Forbidden City Tour : Emperors, Eunuchs & Concubines

Forbidden City Tour : Emperors, Eunuchs & Concubines


This unique tour brings the ceremony, pomp and intrigue of Beijing’s Forbidden City back to life.

Combining carefully researched information about how and why it was constructed, with shocking anecdotes about the 24 men to whom it belonged, this tour will help you realise how eccentric and unworldly ancient palace life really was.

Take this tour with a native English speaking guide from our Tripadvisor award winning company, and see the home of Chinese Emperors come back to life before your very eyes.

Please note all guests must bring their passport to be granted access to the Forbidden City.

Find out about Tiananmen Square on your way to the Forbidden City.
Learn about the most famous proclamations made from on top of Tiananmen Gate.

Forbidden City Highlights

  • Learn about the nightmares that forced Emperor Yongle to move his capital to Beijing.
  • Have yourself crowned Emperor, and find out how you would have gone about ensuring your chosen successor was not undermined.
  • Find out why officials found themselves bowing to an empty throne for more than 20 years, and discover the terrible results of Imperial neglect.
  • Find out why men were willing to become eunuchs in order to get access to the inner realms of his palace; and see for yourself why being an Imperial concubine was such a dangerous job.
  • Find out how not to go about trying to kill a Chinese Emperor.
  • See rare archive video footage of the Last Emperor of China, and discover what happened to him after he was expelled from the Forbidden City.
  • Guests on the Select Forbidden City Tour will also get an exclusive paid tour of the stunning palace that Emperor Qianlong built for his retirement. In doing so they will learn about the drinking games he played with his officials, and will find out why he commissioned the gardens in the style of those he had seen in Suzhou.
  • Guests on the Select Forbidden City Tour will also get an exclusive chance to see pieces from the National Palace Museum on display inside Qianlong’s retirement palace.
  • Guests on the Select Forbidden City tour will also get a chance to see the room in which many Emperors spent their first wedding night with their chosen Empress. In addition, they will learn about the nomadic rituals that also took place there, and will discover why people were so keen to have the food they were served “spirited away”.
  • Introducing Tiananmen Square.
    Introducing Tiananmen Square.
  • Empress Helen of the Tang Dynasty receives her crown .
    Empress Helen of the Tang Dynasty receives her crown .
  • Describing the ellaborate construction methods involved in building the Forbidden City.
    Describing the ellaborate construction methods involved in building the Forbidden City.

Getting There

The Standard Meeting Point for Public & Private Forbidden City Tours is outside Exit B of Tiananmen East Metro Station  天安门东地铁站B出口外面 (on Dong Changan Jie, near Nan Chizida Jie: 在东长安街上,靠近南池子大街).


(All prices in Chinese Renminbi per guest)

(2 hours)
(2.5 hours)
1 guest 1120 1320
2 guests 590 700
3 guests 410 490
4 or more guests 330 390

Tour Types

Private Tours can be scheduled for your group at any time you like.
VIP Tours are led by Newman Tours’ most experienced guides, and guarantee the provision of an iPad to enhance the content of your tour. They can start at any time you want, and feature exclusive content described in red italics under the Tour Schedule section of this page.
Terms & Conditions can be viewed here.

Introducing Emperor Will & Empress Karoline .
Newman Tours can make this experience fun for the whole family!

TripAdvisor Reviews

Media Reviews

“Will tell you folk stories known only to natives”
Christie Lee, China Daily                                               

“A flair for dramatic presentation”
George Wyndham, Global Times

Forbidden City - Hall of Supreme Harmony
Find out why this was the most important building in China.

Forbidden City Follow Up

Guests on the Forbidden City Tour will receive a follow up email featuring informative and entertaining links including the following:

  • Forbidden City history links that further explore the role this structure played.
  • Forbidden City films that are set in or relate to the palace that Emperor Yongle commissioned.
  • Forbidden City documentaries that will enable you to revisit and better understand the palace.

Included Ticket Information

Dates 1st April to 31st October 1st November to 31st March
Entry Fee (RMB) 60 40
Opening Hours

(Tickets selling times)

8:30 – 17:00

(8:30 – 16:00)

8:30 – 16:30

(8:30 – 15:30)