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“Avoid the crowds”

Forbidden City-The Palace Museum
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US$9.38*
and up
Beijing Forbidden City Admission Ticket
Ranked #10 of 1,616 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 3 June 2012

Get in early. The weather is usually better early in the morning too, so you don't get as many overcast sky photos that tend to make the place a bit dismal.

2  Thank Joseph C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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5,960 - 5,964 of 11,251 reviews

Reviewed 2 June 2012

I recommend visiting with a tour guide as the site is huge. There is little shade and can be difficult to appreciate in hot temperatures. You will definitely need a hat and even umbrella to protect from the sun.

It is amazing to learn about the different rooms, about the concubines, and nearby imperial gardens. Comfortable shoes are a must!

Thank sk84fungirl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 June 2012

It's interesting for about five minutes but that's about it. After you've seen a couple rooms and courtyards you've seen them all. The entire time you are being jostled by thousands of annoying tourists. Don't even try to go on a weekend. There are much more interesting ancient buildings and temples in Beijing.

Thank MattyHar
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 June 2012

I could never have guessed the scale of this palace. There are thousands and thousands of tourists every day (we went twice), but you can still find a quiet, shady place to sit and read or contemplate. (I also recommend a stop for a cold beer midway through at one of the cafes.) It's astonishing to see all of these buildings and courtyards and imagine them filled with royal family and royal bureaucrats.

Note that it's a lot of stone. This is both hard on the feet and can get very hot as it absorbs the sun. Definitely wear sturdy shoes, and go when it's cool or overcast if you can.

Thank fionabert
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 2 June 2012

The Forbidden City was disappointing. There were so many people there that most of the time was spent just being pushed in the back by other tourists. Even though good walking shoes were worn and water taken, it was still a very long and tiring visit. There seems to be an endless line of buildings and no relief from concrete. There needs to be a massive amount of greenery planted on the site just to relieve the concrete. The small garden at the end of the Forbidden City was a welcome relief. The Forbidden City was good to see but not on a weekend nor when the weather is warm.

Thank fun2travelCanberra
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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