Imperial Garden of the Palace Museum
Considered one of the best-preserved gardens in China, the Imperial Garden is located at the northernmost point of the Forbidden City. Don’t miss the Palace of Imperial Peace at the center of the garden. There are 20 pavilions within the gardens, including one at each corner, representing the seasons. Note the paths paved with multicolored pebbles, the impressive rock formations, and the ancient pine, cypress, and Chinese wisteria trees, some hundreds of years old.
Many Beijing sightseeing tours stop at the Forbidden City and the Imperial Garden. It can be helpful to go with a guide, who can help navigate the vast complex and provide historical and other insights. Those short on time can opt for a tour that also includes other Beijing attractions, such as Tiananmen Square, Temple of Heaven, Jingshan Park, or the Summer Palace.
Things to Know Before You Go
Admission to the Imperial Garden is included in the entrance fee to the Forbidden City.
Audio guides are available for rent.
Wear comfortable shoes and be prepared to do a lot of walking.
Parts of the Imperial Garden are wheelchair accessible.
How to Get There
The Imperial Garden is located in the northern part of the Forbidden City. Taxis are not allowed to stop nearby so it’s best to take public transport. By subway, take line 1 to Tiananmen East Station (exit A) or line 2 to Qianmen Station (exit A). A number of buses also stop at Tiananmen East Station and Tiananmen West Station.
When to Get There
The Imperial Garden is open daily, except for Mondays (unless it’s a public holiday), with last entry an hour before closing time. There is a limit of 80,000 visitors per days, so it’s best to arrive early, book tickets online, or book a skip-the-line tour to avoid disappointment.
Palace of Imperial Peace
The Palace of Imperial Peace is the largest structure inside the Imperial Garden, and within it was a shrine to Zhenwu, Taoist God of Water. This is where the emperor would go at the start of each season to offer prayers and bring offerings to Zhenwu, to spare his land and people from floods.
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- Inner Court (Nei Ting)
- Treasure Gallery
- Meridian Gate (Wumen)
- Nine Dragon Screen at the Palace Museum
- Forbidden City (Palace Museum)
- Jingshan Park (Jingshan Gongyuan)
- Tiananmen (Gate of Heavenly Peace)
- Tiananmen Square (Tiananmen Guangchang)
- St. Joseph's Church
- Beihai Park (Beihai Gongyuan)
- National Museum of China (NAMOC)
- Wangfujing Street (Wangfujing Dajie)
- National Center for the Performing Arts (NCPA)
- Great Hall of the People
- Monument to the People’s Heroes