Lasted update on May 25th, 2023:
Beijing is preparing to apply for UNESCO World Heritage status, which has resulted in concentrated maintenance and repairs of many famous historical sites along the central axis, including the Forbidden City.
Please note that several buildings within the Forbidden City are currently inaccessible as they have been closed off with iron barricades.
If you had planned to visit these specific attractions, I kindly advise you to prepare yourself for this situation mentally.
Maintenance and repairs at the Forbidden City will continue until November.
Fortunately, the three main halls, the Cining Palace, and the Imperial Garden remain open to the public as usual.
However, please note that some peripheral halls are currently undergoing restoration. Consequently, certain exhibits may not be accessible to visitors.
Lasted update on May 10th, 2023:
Hello, I run into your blog after being unable to book 2 tickets for the Forbidden city online. P your advice, 8pm-9pm is the time I will look for openings. We also think to go early before the opening and wait in the line by the passports/ Meridian gate (we can do that on May 14, or on the 16, thats when we can visit the Forbidden city). I d appreciate your insight about our plan B and C.
Answer: It’s a good idea to check for ticket availability between 8pm-9pm, as that’s typically when the system releases unclaimed tickets.
As for your plan B, unfortunately, since April 10th, If you have not booked a ticket to the Forbidden City, please note that, due to the new policy, it is currently impossible to purchase tickets in person.
However, the following three groups are allowed to make on-site reservations at the service window on the east side of the Meridian Gate:
- Elderly individuals over 60 years of age
- Minors under 18 years of age
- Disabled individuals with a valid disability certificate
It is recommended to plan ahead and secure tickets before arrival to ensure a smooth and enjoyable visit to this iconic attraction.
Last Updated on April 12th, 2023
As of April 12th, 2023, it seems that the tourist season has arrived earlier than in previous years, and it is becoming increasingly difficult to purchase tickets for the Forbidden City.
Unfortunately, some of our guests have failed to book tickets online.
After checking the official WeChat account of the Forbidden City, it appears that tickets are fully booked between April 12th and 18th, making it even harder to secure a spot.
The high demand for tickets is not surprising, especially as the weather gets warmer in Beijing. However, this is causing difficulties for visitors trying to book tickets online.
While it is possible to purchase tickets at the entrance, this comes with the risk of long queues and potentially sold-out tickets.
There is a glimmer of hope though – tickets might become available between 8-9 pm each night, but there is no set number released.
To avoid disappointment, I highly recommend that you book Forbidden City tickets online at least 7 days in advance either via Klook or Viator once they become available.
Stop Waiting in Line: Book Forbidden City Tickets Online Like a Pro
The Forbidden City, a popular tourist attraction in Beijing, offers up to 40,000 tickets per day for visitors to explore its vast complex of historic buildings, courtyards, and gardens.
Booking tickets for the Forbidden City can be challenging, especially for first-time visitors.
In this comprehensive guide, we’ll take you through the steps of booking Forbidden City tickets online, so you can focus on enjoying your trip to one of China’s most iconic landmarks.
Five Ways to Book Forbidden City Tickets
- Book tickets on the Palace Museum’s official WeChat Mini Program on your phone
- Book tickets via third-party booking websites
- Ask a Chinese-speaking friend or colleague for assistance with the booking process
- Buy tickets in person
- Choose a guided, hassle-free tour
1. Book Tickets on The Palace Museum’s Official We Chat Mini Program
Since the Forbidden City has stopped offering ticket booking through their official website, the WeChat mini program is currently the only option available for booking tickets online, provided you have WeChat installed on your device.
It’s the most reliable, yet somewhat complicated way to buy tickets, with options available for both single and multiple-entry passes.
However, non-Chinese speakers can use Google Translate to get a general understanding of the WeChat mini-programs content, even though the translation may not be entirely accurate.
Step 1: Follow the Palace Museum’s official account and enter the mini program
To book tickets for the Forbidden City, the first step is to open WeChat, scan the provided QR code, and enter the mini program.
Step 2: Select “Buy Tickets and Make Reservations”
Step 3: Choose the date of the visit,
Select the date of your visit here.
You can choose any day and time within the next 7 days, subject to availability.
It’s important to note that tickets are often sold out weeks in advance, especially during peak seasons, so book well in advance to secure your preferred date and time.
Step 4: Select the morning or afternoon session to purchase tickets.
Once you have selected the date and time of your visit, choose the morning or afternoon session you require and proceed to payment.
Step 5: Choose the type of ticket.
Choose the type of ticket, which includes: adult, senior, minor, and student.
Step 6: Complete the form with your personal information.
Step 7: Make a Payment.
You can pay using a credit or debit card, or via online payment services such as Alipay or WeChat Pay.
After payment, you will receive a confirmation of your booking, which you must present at the entrance to the Forbidden City.
On the day of your visit, go to the entrance of the Forbidden City and present your confirmation to collect your tickets.
Make sure to bring a valid form of ID, such as a passport or ID card, to verify your identity.
