Summer Palace

The Summer Palace, located in the western suburbs of Beijing, covers an area of about 290 hectares. It is the top of the Chinese classical garden whose original name of it is Qingyi Garden. It was built from 1750 to 1764, and Emperor Qianlong of the Qing Dynasty took it as a gift to celebrate his mother’s 60th birthday. It is a large-scale landscape garden based on Kunming Lake and Wanshou Mountain, which modeled on the West Lake in Hangzhou and based on the design feature of gardens in southern Yangtz. Nowadays, it is the most completely preserved royal garden in China, which is also known as the “Royal Garden Museum” and a national level key tourist attraction.

Basic Facts about the Summer Palace:

  • During the second Opium War in 1860, the Qingyi Garden was burnt by British and French troops. In the 12th year of the reign of Qing emperor Guangxu (1886), the Qing Government embezzled funds of the navy and began to reconstructed this Two years later, it was renamed as the Summer Palace, which wasa resting place for Empress Dowager Cixi. From then on, the Summer Palace became one of the most significant political and diplomatic centers outside the Forbidden City for the supreme governor of the late Qing dynasty, which was also the witness of some important sections of China’s modern history and the site of many crucial historical events.
  • In 1900, theEight-Power Allied Forces invaded Beijing and the Summer Palace was destroyed In 1902, theQing Government rebuilt it. In the late Qing dynasty, the Summer Palace became the main residence where Empress Dowager Cixi and Qing emperor Guangxu administered affairs of state and issued imperial edict.
  • The main scenic areain the Summer Palaceis divided into three parts: the court area, living area and the leisure entertainment area. The court area such as the Hall of Benevolence and Longevity (Renshou Dian) is the main place for Empress Dowager Cixi and Qing emperor Guangxu to administrate domestic and foreign affairs. The living areas is composed by Hall of Happiness in Longevity (Leshou Tang), Hall of Jade Ripples (Yulan Tang) and other halls where is the living quarter for the Emperor and his concubines. The Long Corridor area, Back of longevity Hill and Western part form the leisure entertainment area.
  • On the central axis at the southernfoot of Wanshou mountain, there aremagnificent Hall that Dispels the Clouds (Paiyun Dian), Tower of the Fragrance of the Buddha (Foxiang Ge) and so on. Tower of the Fragrance of the Buddha (Foxiang Ge) is 41 meters high and with 8 sides, 3 layers and 4 double eaves. With the Foxiang pavilion as the center, the building complex spread out to both sides neatly and symmetrically, which is extremely splendid.
  • The current Kunming lake covers an area of over 200 hectares, which occupiesthe three quarters area of the whole garden. There are three islands on the lake–South Lake Island, Mirror of Government Tower and the Hall of Recognition of Talent Island, which obeyed the feature of water scenery design of Chinese imperial garden.The most famous attraction is the 17-hole bridge with 150 meters long, which Spans between South Lake Island and the east bank. Visitors can boat on the lake and enjoy the fabulous scenery while walking on the bridge with the breeze.
  • The Summer Palace was listed into the World Heritage List in 1998, and it is one of the Four Famous Gardens in China. (The Four Famous Gardens in China are Humble Administrator Garden, the Summer Palace, Chengde Mountain Resort and Lingering Garden.)

How to Buy Entrance Tickets:

  • Price of Entrance Tickets:

The ticket price of Beihai Park is different in peak season (Apr. 1 to Oct.31) and low season (Nov.1 to Mar.31), and there is combo ticket including entrance ticket and garden ticket (Wenchang Gallery, Garden of Virtue and Harmony, Buddhist to Incense, plus Suzhou Street.)

Peak Season Admission Fee: CNY 30; Combo Ticket: CNY 60
Low Season Admission Fee: CNY 20; Combo Ticket: CNY 50
  • Opening Time:
Peak Season Opening Time: 6:30 – 20:00; Parks Inside the Summer Palace (Wenchang Hall, Garden of Virtue and Harmony, Tower of Buddhist Incense and Suzhou Market Street): 8:30 – 17:00 Last Entry: 18:00
Low Season Opening Time: 7:00 – 19:00; Parks Inside the Summer (Palace Wenchang Hall, Garden of Virtue and Harmony, Tower of Buddhist Incense and Suzhou Market Street) : 9:00 – 16:00 Last Entry: 17:00

When is the Best Time for Summer Palace Tour?

The Best time to visit the Summer Palace is spring (April and May). As the clear sky and crisp air, September and October are also the pleasant months to visit the Summer Palace.

Tips: Visitors had better avoid the official holidays in China, because many Chinese citizens choose to travel on official holidays. As a result, most Chinese tourist attractions are overcrowded and traffic jams are quite common.

Official Holidays in China

Chinese New Year Around January or February
Winter vacation January-February
Labor Day May1st -3rd
Summer vacation(for students) July-August31st
Mid-Autumn Festival Around mid-September
National Day October 1st-7th

Price of various kinds of boats:

Electric boat
(Wechang, Hall of Dispelling Clouds and Yu Zaoxuan dock)
CNY 80/h (Max 4 people)
CNY 120/h (Max 6 people)
Pedalo boat
(Wechang, Hall of Dispelling Clouds, Hall of Clear Ripple and Yu Zaoxuan dock)
CNY 60/h (Max 4 people)
CNY 80/h (Max 6 people)

How to get to the Summer Palace?

It is very convenient for visitors to get Summer Palace by public transportation.

