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.
Your native English speaking guide will show you photos and video clips that will help you understand the vast and complex structure of the Forbidden City.
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.
• 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.
Discover how a farmer from Shandong Province managed to steal these 9 priceless antiques from the Forbidden City in 2011, and then find out why he threw them away.
• 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.
Learn how a Manchurian concubine became the most powerful woman the world has ever seen, and find out what she did to her maids when they disobeyed her.
• 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”.
Pricing Summary (prices in Chinese Renminbi per person)
* Under 14 years old.
- Public Forbidden City Tour (2 hours) availability can be seen by clicking here. They are inclusive of entrance tickets to the Forbidden City.
- Private Forbidden City Tours (2 hours) can be scheduled for your group at any time you like but require a minimum of 3 adult guests (or the financial equivalent thereof). They are inclusive of entrance tickets to the Forbidden City.
- Select Forbidden City Tours (2.5 hours)are led by Newman Tours’ most experienced native English speaking guides, and guarantee the provision of an iPad to enhance the content of your tour. They can start at any time you want (provided that the Forbidden City is open), and feature exclusive content described in red italics in the Tour Schedule below. Select Tours require a minimum of 3 adult guests (or the financial equivalent thereof).
- Full Terms & Conditions are listed at the bottom of this page.
- 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).
- Meeting Point Directions
with instructions provided in
both English and Chinese
can be viewed here or
that you use the
bilingual Meeting Point
(which we can also
send you in the form
of a text if you send
us your mobile
number) to find
this easily located
meeting point using
the Beijing metro
system or via taxi.
Optional Extra Archery Competition
And after the tour then why not try your hand at a spot of archery? That’s right, as an optional extra we offer you the chance to practice an art that was cherished by one of the greatest Emperors to ever reside in the Forbidden City.
Learn about the stunning art and architecture that makes up the Forbidden City.
Terms and Conditions
• Tours should be booked and confirmed at least four hours in advance.
• Newman Tours reserves the right to cancel tours by informing confirmed attendees at least four hours in advance.
• Newman Tours reserves the right to start its tours on time, and will not wait for guests more than ten minutes after the scheduled start time of their tours.
• Guests under 18 years of age must be accompanied by a responsible adult guardian.
• Newman Tours reserves the right to request proof of student or child status in the form of valid identification.
• Proof of payment receipts available if requested in advance free of charge.
• Tour prices are not inclusive of tax invoices, which if required cost an additional 15% on top of the total cost of the tour.
• Public and Private Tour Payments should be made in Chinese Renminbi at the end of the tour.
• Tours do not include accommodation, transportation, food, drink and other non-tour guide related fees unless otherwise stated.
• Newman Tours reserves the right to alter the Tour Schedule listed above as a result of bad weather or location inaccessibility. In doing so it will do its upmost to ensure that equally high quality alternative content is provided.
• Newman Tours reserves the right to refuse people permission to attend and if necessary remove them from their tours if they are intoxicated, aggressive or offensive.
• Guests who take part in Newman Tours Tours must have their own health and safety insurance.
• Guests who take part in Newman Tours do so entirely at their own risk.
Media Quotes About Our Tours
“A flair for dramatic presentation”
“Informative and fun with a twist”
“Family-friendly and comprehensive”
“Plenty of fascinating historical information”
John Sunyer, Time Out
“Raises the hairs on your neck”
Trista Baldwin, City Weekend
“Meticulously researched to engage, inform and entertain”
Mary Weeks, Enjoy Shanghai
“Will tell you folk stories known only to natives”
“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.”
“Newman Tours is a fun and memorable way to peel back the wrapping tightly bound around Shanghai’s past and delight in the surprises beneath. After one tour, you'll want to go back for more, passing on what you learn as the proud new expert among your friends.”
Mary Weeks, Enjoy Shanghai
(0086) 21 6237 6298
Excursions Around Shanghai
Training & Presentations
Excursions Around Shanghai
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Tours in and around Beijing, Shanghai, Hangzhou & Suzhou
The Forbidden City Tour
Archery Competition Schedule
• Take taxis to our specially selected archery venue (private vehicles available upon request).
• Listen to an introduction about the cultural significance of archery in ancient Chinese culture, and find out which emperors had the greatest archery prowess.
• Learn how to fire a bow and arrow accurately and safely.
• Its time to let the arrows fly! Fire your first twenty-four shots, and your professional instructor will adjust your technique as you go along.
Learn how to shoot like Emperor Qianlong
• Now its competition time. Take careful aim with your last 12 arrows because your best five shots will determine whether or not you take victory.
• Count your score and get your guide to verify and add it to the all important scoreboard.
• Drumroll please... it’s time to find who has won the competition.
• All guests on the Select Ancient Shanghai Tour will be awarded prizes for the archery competition.
• No matter what Qianlong might have thought about your archery, you can still take your target home with you to remember your unique Ancient Beijing experience.
(prices in Chinese Renminbi per person)
*14 years old or younger.