Code: FC07

One-Day Visit to Forbidden City

One day is generally enough to visit most of the palaces and halls in the opening area of the Forbidden City. But you are still advised to make full use of the time and skip some of the less popular sites. If you visit every corner in details, even one day is not enough.

Forbidden City, Beijing
Forbidden City, Beijing

Recommended Route for One-Day Forbidden City Tour

Meridian Gate (Southern Gate) → Inner Golden Water River Bridge → Hall of Martial Valor (Porcelain Gallery) → Hall of Literary Glory (Painting Gallery) → Gate of Supreme Harmony → Hall of Supreme Harmony → Hall of Central Harmony → Hall of Preserved Harmony → Gate of Heavenly Purity → Palace of Heavenly Purity → Hall of Celestial and Terrestrial Union → Palace of Earthly Tranquility → Hall of Mental Cultivation → Six Western Palaces → Imperial Garden → Six Eastern Palaces → Hall for Ancestry Worship (Clock and Watch Gallery) → Palace of Tranquil Longevity (Treasure Gallery) → Gate of Divine Prowess (Northern Gate)  

Forbidden City, Beijing
Treasures Gallery in Forbidden City

Why Visit Forbidden City This Way

The only entrance to the Forbidden City is the Southern Gate, Meridian Gate. After entering, this route will lead you to visit the royal palace from south to the north, mainly along the central axis, where the main halls and palaces are located, including Hall of Supreme Harmony, Hall of Central Harmony and Hall of Preserved Harmony, the three main halls in the Outer Court and Palace of Heavenly Purity, Hall of Celestial and Terrestrial Union and Palace of Earthly Tranquility, the three main halls in the Inner Court. 

Meanwhile, some halls with permanent exhibitions, like Hall of Martial Valor for porcelains exhibition, Hall of Literary Glory for Chinese paintings and calligraphies exhibition, Hall for Ancestry Worship for clocks and watches exhibition and Palace of Tranquil Longevity displaying some other treasures will be visited. 

Hall of Mental Cultivation was the emperors’ bedroom in the Qing Dynasty (1644 - 1911), while Six Western Palaces and Six Eastern Palaces on the west wing and east wing are the living places of their concubines. Imperial Garden was where the imperial families appreciate flowers and plants and have fun. Aren’t they worth a visit?

Behind the Imperial Garden to its north, is right the northern gate, Gate of Divine Prowess, also the exit of the Forbidden City. 

Treasure Gallery in Forbidden City
Treasure Gallery in Forbidden City

Things to Know Before Forbidden City One-Day Tour

1. Opening Hours of Forbidden City: 08:30 – 17:00 from April to October; 08:30 – 16:30 from November to March

2. The entry ticket can only be bought online. No ticket is available on the spot. You may book the ticket with your passport on TravelChinaGuide. The booking page on the official website is in Chinese. Book the ticket as early as possible, as it’s in great demand, especially in peak travel seasons and during holidays. 

3. To know the royal palace better, it is advised to rent an audio guide at the service center by the southern entry gate. It can be returned at the northern exit gate. 

4. Do not step into the unopen areas. They are either the office of the staff, under repairing or out of repairing. Your visit may destroy the precious cultural relics unintentionally or you may get lost in those crisscross lanes. 

5. The previous Imperial Icehouse has been transformed into a restaurant for visitors’ convenience. It is located to the west of the three main halls in the Outer Court, separated by a palace wall. But the price is a little bit high. There are also several other sites offering fast food. You are advised to have a big breakfast and bring some snacks to fill in your stomach during the visit. 

6. Smoking is strictly prohibited in the Forbidden City. As the world’s largest wooden architectural complex, it had been on fire for many times in history. 

Forbidden City
Treasure Gallery in Forbidden City

Forbidden City
Forbidden City

 More Routes: 

2-Hour Visit to Forbidden City along the Central Axis

Half-Day Visit to Forbidden City

Forbidden City Photography Tour

Memorable Itinerary with Forbidden City:
Best Beijing: 4 Days to Forbidden City, Badaling Great Wall, Summer Palace...
Questions & Answers
Asked by Betty from USA | Dec. 11, 2017 04:35Reply
Beijing south train station to the airport
Hello what is the best way to get from Beijing south train station to the airport. We get there at 7:30am and our flight is 12:35

Any help is greatly appreciated!
Answers (1)
Answered by Cecilia from ITALY | Dec. 11, 2017 20:53

I think you mean the Capital Airport?
You can take Shuttle Bus Line 2 directly to the airport. It takes about 50 minutes and CNY30.
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