Although for centuries it had been closed to outsiders, the Emperor of China’s Palace consists of over 1,000 buildings and has made its way to the top of the “most popular tourist destinations list”. Heck even Starbucks has set up shop within its walls. The key to avoiding lines here is to arrive about 30 minutes before it opens and try to hit the big sites first.
If you ever plan on making the trip out here, remember to bring your binoculars. As a result of being overrun by zealous tourists it’s no longer possible to as close (with regular admission) but if you’re a history buff it may just be worth it at any distance.