Forbidden City

The Forbidden City, Beijing, China

Getting to the Forbidden City

Because the Forbidden City is at the center of Beijing, it is very easy to get to. By subway is probably best - arrive at TianAnMen by getting off at 'TianAnMen Dong' (TianAnMen East) station which is the closest of the two TianAnMen stations on Line 1. You can also walk to TianAnMen from WangFuJing along Chang'An avenue.


TianAnMen Gate.

When passing through the arched tunnel of TianAnMen below Mao's portrait, look back to see the red flag flying in TianAnMen Square.


For a small fee, you can climb the steps of the Tiananmen Gate and once at the top, you will have the opportunity to look out over the Square. Here you will see the same panoramic view that Mao enjoyed while in reign. Because this was Mao's favorite place to watch the people walking below, in his honor a gigantic portrait of him hangs there today.


Approaching the Meridian Gate.

Walk straight ahead northwards until you reach the Meridian Gate of the Forbidden City where you can buy your entrance ticket.


There are entrances to the Forbidden City in the south and the north. However, it is best to enter via the south gate via TianAnMen because this gate is the main gate and traditionally the 'front door'.

This will allow you to experience the carefully laid out complex to best effect; and you will be facing the (sunny) front side of each structure as you progress northwards. You will experience the Forbidden City just as any foreign envoy in the past would have done, humbled by each gate, hall and massive courtyard as he made his way to to see the emporer.

Similarly, we recommend taking the central axis from south to north when first inside the Forbidden City. After reaching the Imperial Garden, you can backtrack to explore the buildings and exhibitions to the east and west of the central axis.

The nearby parks BeiHai, JingShan and ZhongShan are in easy walking distance of the Forbidden City. ZhongShan Park was created as part of an extended palace grounds; it offers views of the Forbidden City across the moat and you can also hire a small pleasure boat. JingShan has a man-made hill with five pavillions on top. The central, highest one offers a good panoramic view of the Forbidden City.





The Forbidden City is open daily all year.

October 16th - April 15th 8:30 - 16:30 Last Entry at 15:30
(including the Clock Gallery and Treasure Gallery)

April 16th - October 15th 8:30 - 17:00 Last Entry at 16:00
(including the Clock Gallery and Treasure Gallery)

Next : The Meridian Gate

Forbidden City

Forbidden City
: Introduction
Forbidden City : History
Forbidden City : Layout
Forbidden City : Map
Getting there

The Meridian Gate (outside)
The Meridian Gate (inside)
The First Courtyard
The Gate of Supreme Harmony

The Second Courtyard
The Hall of Supreme Harmony (part 1)
The Hall of Supreme Harmony (part 2)
The Hall of Complete Harmony
The Hall of Preserving Harmony

The Large Stone Carving

The Gate of Celestial Purity
The Hall of Celestial Purity
The Hall of Celestial and Terrestrial Union
The Hall of Terrestrial Tranquility
The Imperial Garden
The Imperial Garden (part 2)

The Exhibition Halls
The 9 Dragon Screen
Other Places of Interest

Doorways (part 2)
Decorative Tiles
Beams and Ceilings
Windows and Doors
Walls & Screens

Sunset at the Forbidden City

Beijing Guide

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