The Forbidden City (故宫) – Meridian Gate

Forbidden City Beijing, A Glimpse of History

I previously have a post on if you only have time for one attraction in Beijing, which will you choose, The Forbidden City or The Great Wall. The poll can be found here. I chose The Forbidden City for various reason. And now, there is one more reason why you should choose the Forbidden City instead. I recently read an article from Business Insider (if I remember correctly), China is going to restrict the number of visitors to the palace. If this is true, you got to act fast.


The Forbidden City (故宫) - Entrance to Forbidden City


The Beijing Forbidden City is extremely huge. You won’t be able to comb the entire palace even within a day. Depending on how much and how detail do you want to tour the palace and plan accordingly. I spent only half a day in the palace.


The Forbidden City (故宫) - Floor Plan of Forbidden City


There are two entrance into the palace, either entered from Wumen (午门) or via the North Gate (北门). I chose to get into the palace via the Wumen.

In the palace, there are many halls such as the Hall of Supreme Harmony (太和殿), the Hall of Central Harmony, Hall of Preserved Harmony.


The Forbidden City (故宫) - Hall of Supreme Harmony (太和殿)


Each and every halls are used for different purpose and it is very elaborated decorated.



Not only is the hall richly decorated, even the roof are.


The Forbidden City (故宫) - Ceiling of Palace of Heavenly Purity


Around the palace ground, you could see bronze cranes, tortoises


The Forbidden City (故宫) – Bronze Tortoise


and lions.


The Forbidden City (故宫) – Bronze Lion


There are decorations on the roof,


The Forbidden City (故宫) – Imperial roof decoration


everywhere, it is decorated with great details.


The Forbidden City (故宫) – Waters Sprouts


The Forbidden City (故宫) – Jade Ornament


Even the concubines are living in luxury.


The Forbidden City (故宫) – Gate of National Prosperity


The Ci Xi Dowager Empress rooms is the only area with a very westernised theme.


The Forbidden City (故宫) - Ci Xi's Dining Room


There is even a piano. Wonder if Ci Xi played the piano or it is more of a ornament.


The Forbidden City (故宫) - Ci Xi's Living Room


Within the palace, there is also a garden, with some pavilions and towers for the concubines and emperor to enjoy themselves.


The Forbidden City (故宫) – A Tower


Finally, I exited via the North Gate (北门).


The Forbidden City (故宫) – Palace Museum North Gate


As I exited the palace, I saw the Jing Shan Park. You should be able to spot the pavilion, like the one in the photo.


The Forbidden City (故宫) – Looking towards JingShan Park


It was a very tiring half day. I have written a post on the Great Wall as well, to read, click here. So now what would you choose if you only have time for an attraction when in Beijing? The Great Wall or The Forbidden City. I would encourage my read to poll.



The Forbidden City (故宫)

China, Beijing, Dongcheng, 景山前街4号


Opening Hours


Tuesday – Sunday 0830 to 1600; Monday 0830 to 1100


Getting There


By Subway:

  • Line 1 – Tiananmen East station (天安门东站)


Rating: 8/10


Tip: You may want to bring along some water. And if you are going to spend an entire day, you may want to bring some food or snack. Though there are food outlet but there are only a few and are located mainly in the centre of the palace.