The Palace Museum (故宫博物院)

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The Forbidden City was the seat of Imperial power for 500 years, and it is now one of China s major tourist attractions

Information on this page last updated:2018-06-14 15:52:54

Admission: 60 RMB (April - Oct.); 40 RMB (Nov. - March)
Opening Hours: Peak Season: 8:30-17:00 (Apr. 1st to Oct. 31st)
Off-season: 8:30-16:30 (Nov. 1st to Mar. 31st)
Phone: +86 10 65132255
Best Time to Visit: April to October
Recommended Time for a Visit: 3 Hours


The Palace Museum was commissioned by the third Emperor of the Ming Dynasty, Emperor Yong Le. The palace was built between 1406 and 1420, but was burnt down, rebuilt, sacked and renovated countless times, so most of the architecture you can see today dates from the 1700’s and onward. The Forbidden City was the seat of Imperial power for 500 years, and is now a major tourist attraction in China.

The total area of the complex is 183 acres, so it takes quite a while to walk through, especially if you want to have a close look at everything. All together there are 9,999 1/2 rooms in the Museum, not all of which can be visited. The Imperial Palace is rectangle in architecture. It is 961 meters long from south to north and 753 meters wide. There is city wall which is 10 meters high around and the moat outside of city wall is 52 meters wide.

As the royal residences of the emperors of the Ming and Qing dynasties from the 15th to 20th century, the Imperial Palace of the Ming and Qing Dynasties in Beijing known as the Forbidden City in Beijing was the center of State power in ancient China. It was constructed between 1406 and 1420 by Ming emperor Zhu Di and witnessed the enthronement of 14 Ming and 10 Qing emperors over the following 505 years. The Forbidden City was inscribed as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1987.

Located in the center of Beijing, the Forbidden City is the supreme model in the development of ancient Chinese palaces, providing insight into the social development of late dynastic China. The layout and spatial arrangement inherits and embodies the traditional characteristic of urban planning and palace construction in ancient China, featuring a central axis, symmetrical design and layout of outer court at the front and inner court at the rear and the inclusion of additional landscaped courtyards deriving from the Yuan city layout. 
As the example of ancient architectural hierarchy, construction techniques and architectural art, it influenced official buildings of the subsequent Qing dynasty over a span of 300 years. The religious buildings, particularly a series of royal Buddhist chambers within the Palace, absorbing abundant features of ethnic cultures, are a testimony of the integration and exchange in architecture since the 14th century. Meanwhile, more than a million precious royal collections, articles used by the royal family and a large number of archival materials on ancient engineering techniques, including written records, drawings and models, are evidence of the court culture and law and regulations of the Ming and Qing dynasties.
Since 1925 the Forbidden City has been under the charge of the Palace Museum, whose vast holdings of paintings, calligraphy, ceramics, and antiquities of the imperial collections make it one of the most prestigious museums in China and the world.


Address: No. 4 Jingshan Front Street, Dongcheng District, Beijing


Subway: Subway Line 1: get off at Tiananmen West or Tiananmen East Station, walk north through the Tiananmen Tower (Gate of Heavenly Peace), and then you'll find the Meridian Gate (south gate)

Scenic Pictures