From the outside you would be forgiven if you find the Forbidden City as slightly daunting.
Constructed in the early 1400s and consisting of more than 900 buildings the Unesco World Heritage site is absolutely huge – and, as I said in the Beijing top 10 guide, it’s a city within a city.
Once inside though you start to forget that you are within the walls of an imposing imperial palace. For the architecture, layout and design is of such amazing standards that walking around the Forbidden City feels like you are in an art museum.
From the small gardens with their water features and sculpted plants to the craftsmanship and decoration of the rooftops and building exteriors there is such creative attention to detail – as shown in the images above.
What I liked most about my visit to the Forbidden City was that even though we spent hours walking I could not stop looking for one moment. Every inch of the Forbidden City had been crafted to be fit for the leaders of the Ming and Qing dynasties.
Don’t rush your visit to the Forbidden City because once you leave the north gate you will keep thinking ‘what did I miss?’. If you find yourself nearing the exit turn round, go back a different way and start exploring again – you won’t regret it.