Forbidden City & Dongcheng Central attractions

Top Choice Historic Site in Forbidden City & Dongcheng Central

Forbidden City

Enclosed by 3.5km of citadel walls at the very heart of Beijing, the Unesco-listed Forbidden City is China’s largest and best-preserved collection of ancient buildings – large enough to comfortably absorb the 16 mil…
Top Choice Square in Forbidden City & Dongcheng Central

Tian'anmen Square

Flanked by triumphalist Soviet-style buildings, Tian'anmen Square is an immense void of paved stone (440,000 sq metres, to be precise) at the symbolic centre of the Chinese universe. Watched over by Mao's portrait (…
Top Choice Historic Site in Forbidden City & Dongcheng Central

Gate of Heavenly Peace

Instantly recognisable by its giant framed portrait of Mao, and guarded by two pairs of Ming dynasty stone lions, the double-eaved Gate of Heavenly Peace (literally 'Tian'anmen') is a potent national symbol. Formerl…
Top Choice Mausoleum in Forbidden City & Dongcheng Central

Chairman Mao Memorial Hall

One of Beijing's more surreal spectacles is the sight of Mao Zedong's embalmed corpse on public display within his mausoleum. The Soviet-inspired memorial hall was constructed just 10 months after Mao died in Septem…
Top Choice Buddhist Temple in Forbidden City & Dongcheng Central

Zhihua Temple

Lost in a tumbledown hutong neighbourhood, this Buddhist temple is one of Beijing's best-preserved Ming dynasty structures. It was built in 1444 to honour a corrupt and powerful eunuch, Wang Zhen, who held tremendou…
Top Choice Park in Forbidden City & Dongcheng Central

Workers' Cultural Palace

One of Beijing's best-kept secrets – despite being next to the Gate of Heavenly Peace – the Workers' Cultural Palace was gifted to the masses by Mao in 1950 as a place of wholesome recreation. For several centuries …
Top Choice Park in Forbidden City & Dongcheng Central

Jingshan Park

Beijing's finest park is also one of the only hills in the inner city, a mound that was created from the loess (sediment) excavated to make the Forbidden City moat. Called Coal Hill by Westerners during Legation day…
Observatory in Forbidden City & Dongcheng Central

Ancient Observatory

Astronomers have been studying the mysteries of the cosmos here since 1442. Crowning the 18m-high brick tower – an earlier version of which would have been attached to Beijing's city wall during the Ming dynasty – a…
Historic Building in Forbidden City & Dongcheng Central

Hall of Supreme Harmony

One of the Three Great Halls, this is the most important and largest structure in the Forbidden City. Built in the 15th century and restored in the 17th century, it was used for ceremonial occasions, such as the emp…
Museum in Forbidden City & Dongcheng Central

Treasure Gallery

In the northeastern corner of the complex is the Treasure Gallery (or Complete Palace of Peace and Longevity, 宁寿全宫, Níng Shǒu Quán Gōng), a complex that architecturally resembles the Forbidden City in miniature. Dur…