Named one of China’s UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Sites in 1987, the Forbidden City is probably China’s most well-known museum. Its famous red walls housed Ming and Qing emperors for nearly 500 years. Now the halls, gardens, pavilions and nearly one million treasures are visited and viewed by millions of tourists each year.
What You’ll See
Don’t be misguided by the word “museum” in the official name.
You will not be visiting anything like a standard museum where treasures are housed within glass boxes and visitors file along from room to room.
A Visit to the Palace Museum is more like a very long walk from enormous plaza to enormous plaza broken up by peeks into different official and residential buildings where the court and their minions ruled and lived.
The Forbidden City is located in the heart of Beijing, directly north of Tiananmen Square.
The third Ming emperor, Yongle, constructed the Forbidden City from 1406 to 1420, as he moved his capital from Nanjing to Beijing.