Archive for the ‘Beijing Tour Reviews’ Category

Top 10 Beijing Markets

Sunday, December 16th, 2018
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Dear Travelers

We’d like to have the following quick guide to be always updated for the benefit of new visitors who would like to go shopping at the markets in Beijing.

If anybody having used the piece finds necessary updates, please leave a message or feedback. Thanks!
______________________________________________________________________

Plan your Beijing tour? If you are not interested in shopping at high-end Beijing shopping malls, where everything seems to be overpriced at fixed prices, then why not dig into the plentiful free or flea markets where you can enjoy bargaining with the local vendors.

If you are not familiar with the markets in Beijing, you may follow me to explore the top 10 Beijing markets below. I’m sure you will get what you want to memorize your Beijing trip.

Note: We have offered subway information on how to get to the following markets. You may use the Beijing subway map to guide you to get to these markets. Happy Shopping in Beijing!

reminde11rBeijing’s overall urban blueprint has been in the process of adjusting, upgrading and standardizing.  Many busy and noisy lively markets  have been removed from the urban central areas and resettled in the relatively remote outskirts of Beijing.

Some lucky ones have been gentrified and placed indoors like Silk Market (now actually a huge 5-story mansion). Some of the vendors have been evacuating from the markets and settled elsewhere. The golden “flea market” time in Beijing has been fading, gradually diluted by gentrification and disneyfication.

Normally all the markets are open all year round except Chinese Spring Festival. Most of the markets will be closed for 5 days during China Spring Festival.

By the way, most of the department stores and shopping malls are still open during the biggest holiday in China. Most of the listed markets are mainly composed of private vendors who need to go home for family reunion for the big holiday.

Top # 01: Silk Street Market 秀水街市场
Brief introduction: The old market has been demolished. The new market is a five-storey building with an area of 30,000 square meters, known as the Silk Street Market.

There are 1,600 booths in the building. According to the developer of the building, the advantages of the old market will be available in the new one, targeting the shopping groups including foreign tourists and local white-collar workers.

Silk Street Market

Silk Street Market

Location: 8 Xiushui East Street, Jianwai Dajie, Chaoyang, Beijing北京市朝阳区建外大街秀水东街8号
Tel::(010) 51699003,  56767766,  56767768
Opening Hours: 9am-9pm
Subway: take subway line 1 and get off at the station of Yonganli (永安里), and exit from Exit A
Public Transport: Bus No.1,9,28,37,43,120,126,403,639,640,668,728,and 729, arrival at Yonganli Station

Top # 02: Panjiayuan Flea Market 潘家园旧货市场
Brief introduction: Panjiayuan Flea Market, or Panjiayuan Market, or Panjiayuan Antique Market, or whatever names you use, is a must for those who like something really Chinese. From Monday to Thursday, it is open from 8:30am to 6:00pm.

On weekend, it is open from 4:30am to 6:00pm. I suggest you go to Panjiayuan on weekends. Only on weekends, you will find some vendor coming from all parts of China to show their personal stuff or artifacts they collect and sell on the ground in a designated area in the market.

Panjiayuan Flea Market

Panjiayuan Flea Market

They just put a piece of blanket on the floor and put what they have on it.If you come here on other week days, you won’t see these free vendors.It is actually a huge market place for selling and collecting Chinese folk handcrafts, maybe the largest in Asia!

What you will see are jewelry, ceramics,calligraphy, teapots, ethnic clothing, Buddha statues, paper lanterns, Cultural Revolution memorabilia, PLA belts, Ming- and Qing-style furniture, old pipes, opium scales, and painted human skulls and many more.

Location: No.18, Huaweili Road, just 100 meters west of Panjiayuan Bridge on the southeast third ring road.
地址:北京市朝阳区潘家园桥华威里18号
Tel: 5120-4671

Opening Hours: Monday to Thursday open from 8:30am to 6:00pm; On weekend, open from 4:30am to 6:00pm
Subway: take subway line 10 and get off at the station of Panjiayuan (潘家园)
Public Transport: Take bus 28, 300, 368, 607, 730, 810 or 907 and get off at Panjiayuan Station.

Top # 03: Beijing Antique City 古玩城
Brief introduction: Beijing Antique City ( former Beijing Curio City) is a four-story building. It is located just to the west of Huawei Bridge on the southeast third ring road, about 300 meters south of Panjiayuan Flee Market.

It is the largest Chinese antique trade center in Asia.

Beijing Antique City

Beijing Antique City

Beijing antique city has a total floor space of 26400㎡. The building is elegantly decorated. At present it has antique over 600 dealers, mainly selling the classical furniture, the ancient clock and watch, the ancient rug, the ancient ceramics, the celebrity calligraphy and painting, the Baiyu ivory carving, the snuffbox.

