The Ultimate Forbidden City Tour

The Ultimate Forbidden City Experience
It’s not for nothing that Beijing’s most fascinating sight has inspired an Oscar-winning movie and countless Chinese soap operas. There’s enough murder, betrayal and intrigue woven into its 500 year-old story to fuel hundreds more. With its rich cast of characters: concubines, court officials, eunuch servants, the Emperor… and wildly changing fortunes (to say nothing of its stunning architecture and symbolism) – this is one place you want an expert guide for. Join Bespoke’s Forbidden City historian as he gradually reveals the secrets of this vast palace, bringing it back to life before your eyes.

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Custom Trip Itinerary

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Learn About Our Expert

Bespoke alternates between two foreign experts for this tour: one Danish, one American. Both are historians, lecturers and published authors on China’s history. Just get in touch with us if you want to find out more!


How much does it cost? 5,600RMB per group (up to 8 people) plus 60RMB/person (high season) for Forbidden City entrance tickets or 40RMB/person (low season).

How long will it take? 3 hours

When can I do it? Any day except Monday

Getting there: The cost does not include transport to and from the meeting point. You can transfer by subway, taxi or hire a car from Bespoke.

Start point: East Gate of the Forbidden City

End point: North Gate of the Forbidden City

How far in advance should I book? As far as possible to guarantee availability. This is one of our most popular tours.

Children Are very welcome on this tour. Enquire about a Forbidden City Activity Pack for very young children if you want to keep them occupied while you learn!

Any other costs I should know about? You’ll just need to pay for your entrance tickets to the Forbidden City (60RMB per person peak season; 40RMB per person low season).

What to bring: A strong imagination

Our favourite bit: When you finally realise just how intricate and risk-laden the daily lives of those living in this miniature city really were. This imperial palace truly is unique in history.

Is this an expert or local personality-led tour? Expert

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