Forbidden City Travel Tips
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The best tourist season to travel is from late March to early June and from late August to late November. During these periods, choose someday not on the weekdays and holidays to avoid the crowds of people.
Best Time to Visit
This is a very large complex. Tourists should have a clear understanding of its layout and choose a suitable route to touring the palace according to your time and need. please refer to the Virtual Guide.
It holds some permanent exhibitions in different halls or palaces. The following is the list of some exhibitions which may arouse your interest. Visit them, and you will know more about its cultural background.
Painting and Calligraphy Gallery: Hall of Literary Glory
Ceramics Gallery: Hall of Martial Valor
Clock Gallery: Hall of Ancestral Worship
Stone Drum Gallery: Eastern Corridor Rooms of the Hall of Imperial Supremacy
Gold and Silver Gallery: Palace of Great Brilliance
Jade Gallery: Palace of Accumulated Purity
Bronze Gallery: Palace of Celestial Favor, Palace of Eternal Peace
Opera Gallery: Belvedere of Pleasant Sounds, Hall for Viewing Opera
Treasure Gallery: Hall of Imperial Supremacy, Hall of Spiritual Cultivation, Hall of Joyful Longevity, Belvedere of Well-nourished Harmony
Tourists are suggested to bring their own food when visiting, for there are only few places inside the palace providing drinks and light meals. There is one restaurant next to the Archery Pavilion, west to the Treasure Gallery. It can be seen through the Gate of Great Fortune in the east side of Qianqingmen (Gate of Heavenly Purity) Square. Another place for food is in the west side of the Qianqingmen Square, besides The Office of Grand Council of State. Dong Chang Fang (East Long Room) is a row of houses about 200 meters east of the Gate of Divine Prowess. It was available for guardians to live in. Now, it is a service area with shops and restaurants for tourists. Additionally, there are shops at the Gate of Heavenly Purity, Hall of Mental Cultivation and the Imperial Garden. On the way from the Gate of Earthly Tranquility to the Imperial Garden, there are two cafes providing coffee and hot drinks.
Restaurants and Shops
Quanjude Roast Duck (Qianmen) – Quanjude, almost the byword for Peking Roast Duck is a time-honored restaurant with more than one hundred years old. After leaving from Tiananmen Gate via the Meridian Gate, tourists can go through the Tiananmen Square to find the way leading to Qianmen Pedestrian Street.
Donglaishun Muslim Restaurant (Qianmen) – Deriving from the cooking method of mutton when Kublai Khan went out for a battle, the sliced mutton rinsed in chafing dish served in Donglaishun is a feature food.
Dasanyuan Restaurant (Jingshan) – Dasanyuan is a Cantonese restaurant originated in 1919. Its Jingshan branch restaurant is located in Jingshan Xijie, at the center of Jingshan Park, Beihai Park and the Gate of Divine Prowess. Roast Suckling Pig and Buddha Jumping over the Wall are the signature dishes.
Donghuamen Snack Night Market - Compared with Wangfujing Snack Street, Donghuamen outside the East Flowery Gate (Donghuamen) has more snacks. Food price here is not cheap, like other well-known snack streets on this point. Donghuamen Snack Street is alive with people at night.
|Audio Guide Device||Available in several languages including Chinese, Cantonese, English, French, Japanese, German, Korean, Russian, Thai, Portuguese, Spanish, Arabic and Italian. It can be rented from the tour guide service at the Meridian Gate (Wumen) and the Gate of Divine Prowess (Shenwumen). The cost for renting any version of the device is CNY 40 (Chinese and Cantonese are both CNY 20), along with a deposit of CNY 100.|
|Tour Guide Service||Chinese, English and Japanese-speaking tour guides are available. |
* For groups no more than 5 people:
central axis: 1 hour, CNY 200;
central axis and west route: 1.5 hours, CNY 300;
central axis, west route, and treasure gallery: 2.5 hours, CNY 400
* For groups more than 5 people: an extra CNY 20 will be charged per person.
|Commodity Service||Tourist souvenirs, books, food and drink as well as a post office are all available.|
|WiFi Service||It covers the core areas open to the public, including cultural relic exhibition halls, tourist resting areas, and dining areas. Visitors can search for the WiFi account “PalaceMuseum-WiFi” to access the WiFi service for free.|
|Broadcast||It is to the southwest of Jingyun Gate.|
|Bag Check Service||Bags can be deposited free of charge at the Meridian Gate and Gate of Divine Prowess from 8:30 to 18:00. If desired, bags can be carried free between the two gates after going through a security check.|
|Wheelchairs & Strollers||Available from the tour guide service at the Meridian Gate and Gate of Divine Prowess, free of charge.|
|Tourist Service Center||Located at the Gate of Supreme Harmony (Taihemen) and the Arrow Pavilion (Jianting).|
|Lounges||Located at the Left Gate of Inner Court (Neizuomen), west of the Meridian Gate, and the Gate of Loyal Obedience (Zhenshunmen)|