It also offers the ancient rug, the copper ware image of Buddha, the ancient clock and watch, the ancient ceramic antique chinaware, the Tibetan cultural relic and much more.

Location: located just to the west of Huawei Bridge on the east-south third ring road, about 300 meters south of Panjiayuan Flee Market.
地址:北京市朝阳区东三环南路华威桥古玩城
Tel: 5960-9999

Opening Hours: 10am-7pm
Subway: take subway line 10 and get off at the station of Panjiayuan (潘家园). Beijing Antique City is located to the south of Panjiayuan Flea Market.
Public Transport: Take bus 28, 300, 3 52, 378, 7 57, 830 or 986 and get off at Shilihe Station.

Top # 04: Hongqiao Pearl Market 红桥市场
Brief introduction: The name of Hongqiao Pearl Market is a little bit misleading. This four-story building offers much more than just pearls. It actually provides everything from bags, shoes, clothes, silk, tea, table-cloth, toys, souvenirs, to pears and jewellery.

It is just located east of Temple of Heaven.Its main entrance – the west big gate faces the west to the road around the Temple of Heaven.If you drive to the market, you are supposed to get off at its north side gate, newly opened to ease the traffic at the main entrance.

Beijing Hongqiao Market

Beijing Hongqiao Market

The market has four stories. The first floor sells digital products, timepieces and glasses, Groceries, mobile phone parts and daily necessities; the second floor offers clothes, shoes, cases and bags; the third floor provides pearls, jades and artifacts; the forth floor sells the high-end jewellery.

Location: 9Tiantan Donglu, Dongcheng District (just opposite the east gate of Temple of Heaven)
地址:东城区天坛东路9号
Tel: 6711-8984

Opening Hours: 8:30am-7pm
Subway: take Subway Line 5 and get off at the station of Tiantandongmen ( East Gate of Temple of Heaven 天坛东门). Then walk to the north you will see the market.
Take bus 39, 43, 60, 116, 610

Tip # 05: Tianya Hongqiao Jewellery Market 天雅红桥市场
Brief introduction: On the east side of Hongqiao Pearl Market is the recently opened Tianya Hongqiao Jewllery Market, a complement to the well-known Hongqiao Pearl Market.

It is a five-story building with two underground floors selling almost the same stuff as Hongqiao Pearl Market. The newly established building is lavishly decorated.

Tianya Hongqiao Jewellery Market

Tianya Hongqiao Jewellery Market

Location: Fahuasi Jie 136, 东城区 District, BeijingTel: 010-8766 7125
地址:东城区法华寺136号红桥市场东侧
Opening Hours: 8:30am-7pm
Subway: take Subway Line 5 and get off at the station of Tiantandongmen ( East Gate of Temple of Heaven 天坛东门).Tianya Hongqiao Jewellery Market is located just to the west of Hongqiao Pearl Market.Take bus 39, 43, 60, 116, 610

Top # 06: Liulichang Antique Street 琉璃厂
Brief introduction: On both side of the street there are plenty of storefronts and vendor’s stalls selling collectibles and art supplies, including the renowned Rongbaozhai, the most prominent shop on the west section of Liulichang.

It sells woodblock prints, copies of famous calligraphy, historic paintings (reproductions), and art supplies.

It is one of Beijing’s top art shops and well worth browsing. Actually Rongbaozhai is located on the west section of Liulichang Street. To get to Liulichang Xijie ( the west section of Liulichang Street) on your right side, you have to across the main street.

Liulichang Antique Street

Liulichang Antique Street

Location: Liulichang Street, Xicheng District;
地址:西城区琉璃厂
Opening Hours: 8:30am-7pm
Subway: take subway line 2 and get off at the station of Hepingmen (和平门), and exit from the Exit C2 (check old Beijing Walking Tour for more information.)
Bus No.s 6, 14, 15, 25, 50, 53, 57, 102 and 105.

Top # 07: Shilihe House Decoration and Building Materials City
十里河家居建材城

The so-called city is an over-3-kilometer-long street lined with numerous buildings specialized in all kinds of materials for building and decorating a house: lighting, plumbing, furniture, building materials and so on.

Shilihe House Building Materials City

Location: 100 meters east of Shilihe Bridge, East Third Ring Road, Chaoyang District, Beijing 北京市朝阳区东三环十里河桥东100米
Take subway line 10 and get off at the station of Shilihe ( 十里河)and exit at the east. Then walk along Dayangfang Road (大羊坊路), then you will see the buildings for all the stuff you will need.

Top # 08: Baoguosi Culture Market 报国寺文化市场
Its open-air market is closed. But it still keeps some of its delicate indoor markets. So you still can see some quiet and lively antique trade business going on inside the market ( indoor ).

Brief introduction: “Baoguosi” means Baoguo Temple ( Serving the country Temple ). It was first constructed in the Liao Dynasty (916-1125) in the southern part of downtown Beijing. Baoguo Si was a Buddhist temple.

