Top tips for visiting the Forbidden City:
- Keep your passport handy. If you’re not a Chinese resident, you’ll need your passport to get into the Forbidden City, and this will double up as your entrance ticket. When walking around this region of Beijing we also encountered many pavement blocks, where we had to show our passports.
- The Forbidden City is closed on Mondays and opening hours vary according to the season. Some sections of the City, e.g. the Treasure Gallery and Watch Gallery, have reduced opening hours. Check the times that are applicable to your trip here.
- Get there early to avoid the crowds, and budget at least half a day. If you have more time, even better. There’ll be a long queue to get in but this was quite fast moving when I was there. The Forbidden City can easily be combined with Tiananmen Square, as they’re right next to each other.
- Air pollution is a massive problem in Beijing, although China is taking drastic measures to improve this. Be sure to pack a face mask with a P3 air filter. Your lungs will thank you.
- I stayed in the Beijing Pudi hotel, which was in an excellent location. No complaints except that most of the staff couldn’t speak English, but this is the norm in Beijing. I’ve mapped out the walking route between the hotel and the Forbidden City below. If you zoom into the same map, all buildings in the Forbidden City are also conveniently mapped:
- For more of my travel around China and related tips, click here (constantly updated at the moment).