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The former Imperial Palace was home to 24 Chinese emperors from the Ming and Qing dynasties for nearly 500 years. For so long it was off limits to ordinary Beijingers, with access restricted to only a select group of high ranking government officials.

But today we are free to relive these epic Dynastic eras through the large sumptuously decorated palaces, gates and halls, linked by landscaped gardens, traditional pavilions and spacious courtyards. Throughout the complex we discover wonderfully preserved Chinese architecture adorned with intricate statues, marble bridges and other fascinating details which help us to develop stories of the Emperors and their lifestyles.

The Forbidden City is entered via the vast Tiananmen Square to the south and exited to the north, by Jingshan Park. You can climb up the man-made hill for a panoramic view across the yellow rooftops of the Imperial complex. We highly recommend visiting the Forbidden City as part of our special Beijing full day tour, though you might prefer to visit it alongside the Temple of Heaven or Summer Palace.

Browse our selection of tours below to plan your visit to the Forbidden City as part of a tailor-made China holiday, tailored to your interests.

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