During the Ming Dynasty, it was used to hold a member of the royal family. By the early Qing dynasty, the temple had already been turned into a popular bazaar for books and flowers.

Top # 09: Dahongmen Clothing Wholesale Market 大红门服装批发市场
( Closed) Important Notice: The vendors have evacuated from the market and settled elsewhere. No More!

This huge market, oft-lauded as the largest clothing market north of Yangtze River in China.

It is located on Beijing’s south axis road starting from Muxiyuan (木樨园) on the south third ring road in the north to the northern bank of Liangshui River (凉水河北岸) , about 7  km south of Tiananmen Square.

The market is composed of 24 comprehensive markets covering clothing, shoes, hats as well as food, antiques and paintings jewelry, cultural and creative products. The most well-known markets include Dahongmen Clothing City (大红门服装城) and Dahongmen Shoes City  (大红门鞋城).

Dahongmen Clothing City

Dahongmen Clothing City

Address: 15 Yongnan Road (south of Dahongmen Birdge ), Fengtai District
Chinese Add: 北京市丰台区永南路15号(大红门桥南)
Contact: 67226658

Business Hours:
Dahongmen Early Morning Market (大红门早市):4:30 am – 10:00 am
Dahongmen Clothing Wholesale Market (大红门服装批发市场) : 9:00am – 5:00 pm
Tianya Clothing Plaza (天雅服装大厦) : 9:00 am – 5:00pm
Jingwen Clothing Market (京温服装市场):9:00 am – 5:00pm
Dahongmen Shoes City (大红门鞋城):7:00 am – 4:00pm

Top # 10: Beijing Tianyi Small Commodities Wholesale Market 北京天意小商品批发市场  (permanently closed and removed)
Beijing Tianyi Market has over 2000 suppliers from all over China with over 60,000 small products.

The market has a business area of 11000 square meters with 20 business halls and 1550 booths.

Beijing Tianyi Small Commodities Wholesale Market

Beijing Tianyi Small Commodities Wholesale Market

The market can almost meet your need for  some cheap accessories. It is better to buy large quantities, let’ s say 10 pieces and it is easy to bargain in bulk-buy. The market sells everything such as hairstyles, electronics, souvenirs, toys,  Jewels, door keys, bags, tissues, clothes, cuddly toys, cosmetics, plants, shoes, phone accessories, office supplies,  bookshops, school supplies and many more!!

Business Hour: 7:30am – 5:30pm
Add: No. 259, Fuchengmen Outer Street, Xicheng District, Beijing, China, 100037
中国北京市西城区阜成门外大街259号 邮政编码: 100037
Subway line 2: Take subway line 2 and get off at the station of “Fuchengmen station”(阜成门), exit from Exit A, then walk westward along Fuchengmen Outer Street (阜成门外大街) for about 1.2 km, coming across 2 traffic lights,  you will see  the market on your right side ( No.259).

Zoo Market 动物园服装批发市场 ( Closed)
Important Notice: The vendors have evacuated from the market and settled elsewhere. No More!

Brief introduction: This is a huge wholesale market group which is composed of seven markets. Beijing Zoo Market is mainly composed of 7 sub-markets: 1) 金开利德 (Jinkaili) 2) 天乐宫 (Tianlegong) 3) 天皓城 (Tianhaocheng) 4) 东鼎 (Dongding) 5) 聚龙 (Julong) 6) 世纪天乐 (Shijitianle) 7) 众合 (Hezhong).

And the most popular ones are Julong, Tianlegong and Shiji Tianle.Buy them here for half-price but be geared up for bargaining hard or buy in volume.

Everything is so cheap and so plentiful here!! Anywhere from 10-50 RMB for shirts, tops, jeans, pants, skirts, everything. Jewelry for about 10-15RMB. In some places they can be more expensive, but about 90% are the cheap prices listed above.

Zoo Market

Zoo Market

Weekday mornings are the best time to come and be prepared to spend a few hours walking around. There are also various places to eat in the area: KFC and McDonalds, Yonghe Soy Milk, Pizza Hut, Yoshinoya, Dairy Queen, A&W, Mexican Restaurant …

Location: Around Beijing Zoo, Xizhimen Waidajie, Xicheng District
Tel: 010-68312001

Opening Hours: 5:00am – 3:00pm
Subway: Take Subway Line 4, get off at Beijing Zoo Station ( 动物园)and exit from Exit D
Public Transport: Bus No.s 7, 27, 103, 105 and 111.206, 209, 319, 334, 347, 360, 362, 534, 601, 632, 634, 697, 714, 808, 814, 特4, Yuntong 104, Yuntong 105, Yuntong 106 or Yuntong 205 and get off at Beijing Zoo Station.

