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The Palace Museum, Beijing

4.4
#1 of 116 in Museums in Beijing
Within a palace that served as the seat of power for the Ming and Qing dynasties, The Palace Museum houses a massive collection of artifacts that include ceramics, porcelain pieces, paintings, bronzeware, steles, sculptures, and much more. Built in the early 15th century, the palace holds the honor of being a World Heritage Site and contains an unparalleled number of preserved ancient wooden structures. Bring your ID or passport to purchase entry tickets. For The Palace Museum and beyond, use our Beijing trip planner to get the most from your Beijing vacation.
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12,449 reviews
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4.5
TripAdvisor
  • We enjoyed our visit to this place, however we didn’t really do our homework and ended up with a local guide outside. He was very pleasant and with the aid of our passports managed to get us in very q...  more »
  • Everything you’ve ever thought about this magical place is true! We went with a superb guide called Linda that we made contact with on the markets and 798 tour. She was fantastic and yes you could hir...  more »
  • if you are not one of the first people to arrive at the Forbidden city you will be in a sea of humanity...literally thousands of people go a day...we got in early and left when it became crowded, I wo...  more »
Google
  • I feel sheepish writing a review about such a culturally/globally significant location as The Forbidden City. I mean- these buildings are older than my country. I had previously experienced the splendor of The Imperial Palace vicariously through film- “The Last Emperor” easily the most notable among them. The expanse is even more impressive when you consider that these buildings were constructed on human labor alone. It should go without saying that if you’re ever in Beijing, then this is a must for stops on your journey.
  • I went to visit the Forbidden City on a Chinese national holiday, and would recommend going on a less busy day. It was a sea of people and tough to get through the crowds getting in. Once inside it is so big that you have plenty of space in most areas. Lots of beautiful structures with incredible detail, but my favourite feature was the basketball court for the staff! ;) Another Chinese cite with amazing history, and absolutely worth a look if you are in Beijing.
  • I'm surprised to say it, but honestly? Overrated. The palace is an impressive sight for sure, but the inside is kinda like any other museum you'll see. There are showcases everywhere with historic trinkets and valuables. But it's all in smaller buildings around the area, meaning you'll go in and out of a lot of places, with large empty plazas and corridors between each place. The larger palaces look impressive from a distance, but walking up close, most of them will just hold a throne or some limted furniture. The hundreds of shops who all sell the exact same stuff also helps to make the entire place feel cheap. And there's no place to get a decent meal inside either, so make sure you've eaten before going in. I recon this was a very impressive place in its time, but right now it's just kind off dull. There are more impressive museums which doesn't have 3 minutes of walking between every showcase. I'd still recommend going, simply because of what it is, but one time is plenty enough for me. Maybe going with a guide who explains the history of things would make it more exciting.
  • The one thing you want to visit if you are travelling in Beijing. This majestic ancient palace is breathtaking. It is the ancient palace of the emperor and you can easily spend 3-4 hours inside. The tickets can be bought online (Chinese website -- you will need AliPay or a Chinese Bank Card) or on-site (only for foreigners in small booths on the right before the entrance). The price is 60 yuan + 10 yuan for the jewelry museum (lots of ancient treasures belonging to the emperor) +10 yuan for the clock museum (lots of impressive and various clocks offered by different nations to China). There is a restaurant inside next to the clock museum which is often crowded.
  • Probably one of the first things that come to mind when you say Beijing. It is "yuge" and it takes about 4-5 hours if you want to visit it entirely. They only let in a limited number of visitors at one time so i suggest you go there before noon to make sure you can enter. Better visit during weekdays as weekends are more crowded. They offer student discounts and they ask for passport upon issuing of tickets (no exceptions). If you have a student ID they will ask you if you are a bachelor, master or PhD student - make sure to say bachelor! They also have audio guides in about 20 languages. There are a few additional exhibitions inside (like the jewelry or clock exhibitions) for which you have to pay extra. Student discounts apply there also.
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