Forbidden City

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Forbidden City: Our most recommended tours and activities

  • Tiananmen, Forbidden City, Temple of Heaven & Summer Palace

    1. Tiananmen, Forbidden City, Temple of Heaven & Summer Palace

    See the main imperial sights of Beijing on a comprehensive coach tour, starting with an early morning pick-up from your city center hotel and a transfer to Tian'anmen Square. Marvel at the monuments that pay testament to China’s communist regime and the Maoist influence on the nation's modern day history. One of the largest public squares in the world, Tian’anmen Square contains the monuments to the heroes of the revolution, the National Museum of China and the Chairman Mao Zedong Memorial Hall. You will not enter the Square, but your guide will show and explain all these monuments from the distance. Next, enter the Forbidden City, the largest and best-preserved of the imperial palaces. The Forbidden City was the Chinese imperial palace from the Ming dynasty to the end of the Qing dynasty (1420 to 1912) and the complex exemplifies traditional Chinese palatial architecture. You will hav...

    We had a small group of tourists during winter so it was a good size to move quickly and explore the highlights of each places. Vik was our guide, fluent in English. The Summer Palace was my favorite and I’m glad that Vik took us to the entrance near the iconic bridge. We were given 1 hour to explore. I would’ve wished it was at least 2 hours coz the land area was so huge. Lunch was good. The coach we used while it’s on time and clean enough, it had a strong smell of cigarette smoke in it. As indicated in the itinerary, there were 2 shopping stops for this tour.

  • From Beijing: Great Wall & Forbidden City Full-Day Trip

    2. From Beijing: Great Wall & Forbidden City Full-Day Trip

    Your 8-hour tour begins with a pick-up at your hotel between 7:00 AM-7:30 AM, followed by a 1-hour drive to the Mutianyu section of the Great Wall of China. You will have 2 hours at the Great Wall to hike by yourself or you can choose the cable car option to get to the highest point. After your visit to the Great Wall, you’ll continue on to a restaurant near the Ming Tombs for a traditional Chinese lunch. Next, head to Tiananmen Square, the largest city square in the world. Marvel at its expanse before heading on to the Forbidden City, the final stop on the tour. The Royal Palace at the Forbidden City is the world’s largest royal palace. Spend around 2 hours exploring this vast site before the transfer back to your hotel. During the day, there will also be opportunities to visit jade factory shops and Chinese medicine shop with a foot massage. When the tour is finished you will be t...

    Leon, our guides, has been really kind with us. He guided us all day long, his tour has been full and detailed.

  • Lonely Planet Experiences: Small-Group Beijing City Tour

    3. Lonely Planet Experiences: Small-Group Beijing City Tour

    Experience the best travel stories for yourself! Join a local expert and uncover hidden gems on this Lonely Planet Experience. Looking for the ultimate Beijing city tour? This just might be it. Hit the icons, partake in local activities, ride the subway, and gain insight into life as a local right here on this Beijing city tour. Meet your local guide at the east gate of Temple of Heaven metro station, and start your Beijing tour with a bit of morning exercise with locals in one of the city’s most popular parks and historical sites, Temple of Heaven Park. It is full of people of all ages taking part in traditional pastimes such as tai chi, fan dancing, diablo, kite flying, water calligraphy, and more. Join in some of the activities, soaking up the park’s relaxed atmosphere. Visit the temple and ritual sites inside, where emperors of the Ming and Qing dynasties would offer sacrifices to...

    Getting to Temple of Heaven from our hotel was a breeze, and had no trouble meeting up with our guide and other group members. Lots of walking but at a good pace that allowed for photos as well as information sharing. Travelling on the subway to Tiananmen Square was fun. The Forbidden City was fabulous and our guide was great in helping us see the best of this massive site. Lunch there was disappointing and some of the food tasted off. Continued the tour which lasted around 6-7 hours. Major problem at the end when trying to get a taxi back to our hotel and guide advised they didn't really do picks up where the tour finished and suggested getting the subway by ourselves. This felt too overwhelming so we wandered around, got harassed by rickshaw drivers and ultimately took one (at a highly inflated cost) after feeling lost and exhausted. This difficulty with transport needs to be addressed or at least advised prior to the tour as it ultimately soured what was a really good tour.

