beijing: The Forbidden City or Tiananmen Square Entry Ticket

Tiananmen Square is one of the largest squares in the world, occupying an area of 440,000 sq. meters at the center of Beijing, and is spacious enough to hold a gathering attended by 1 million people. Its history can trace back to the Ming dynasty. And in the hundreds of years thereafter, it has witnessed the rises and falls of the empire, the establishment of the People’s Republic of China in 1949, the unprecedentedly large-scale demonstrations during the cultural revolution from 1966 to 1976, and the bloodshed in 1989. If the bricks paved on the ground can talk, each of them will have a lot of exciting or harrowing stories to share. The Forbidden City (Gùgōng), located at the centre of Beijing, was the main palace of Imperial China for five centuries, until the early 20th century. It today houses the Palace Museum, one of China's largest national museums, with an extensive collection based on the former imperial collection. This is truly the spot to appreciate the might and grandeur of the Imperial Chinese court during the height of its power in the Ming and Qing dynasties.

Beijing: Tian'anmen Square and Forbidden City Walking Tour

2. Beijing: Tian'anmen Square and Forbidden City Walking Tour

Meet in front of Beijing Urban Planning Center(or your Beijing downtown hotel's lobby if you choose the private tour), follow your tour guide to enter Tian'anmen Square from the travel agency passage which save you some time. Once get on the Tian'anmen Square, your tour guide will introduce the buildings around you, including the The Great Hall of the People, The National Museum of China, The Mausoleum of Mao Zedong, The Monument to the People's Heroes. Learn how the building was brought to life. Hear about the history events that took place here over time. Walk through the square and enter through the Tian'anmen gate, then enter the Forbidden City from the Meridian Gate. The Forbidden City is the largest and the best-preserved imperial palace complex in the world. You will visit the most important buildings along the middle axis of the palace, then visit two courtyards in the west chamber, be immersed in their history explained by your licensed and passionate guide. Lastly, you will visit the Imperial Garden and your tour will ends here, you can choose to explore more of the Forbidden City on your own, or your tour guide will advise where to catch a taxi to your next destination.

Beijing: Forbidden City and Royal Treasure Museum Tour

3. Beijing: Forbidden City and Royal Treasure Museum Tour

Meet with your tour guide at 8:30 AM at the meeting point before commencing your captivating sightseeing tour to the Forbidden City to absorb the imperial majesty of the Chinese palace.  Your tour guide will escort you around the Forbidden city covering the West, East, and Central line, featuring all sides of the Forbidden City passing through the royal family's residence and the splendid royal garden, Hearing about how the building functions as both a political and ceremonial center, enjoy a complete journey through time.  In addition to the Forbidden City, we will take you to visit the Royal Treasure Museum, which has the most ornamental value, and appreciate the superb craftsmanship of ancient China. The tour will end at around 12:30 AM at the North Gate. You can choose to continue exploring independently or find restaurants to have lunch nearby.

Beijing: Forbidden City and Tian'anmen Square Walking Tour

4. Beijing: Forbidden City and Tian'anmen Square Walking Tour

Meet the guide at the Grand Hotel or in your downtown hotel lobby if you choose a private tour (at your own transportation expense). First, visit Tian'anmen Square, the largest public square in the world. Then, walk from the South Meridian Gate to the Forbidden City. Spend a couple of hours wandering around this imperial palace, which served as the home of emperors and their households as well as the ceremonial and political center of the Chinese government. Delve into the history of the palace, which hosted both the Ming and Qing dynasties for around 500 years. Explore the southern section (the Outer Court), where the emperor exercised his supreme power over the nation. Continue to the northern section (the Inner Court) to see where he lived with his royal family. After the Forbidden City, choose to just spend more time at the Forbidden City, visit Jinshan Park on your own, or have the guide help you find a taxi to go back to the hotel.

Beijing: Tiananmen Square Self-Guided Audio Walking Tour

5. Beijing: Tiananmen Square Self-Guided Audio Walking Tour

This mesmerising tour of Tiananmen Square, the heart of Beijing, and a world famous cultural landmark, features many of the most famous sights in the city. See the mausoleum where the body of Mao Zedong lies, and other great works of Communist architecture such as the Monument to the People’s Heroes and the Great Hall of the People, the distinctive National Performing Centre for the Arts, the National Museum of China, the highly unusual China Numismatic Museum, the Zhengyamen Gate, the Tiananmen Gates, Chang'an Avenue, and the Forbidden City, the fascinating home of generations of Chinese royalty, with thousands of rooms. A wonderful overview of the sights of Tiananmen Square, this tour is both interesting and informative. A visit to Tiananmen Square is essential for any visitor to Beijing. Your tour. Your way.

