How Many Tourists Visit The Forbidden City Each Year

The Forbidden City, located in Beijing, China, is one of the most recognizable and historically significant sites in human history. Considered to be China’s greatest imperial palace, the Forbidden City drew nearly 16 million visitors in 2019, making it the most visited attraction in the world. But how many tourists visit the Forbidden City annually?

The Forbidden City and the ancient palace of Ming and Qing Dynasties were the heart of the ancient Chinese imperial city. The complex is situated in the center of modern Beijing and is spread over 720,000 square meters, containing 980 buildings and more than 8,700 rooms. Initially established in 1420, the Forbidden City was the imperial palace of 24 emperors and has many valuable pieces of architecture and art, making it one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world, as proven by the continual rise of annual visitors.

The Chinese government regulates the number of tourists that can enter the Forbidden City. On any given day, the number of visitors is limited to about 80,000, and in the busy season, it can reach up to 110,000. It is estimated that about 17 million people visited the Forbidden City in 2020, a significant increase from the 16 million that visited in 2019. This speaks to the increasing popularity of the attraction.

The Forbidden City’s popularity is not just limited to tourists; it also attracts scholars, architects, and archeologists from around the world. These experts come to view the intricate details of the palace’s architecture, the complex floor plans, and its considerable collection of imperial artifacts. According to professor Wu Jiarong, Dean of the School of Architecture and Civil Engineering at Beijing Institute of Technology, “The Forbidden City demonstrates the best of Chinese architecture and design. It’s a living museum that will inspire generations to come.”

To better accommodate and manage the increasing number of tourists, the Chinese government has implemented a reservation system. The system requires visitors to register online and choose a date and time for their visit. This has allowed visitors to plan their experience in advance, which in turn reduces the number of long queues. Moreover, visitors can also access the entire complex via an audio tour. The tour provides tourists with a personal headset that provides audio commentary and translations to help visitors understand the significance of the palace’s artwork and decorations.

The Forbidden City is an important part of China’s identity and provides a glimpse into the country’s past. It is no surprise that it continues to fascinate tourists from all over the world, with 17 million people visiting the Forbidden City in 2020 alone.

Preservation of the Forbidden City

The Forbidden City is a symbol of Chinese history and culture and is used as a means of preserving it. According to experts, preservation is a major part of the Forbidden City’s mission. The Forbidden City Preservation Office, or FCPO, is charged with the responsibility of maintaining the palace, including its restoration, repair, and conservation of its artifacts.

The FCPO is also responsible for preventing any further damage to the palace. They regularly inspect the entire complex for structural issues, heat damage, and other environmental factors that could cause deterioration. Additionally, the FCPO puts in place measures to reduce visitor impact, such as certain areas that are only open to academic visitors.

The Chinese government also funds several renovation projects in the Forbidden City, such as the renovation of buildings, preservation of artifacts, and maintenance of the palace grounds. These projects often require the help of experts such as architects, engineers, and historians who are experienced in restoring historical and cultural sites. This helps ensure that the Forbidden City is preserved for generations to come.

Cultural Significance of the Forbidden City

The Forbidden City is much more than a tourist attraction. For many Chinese people, the palace represents their nation’s glorious past and is a source of immense pride. It has become a symbol of China’s power and greatness and is often used in popular culture such as films and television shows.

The richness of China’s culture is often connected to the Forbidden City. The exquisite artwork, intricate designs and the usage of vibrant colors in the palace further signify the importance of the Chinese culture. Additionally, the Forbidden City provides an insight into Chinese history and the many dynasties that reigned over the nation. All these factors combined make the Forbidden City a cultural hub, a place where people can learn more about their country’s heritage and traditions.

The Forbidden City is a part of every Chinese person’s identity, and its immense importance has resulted in a large number of visitors. Despite its heritage, the Forbidden City remains open to the public, with 17 million people visiting the palace in 2020 alone.

Commercialization of the Forbidden City

The Forbidden City is one of the most sought-after tourist destinations, and as a result, has become highly commercialized. There are numerous shops and restaurants on the grounds that offer souvenirs, refreshments, and snacks. The souvenir shops offer a wide variety of items, from keychains and postcards to replicas of the imperial artifacts.

The Forbidden City’s restaurants have also seen immense success. Once run solely by the imperial court, the restaurants now offer both regional and international cuisine. This further adds to the appeal of the Forbidden City, as visitors can sample authentic Chinese food in one of the world’s most famous attractions.

Additionally, people often visit the Forbidden City to experience its many theatrical shows. These shows include traditional Chinese dances, acrobatic performances and martial arts demonstrations. The shows are an excellent way to get an insight into the culture of China and are highly popular among tourists.

The commercialization of the Forbidden City is a double-edged sword. On one hand, it allows the palace to generate more income, which in turn can be used to improve the infrastructure and maintenance of the attraction. On the other hand, the shops and restaurants can take away from the cultural experience that visitors can have at the Forbidden City.

Implications of High Visitor Numbers

The Forbidden City’s decline in visitors over the years has been attributed to China’s economic transformation. With the government’s focus on the country’s modernization, the palace was seen as an outdated and out of touch relic of the past.

However, the increasing number of tourists can have both positive and negative implications. On one hand, the rise in visitor numbers can be used to generate more income, helping the palace to maintain its infrastructure and artifacts. On the other hand, it can place a strain on the palace’s resources and result in overcrowding.

The Chinese government is aware of this and has implemented strict regulations on the number of visitors that can enter the Forbidden City on any given day. They have also implemented a reservation system to help ease the overcrowding. These measures are intended to ensure that visitors have a positive experience and to protect the palace from any further damage.

The Forbidden City draws in large numbers of tourists each year, with 17 million visitors reported in 2020. Despite the sheer number of visitors, the palace’s preservation is ensured through a number of measures, such as the reservation system and the maintenance of its artifacts. While it may be seen as a major tourist attraction, the Forbidden City will continue to serve as a symbol of China’s proud cultural heritage.

Herman Shaw is a passionate traveler and avid photographer who has seen many of the world's most awe-inspiring monuments. He has developed expertise in various aspects of world architecture and culture which he enjoys sharing with his readers. With deep historical knowledge and insight, Herman's writing brings life to these remarkable artifacts and highlights their importance in the grand scheme of human history.

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