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I grew up and live in Beijing



Asia > China > Beijing > The Forbidden City > Useful Info
Submitted on Dec 05, 2018 Useful Info

How much time to spend at the Forbidden City: 4-7 hours

  • I think if you have never been to the Forbidden City before, you need to plan 4-7 hours to visit it. It's best to plan an entire day for the Forbidden City and its immediate surrounding areas (including the Tian'anmen Square, Jingshan Park, and Beihai Park)
  • Approximate time breakdown:
  • 15-20 minutes to walk from the closest subway station (Tian'anmen East or Tian'anmen West) to the front gate of the Forbidden City
  • 15-30 minutes to buy tickets
  • 5-30 minutes to get through security
  • 30-45 minutes just to walk from one end of the palace to the other along the central axis, which is only the biggest halls
  • Another 1-3 hours to explore all the alleys and the private quarters of the emperor and other royal family members. There are also museums inside the Forbidden City that has a collection of everyday items used by the court
  • If you are in a rush, you can probably compress your schedule down to 3 hours, but this is very rushed and you will only have enough time to quickly walk through the main axis.