Beijing: Forbidden City and Tian’anmen Square Walking Tour

6. Beijing: Forbidden City and Tian’anmen Square Walking Tour

1. The option for the Forbidden City+Tian’anmen Square Highlights: 1.Forbidden City is the largest wooden complex palace in the world. It’s a huge city instead of a palace. It was built in 1404 by emperor Zhudi, the bravest emperor through whole Chinese 2000 year’s feudal dynasties’ history who vowed to protect whole nation from the entrance of China, it took 16 years for the whole construction and came into being in 1420. 2.Tian’anmen Square.It was a T-shaped square only for the emperors before 1911. It became the people’s square after October 1st, 1949. It had witnessed subrogation of the dynasties, you will see the memorial hall of Chairman Mao located in the middle of the square standing for the new era. Itinerary: Start from the Tian’anmen square, we will walk towards the Forbidden City after the square by walking through the Tian’anmen gate and Duan gate to reach the entrance of the Forbidden City. Tour the Forbidden City for about 3 hours. Your guide will share all the interesting stories and history with you. This tour will end at the Shen-Wu Gate in the Forbidden City. 2.The option for the Forbidden City+Tian’anmen Square+Mutianyu Great Wall Highlights: cover the top 3 highlights of Beijing on one big day. Tian’anmen Square and Forbidden City are both huge and long drive to the Great Wall from the downtown. So we must start the tour earlier, as all the tourists spots will be closed around 3:30pm-4:00pm. Itinerary: Hotel pick up Drive 1.5 hours to the Mutianyu Great Wall, spend 2.5 hours at the Mutianyu spot. Lunch will be at your own cost( our guide will recommend nice restaurant to eat). Drive 1.5 hours to the Tian’anmen Square, tour the square at first, then walk around 40 minutes from the Square to the Forbidden City. Tour the Forbidden City for 1.5-2 hours. After Forbidden City, drive you back to your hotel.

Beijing: Temple of Heaven and Forbidden City Private Tour

7. Beijing: Temple of Heaven and Forbidden City Private Tour

Meet your tour guide in the lobby of your hotel, your private tour will begins with a visit to the stunning Temple of Heaven visited by the emperors of the Ming and Qing dynasties for annual ceremonies of prayer to Heaven. Stroll around the garden with your tour guide, watching local people doing morning exercises and you are welcome to join! Follow your tour guide to stroll around the courtyards in the Temple of Heaven park, learn the histories and stories about the temple with your tour guide, get to know what an emperor's worship looks like. You will visit major buildings inside the park, including Hall of Prayer for Good Harvest, Hall or Imperial Zenith, Echo Wall, Nine Dragon Cypress, Circular Mount Alter and more. After lunch in the local restaurant, then head to the Tienanmen Square, home to the National Museum of China and many other buildings. If there is anything you particularly want to see, feel free to let your guide know. The best thing about having a private guide is that the tour can be tailored to the things that interest you the most. Pass through the south gate to the magnificent Forbidden City, a 250-acre complex of courtyards, palaces, pavilions and gardens, which served as the imperial palace for emperors and their households for more than 500 years. Follow your tour guide to explore most important buildings inside the Forbidden city, Hall of Great Harmony, Hall of Central Harmony, Hall of Preserving Harmony, Hall of Heavenly Purity, Hall of Union, Hall of Earthly Tranquility and the Imperial Garden. If you want to spend more time to explore the Forbidden city just let your tour guide know. After the tour finish, you will be transferred back to your hotel in Beijing.

Beijing: Tiananmen, Forbidden City, and Wall Private Tour

8. Beijing: Tiananmen, Forbidden City, and Wall Private Tour

After being picked up from your Beijing Downtown hotel(for private tour) or meet at the meeting point (for small group tour) or airport(Beijing capital International airport or Daxing International airport), you will begin exploring at the Tian’anmen Square. Use the convenient fast track entry, stroll through the massive square with your tour guide. You will see these buildings in and around the square: Chairman Mao’s Mausoleum, the Monument of the People's Heroes, the Great Hall of The People, the National Museum, the Front Gates, the Old Beijing Railway Station and more while learning about the history of these buildings from your guide.  On the way to the Forbidden City, you will pass by the Gate of Heavenly Peace and Duanmen Gate. Then enter the Forbidden City from the Massive Meridian Gate. The Forbidden City was the political and ritual center of China for over 500 years. After its completion in 1420, the Forbidden City was home to 24 emperors, their families and servants during the Ming and the Qing dynasties.Spend 1.5 hours to explore the halls, courtyards and gardens. Your guide has an extensive knowledge of Chinese history, culture and architecture. They will share their knowledge with you in an informative, personable, and enjoyable manner. Feel free to ask questions if you have. Next, heading to the Great Wall at Mutianyu section. During the 1.5 hours drive, your tour guide will explain the related histories and stories. Stop at the local restaurant for an authentic countryside style lunch. Upon arrival at Mutianyu, follow your tour guide to take either the cable car or ski lift up to the Wall which will save you valuable time, marvel at this world's longest manmade project, hike up and down with your tour guide to explore different watch towers, climb up to the tower to find out how military signal were send back in the past. Take as many photos as you like, after 1.5 hours hike, you will descend by ski lift/cable car or take the fun toboggan.(it might stop if it is raining) Then, you will be transferred back to your hotel/meeting point/airport in Beijing.