  • Lama Temple, Olympic Area, Beijing Zoo & Hutongs Tour

    4. Lama Temple, Olympic Area, Beijing Zoo & Hutongs Tour

    Start your full-day tour with a drive to the Beijing Zoo, where you can admire the Giant Pandas. Head to the Olympic sites, and see the Bird's Nest and Water Cube. If you’d like to visit the interior of the stadiums, your guide will help in buying tickets. Take a tour of Yonghe Temple, built in Tibetan-Buddhist style. It is the largest Lama Temple in Beijing. Enjoy lunch in a typical home of a Beijing resident. Afterwards, explore the city’s old lanes by rickshaw. Visit Jingshan Park, a former imperial garden. The summit is the highest point in Beijing, offering clear views of the Forbidden City. The last stop of the tour is 45 minute visit to a silk shop where you can do a bit of shopping.

    They were so punctual, and we have seen so many thins. Everything was beautiful and the group as well. Love it and well recommended. Emma was lovely! Worth the money as everything is so well organized and you don't need to think of anything. Bravo Emma and the team! Hugsxx

  • Beijing: Great Wall Hike and Forbidden City Private Tour

    5. Beijing: Great Wall Hike and Forbidden City Private Tour

    Join a private tour to the most popular attractions in Beijing, the Forbidden City and the Great Wall. All transportation is included, plus an expert local guide, so you can really get out there and explore the wonders of China's ancient capital.  No trip to China would be complete without a visit to the Great Wall. The majority of the wall which exists today was built by the Ming Dynasty to keep out invaders from the north. With its steep winding exterior, the Great Wall is perhaps one of the world's most iconic tourist attractions, and certainly one of China's most captivating sights. This full-day adventure will take you to see the amazing Great Wall at Juyongguan, one of the three most famous passes along the wall, from which many ancient towers and temples can be seen. You will be hiking for 1.5 hours to help you understand the sheer size and scale of the wall.  You'll also be s...

  • Beijing: Summer Palace Tour with Optional Yuanming Yuan

    6. Beijing: Summer Palace Tour with Optional Yuanming Yuan

    Head back to Ancient Beijing on a 3-hour private guided tour of the Summer Palace with your entry ticket included. After heading to the meeting point or being picked up from your hotel, start the journey to explore the favorite palaces of many Chinese emperors.  You’ll enter from the Northern Gate. Admire the pagodas and scenic views of Kunming Lake from the top of the hill. Then visit the famous Marble Boat, a pavilion on the lake where your guide will bring stories of emperors to life. Take an optional cruise on the lake to take amazing photos of the Summer Palace with the add-on. Nearby, you’ll explore the Long Corridor and its artistic decorations and paintings. At one end lived the Emperor's beloved Consort Zhen and at the other end, the Hall of Joy and Longevity was the living quarters of the powerful Empress Dowager Cixi. Before ending the Summer Palace tour, see the renowned 17...

  • Tiananmen, Forbidden City and Jingshan Park Half-Day Tour

    7. Tiananmen, Forbidden City and Jingshan Park Half-Day Tour

    On this half-day guided tour, dive into the cultural history of Beijing as you visit Tiananmen Square, the Forbidden City and Jingshan Park with an expert guide. Start your tour at the largest square in the world in the center of Beijing city, which is surrounded by several iconic attractions like the Tiananmen Tower, the Monument to the People's Heroes, the Great Hall of the People, and Mao's Memorial Hall. From here, access the Forbidden City, an imperial palace complex built over 700 years ago. Ming and Qing rulers once lived and ruled in opulence here. Explore its maze of buildings, bridges, halls and alleys as your guide points out the most important sights and paints a picture of life for those inside hundreds of years ago. Finally, visit Jingshan Park, an artificial hill which was constructed from the soil excavated during the construction of the Forbidden City and nearby canal...

