Home > Things To Do > Things To Do in Beijing > [1-Day Tour] Forbidden City In-depth Discovery (VIP Group, no-shopping)

[1-Day Tour] Forbidden City In-depth Discovery (VIP Group, no-shopping)


Day Tour | No-Shopping | Group Tour

from TUE to SUN (Forbidden City closes on Mondays)


Forbidden City | Tian'anmen Square | Jingshan Park
Small Group limited to maximum 6 participants
Top ranking tours on Tripadvisor

What are VIP tours?
• Guide: We provide the friendliest and finest licensed guide for your tour. Your guide is not just fluent in English but also will assist you all round your tour.
• Driver: A trust worthy licensed local driver with over 5 years’ driving experience, familiar with the roads and routes to all destinations and restaurants.
• Vehicle: We offer up-to-7-seat business vehicles equipped with GPS facilities, free in-car Wi-Fi, big windows and air-conditioning; they are all licensed and registered with Beijing Tourism Administration, and are recycled every four years. Most importantly, they are insured and has 50,000 RMB coverage for each passenger.
• Meals: We have a large selection of different restaurants which cater to the specifications of our customers, and are available to provide various options, such as vegetarian, Muslim, Chinese, Western, Jewish, and Indian restaurants. We are also happy to include your special requests in our reservation form when booking a restaurant for you, such as an allergy to MSG, for example.
• Service: We offer 24/7 customer service as well as backup support. For any urgency, please call David @13910694045.

What Makes Us Different?
• We take you to see places in the Forbidden City that you would never find by yourself.
• Instead of seeing a standard succession of similar rooms, and listening to textbook-like guide recitals, we attempt to bring imperial times to life for you through fascinating stories, anecdotes with original pictures, and videos shown on an iPad.
• Our Forbidden City presenters are tested and certified to our high standards in history and architecture knowledge and English. We try to bridge the gap between “old” and “new” China, and let you know how Chinese culture and customs came into being.
• You don't have to waste your precious time in waiting for the Forbidden City tickets like most of other tour groups do (usually you need to waite for about 1 hour!) as your tour guide will book the tickets on-line for you in advance so that you can enter the Forbidden City directly while others are still waiting for the tickets and check-in.


• See the real scene of the movie The Last Emperor at the Forbidden City.
• Be overwhelmed with the largest imperial palace in the world (with 9,999½ palaces).
• Discover the hidden history of Chinese imperial life.
• Skip the long and boring queues at the Forbidden City as a Ctrip’ VIP guest.
• Go deeply into the history of the Chinese people with our Expert “Professor” Guide.
• Discover all the important places that a common 2 hours tour won't offer with a no rush attitude.
• Enjoy a Western-style lunch on the tour.


8:00-9:00 a.m. Beijing downtown hotel pickup & transfer to Forbidden City

In the morning of your scheduled activity, your guide will be waiting for you in the lobby holding a signboard with Ctrip logo on it. Show us your Ctrip confirmation letter and you will be guided to our vehicle. You will then be transferred to the Forbidden City.

The Forbidden City is the largest imperial palace in the world, home to 24 emperors in the Ming (1368–1644) and Qing (1644–1911) Dynasties. It was built in 1420, about 70 years before Columbus discovered America and 144 years before the birth of William Shakespeare.

9:00 a.m -1:00 p.m. Forbidden City Heritage Walking Tour

There will be a brief introduction by your Forbidden City presenter at the East Flower Gate.

Stroll along the City Moat and the red outer wall to reach the Meridian Gate.

Hear a brief introduction about the Meridian Gate. This place was used to penalize offending officials in the Qing Dynasty.

Turn right and enter the Hall of Literary Glory, which today is used as an exhibition hall for porcelain. On an iPad, your guide will give you a detailed presentation on the procedure for making golden bricks, porcelains, and pillars.

Discover the royal library at the Hall of Literary Profundity which was built for the emperor 300 years ago.

There is a grand square in front of the Hall of Supreme Harmony as you walk back to the Central Axis Way. Your guide’s presentation will answer your questions, like: Where is the throne of the Chinese emperors? How did the emperor have an audience with high-ranking officials? What is the significance of the sundial, bronze turtle statue, stork statue, huge copper vat, etc. if you have any more questions here, feel free to ask your guide.

Visit the Hall of Complete Harmony and Hall of Preserving Harmony, which respectively functioned as the place for the emperor to change his costume before grand ceremonies and the venue for the annual imperial exams.

As you take a walk along the white marble balustrade that descends from the main palaces, you will see a 200 tons slab with a dragon and cloud design. Your presenter will enlighten you as to how this giant slab was transferred into the Forbidden City.

To the eastern side of the Forbidden City is the Clock and Treasure Exhibition Hall. Don’t miss out on exploring the famous Nine Dragon Screen also located on the eastern side.

Continue to walk deep into the second yard there, to see the Studio of Unimpeded Sound, where the Emperor and Empress watched the only entertainment in the imperial palace: Peking opera. Your guide will brief you about Peking opera by showing iPad pictures.

As you continue to walk deep into the second yard there, you will see the beautiful Studio of Unimpeded Sound. This happens to be the place where the Emperor and Empress watched the only entertainment in the imperial palace: Peking opera. Your guide will brief you about Peking opera by showing iPad pictures.

