The Forbidden City was the Chinese imperial palace from the Ming Dynasty to the end of the Qing Dynasty. It is the largest and most complete imperial palace and ancient building complex in China, and the world at large. The name forbidden city comes from the fact that for 500 years it was forbidden for normal citizens to enter the huge palace area. During that time it was the home to twenty-four Chinese emperors over 491 years between 1420 and 1911.
The Forbidden City is now known as the Palace Museum and is open to Beijing's visitors. The palace area extends 753 meters from east to west, and 961 meters from north to south. It consists of several dozen compounds of varying sizes and some 9,900 bays of rooms. The well guarded palace is surrounded by a moat 3,800 metres long and 52 metres wide.
The Forbidden City was declared a World Heritage Site in 1987, and is listed by UNESCO as the largest collection of preserved ancient wooden structures in the world.
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)
Subway Line 2: get off at Qianmen Station and walk north through the Tiananmen Tower.
Take bus 101, 103, 109, 124, 202, 685 or 814 and get off at Gugong Station.
Take bus 1, 2, 5, 10, 20, 52, 120 or 802 and get off at Tiananmen Xi or Tiananmen Dong Station, walk north through the Tiananmen Tower (Gate of Heavenly Peace), and then you'll find the Meridian Gate (south gate).
CNY 40 (Nov. 1 to the next Mar. 31); CNY 60 (Apr. 1 to Oct. 31)
08:30 to 16:30 (Nov. 1 - the next Mar. 31); tickets not available after 15:30 and last entry at 15:40.
08:30 to 17:00 (Apr. 1- Oct.31); tickets not available after 16:00 and last entry at 16:10.