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2/46.- Beijing, Forbidden City, the palace

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The Forbidden City is a giant complex. With more than 180 acres of land (almost 78 hectares), it can take several days to visit. If you do not have much time in Beijing, spend at least half a day here. If you are going to stay in Beijing for several days, you should visit the place more than once.

There is an entry fee which gives you access to the main courtyards and palaces, but if you want to visit the site in detail, you will have to buy the optional tickets. You can buy them at the main ticket office (next to the Forbidden City Gates), or inside the complex. If you are going to visit the City only once, buy the complete ticket at the main ticket office and get a discount.

The main Gate to the Forbidden City is on Tian an Men Square, where you can buy the audio guides and/or hire a local guide. I absolutely recommend taking one of the guides. If you do not want to rent a guide, at least bring a good travel guidebook. There is another entrance on the North side.

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