Our iPad presentation will show you what the Crystal Palace once looked like. A walk along the red palace wall to the Palace of Prolonging Happiness enables you to view the remains of the most artistic building in the Forbidden City — the Crystal Palace.

Cross the Central Axis Way to view the Hall of Heavenly Purity and the Hall of Earthly Tranquility, which used to be respectively the audience hall for high ranking officials and the venue for emperors’ wedding ceremonies.

As you stroll along the side of the Western Chamber leaving the Inner Palace Courtyard, your next stop is the Hall of Mental Cultivation. Here, you will see the screen that was between the throne of “the Little Emperor” and his mother — “the Dragon Lady”. It is where the renowned historical events known as "Power Behind the Screen" took place. Of course your guide will be giving commentary, showing pictures and bringing back to clarity the life of those historical figures for you.

The Palace of Eternal Spring served as residence of the most influential political figure in late Qing Dynasty — the Dragon Lady, Empress Dowager Cixi. Many experts believe the defeat of China in the war with Japan in 1898 was due to mismanagement of Chinese navy funds. It has been argued that Empress Dowager Cixi used Chinese navy funds to build her own garden. Nonetheless, she is also widely credited in the history of China as the benefactor of the first railway, first telegraph, first coalmine, and even first stock share. Your guide will show you her biography on an iPad.

Finally, the last palace you will see is called ‘Feast Pavilion; it is characterized by artificial rockery, surrounded by peonies and trees in beautiful shapes. Some of them look like animals of the Chinese zodiac. Here, you will be presented with the history behind the annual selection of the emperor's concubines and their story and that of the eunuchs during the era of the Qing Dynasty.

As you exit the Forbidden City through the North Gate, you will cross the 52 meters wide moat. Frozen water from the moat is kept in underground storehouses in preparation for summer. During summer, the ice was taken to the imperial palace to preserve food and fruits fresh. Also, the ice was used to cool the air for the emperor and empress. If you want to know more about it, our guide will present pictures on the iPad.

1:30-2:30 p.m. Lunch Time

Close to the Forbidden City is the famous Café (Alley Coffee) which is renowned for serving delicious food. Your tour presenter will take there, where you'll have your lunch. If you have any further questions about the Forbidden City, about the history and about the city of Beijing you may ask your presenter. You presenter will be at your service to answer your questions.

At the end of the tour your presenter will give you any directions or help you need for taking a taxi, subway, or bus (to your hotel).

2:30-3:30 p.m. Tian'anmen Square

After the lunch, you will visit the Tiananmen Square - the largest urban square in the world where you will see the iconic portrait of Chairman Mao hanging on the red wall. You can take pictures and walk around at the square. You guide will give you a background information of this famous square.

3:30-5:00 p.m. Jingshan Park

A few minutes’ walk from the Forbidden City is the Jingshan Park. It is located in front of the Forbidden City and is said to be the best position to get a panoramic view of the Forbidden City. In order to have a bird eye view of the city of Beijing, the Jingshan Park is the ideal place to visit. It is centrally located and has many historic buildings symmetrically located on both sides. The Drum and Bell Tower to the north and Forbidden City and Tiananmen Square located to the south.

5:00-6:00 p.m. Drive back to hotel/train station/airport

At the end of your tour you driver will either drive you back to your hotel or transfer you to the airport or train station if you plan leaving after the tour. Going back to your Beijing hotel or train station will approximately take about 0.5 hour, Beijing airport about 1 hour.

* Please note: airport and train station drop-off requries additional fee which is not included in the price.

Price Includes and Excludes

What is included?

1) English-speaking guide service

2) Admission fees, meals and transportation as listed in details

What is excluded?

1) Personal expenses, optional items or anything else not specifically mentioned

2) Gratuities to the tour guide & driver (usually CNY 50-100 per person for them). It is not compulsory but would be highly appreciated.

Important Notes

1.Please call or email Ctrip if you need to cancel your booking. Free cancellation for bookings cancelled at least 3 days in advance. If you cancel 2 days or less before your visit, a 100% cancellation fee will be charged per booking.

2.On departure date we will pick you up from hotels. Free pickup/drop-off available for hotels situated within the 4th Ring Road of Beijing, otherwise an additional charge applies. You will be contacted before 8:00 p.m. the day before your scheduled activity to confirm pickup information regarding your driver and/or tour guide. Please call David @(+86)13910694045 for any urgent matters.

3.Currently payment is only accepted by credit card. Once payment clears, Ctrip will send you a confirmation email with your booking details. If payment fails, your booking will automatically be canceled. To ensure a smooth payment process, we recommend you contact your credit card provider in advance.

4.Time arrangements described in itineraries are subject to change. Guides reserve the right to change arrangements according to weather, transportation and other variable conditions.

5.If you opt to join only part of this activity, you forfeit the right to join subsequent parts, as well as the right to receive a refund for any part of the activity that you miss.

6.All listed meals are Chinese food unless otherwise noted. Please notify us ahead of time for any dietary restrictions (allergies, vegetarian, kosher, etc.).

7.Please ensure personal and travel information is entered correctly. Ctrip will not refund any losses that result from incorrect and missing information.

8.Bookings made after 7:00 p.m. the day before your scheduled activity will be canceled.


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- Children: 2-12 years old and shorter than 1.2m (3 ft 11 in)

- Each child must be accompanied by at least 1 adult.

- Prices for group products are fixed. For private products, the bigger the group the lower the price per person.