This vast complex of hundreds of palaces, shrines and pavilions containing some 9 000 rooms is quite a challenge for visitors to take in. The seat of power of the Ming and Qing dynasties until 1911, the Forbidden City was built between 1404 and 1421. Every feature is symbolic, from the red roofs - the colour of joy - to the dragons, which dispense good luck and are dotted around the 70ha of this small city, once home to 10 000 people, including courtesans, dignitaries, eunuchs and concubines.
Phone:+86 10 6513 2255
Feb-Oct 8.30am-5pm, Nov-Mar 8.30am-4.30pm