A Step Back in Time in the Forbidden City

A Step Back in Time
in the Forbidden City

Explore the Forbidden City and Zhonshan Park to uncover the fall of the Ming Dynasty
and the Manchu conquest, one of the epic tales of Chinese history. Learn what life
was like for the people who lived and worked in this otherworldly citadel.


For nearly 600 years, the emperors of the Ming and Qing Dynasties ruled China from behind the imposing red walls of the Forbidden City. Theirs was a private world of palaces, gardens, courtyards, temples and thrones. It was so named because access to the area was barred to most of the subjects of the realm.

This extravagant palace complex was constructed from 1406 to 1420 and is surrounded by numerous opulent imperial gardens and temples including Zhongshan Park, Jingshan Park and Beihai Park. The final occupant and the last emperor of imperial China, Puyi, was expelled in 1925 when the site was transformed into the Palace Museum.


A Step Back in Time in the Forbidden City

09:00 - 12:00
13:00 - 16:00

One of our drivers will collect you from the hotel and take you to the Forbidden City where you will meet your English-speaking historian. While you explore this otherworldly citadel, he will relate the story of the fall of the Ming Dynasty and the Manchu conquest, one of the epic tales of Chinese history. The guide will also examine the differences and continuities between the Ming and the Qing eras. The Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) came to power in a rebellion against the Mongol Khans. The Qing Empire (1636-1912) was founded by the Manchus who originate from a region that is now part of North-East China. In 1644, the Manchus conquered China and moved the capital of their empire to Beijing. Although the Qing Dynasty ended in 1912, the imperial legacy continues to influence China’s present and future.

This walk also considers what life was like for the men and women who lived and worked in the palace. Who built the Forbidden City and why? What did it feel like reporting for duty as an imperial official? Who were the eunuchs who performed much of the necessary daily functions for the palace and its inhabitants? What was life like for a woman in the imperial family?

The walk will take you to some of the more recently opened areas to avoid the crowds, while giving a sense of the diverse architecture of the Forbidden City.

At the end of the tour, the driver will take you back to the hotel.




  • A half-day tour with a professional English-speaking guide. Other languages are on request and may be subject to supplementary charges
  • Transportation by air-conditioned vehicle with professional driver.
  • All entrance fees for visits as mentioned in the description.
  • All applicable taxes and service charges


  • Personal expenses such as meals, drinks, tips and gratuities, shopping, portage fees and optional tours, unless otherwise stated
  • Hotel accommodation in the destination of commencement.
  • Compulsory Christmas, country-specific festival and/or New Year dinner at included hotels
  • Single supplement charges for single travelers, where applicable
  • Any airline tickets, visa fees, additional transportation cost from and to the general meeting point
  • Supplements for transfers for customers arriving or departing from any airport or resorts located outside the general pick-up and drop-off locations
  • Hotel expenses of a personal nature, should an overnight be included: this includes mini-bar consumption, laundry, room service, any telephone or other communication cost not mentioned in the program
  • Travel insurance coverage for customers (highly recommendable)


  • This tour is operated on full private basis with English-speaking guide. Other languages are on request / subject to availability and supplementary charges may apply
  • Return transfers for this excursion apply only / are inclusive for customers staying in and inside downtown Beijing. Transfers outside these areas, including any accommodation outside the Central Business District and both Beijing’s International Airports are excluded. Supplements apply for customers who want to join this excursion outside one of these regions.
  • We regret to inform you that most of the museums in China are closed all day on Mondays and public holidays; wherever possible, we will try to offer alternative visits for touring options on this day.
  • Customers are advised that during the Lunar Festival celebrations (celebration of Chinese New Year), excursions and tours may be subject to supplementary charges and/or may see longer waiting times than normal.
  • We regret to inform you that this excursion is not suitable for wheelchair users. Guests are advised that some walking is required during this excursion; we always ensure that we take the most comfortable ways from the entrance of the sight to the sight itself.
  • We will always make the effort to confirm the exact pick-up time upon reservation. For any operational issues in which are not able to confirm the exact pick-up time in advance, we reserve the right to inform you the day before the departure of the tour.
  • Please note pick-up and drop-off services may not be confirmed for customers staying at private residences, apartment complexes, or other non-registered tourism accommodations. Customers may be asked to meet at a nearby hotel for pick-up and drop off.
  • Natural elements of any kind have a destructive effect on electronic equipment. It is the customer’s own responsibility to ensure that any camera, mobile telephone or other device is properly wrapped and protected against these elements. We cannot be held responsible in any way for negligence and/or not following suggestions for any damage related to this.
  • Please ensure that you bring sunglasses, a hat /cap and sunblock with a high SPF factor when traveling with us on this tour – even when it is cloudy, the sun’s rays are still very powerful.
  • We reserve the right to make necessary changes to the excursion in case of unfavourable weather conditions or situations where we are forced to make alterations to guarantee the safety of our guests.
  • The protection of the country’s flora and fauna is of immense importance for us. We will not pursue any activities for guests that are not in line with our animal, wildlife and environment protection principles.
  • It is the responsibility of the customer to provide us with the correct hotel information, should pick-up and drop-off services be included in the package. Any changes in accommodation outside 24 hours will be handled accordingly: changes within 24 hours may be on request.
  • In the event of no-show or change of accommodation without prior consent and confirmation from us within 24 hours may result in the applicable cancellation charges as outlined in the terms and conditions.
  • We recommend wearing light, comfortable cotton clothing and comfortable shoes.


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