06611Tip: Hassle-free Beijing Guided Tours
If you don’t want to go the do-it-yourself route and prefer the hassle-free escorted tours,  here are some options for Beijing guided tours:

Beijing Highlight Day Tour from US$59 P/P
(Tiananmen + Forbidden City + Mutianyu Great Wall)
Beijing Classic City Tour from US$65 P/P
(Tiananmen + Forbidden City + Temple of Heaven + Summer Palace)
Beijing Excursion Tour from US$59 P/P
(Mutianyu Great Wall + Ming Tomb)
Beijing Hutong Highlight Tour from US$59 P/P
( Hutong + Rickshaw)

Mutianyu Great Wall Half Day Tour from US$55 p/p
Hike from Jiankou to Mutianyu Great Wall Day Tour from US$69 p/p

Mutianyu Great Wall Layover Tour from US$65 p/p
Beijing Highlight Layover Tour from US$75 p/p

Further Readings


Top 10 Attractions in Beijing
How to Visit Forbidden City
How to Visit Temple of Heaven
How to Visit Summer Palace
How to Visit Ming Tombs
How to Visit the Great Wall of China
How to Visit Tiananmen Square
How to Visit Hutongs
How to Visit Olympic Sites

Top 10 Markets in Beijing
Top 10 Shopping Malls in Beijing
Beijing Shopping

Wangfujing Night Snack Street
Qianmen Commercial Street
Beijing Huguosi Street

Any questions, just drop line.

How to visit Beijing in One Day

Friday, December 7th, 2018
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If you only have one full day in Beijing and would like to feel, touch and see the essential Beijing, you may check out the quick guide to Beijing one-day itinerary below, my suggested self-guide itinerary to plan your own memorable Beijing Day Tours.

This itinerary takes you for a walk along Beijing axis from south to north and appreciate the harmony of the city design which took its form in Yuan (1279-1368) and Ming ( 1368-1644) Dynasties.

For Beijing airport layover day tours or short tours, please check out Beijing layover tours.

Temple of Heaven
Get up early and have a fast breakfast, and get to the south gate to Temple of Heaven by taking Beijing taxi or to the east gate by taking the subway line 5.

Walking from the south gate ( or east gate ) through the north gate, visit the 500-year-old temple ( now actually a huge park).

Temple of Heaven was constructed in 1420 AD during the Ming Dynasty as a site for the emperors to offer sacrifices to heaven.

Temple of Heaven

Temple of Heaven is now actually a park. Early in the morning there are a great number of retired people who come here to hang out with friends and do morning exercises, playing Taichi ball, doing ribbon dancing, ballroom dancing, playing cards and dominoes and writing calligraphy with water brush pens on the ground. There are also music and singing…

Qianmen and Hutongs
Now you exit from the north gate to the Temple of Heaven and turn left (west) for 15 minutes walking, then turn right (north) to Qianmen Walking Street and Dazhalan.

Please notice, to get to Qianmen Walking Street, you have to pass over a flyover to the east side of the Church you will see.

Use some time to explore the time-honored Qianmen Pedestrian Street full of shops and restaurants. You may grab some local food as your lunch. Dazhalan is a must for you to walk for a while exploring the modified ancient street in Beijing.

Walking on the Qianmen Pedestrian Street

Dazhalan is a must for you to walk exploring the modified  ancient street in Beijing.

Tiananmen Square
After finishing your exploration on Qianmen, you head north and pass through Zhengyangmen Tower ( Arrow Tower) and then walk through a Beijing Subway tunnel to Tiananmen Square.

Take a half hour or more time taking pictures and immersing yourself in the center of Beijing or even China.

Walk through an underground tunnel again from Tiananmen Square up to the Gate of Heaven Peace (Tiananmen Tower), where  Chairman Mao declared the People’s Republic On October 01, 1949. You pass under Mao’ Portrait and enter Forbidden City .

Take a half hour or more time taking pictures and immersing yourself in the center of Beijing and China.


Forbidden City
The grandeur imperial palaces for the emperors in Ming and Qing Dynasties. The Forbidden City  is a must see highlight for every first time visitor to Beijing.

Be prepared for crowds of people like you visiting this complex.So you go from the south gate to its north gate. Your visit usually will take 2-3 hours.

The Forbidden City is a must see highlight for every first time visitor to Beijing

Jingshan Park  ( Jingshan Hill,  Coal Hill or prospect Hill).
Jingshan Park  is unmissable for your Beijing Day Tour. Jingshan just sits across the north gate to Forbidden City . After finishing your visit to Forbidden City  from south to north, you exit from Forbidden City’s north gate.

Raising your head, you will find a pavilion with three-layered eaves perched on a hill in Jingshan Park, a perfect place to have a panoramic view of Forbidden City and the city of Beijing.

The main road between the north gate area of Forbidden City and the south gate of Jingshan Park  is full blocked. To get across to the south gate  to Jingshan Park , you just turn left for 20 meters and take the underground pass.