It’s important to arrive at the entrance at least 30 minutes before your scheduled entry time to allow for ticket collection and security checks.
Tips for Booking Forbidden City Tickets Online via We Chat Mini Program
1. First things first: the museum is closed on Mondays, so plan your visit accordingly.
2. To avoid disappointment, be sure to book your tickets well in advance, especially during peak seasons.
3. You can purchase tickets up to 7 days ahead of time, but you can’t buy them on the day of your visit. It’s a good idea to book at least one day in advance.
4. Tickets may become available at 8-9 pm each night, but there’s no set number released, and they can sell out quickly. So set an alarm and be ready to purchase tickets!
5. Don’t forget to bring your ID when picking up tickets at the South Gate of the Palace Museum.
6. If you’re bringing kids, keep in mind that children under 14 must be accompanied by an adult, and one adult can bring up to three kids.
7. And remember, if you can’t make it, be sure to cancel your ticket in advance. Missing your booking three times within 180 days will result in a 60-day ban from booking tickets to the Palace Museum.
8. Be prepared to queue for security checks and ticket collection, especially during busy periods.
9. Lastly, wear comfortable shoes and clothing that’s suitable for walking and weather conditions.
2. Book Tickets via Third-Party Booking Websites
If you’re looking for more flexibility in ticket options or language support, third-party booking websites can be a great option.
Websites such as Klook and Viator offer skip-the-line tickets. In my opinion, they are the most cost-effective ways to book tickets online.
However, it’s important to do your research before booking through these websites, though, as prices and availability can vary.
3. Ask a Chinese-Speaking Friend or Colleague for Assistance with The Booking Process
If you have a friend or colleague who speaks Chinese, asking for their assistance in booking tickets can be a great option.
This is especially helpful if you encounter any issues during the booking process or need help navigating the Chinese-only Palace Museum website. They may even be able to score you a better deal or insider tip!
4. Buy Tickets in Person
For those who prefer to handle things in person, buying tickets at the entrance is an option.
However, only the following three groups are allowed to make on-site reservations at the service window on the east side of the Meridian Gate:
- Elderly individuals over 60 years of age
- Minors under 18 years of age
- Disabled individuals with a valid disability certificate
Additionally, tickets may sell out, so it’s important to arrive early to ensure availability.
5. Choose a Guided, Hassle-Free Tour
For a truly hassle-free experience, consider booking a guided tour of the Forbidden City.
Many tour companies offer skip-the-line access, English-speaking guides, and transportation to and from the attraction.
This option may be more expensive, but it can save time and provide a more in-depth understanding of the history and culture behind the Forbidden City.
Questions on Choosing a Guided Tour
1. I was reading your post about buying tickets for the Forbidden city (unfortunately, I missed out) and you recommend going for tour companies and some of them advertise for the dates that are sold out at the official website.
Is that a scam or they actually have pre-booked tickets? I would like to book a tour for Sunday but am hesitant as I don’t understand if it is reliable.
A: Regarding your question about tour companies advertising sold-out dates for the Forbidden City, it’s essential to exercise caution.
While some tour companies may indeed have pre-booked tickets or access to additional tickets, there is also a possibility of scams or unethical practices.
To ensure reliability, I would recommend doing some research on the tour company you’re considering.
Look for reviews and testimonials from previous customers to get an idea of their reputation.
Check if they are registered, licensed, or associated with reputable travel organizations.
Additionally, you can reach out to them directly and ask about their ticket procurement process, including how they manage to secure tickets for sold-out dates.
What is the Quick and Easy Way to Book Forbidden City Tickets Online?
The best way to book Forbidden City tickets online is to use the Palace Museum’s official WeChat mini program (if you know Chinese) or third-party booking websites such as Viator or Klook.
I highly recommend using either Klook or Viator to book your tickets. They offer a fast, reliable, and hassle-free way to get your tickets, and it’s incredibly convenient.
All you need to do is show your passport at the entrance, and they’ll enter your passport number into their system.
Then you’ll be granted access to the Forbidden City to explore its stunning architecture and rich history.
If you’re a history and architecture enthusiast, be sure to allocate enough time to fully appreciate all the nooks and crannies of this magnificent site.
Don’t just take my word for it, though – check out the online reviews of Viator or Klook to see why they are the go-to platform for booking your Forbidden City tickets.
How to Get to Forbidden City in Beijing
Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to get to the Forbidden City:
1. Take the subway:
The easiest and most convenient way to get to the Forbidden City is by taking the subway.
Line 1 stops at Tiananmen East Station, which is the closest station to the Forbidden City. From there, it’s a short walk to the entrance.
2. Take a taxi:
Taxis are readily available throughout the city and can be a good option if you have heavy luggage or want to avoid crowds on public transportation.
Just be aware that traffic in Beijing can be quite congested, especially during rush hour.
