We are travelling to Beijing 19th - 22nd July and wish to visit the Forbidden City. Several websites state that tickets must be purchased online. However, others also claim foreigners can buy them at the City gate on the day of entry.

Which is correct - only online, or at the gate?


Chinese citizens are required to book in advance, but as the ticket portal linked from the Palace Museum website is only available in Chinese and requires local payment, reports at TripAdvisor, Lonely Planet, and The China Guide among others confirm that at least as of early 2018, foreigners can bring their passport and payment to the "passport window" and have the staff obtain tickets for you.

The same sources observe that you can purchase on site by scanning a QR code, though this requires a local electronic payment method like Alipay or a local bank account.

FWIW, the China Guide page offers a screen-by-screen walk-through of the website purchase process, though this too requires Alipay or a local bank account to submit payment.

  • 2
    I was there in May. This is the case. – the other one Jul 11 '18 at 8:57

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