Line up at the ticket window by the gate to Jingshan Park for the tickets: RMB 2 per person. Opening hours: 6am – 8pm all year round.

Jingshan Park is not to be missed a visit during your Beijing Day Tours


Beihai Park

After Jingshan Park , you are supposed to walk west to its neighbor – Beihai Park.  Beihai Park is very often neglected by many visitors.

Often dubbed as Winter Palace by westerners, Beihai Park  is the oldest imperial garden in the world as well as one of the largest in China.

Beihai Park is well-known for its beautiful gardens, the maze in the stone cave, temples and pavilions. Atop the Jade Island in Beihai Park, White Dagoba becomes an important landmark of the city.

Beihai Park is the oldest imperial garden in the world as well as one of the largest in China

Public Bars at Shichahai
Walk through the north gate to Beihai park, you come to the most famous night hangout in Beijing – Shichahai, where a cluster of bars and restaurants are dotted along the banks of the lake.

People mill along the bridge with weeping willows glowing with shining sunset in Shichahai

If you are fed up with the gentrification in Beijing; if you lose interest in modern Beijing; if you feel sad about the fact that Beijing is becoming less like Beijing; if you want to see a traditional Beijing,  and if you try to find a quiet place in the busy Beijing, come to Shichahai! Tired? Have a drink in one of the bars.

Guojie Food Street
Are you hungry? Take a cab to the nearby Guijie, Ghost Street ,  a 1442-meter long gourmet street, located within Dongzhimennei Dongcheng District, running from the east of Dongzhimen Bridge.

Eating seeds outside on benches and waiting for a seat in Ghost Street

06611Tip:  Hassle-free Beijing Guided Tours
If you don’t want to go the do-it-yourself route and prefer the hassle-free escorted tours,  here are some options for guided tours to Beijing:

For Beijing airport layover tours, please check out Beijing layover tours.Beijing Highlight Day Tour from US$59 P/P

(Tiananmen + Forbidden City + Mutianyu Great Wall)Beijing Classic City Tour from US$65 P/P
(Tiananmen + Forbidden City + Temple of Heaven + Summer Palace)
Beijing Excursion Tour from US$59 P/P
(Mutianyu Great Wall + Ming Tomb)
Beijing Hutong Highlight Tour from US$59 P/P
( Hutong + Rickshaw)Mutianyu Great Wall Half Day Tour from US$55 p/p
Hike from Jiankou to Mutianyu Great Wall Day Tour from US$69 p/p
Mutianyu Great Wall Layover Tour from US$65 p/p
Beijing Highlight Layover Tour from US$75 p/p

Further Readings


How to Visit Beijing in Two Days.
How to Visit Beijing in Three Days.
How to Visit Beijing in 8 Days.

Forbidden City Travel Tips – The Palace Museum Travel Tips
Tips for Visiting Tiananmen Square
Tips for Visiting the Temple of Heaven
Tips for visiting Summer Palace
How to Visit Ming Tombs in Beijing
How to visit Beihai Park Beijing
How to visit Bird’s Nest and Water Cube
How to visit CCTV Tower in Beijing
How to Visit National Grand Theatre in Beijing
How to visit Shichahai

Any questions, just drop a  line.

How to Visit Forbidden City

Tuesday, December 4th, 2018
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Dear Travelers,

We’d like to have the following quick guide to be always updated for the benefit of new visitors visiting Forbidden City in Beijing. If you have any questions or anybody having used the piece finds necessary updates, please leave a message or feedback. Thanks!
______________________________________________________________

Plan your Beijing tours? Visiting Forbidden City ( The Palace Museum ) is no doubt one of your travel highlights in Beijing.  Then how to buy your Forbidden City entry ticket? When to visit? Which gate to enter? What’s the visiting line? How to beat the crowds?

Here we have a quick guide for you to grab some basic travel tips for visiting Forbidden City.

Tip # 01: Try to Avoid Weekends or Chinese Public Holidays
Forbidden City is a must see highlight for every first-time visitor to Beijing. Be ready for crowds of people visiting this complex. Try to avoid visiting  Forbidden City on weekends or public holidays.

On these tourist peak days, the hoards of tourists are thick. Many tour groups ( most domestic ones) seem to aggregate and move about with banners, and colored caps.

Very often you have to elbow your way to see and take pictures. We recommend you come here either early in the morning or in the later afternoon ( not too late to be allowed to enter the museum ) to beat the crowds, enjoy the Forbidden City as it once is before the masses turn up and ruin your photo opportunities.

Tip # 02:  The Entrance Gate and the Exit Gate to Forbidden City
There is just one entrance to Forbidden City, namely the southern gate, or Meridian Gate, also known as Wumen in Chinese. South of the Southern Gate is Tiananmen Tower and Tiananmen Square.

