The Palace Museum, former home to the 24 Ming and Qing emperors, is also known as the Forbidden City. Completed in 1420 during the Ming Dynasty, it occupies a total space of more than 720, 000 square meters. Apart from the complex of immovable palace buildings, the Palace Museum houses over 1.5 million items or sets of relics. Over 8,000 of them are designated as first-class relics. They fall into the following categories: paintings, calligraphy, rubbings from tablets, inscriptions, sculptures, copperwares, porcelain, textile or embroidery, jade or stone wares, gold or silver wares, jewelry, lacquerworks, enamel wares, carvings, miscellaneous handiworks, stationery, daily appliances, clocks and instruments, imperial seals and certificates of the conferring of titles, religious relics, weapons carried by guards of honor, ancient books, and foreign relics.
Ancient architectural relics and other cultural relics fall into 25 categories, which are further divided into 69 sub-categories. Those used for government affairs and daily life are displayed in their original places; such works of art as porcelain, paintings and calligraphy, jewelry, clocks, stone drums, and bronze wares are kept in special halls. There are also halls for short-term exhibitions. The museum is open to the public all year round.
Audio guides in Mandarin, Cantonese, English, French, German, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, Italian, Arabic, Russian, Spanish, and Thai are available at the Meridian Gate (Wu men) and the Gate of Divine Prowess (Shenwu men). The deposit is 100 rmb for each. The rental fee is 40 rmb for each, except the Mandarin guide which is 10 rmb. Please return the audio guide before exiting.
Services include package check (Meridian gate, Wumen), gift shops, bookstores, refreshments and light meals, an Information Center in the Archery Pavilion (Jian ting), public address system.
Tian'anmen Squre area Donglaishun, a traditional brand Hotpot restaurant
Address: No. 44 Dongjiaomingxiang, Dongcheng District
Tel: +86 10 6524 1042
Wangfujing Commerial Street area Quanjude, a traditional brand roast-duck restaurant
Address: No. 9 Shuaifuyuan Hutong, Wangfujing Street
Tel: +86 10 6525 3310 / 6522 8423
Donglaishun, a traditional brand Hotpot restaurant Sun Dong An Plaza Restaruant(Xin Dong'an Shichang)
Address: Floor 5, Sun Dong An Plaza, No. 138 Wangfujing Street
Tel: +86 10 6528 0932 / 6528 0501
Address: No. 198 Wangfujing Street
Tel: +86 10 6513 9661 / 6525 3562
Beihai Park Fangshan restaurant, which is well-known at home and abroad for its court dishes, especially cakes, pastries, and dishes originating from the Forbidden City in Qing Dynasty.
Address: East door of Beihai Park, Jingshan West Street
Tel: +86 10 64042573 / 6401 1889
Tel: +86 10 8511 7049
Address: No. 4, Jingshan Front Street, Dongcheng District
Metro: Line 1 and get off at Tian'anmen West station
Open: April 1st-October 31 8:30-17:00 Last Entry at 16:10 tickets sold until 16:00; November 1st-March 31 8:30-16:30 last entry at 15:40 tickets sold until 15:30