Holidays in Forbidden City

Holiday Travel Guide
Forbidden City showing a lake or waterhole, heritage architecture and a river or creek

This magnificent imperial palace is one of the most popular tourist sites in all of China, and is filled with many centuries of culture and art.

Beijing’s Forbidden City stretches over a massive 720,000 square metres, and was home to the emperors of China for almost five centuries. It has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is listed by the same organisation as the largest collection of ancient wooden structures in the world.

Set amid pristine gardens, the city contains an enormous collection of carefully maintained relics in its age-old buildings. The spiritual side of life is also well represented, with plentiful temples, shrines and other places of worship.

The name of the Forbidden City comes from the fact that, historically, ordinary people were not allowed to set foot inside. Protected by high, imposing walls, it would have presented a daunting sight to the residents of the wider city before being opened up to the public in 1925.

You should allow yourself a minimum of half a day to stroll around and soak in the fantastic royal culture and design around you. Enter through the Gate of Heavenly Peace, where you can pick up a map and an audio guide at the ticket office, or hire an English-speaking guide to take you around to gain a deeper understanding of the history and culture on display.

Take in the diverse architectural styles of different eras and admire centuries of incredible antiques. Art lovers will be enthralled by the many artworks, including statuettes cast in bronze and the beautiful old paintings which adorn the interior walls of the palace.

The fabulous five arches of the Meridian Gate will take your breath away, while the Hall of Supreme Harmony offers opulently appointed décor in the biggest of the many ceremonial halls – these sights are most definitely not to be missed. Finish your tour by admiring the graceful and harmonious Imperial Garden before leaving through the Gate of Divine Might.

The Forbidden City is in the centre of Beijing, and can be reached by walking, cycling or via public transport. There is also a bus which circles the outside of the walls, making it easier to access different areas. Visit the palace during the week if you can, as Saturday and Sunday are particularly busy.

Top activities in Forbidden City

1046 Cheap Hotels Near Forbidden City

Hilton Beijing Wangfujing
Hilton Beijing Wangfujing
5 out of 5
8 Wangfujing East Street, Dongcheng, Beijing, Beijing
The price is AU$199 per night from 25 Sep. to 25 Sep.
This family-friendly Beijing hotel is located in the business district, within 1 mi (2 km) of Wangfujing Street, Forbidden City and The Palace Museum. Tiananmen ...
4.5/5Wonderful! (751 reviews)
"The location is excellent, convenient to shopping area, and many famous view points within walking distance"

Reviewed on 4 Jan. 2020

Hilton Beijing Wangfujing
Grand Hyatt Beijing
Grand Hyatt Beijing
5 out of 5
1 East Chang An Avenue, Beijing, Beijing
Fully refundableReserve now, pay when you stay
The price is AU$249 per night from 27 Sep. to 27 Sep.
Located in Dongdan, this luxury hotel is within a 5-minute walk of Oriental Plaza and Wangfujing Street. The Wangfujing Paleolithic Museum and National Museum ...
4.5/5Wonderful! (690 reviews)
"Very nice and clean, loved the pool."

Reviewed on 10 Jul. 2021

Grand Hyatt Beijing
Renaissance Beijing Wangfujing Hotel
Renaissance Beijing Wangfujing Hotel
5 out of 5
57 Wangfujing Street, Dongcheng District, Beijing, Beijing
The price is AU$210 per night from 26 Sep. to 26 Sep.
Located in Downtown Beijing, this luxury hotel is within 1 mile (2 km) of Dong'anmen Ming Imperial Palace Relics and Tiananmen. Temple of Heaven is 2.9 mi (4.7 ...
4.6/5Wonderful! (448 reviews)
"During our stay in Beijing, the hotel staff was amazing. The reception desk, Daniel, and Joanna were the best!! Very helpful and accomodating. Daniel went out of his way to help me find a store that sold SD cards. The dining room team were exceptional! Manager Bernie made sure he greeted us with ..."

Reviewed on 12 Apr. 2021

Renaissance Beijing Wangfujing Hotel
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.

Popular places to visit in Forbidden City

Holidays in Forbidden City

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Top Forbidden City Hotel & Accommodation Deals

Novotel Beijing Xin Qiao
Novotel Beijing Xin Qiao
4 out of 5
1 Chong Wen Men Xi Da Jie, Beijing, Beijing
The price is AU$103 per night from 16 Oct. to 16 Oct.
Novotel Beijing Xin Qiao
Grand Hyatt Beijing
Grand Hyatt Beijing
5 out of 5
1 East Chang An Avenue, Beijing, Beijing
The price is AU$249 per night from 27 Sep. to 27 Sep.
Grand Hyatt Beijing
Renaissance Beijing Wangfujing Hotel
Renaissance Beijing Wangfujing Hotel
5 out of 5
57 Wangfujing Street, Dongcheng District, Beijing, Beijing
The price is AU$210 per night from 26 Sep. to 26 Sep.
Renaissance Beijing Wangfujing Hotel
Hilton Beijing Wangfujing
Hilton Beijing Wangfujing
5 out of 5
8 Wangfujing East Street, Dongcheng, Beijing, Beijing
The price is AU$199 per night from 25 Sep. to 25 Sep.
Hilton Beijing Wangfujing
Novotel Beijing Peace
Novotel Beijing Peace
4 out of 5
No 3 Jinyu Hutong, Beijing, Beijing
The price is AU$135 per night from 15 Oct. to 15 Oct.
Novotel Beijing Peace
Beijing Xihua Jade Hotel Forbidden City
Beijing Xihua Jade Hotel Forbidden City
3.5 out of 5
5 NORTH ZHIDE ALLY, BEI HE YAN STREET,, DONG CHENG, Beijing, PEK
Beijing Xihua Jade Hotel Forbidden City
The Imperial Mansion, Beijing Marriott Executive Apartments
The Imperial Mansion, Beijing Marriott Executive Apartments
4.5 out of 5
North Gate, No. 1 Xiagongfu Street, Dongcheng District, Beijing
The price is AU$213 per night from 26 Sep. to 26 Sep.
The Imperial Mansion, Beijing Marriott Executive Apartments
Crowne Plaza Hotel Beijing Wangfujing, an IHG Hotel
Crowne Plaza Hotel Beijing Wangfujing, an IHG Hotel
4.5 out of 5
48 Wangfujing Avenue, Dongcheng District, Beijing, Beijing
The price is AU$156 per night from 8 Oct. to 8 Oct.
Crowne Plaza Hotel Beijing Wangfujing, an IHG Hotel
Sunworld Dynasty Hotel Beijing Wangfujing
Sunworld Dynasty Hotel Beijing Wangfujing
5 out of 5
50 Wangfujing Avenue, Beijing, Beijing
The price is AU$153 per night from 26 Sep. to 26 Sep.
Sunworld Dynasty Hotel Beijing Wangfujing
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.