The entrance  to Forbidden City, namely the southern gate, or Meridian Gate

There is just one exit gate to Forbidden City, namely the northern gate, or Gate of Divine, also known as Shenwu Men in Chinese.

Kinder Reminder:
You have to enter Forbidden City from its southern gate and exit from its northern gate, which is officially set as a one-way south to north travel route. You cannot enter the Southern Gate and exit from the Southern Gate again; you cannot enter the Northern Gate.

How to get to the Southern Gate to Forbidden City?
There are three ways to reach the Southern Gate:
1) Walking to the Southern Gate from the south via Tiananmen Square under the famous Mao portrait;
2) Walking to the Southern Gate from the west via Zhongshan Park
3) Walking to the Southern Gate from the east via Donghuamen and the moat.

If you haven’t been to  Tiananmen Square, you should choose to walk from Tiananmen Square. This approach takes longer time due to the security check at the four square corners on Tiananmen Square.

Walking from the east or west to the Southern Gate would be fast and less crowded.  There are electric transfer carts to take you to the Southern Gate from east and west ( 2 yuan ). If you want to visit Forbidden City with only limited time, you can choose to go to the Southern Gate via east or west instead of walking through Tiananmen Square.

Tip # 03: Entry Ticket Information
Forbidden City accepts Master Card, Visa, and PayUnion cards for ticket purchase. You need to show your passport to buy your entrance tickets. Forbidden City Ticketing Purchase is based on real name policy.

Chinese citizens are required to buy the entrance tickets online in advance. But foreigners still can buy their tickets on the spot through “Passport Window” by the southern gate.

Gate of Supreme Harmony inside Forbidden City

So just go to Forbidden City earlier and line up to buy your ticket and don’t worry about the online ticket booking websites in Chinese.

April 1st – October 31 ( 8:30 – 17:00 )
Last Entry at 16:10
Tickets sold until 16:00
Entrance ticket:RMB 60

November 1st – March 31 (8:30 – 16:30)
Last Entry at 15:40
Tickets sold until 15:30
Entrance Ticket: RMB 40

There are some exhibits within the complex that require additional tickets to get access to the inside paid sights such as the Treasure Gallery and the Clock and Watch Gallery.

Treasure Gallery : RMB 10;
Clock and Watch Gallery: RMB 10

Note:
1. Forbidden City is closed for the entire day every Monday, except the Chinese national public holidays.
2. Forbidden City Ticketing Purchase is based on real name policy;
3. You need to show your passport to buy your entrance tickets;
4. Free of charge for children under 1.2 meters, each required to be escorted by an adult;
5. Special 20 yuan tickets are available for China’s elementary, middle school, and university students
(including foreign students studying in Chinese universities) with valid student I.D. or certified letter from school administrator (including students from Hong Kong, Macau, and Taiwan, excluding graduate and adult education students);
6. Seniors over 60 years old are entitled to half price by showing a valid ID or passport.

Tip # 04 View the Turrets of Forbidden City and its surrounding moat.
When touring Forbidden City, don’t miss visiting the magnificent turrets of Forbidden City and its surrounding moat. There are four beautiful turrets of the same structure on the four corners of Forbidden City.

The Northeastern Turrets of Forbidden City and City Moat

Each turret tower has nine girders, eighteen columns and 72 ridges. The two turrets on the northeast and northwest corners offer the best photo opportunities.

The turrets are inaccessible to visitors. People usually finish their visit to Forbidden and exit from its north gate. Then turn either right for the northeast turret tower or left for the northwest turret tower outside Forbidden City.

Tip # 05: Walk up to Jingshan Park ( A Panoramic View of Forbidden City)
Jingshan Park is not to miss, a visit during your tour in Beijing. Jingshan just sits across the north gate to Forbidden City. After finishing your visit of Forbidden City from south to north, you exit from Forbidden City’s north gate.

Jingshan Park

Exiting from the northern gate, raising your head, you will find a pavilion has three-layered eaves perched on a hill. The hill is called Jingshan Hill ( Coal Hill or prospect Hill).

Jingshan Hill is an ideal place to have a panoramic view of Forbidden City and Beijing as whole.  Click “Jingshan Park is not to be missed” for more information.

have a panoramic view of Forbidden City from the top of Jingshan Park.

Tip # 06: How to Get to Forbidden City?
How to Get to Forbidden City (Just north of Tiananmen Square )?

By Bus:
For going to the southern gate ( Wu men), take bus No.1, 10, 120, 126, 2, 20, 37, 4, 52, 59, 728, 802, or Te 1, to “Tian’an Men East”(Tian’an men dong). Or take bus No. 1, 10, 22, 37, 4, 5, 52, 728, 802, or Te1, to “Tian’an men West” (Tian’an men xi).

By Subway ( going to the south gate ):
Metro Line 1: drop 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) to Forbidden City.

