China is a vast country with an equally vast population that can be hard to get a handle on as a visitor. Route one into the Chinese psyche and culture is visiting the number attraction in the capital of Beijing, the Forbidden City.

For five centuries the powerbase of Chinese power, the inner sanctum of the Chinese mind when the nation first came across the Western 'barbarians' and their gunships, the walled Forbidden City is today open as a lavish museum.

This city within a city was ornately fashioned back in the 15th century and consists of almost 1,000 buildings spread across a sprawling site in Beijing's epicentre. It is of architectural as well as historic importance, recognised by UNESCO as one of the world's best-preserved wooden structures.

Visiting today is an enthralling experience as you stroll amidst the ghosts of the Ming and Qing dynasties, through epic staterooms and tiny water laced gardens where the relentless buzz of modern China feels very far away indeed.

Where is it?
Beijing in the northwest interior of China, around 800 miles north of the country's largest city of Shanghai.

What is it?
A UNESCO World Heritage listed city within a city in the Chinese capital, for five centuries the elaborate powerbase of the Ming and Qing dynasties, now open as a museum.

Best time to visit?
The Forbidden City can be visited at all times of year, though Spring (March to May) and Autumn (September-November) are the most comfortable times to visit when temperatures are cooler. Summer days can bring high temperatures, while the Winter months can see the mercury drop below zero and snow come to Beijing. Despite recent attempts by the authorities to deal with the problem smog can still be an issue at any time of year.

Must see?
The mighty Meridian Gate is a fitting introduction to the Forbidden City, a foreboding, breathtakingly dramatic portal that rises like a giant leviathan above Tiananmen Square. Its five vast arches hint at the architectural and historic riches housed within.

read more
Speak to an expert

Need more advice before deciding which tour might suit you best and with whom to travel? 
Our Phonethrough feature allows you to talk directly to an expert holiday advisor from each of the leading specialist operators who organise tours to the destinations featured. 

  • Benefit from their in-depth knowledge and free advice, with no strings attached to give you the re-assurance that you are booking the right holiday for you.
  • Call the Freephone numbers or the 03 Phonethrough number. Calls to 03 numbers cost the same as to other standard fixed line numbers (starting 01 or 02) and calls made will come out of any inclusive minutes you have with your Service Provider. Ofcom rules dictate that 03 calls do not generate any money for the call recipient
  • Prefer to send an email in the first instance? Click on the email icon and submit your general enquiry or for a specific tour with a request to respond by email or to phone you back.
  • This will help you decide if they have the tour that best matches your requirements.

Our aim is to introduce and match holiday planning consumers with specialist escorted tour holiday operators & organisers. Please note that any booking you make is made directly with the tour operator, travel organiser or provider as Somewhere Special.travel does not act in any agent or booking capacity.

Call 0343 886 1264
or Email

Displayed are tours which include
The Forbidden City, Beijing