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“Historic and interesting”

Forbidden City-The Palace Museum
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$9.38*
and up
Beijing Forbidden City Admission Ticket
Ranked #5 of 1,622 things to do in Beijing
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Fee: Yes
Recommended length of visit: 2-3 hours
Owner description: Consisting of more than 9,000 rooms and spread over 250 acres, this huge palace complex was built in the 15th century and later extensively renovated and restored during the Qing Dynasty in the 18th century.
Reviewed February 19, 2013

The Forbidden City is a must-see in Beijing. To optimize the experience, watch the movie "The last Emperor" before your visit. Be prepared for a lot of pushing from the crowds trying to get glimps of the inside of the buildings.

Thank LykkeBG
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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"forbidden city"
in 2,797 reviews
"audio guide"
in 301 reviews
"this place is huge"
in 82 reviews
"south gate"
in 96 reviews
"sheer size"
in 69 reviews
"chinese history"
in 177 reviews
"jingshan park"
in 121 reviews
"wear comfortable shoes"
in 73 reviews
"buy tickets"
in 69 reviews
"take your time"
in 112 reviews
"ming dynasty"
in 74 reviews
"tour group"
in 86 reviews
"architecture"
in 512 reviews
"china"
in 884 reviews
"exit"
in 396 reviews
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5,252 - 5,256 of 11,493 reviews

Reviewed February 17, 2013

It is impossible to enter the Forbidden City and not be moved by the history of the place and imagine yourself as a cowering foreignor awestruck by the magesty of the emperor. After some hesitation, we "employed" a "tour guide" that approached us at the entrance. On balance, that was a good decision as he explained many features of the Forbidden City that would have otherwise escaped our attention. However, at one point he also ushered us into a room where the supposed nephew of the last emporer - a master calligropher - would create a tapestry for us. Although we aren't sure, it seemed like a scam and was an uncomfortable experience.

Thank Bill B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 17, 2013

So, I'm not going to repeat what everyone has said. If you're reading this, you probably already know the history or some of it.

This site is spectacular. Admission to some areas is free, while others come at a price - I believe it was 40 RMB. While going to wait in line for tickets, a man approached me offering me a ticket for 60 RMB, telling me that the tickets were sold out and that everyone in line was about to be disappointed. I didn't believe this and joined the line.. soon after a 2nd line opened up and I got my ticket even faster! The man who tried selling me a ticket was gone and I had only spoken to him a minute prior.

Lots of people try to sell you things when you come inside. Everything from tang hulu, maps, and even cheap hats meant to look like the emperor's! There was even what looked to be an extremely disabled dwarf man trying to get donations.. sitting next to the walkway in the city. How Beijing officials let these people inside is beyond me, and definitely detracted from the experience. I had about four different men approach me offering to give a tour, but I declined each one.

I was shocked to see old men picking their noses and spitting on the ground inside the city - have they no respect for the national landmarks? I could never imagine doing this at the Lincoln Memorial or some similar site.. but these folks were treating it like a dirty backyard!

Once inside the paid areas of the city.. things were a little better.. but there was still trash to be found. The historic sites were there.. and walking through the whole city took almost three hours - but it was worth it!

Overall, a great experience.. I just wish some of the Chinese at the site saw the historical value of the site instead of dollar signs. Probably the worst part was a "flying through the forbidden city" store which plastered your image to a pre-recorded video of aerial footage of the Forbidden City and Beijing. This seemed to be an officially sanctioned store.. and only brought about my distaste for the commercialization of this site.

2  Thank Jack W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 16, 2013

Brilliant place.
But it was such a shame to see how poorly kept some of the halls and exhibits are.
Most of the glass boxes presenting riches and antiques were so dusty and dirty the exhibits looked dull and cheap.
And the thousands of tour groups walking the palace meant we practically didn't get close to anything.
Moral of the story, go early, avoid the horde and get the audio tours.

Thank D2kagw
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed February 14, 2013

I liked all the beautiful buildings in this area. The poor guards had to stand still for 2 hrs. at a time, and it was freezing cold during the time we went. Lots of history and culture to be learned here.

1  Thank grandkids7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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