Metro Line 2: drop off at Qianmen Station and walk north through the Tiananmen Tower.

Parking for Private Car:
There is no parking outside the two entrance gates to Forbidden City. The following public parking lots are located in the vicinity of the Forbidden City:

*Outside the East Prosperity Gate (Donghua men)
*In the back street of Jingshan Park;
*In front of the Front Gate of Beihai Park
Visitors are encouraged to visit the Museum via public transportation.

Tip # 07: How to Leave Forbidden City After Visit?
The Transportation at the North Gate to Forbidden City is a bit chaos. It is a bit tricky to use the public transport back to your hotel or other attractions you continue to visit afterwards.

A little bit chaotic about the transport in the front of the north gate to Forbidden City when you finish your visit.

The North Gate to Forbidden City

After visiting Forbidden City and exit from its north gate, most of the visitors want to continue their day trips to other attractions or destinations in Beijing like Jinshan Park ( just opposite the north gate to Forbidden City), Wangfujing Street, Beijing Zoo, Summer Palace, Fragrance Hill, Temple of Heaven, Badaling Great Wall, Beijing Railway Station, Beijing West Railway Station, Beijing South Railway Station etc.

But some of them are totally bewildered by the transportation at Jinshan Front Street in front of the north gate to Forbidden City, which is inaccessible and blocked by fences on both sides of the road.

Please read the following travel information to help plan your further day trip:

Jinshan Park ( Prospect Hill or Coal Hill )    ( How to Visit Jingshan Park )
Jinshan Park is just opposite the north gate to Forbidden City, but you are not allowed to cross the street. To visit Jinshan Park ( Prospect Hill ), you are advised to use the underpass 20 meters in the west.

Beihai Park Beijing ( How to Visit Beihai Park )
This park is approx 800 meters west of the north gate to Forbidden City, just 10-minute walking.

Summer Palace ( How to Visit Summer Palace )
First take the underpass to cross the street and walk west to the Bus No.103 and get off at Beijing Zoo Station, then connect Bus 332 for Summer Palace.

Badaling Great Wall ( How to Visit Badaling Great Wall by train )
Walk westward and find the Bus No.5 and drop off at Deshengmen, then connect Bus 877 for Badaling Great Wall.

Temple of Heaven ( How to Visit Temple of Heaven )
Walk westward for 30 meters and take Bus 814 and get off at Dong Dan, Chongwenmen and Temple of Heaven.

Wangfujing Street or Beijing Railway Station  ( Wangfujing Street )  ( Beijing Railway Station )
Walk west for 30 meters and take trolley bus No.103 and get off at Wangfujiang or Beijing Railway Station.

Beijing West Railway Station ( Beijing West Railway Station )
Take the underpass to cross the street and Take bus 109 and get off at Xuanwumen, connect bus No.9 or 703 for Beijing West Railway Station.

Beijing South Railway Station  ( Beijing South Railway Station )
Walk west for 500 meters and take Bus No. 05 and get off at Qianmen, connect Bus 20 for Beijing West Railway Station.

Tiananmen Square or Subway Line 01  ( How to Visit Tiananmen Square )  ( Subway Line 1 )
Walk west for 500 meters and take Bus No. 05

How to take a Beijing Taxi ( Beijing Taxi )
Walk west for 50 meters and call a cab.

Taking a rickshaw at the north gate is a rip-off.
Don’t ever take a Rickshaw at the north gate of Forbidden City unless you feel like getting lost and extorted.

So if you visit Forbidden City by getting to a wrong gate (north gate), don’t use a local rickshaw to get back to the south gate, just walk to the right gate (south gate).

For the same reason, if you exit from the north gate after visiting Forbidden City, don’t use a rickshaw for your next place.

Tip # 07: Well Schedule Your Visiting Time
The Forbidden City is huge, covering an area of 72 hectares. Normally you should cruise through in two or three hours.

Plan this together with Tiananmen Square, Jinshan Park or Beihai park. Please keep in mind that Tickets sold until 15:30(November 1st – March 31); Tickets sold until 16:00(April 01 – October).

Tip # 08: Hire a Legal Tour Guide or Audio Guides
Forbidden City is much worth visiting, but unless you know the history very well, you should use a Beijing tour guide. You are not advised to use the tourist guides around the entrance. They are self-employed tour guides.

So, try to find a reliable travel agency for your tour guide services or the Recorded guide. The recorded audio guides: these are available for rent walking from south to north. There are many signs in English by each building. An actual book would probably better serve you if you want to understand what you are seeing.

Tip # 09: Dress for the Hot Weather
There are very few trees with little shade Forbidden City. It is super hot during the summer. So if coming here in summer, be ready to bring an umbrella for sun protection, bottles of water, and comfy walking shoes. Check Beijing Climate for more information.

