Top Attractions in Beijing- Forbidden City
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Top Attractions in Beijing- Forbidden City

The Forbidden City was once the home of the Chinese Emperors and an area strictly forbidden to the Chinese people, this palace complex is now visited by thousands of people daily and is one of the top attractions in the city of Beijing.

The Forbidden City in the heart of Beijing is a must see location for any visitor to the city. Located on the northern edge of Tainanmen Square the entrance is through the Tiananmen Gate.

On arriving outside this imposing structure you cannot help but notice the massive portrait of Chairman Mao on the centre of the wall. You will usually have to wait in line to get through the archway and into the courtyard beyond. As you cross the bridge to enter the archway people are all clamoring to get a photo with the portrait of for many their hero in the background.

The Forbidden City or Palace Museum has over 9,000 rooms and is spread over an area of 250 acres, once you are inside the first courtyard you are still a long way from the entrance itself. As you walk towards the entrance do not be surprised at the number of people offering their services to you as a guide, some people believe the best way to see this structure is with an informed guide. Another way is to discover it for yourself with a guidebook or by paying to use an electronic system in whatever language you choose.

The palace complex was first built from 1406 until 1420, over the years it has been burnt down, rebuilt, sacked by invaders and had renovation work completed to bring it to the standard it is today. Most of the architecture in the Forbidden City dates from the 18th century, although some does survive from earlier periods.

A visit to the Forbidden city does take a lot of walking and comfortable shoes are a must, it can get incredibly hot in Beijing during the summer months and escaping from the heat into the cooler air of the many museums is a welcome relief. Visiting time is from 08.30 until 17.00 although entrance tickets are not sold after 15.00, you should really allow at least half a day to visit the Forbidden City, although to see everything in detail would take you 2 or 3 days at least. In the summer of 2010 the entrance fee was 60RMB, making it one of the more costly attractions in central Beijing. This works out as around 6 pounds sterling or less than 10 US dollars.


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Comments (7)

Definitely on my "gotta-go-see" list.

Such a great example of well written imagery as if I can feel I have seen this for myself. Very well done. Out of votes so promoting to award your detailed efforts.

I want to go now! Great write up John.

Great information. I learned something about the Forbidden City.

It's amazing how hot and humid it can get, but you are right - this is certainly the must see attraction, second only perhaps to the Great Wall. I'd love to see it.

John, nice piece of work. Wish i could go there now!

Returning to award you a well deserved vote up.