Inner Court (Nei Ting)
Once truly forbidden to the everyday visitor, the Inner Court (Nei Ting) is now open to the public. You’ll find three halls similar to those found in the outer court. The Palace of Heavenly Purity was home to the emperor, while the Hall of Union houses the throne of the empress. The third hall, the Palace of Earthly Tranquility, contains an imperial bedchamber of the empress. Behind it all sits the Imperial Garden.
Access to the Inner Court is included in admission to the Forbidden City, but it’s a good idea to join a guided tour to gain insight and historical context. Most private and group sightseeing tours of Beijing visit the Forbidden City; choose one with the length, itinerary, and mode of transportation you prefer, whether it’s a half-day bike tour or a multi-day excursion in a private vehicle that also visits the Great Wall of China.
Things to Know Before You Go
The Inner Court is a must-see during a tour of the Forbidden City.
Wear comfortable shoes; the palace grounds are massive and walking surfaces are often uneven.
Give yourself at least half a day to explore the Inner and Outer Courts of the Forbidden City.
How to Get There
The Inner Court is located within the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Forbidden City; get there by passing through the Gate of Heavenly Purity. The palace sits in the center of Beijing, just north of Tiananmen Square. The closest subway stop is Tiananmen East Station.
When to Get There
The Forbidden City puts a cap on the number of visitors each day, so it’s a good idea to show up with a prebooked tour or first thing in the morning when the ticket office opens. The entire complex, including the Inner Court, is closed Monday.
Fast Facts About the Forbidden City
It took 14 years and a million workers to build the Forbidden City, which served as the royal seat for 492 years. Two dozen emperors called the palace home. The complex comprises 980 buildings and more than 8,700 rooms, making it the largest imperial palace in the world. Today, some 14 million people pass through its gates each year.
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- Imperial Garden of the Palace Museum
- 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)
- Wangfujing Street (Wangfujing Dajie)
- National Museum of China (NAMOC)
- National Center for the Performing Arts (NCPA)
- Great Hall of the People
- Monument to the People’s Heroes