The Forbidden City in Beijing Experiments with Half-Price for Afternoon Visitors

The Palace Museum in Beijing, commonly known as the Forbidden City, experimented with a discounted entry fee for visitors who choose to tour the former imperial palace after 2:00 in the afternoon. The lower entry fee, at 30.00 Chinese dollars, is half of the normal charge. The trial went on for three days, during September 12-14. There is no word when the museum may implement the policy on a longer term.

The Forbidden City is the imperial palace for Chinese emperors during the Ming and Qing dynasties that ruled China from the 14th century to 1911. One of the most popular tour destinations in Beijing, the palace draws 70,000 to 80,000 tourists everyday. Seeing that most visitors start their tour of the Forbidden City in the morning, the museum tries to encourage visits in the afternoon.

During the peak seaon (April 1 - October 31), the Forbidden City is open for tours from 8:30 am to 17:00 (no ticket sale and entry after 16:00); during the off season (November 1 - March 31), the museum opens from 8:30 to 16:30 (ticket sale and entry stop at 15:30).

The discount offer was for adult admissions only and had to be purchased online, not at gate. Currently the Palace Museum offers 40,000 tickets per day online. According to the museum, during the three-day experiment with the discount afternoon fare, close to 9,000 people took the new offer.