Forbidden City is located in the heart of Beijing, it was built in 1420 and was the imperial palace from the Ming dynasty up until 1912.
Just across the street from the entrance is Tiananmen Square and this is where we started our visit. The square is massive and home to among other things the Mausoleum of Mao Zedong (Chairman Mao). There are also big flroal displays celebrating the 70 years since the Japanese surrender in world war II.
This was a great place for people watching, soo many people, so many tour groups and people wearing matching hats diligently following their tour guides raised flag around the square… it made us feel pretty good that we were visiting independently and not just being herded around the city.
You enter Forbidden City underneath a giant portrait of Chairman Mao, and after you have purchased your ticket and passed security you can enter the palace properly. It is amazing, the scale and architecture are impressive and although extremely busy it is possible to deviate from the audio tour and find spots where only a few people are and enjoy a few minutes peace while taking in the sights.