Beijing: Forbidden City Temple of Heaven with Hutong Tours

9. Beijing: Forbidden City Temple of Heaven with Hutong Tours

This amazing classic city tour of Beijing that includes both visiting the most popular attractions and also some small historic alleys. You will start your day from walking around the Tian'anmen Square, heading to Forbidden City, understanding the local life in the hutongs and end up your day by going to Temple of Heaven. Hotel transfer and entrance tickets are all included. You can choose different Language.

From Beijing: 3-Day UNESCO World Heritage Sites Private Tour

10. From Beijing: 3-Day UNESCO World Heritage Sites Private Tour

This private 3-day tour gives you plenty of time to explore Beijing's UNESCO World Heritage Sites, such as the Forbidden City, Temple of Heaven, Summer Palace, and The Great Wall of China. You can choose our tour package which including all entrance fee and three days lunches. You also can choose a basic tour with including English speaking tour guide and private transfer for 3 days( 8 hours each day), choose what you would like to experience, what time you would like to start your tour, and the local experienced guide will arrange a tour to suit you. Here is our set itinerary: Day 1: After meet your tour guide, start by exploring one of the world’s largest public areas, Tian'anmen Square. Pass through the south gate to the Forbidden City, stroll around the courtyards and halls of the Forbidden city with your tour guide, and learn the histories and stories about this massive palace. You will visit most important buildings inside the Forbidden City. Stop in a local restaurant for lunch, then discover the Lama Temple in the afternoon. Lama Temple is one of the largest and most important Tibetan Buddhist monasteries in the world. For evening, you can enjoy an amazing Chinese show, such as the Acrobatic show, Kongfu show or Peking opera.(at your own cost) After the show finished, you will be transferred back to your hotel in Beijing Day 2: After meet your guide, heading to Mutianyu Great Wall. Once arrive at the The Mutianyu Great Wall, you’ll enjoy a less hurried experience and take time to marvel at this wondrous structure and the surrounding hillsides. Hiking up and down for about 1.5 hours at the various sections of the Wall, exploring the watch and beacon towers. Stop at a Local Restaurant for lunch. On the way to city stop to take photos at the iconic "Bird's Nest"– the Beijing National Stadium, where hosts many spectacular events of the 2008 Summer Olympics. Continue to the Drum Tower area, stroll around the local Hutong neighborhood. Get to know the local life and people. You also can explore the Houhai lake area and Nanluoguxiang Hutong allays. After the tour finished, you will be transferred back to your hotel in Beijing. Day 3: Begins with the Temple of Heaven, once visited by the emperors of the Ming and Qing dynasties for annual prayer ceremonies. Follow your tour guide to explore many important buildings including: Hall of Prayer for good harvest, Danbi Bridge. 9 dragon Juniper and more Spend time in the pearl market to purchase your China souvenir, your guide will teach you how to negotiate price in the market. Next, see the pandas in the Beijing Panda House and have a delicious Peking duck lunch in the local restaurant. Continue to the Summer Palace, a well-preserved royal garden that's renowned for its beautiful landscape and spectacular architecture, and is considered one of the most classical gardens in the world. After the tour finished, you will be transferred back to your hotel in Beijing.

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What people are saying about Forbidden City

Overall rating

4.3 / 5

based on 1,116 reviews

We booked the tickets to beat most of the crowds. That also worked wonderfully. For entry, an ID card - in our case: the passport - is scanned. The entry was quick and there were no problems. We had the tickets on our cell phones. The contact person was available on WhatsApp to answer any questions, which were then answered quickly. The Forbidden City is a highlight and very worth it. The south entrance was also very easy to reach using public transport.

Wendy was a heart-warming, informative and knowledgeable tour guide we had in Beijing. She attentively took good care of her clients. She told great stories about the Forbidden City, most of which were amazing to us. The tour was definitely what we were looking for. Once again, thank you Wendy and Team Catherine for helping us get the precious tickets to the Forbidden City. Highly recommend!

brilliant guided tour. Our guide Lucy was amazing, she had a lot of knowledge to tell us and answered our questions perfectly, was very friendly and even gave us some great suggestions and advice on what and where to do things in China as part of our trip. She made the tour a joy to be on and a great experience.

Jenny from Catherine tours is a dedicated tour guide who took the time to spend the day with us on Chinese new years to show us the Tiananmen Square and the summer palace. She did a little extra and showed us the forbidden city a long the way, which was not part of the plan!

We had a great day in the Forbidden City with our guide Susan, she was very professional and gave us a vivid explanation of the history of the Forbidden City. everything was top, definitely recommend!