  • Beijing: Private Night Photo Tour

    8. Beijing: Private Night Photo Tour

    Benefit from a pickup and meet your guide at your hotel's lobby before heading to the first spot, the Qianmen Main Street. Marvel at the historic commercial street near Tian'anmen Square.  Take some great photos with the iconic Zhengyangmen Arrow Tower and find the beauty of the restored architecture and famous restaurants. If you haven't had the dinner yet, feel free to ask your guide for recommendations before hitting the next spot. Visit the futuristic National Opera Centre with the colorful night adding the reflection of the water surface to the signature spaceship photo. See the historic monuments and visit the photo spots in Tian’anmen Square for Forbidden City, its corner tower, and the Jingshan Park. Take a look at the unseen sides of these famous architectures. Take a stroll in Yandai Byway Hutongs to explore the night market and the adjacent local's favorite Back Lake and S...

  • Beijing: Private City Highlights Tour on Car

    9. Beijing: Private City Highlights Tour on Car

    Begin your journey of Beijing City with a hotel pickup where you will meet your driver and guide who will take care of you throughout the day. Head straight to Forbidden City, Beijing's most iconic royal palace, whereupon arrival your guide will take you on a walking tour and tell you the stories of the ancient emperors and the royal families. Look up to admire the lovely roofs adorning the buildings and marvel at the magnificent Hall of Supreme Harmony and the picturesque gardens at the Imperial Garden behind the three main halls.  During your 1-hour lunch pause, ask your guide for some food recommendations or be treated to an authentic Chinese lunch experience if you selected the lunch tour option. Next, head to the Summer Palace, another UNESCO world heritage site and a masterpiece displaying Chinese landscape garden design. Though built hundreds of years ago, everything is man-ma...

    Very good overview tour with very engaged tour guide (Helen) and good command of English. Very knowledgeable.

  • Forbidden City and Traditional Hutongs Half Day Tour

    10. Forbidden City and Traditional Hutongs Half Day Tour

    Take a few minutes to walk to the Forbidden City, built over 700 years ago, where Ming and Qing emperors once lived and ruled in opulence. The palace is a crazy maze of buildings, bridges, halls, and alleys. Your guide will help you to identify the most important sites and imagine how life was for those inside hundreds of years ago. After the 90-minute visit to the Forbidden City, take a taxi with the guide to the Shichahai area. Walk the old hutong alleys that hide different courtyards and are the soul of old Beijing. Discover the Houhai lakes, where you can appreciate the beautiful scenery. Across Yindin Bridge is Yandaixie street, a winding street with a lot of local shops and cafes.  Arrive in the Bell Tower and Drum Tower, two symbols of old Beijing. Learn about the history and then arrive at Nanluoguxiang street which is a hot spot for both tourists and the locals.

Other Sightseeing Options in Forbidden City

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What people are saying about Forbidden City

Overall rating

4.3 / 5

based on 1,112 reviews

My guide is as Sabrina and she was great! I think that the guide is very important in a tour and can make the difference between amazing and ok :) Even though I traveled some, I felt like the entire group was one team! The tour was excellent length for winter time (but cold outside than I am used to). Probably in the summer is worth taking one full day in the wall for tracking.

They were so punctual, and we have seen so many thins. Everything was beautiful and the group as well. Love it and well recommended. Emma was lovely! Worth the money as everything is so well organized and you don't need to think of anything. Bravo Emma and the team! Hugsxx

Leon, went above amd beyond with these tour. I been in many different ones around the world...& front first hand this one has been a great experience i have the chance I would repeat the same tour again. Gracias leon for your patience with my group.

Our travel guide VIK was amazing. Very good English and so knowledgeable. Definately need to do this tour if youre visiting China. 100% worth the money. Chinese lunch was also awesome and our group had so much fun.

Leon, our guides, has been really kind with us. He guided us all day long, his tour has been full and detailed.