The Forbidden City

#26 - Beijing, China
Visited Here?
Do You Dream?
There are 9,999 palace rooms. If you're lucky you might find a free one.
Nine is a Chinese lucky number, so it's no surprise that every architectural feature and ornament has a significance in the palace. Everything is symbolic in nature! It's called the Forbidden City because no one could enter or leave without the emperor's permission. Today, the rules are a bit more relaxed, but once you step into this enchanting palace, you might not want to leave, that's why it's #26 on our list.
Slide 1
Inside The Forbidden City
#1 Forbidden City Photo - Brad Harbach
Slide 2
A View From Outside The City
#2 Forbidden City Photo - Brad Harbach
Slide 1
Forbidden City temple East Glorious Gate
by Francisco Diez
Slide 2
Forbidden City temple Gate of Divine Mig
by DoNotLick
Slide 3
Forbidden City temple Gate of Supreme Ha
by DoNotLick
Plan a Visit

Quick Facts & History

  • The Forbidden City in Beijing China was named so because it was forbidden for any commoner to enter. Any commoner who laid eyes on the Emperor was killed, whether he was within the Forbidden City or not.
  • The palace guards sounded alarms to warn people whenever the Emperor was leaving the City: bells if he turned left, drums if he turned right, and both if he went straight.
  • All of the soldiers chosen to guard the Forbidden City must be exactly the same size so that they are perfectly uniform when marching.
  • Nine is a lucky number in Chinese culture (it represents heaven) and it was definitely put to good use in the construction of the Forbidden Temple. There are 9,999 rooms within the palaces of the Forbidden City, and 9 gates surrounding the emperors inner palace.
  • Another thing not to be overlooked is the immense size of the Forbidden City, covering an area of 720,000 square meters (2,362,205 ft!), which pales in comparison to the 440,000 square meters (1,443,570 ft) of the Vatican.

Where is The Forbidden City?


Photos from The Forbidden City

Submit a new Photo


Submit a new Photo
See Full Size
Inside The Forbidden City
Ranked #1 by Brad Harbach
A View From Outside The City
Ranked #2 by Brad Harbach

Top Blog Posts

Submit a new Blog Post
Our first stop was the Forbidden City. The Forbidden City is a humongous area consisting of 980 buildings constructed between 1406 and 1420. The complex is full of traditional Chinese architecture and was the Imperial Palace from the Ming Dynasty through the Qing Dynasty. The Forbidden City is an amazing place primarily due to its size. Although I would say that the buildings themselves become quite repetitive over the course of touring the grounds, the sheer size of the complex is astounding. Coupled with the age of the buildings, The Forbidden City is an incredibly unique sight. ...  read more
Submitted By: Brad Harbach
Submitted On: Apr 30, 2012

Places That Are Nearby

Forbidden City
Great Wall of China
TerraCotta Warriors
Yangtze River Cruise
Shanghai Skyline

Videos of The Forbidden City

Sorry, we're in the process of selecting our favorite videos for The Forbidden City. Check back soon!
# 1

Inside The Forbidden City

# 2

A View From Outside The City


Best time to visit The Forbidden City

Submit Your Opinion
We need your help!

Do you know when the best time is to visit The Forbidden City?

Help others visit The Forbidden City at the best time!
Submit Your Opinion

Average Temperature

Average Precipitation

Friends who have Visited

Sign up for My AbsoluteVisit to see which of your friends have Visited...


Friends who Dream of visiting

Sign up for My AbsoluteVisit to see which of your friends Dream of visiting...

Connect with AV
The Top 100 Places in the World
1 Great Wall of China
2 Pyramids of Egypt
3 Machu Picchu
4 Serengeti Migration
5 Galapagos Islands
6 Grand Canyon
7 Angkor Temples
8 Antarctica Cruise
9 Taj Mahal
10 Iguazu Falls
11 Amazon Rain Forest
12 Great Barrier Reef
13 Bora Bora
14 Victoria Falls
15 Bagan
16 Petra
17 Potala Palace
18 Karnak
19 Mt Everest
20 Cappadocia
21 St Peters Basilica
22 Fjords of Norway
23 Jerusalem Old City
24 Burj Khalifa
25 Borobudur
26 Forbidden City
27 Kashmir Valley
28 Li River Cruise
29 Ladakh
30 Alhambra
31 Louvre Museum
32 Perito Moreno Glac.
33 Banaue Terraces
34 Colosseum of Rome
35 Easter Island
36 Venice Canals/Alleys
37 Kathmandu Valley
38 Wat Phra Kaew
39 Yellowstone NP
40 Pompeii
41 Rio Panoramic View
42 Palace of Versailles
43 Dubrovnik
44 Golden Temple
45 St. Basils Cathedral
46 Vatican Museum
47 Florence Cityscape
48 Acropolis
49 Amalfi Coast Drive
50 Kremlin
51 Hong Kong View
52 TerraCotta Warriors
53 Mezquita Cordoba
54 Chichen Itza
55 Damascus Old City
56 Shwedagon Stupa
57 Sahara Desert
58 Mont St Michel
59 St. Marks Square
60 Egyptian Museum
61 Hagia Sophia
62 Angel Falls
63 Delphi
64 Teotihuacan
65 Baalbek
66 Banff NP
67 Santorini
68 Matterhorn
69 New York Skyline
70 Neuschwanstein
71 Chartres Cathedral
72 British Museum
73 Prague Old Town
74 Burj al Arab
75 Yangtze River Cruise
76 Yosemite NP
77 Hermitage Museum
78 Torres del Paine
79 Chambord Chateau
80 Lijiang
81 Portofino
82 Great Ocean Road
83 Tongariro Alpine
84 Las Vegas Strip
85 Tikal
86 Topkapi Palace
87 Sydney Opera House
88 Eiffel Tower
89 Luxor Temple
90 Kerala Backwaters
91 Golden Gate Bridge
92 Cinque Terre
93 Metropolitan Mus
94 Uffizi Gallery
95 Ayers Rock
96 Cliffs of Moher
97 Pacific Coast Hwy
98 Shanghai Skyline
99 Glacier Bay NP
100 Wulingyuan
Cappadocia  Cappadocia, Turkey
Top 100 by Name Top 100 on a Map
Top 100 by Country Top 100 by Continent