The Forbidden City

The Forbidden City is the architectural complex where the 24 Chinese emperors governed for more than 500 years from the start of the 15th century.

The Palace and its rooms were reserved for the court and its subjects from its construction in 1420 until 1949, which is why it's known as The Forbidden City.

A walk through the Forbidden City

During the tour of the Forbidden City, extensive courtyards give way to numerous pavilions where the emperor's official ceremonies took place. As well as the many public and private rooms there are beautiful gardens and small pavilions in which the imperial concubines resided.

Fun facts

  • Roof Guardians: The figures at the corners of the roofs are the guardians who must protect the building in the event of a fire.
  • Chinese Lions: As in most traditional Chinese buildings, two lions guard the entrance to each of the pavilions. They look the same, but under one of their paws the male lion has a ball and the female lion has a cub.
  • Imperial Road: In the center of the stairs leading up to each of the main buildings within the Forbidden City you can see a small marble ramp with carved dragons that was reserved for the emperor's chariot.
  • Numerical harmony: The Forbidden City has a great numerical harmony based on odd numbers, especially nine. The city has 9,999 rooms and the imperial doors are decorated with 81 studs (9x9).


A key part of China's history

The Forbidden City is the most important and most visited place in Beijing, especially for Chinese citizens, who can now walk through what was once an impenetrable place. Despite being a must-see, there are locations like the Summer Palace where the buildings are more varied and you can see beautiful gardens.

Due to the large extension of the Forbidden City, it is necessary to reserve several hours for your visit.


1st April to 31st October: 8.30 am to 5 pm.
1st November to 31st March: 8.30 am to 4.30 pm


April to October: ¥ 60 (US$ 8.40)
November to March: ¥ 40 (US$ 5.60)
Children under 120 cm tall: free admission
50% discount for people over 60

Treasure Gallery: ¥ 10 (US$ 1.40)
Adults: ¥ 10 (US$ 1.40)
Children under 120 cm tall: free admission

Clock room: ¥ 10 (US$ 1.40)
Adults: ¥ 10 (US$ 1.40)
Children under 120 cm tall: free admission


Bus: líneas 1, 2, 5, 10, 20, 22, 37, 52, 59, 82, 99, 101, 103, 109, 120, 124, 126, 609, 619, 614, 685 and 728.
MetroTian'an men dong or Tian'an men xi, line 1.

Nearby places

Jingshan Park (886 m) Beihai Park (1.2 km) Wangfujing Street Market (1.4 km) Tian'anmen Square (1.6 km) Drum and Bell Towers (2.8 km)