Forbidden City Tour


This unique tour brings the ceremony, pomp and intrigue of Beijing’s Imperial Palace 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.

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.


  • 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”.

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).

Price (Chinese renminbi per person)

Forbidden City Tour Private (2 hr) Select (2.5 hr)
1 guest 1120 1320
2 guests 590 700
3 guests 410 490
4 or more guests 330 390

Tour Types

Public Tour availability can be seen by clicking here.

Private Tours can be scheduled for your group at any time you like.

Select Tours are led by Senior Newman Tours’ 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 italics in the Tour Schedule on this page.

Private and Select Tours require a minimum of 4 adult guests (or the financial equivalent thereof). Full terms and conditions can be viewed here.

Introducing Emperor Will & Empress Karoline .
Introducing Emperor Will & Empress Karoline.

What Our Guests Say

What the Media Says

“Will tell you folk stories known only to natives”

Christie Lee, China Daily                                               

“Newman Tours’ guides are not only highly knowledgeable about the city and its past, but also have the charisma to bring the incredible stories of the area to life.”

Alice Shaman, Shanghai Talk

Describing the tragic fate of the Pearl Concubine.