The complex of establishment is only a “Museum” in name, however it is nothing like it. You won’t find rows of glass case enclosing historical items. The complex that’s referred to as the Forbidden City in the past is an ancient cultural phenomenon that boasts impressive architecture and style.
A visit to the National Palace Museum would easily take a full day. It’s something to be soaked in and thoroughly enjoyed if you have the luxury of time.
You’ll find yourself walking extensively, as the museum was known as the world’s largest palace as well as the world’s largest surviving wooden structure, as declared by UNESCO.
The Chinese National Palace Museum was home to China’s ruling imperial family dating back to the 15th century. The forbidden city was surrounded by walls of approximately 10 meters in height, and the moat is 52 meters long. The Forbidden City is our 72 hectares in size.
So be prepared to walk long distances for long hours. Not simply because of the size, but because there’s just a sheer wealth of what to see. It’s heaven for those who love ancient Chinese architecture style.
Since you can easily spend a full day in the Forbidden City because of its sheer size as well as the wealth of cultural items stored in the individual museums, it’s recommended that you block at least four hours of your time to explore the Forbidden City and all of its ancient grandeur.
Make sure to get to the right entrance, which is the South Entrance or the Meridian Gate. It’ll cost you one kilometer of walk if you get to the wrong entrance. The North Gate is called the Gate of Divine Might, a translation to “Shenwumen”.
For public transportation access to get you to the Forbidden City, you can take the metro and stop at Tiananmenxi, as well as Tiananmendong. Booking a ticket requires you to present an identification. The citizens of China are required to buy tickets online, though until today at the time of this writing, foreign tourists are allowed to buy tickets onsite.
Make sure to bring your passport. Children under the height of 120 cm is free of charge, but must always be accompanied by an adult. The entrance fee costs 40 Yuan, while the price for high season is 60 Yuan, which lasts from April to October.
There are also separate ticket required for you to enter the individual museums, such as the Treasure Gallery and the Clock and Watch Gallery, where each museum entrance fee is priced at 10 Yuan
The peak hours of visit for the Forbidden City is from 10 am to 1 pm, during which you will see tour buses with hordes of people, and it’s common that the attendance rate stay high until at least 3 pm. It’s recommended to go during the morning before the peak hours.
Keep in mind that the Forbidden City only allows entrance of maximum 80,000 people each day. During the weekends or Chinese Public Holiday, the tickets are quick to sell out.