Tip #10 Wear Comfortable Shoes
There are lots of outdoor areas so you can’t do a lot of hiding from the sun or rain. Wear your most comfortable shoes.

It’s a long walk! strollers and wheelchairs are available for free at the tourist guide service at both southern gate and the northern gate.

Tip # 11: Avoid Tour Vendors on the Street
There are some tour vendors at each entrance selling their excursions to the Great Wall. Just ignore all handouts that will be forced upon you. Especially bus tours.

They are all too good to be true, and you will be disappointed. See Top 10 Tourist Scams Beijing for more information.

Tip # 12: Be vigilant on Tea House Scam and Ticket Touts ( Top 10 Tourist Scams in Beijing)
A kind reminder that Tea House Scams and ticket touts could possibly pester you around Forbidden City area. Below is a trip report by a victim from Sri Lanka named Akalan:

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I wish I read this page 1 week earlier! I was a victim to the “Tea House” scam. The scammer, a lady was very clever. I came to the Tiananmen area and was going to buy the ticket to enter the forbidden city. A lady who was walking besides me casually said “Hello” and started a chat while walking.

In fact this was my 4th trip to China, but first trip to Beijing. Many a times many people, usually young ladies chatted with me and they helped me a lot. Even on the same day morning I went to the Great Wall and a young girl with good English walked with me. All those I met earlier were genuine people who just wanted to help a visitor to their country. Most of the time they did not even allow me to pay a bill, ticket price or taxi fare.

With that sort of experience, I had no suspicion on this woman. Still my priority was to get into the Forbidden city ASAP, as it was passed 3pm and I knew that the ticket sales would stop at 4 pm. This lady said that she would show me the “East gate” where I can enter without a long queue. Yes, there was a queue of people at the main entrance.

Simply followed her advice and she walked with me to “show” the entrance. On the way she said she is from Xi’An (a city I visited 1 month ago) and we had quite a good conversation on history, culture and languages. She also explained some history of the area.

She said her friends from another province are there and they will meet them in 10 min. If I can wait 10 min, they also can join me to go inside the Forbidden city.

While waiting for them, she suggested me to sit somewhere and have a tea or fruit juice. In fact after walking and climbing whole morning in Great Wall area, I was thirsty and wanted to sit and stretch my legs. So I agreed.

I tried to sit on some chairs laid outside, but she suggested to go inside – less noisy, less dust and air-conditioned!

I picked a Chinese tea and the scam began! You know the rest. Yes, she split the bill, still I lost a few hundred! Worst thing was that she took me to a gate, assuring that I could enter from there, but obviously there were no ticket counters. I had to get to an electric car. The driver charged 20, instead of 2, as he sensed my urgency!

He actually did not take me to the ticket counters, instead, he stopped somewhere and a woman approached me. She was telling me that the ticket counters are closed and she would sell a ticket to me for 100 ! I did not want to let some one rip me off for 3rd time, within 15 min. Finally when I found the ticket counters, they were closed! So I missed the Forbidden City!

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Tip # 13: Hail a Taxi on the Road
Please note that taxis are not allowed to stop either at the northern gate or south gate. Some people approaching you for taxi service after you finish your visit at the Forbidden City, may be black taxi drivers. Just avoid them and hail a taxi on the road.

Taxis are not allowed to stop at the northern gate (Shenwu men) according to the local traffic regulations. Visitors exiting from the northern gate need to walk further either east or west to hail a taxi or take a bus.

Tip:  Hassle-free Beijing Guided Tours
If you don’t want to go the do-it-yourself route and prefer the hassle-free escorted tours,  here are some options for Beijing guided tours:

Beijing Highlight Day Tour from US$59 P/P
(Tiananmen + Forbidden City + Mutianyu Great Wall)
Beijing Classic City Tour from US$65 P/P
(Tiananmen + Forbidden City + Temple of Heaven + Summer Palace)
Beijing Excursion Tour from US$59 P/P
(Mutianyu Great Wall + Ming Tomb)
Beijing Hutong Highlight Tour from US$59 P/P
( Hutong + Rickshaw)

Mutianyu Great Wall Half Day Tour from US$55 p/p
Hike from Jiankou to Mutianyu Great Wall Day Tour from US$69 p/p

Mutianyu Great Wall Layover Tour from US$65 p/p
Beijing Highlight Layover Tour from US$75 p/p

Further Readings


Top 10 Attractions in Beijing
How to Visit Forbidden City
How to Visit Temple of Heaven
How to Visit Summer Palace
How to Visit Ming Tombs
How to Visit the Great Wall of China
How to Visit Tiananmen Square
How to Visit Hutongs
How to Visit Olympic Sites

Top 10 Markets in Beijing
Top 10 Shopping Malls in Beijing
Beijing Shopping

Wangfujing Night Snack Street
Qianmen Commercial Street
Beijing Huguosi Street

Any questions, just drop line.