3. Take a bus:
Several bus routes stop near the Forbidden City, including buses 1, 2, 10, 20, 52, 59, 82, 90, 120, 126, 203, 205, 728, and 802.
However, navigating the bus system in Beijing can be challenging for non-Chinese speakers.
4. Take a tour:
Many tour companies offer guided tours of the Forbidden City, which can be a great option if you want to learn more about the history and culture of this ancient site.
Tours typically include transportation to and from the site, as well as admission tickets and a guide.
5. Walk or bike:
If you’re staying in the nearby area, walking or biking to the Forbidden City can be a great way to explore the city and get some exercise at the same time.
Just be aware that Beijing’s streets can be busy and crowded, so use caution and follow traffic rules.
By following one of these methods, you can easily get to the Forbidden City and begin exploring the wonders of this historic landmark.
Top 6 Questions on How to Book Forbidden City Tickets Online:
1. Can I book Forbidden City tickets online?
A: Yes, you can book tickets to the Forbidden City online through the Palace Museum’s official website or third-party booking websites such as Klook or Viator.
2. How far in advance should I book my Forbidden City tickets online?
A: It is recommended to book your tickets at least five days in advance, especially during peak season.
This ensures availability and avoids long wait times at the entrance.
3. What types of tickets can I purchase online?
A: You can purchase single or multiple-entry passes for the Forbidden City, as well as combined tickets for the Palace Museum and other attractions.
4. What if I cannot read Chinese on the booking website?
A: If you cannot read Chinese, you can try using Google Translate to gain a general understanding of the content.
Alternatively, you can use third-party booking websites like Klook or Viator or ask a Chinese-speaking friend or colleague for assistance.
5. Can I purchase Forbidden City tickets in person?
A: Unfortunately, no, they are not.
The Forbidden City does not offer same-day ticket sales in order to manage visitor numbers and maintain the preservation of the historical site.
However, visitors can purchase tickets in advance through various methods, such as online or at authorized ticket vendors.
It is recommended to plan ahead and secure tickets before arrival to ensure a smooth and enjoyable visit to this iconic attraction
6. How to collect your tickets and enter the Palace Museum?
A: To enter the Forbidden City, you don’t need to have hard-copy tickets.
After booking your tickets online, simply bring your passports on the selected date and time and scan them for direct entry at the Forbidden City’s entrance and galleries.
Before you go, it’s essential to check the map and read top tips for a smooth and enjoyable experience.
Frequently Asked Questions About Forbidden City:
1. Is the Forbidden City open to the public?
A: Yes, the Forbidden City is open to the public.
However, due to its popularity, visitors are required to purchase tickets in advance and follow a designated route through the palace complex.
2. What can tourists do in the Forbidden City?
A: Tourists can explore the various palaces, gardens, and pavilions within the Forbidden City, as well as view the extensive collection of historical artifacts on display.
There are also guided tours and cultural performances available.
3. When did the Forbidden City open to the public?
A: The Forbidden City opened to the public as a museum in 1925, after the fall of the Qing dynasty.
4. Why was the Forbidden City opened to the public?
A: The Forbidden City was opened to the public as a way to showcase China’s rich cultural heritage and history, and to provide a glimpse into the country’s imperial past.
5. How much is a ticket to the Forbidden City?
A: As of 2023, the ticket price for the Forbidden City is 60 RMB for peak season (April 1 to October 31) and 40 RMB for the off-peak season (November 1 to March 31).
6. How much of the Forbidden City is open to the public?
A: Currently, about 70% of the Forbidden City is open to the public, with some areas restricted for restoration and preservation purposes.
7. Can anyone go to the Forbidden City?
A: Yes, anyone can visit the Forbidden City by purchasing a ticket and following the rules and regulations of the palace complex.
8. How long does it take to walk through the Forbidden City?
A: It typically takes about 3 hours to walk through the Forbidden City and explore its main attractions.
However, visitors can spend longer if they want to fully appreciate the beauty and history of the palace complex.
9. What is the best time to visit the Forbidden City?
A: The best time to visit the Forbidden City is during the early spring (April to May) and autumn (late September to early November), when the weather is mild.
While there are some peak times with larger crowds, these seasons generally offer a more enjoyable experience for visitors.
To avoid the largest crowds, it is recommended to arrive early in the morning when the palace complex first opens, or to visit in the afternoon after the peak visitor times have passed.
10. Why is no one allowed in the Forbidden City?
A: The Forbidden City was once the exclusive residence of the imperial family and their entourage and was considered off-limits to the general public.
Today, it is a museum and popular tourist attraction, but there are still some areas that are restricted to preserve historical artifacts and structures.
Booking Forbidden City tickets online is a straightforward process, and with this comprehensive guide, you can ensure a smooth and hassle-free experience.
Remember to book well in advance, either via the WeChat mini program or third-party websites such as Viator or Klook.
Bring a valid form of ID, and allow plenty of time for ticket collection and security checks.
With these tips, you’re sure to enjoy your visit to one of China’s most iconic landmarks.