Sep 16, 2012

Forbidden City of Beijing now open

The Forbidden City is one of Beijing’s finest attractions. Previously home to emperors and tyrants for some 500 years, and now the humble hangout of legions of tourists sheltering beneath phosphorescent orange hats. 

It’s big enough, sprawling over 720,000 square meters, that you can find spots to enjoy on your own. The Forbidden City is great for wandering. It also hosts an extensive art collection under the charge of the Palace Museum. The collection of imperial artwork and artifacts like ceramics, paintings, calligraphy, spans the Ming and Qing dynasties.

To avoid the crowds, visit on weekdays as early in the day as possible. For a remarkable view of the Forbidden City and surrounding cityscape, climb to the top of the hill in the middle of Jingshan Park, just a few blocks north.

Both the Forbidden City and Tiananmen Square across the street can be managed in half a day.

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