  • Bus
    1. If visitors want to enter throughthe East Palace Gate (Donggongmen), Bus No.330, No.331, No.332, No.346, 375, No.508, No.563, No.579, No.584, No.594 are available.
    2. Visitors can take Bus No.303, No.330, No.331, No.332, No.346, No.375, No.508, No.563, No.579, No.584, No.594 and sightseeing Line 3 and get off at the North Palace Gate (Beigongmen)
    3. To enter throughthe Xinjiangong men, visitors can take Bus No.74, No.374, No.437 and No.952.
    4. The Bus No.74, No.374, No.437 and No.952 are also available for tourists to get to the South Gate.
    5. The Bus No.49 and No.539 are available for tourists enter through the West Gate.
  • Subway

It is convenient to get there by subway. Visitors can take Subway line 4 and get off at the Xiyuan Station, and then go west along Tongqing street for more than 800 meters to Donggongmen gate. Visitors can also get off at the Beigongmen Station and exit from the Exit D.

How to Tour the Summer Palace?

There are nine tour routes of the Summer Palace as follows.

  • The tour route of entering through the East Palace Gate (Donggongmen)
  1. The East Palace Gate (Donggonngmen) →Hall of Benevolence and Longevity (Renshou Dian) → Wenchang Gallery (Wenchang Yuan) → Hall of Jade Ripples(Yulan Tang) & Yiyun Hall (Yiyun Guan) → Hall of Happiness in Longevity (Leshou Tang)→ Long Corridor (Chang Lang ) → Hall that Dispels the Clouds (Paiyun Dian) → Tower of the Fragrance of the Buddha (Foxiang Ge) → Clear and Peaceful Boat(Qingyan Fang) → Ruyi Gate (Ruyi men)   About 3 hours
  2. The East Palace Gate (Donggonngmen) → Hall of Benevolence and Longevity ( Renshou Dian) → Wenchang Gallery (Wenchang Yuan) → Hall of Jade Ripples(Yulan Tang) & Yiyun Hall (Yiyun Guan) → Hall of Happiness in Longevity → Long Corridor (Chang Lang ) → Hall that Dispels the Clouds (Paiyun Dian) → Tower of the Fragrance of the Buddha (Foxiang Ge) → Clear and Peaceful Boat (Qingyan Fang) → Take boat to the South Lake Island (Nanhu Dao) → Seventeen-Arch Bridge (Shiqi Kong Qiao) → Bronze Ox (Tongniu) → Xinjiangong men  About 2.5 hours
  3. The East Palace Gate (Donggonngmen) → Hall of Benevolence and Longevity (Renshou Dian) → Wenchang Gallery (Wenchang Yuan) → Hall of Jade Ripples(Yulan Tang) & Yiyun Hall (Yiyun Guan) → Hall of Happiness in Longevity (Leshou Tang) → Long Corridor (Chang Lang ) → Hall that Dispels the Clouds (Paiyun Dian) → Tower of the Fragrance of the Buddha (Foxiang Ge) → Suzhou Street (Suzhou Jie) → The East Palace Gate (Beigongmen)   About 2 hours
  4. The East Palace Gate (Donggonngmen) → Hall of Benevolence and Longevity ( Renshou Dian) → Wenchang Gallery (Wenchang Yuan) → Hall of Jade Ripples(Yulan Tang) & Yiyun Hall (Yiyun Guan) → Hall of Happiness in Longevity ( Leshou Tang) → Long Corridor (Chang Lang ) → Hall that Dispels the Clouds (Paiyun Dian) → Tower of the Fragrance of the Buddha (Foxiang Ge) → Tower of the Fragrance of the Buddha (Foxiang Ge) → Suzhou Street (Suzhou Jie) → Hall of Serenity (Danning Tang) → Garden of Harmonious Pleasures (Xiequ Yuan) → The East Palace Gate ( Donggonngmen)  About 2.5 hours
  • The tour route of entering through the North Palace Gate (Beigongmen)
  1. The North Palace Gate(Beigongmen) → Suzhou Street (Suzhou Jie) → Four Great Regions(Sida Buzhou) → Tower of the Fragrance of the Buddha (Foxiang Ge) → Hall that Dispels the Clouds (Paiyun Dian) → Long Corridor (Chang Lang ) → Clear and Peaceful Boat (Qingyan Fang) → Take boat to the South Lake Island (Nanhu Dao) →  Seventeen-Arch Bridge (Shiqi Kong Qiao) → Bronze Ox (Tongniu) → the East bank of Kunming Lake (Kunming Hu) Wenchang Gallery (Wenchang Yuan) → Hall of Jade Ripples(Yulan Tang) & Yiyun Hall (Yiyun Guan) → Hall of Happiness in Longevity ( Leshou Tang) → Hall of Benevolence and Longevity ( Renshou Dian) → the East Palace Gate (Donggongmen)    About 3 hours
  2. The North Palace Gate (Beigongmen) →Suzhou Street (Suzhou Jie) → Hall of Serenity (Danning Tang) → Garden of Harmonious Pleasures (Xiequ Yuan) → Hall of Benevolence and Longevity ( Renshou Dian) → Hall of Jade Ripples(Yulan Tang) & Yiyun Hall (Yiyun Guan) → Wenchang Gallery (Wenchang Yuan) → Hall of Happiness in Longevity ( Leshou Tang) → Long Corridor (Chang Lang ) → Hall that Dispels the Clouds (Paiyun Dian) → Tower of the Fragrance of the Buddha (Foxiang Ge) → Clear and Peaceful Boat (Qingyan Fang) → the Ruyi Gate (Ruyi men)   About 2.5 hours
  3. The North Palace Gate (Beigongmen) →Suzhou Street (Suzhou Jie) → Clear and Peaceful Boat (Qingyan Fang) → Long Corridor (Chang Lang ) → Hall that Dispels the Clouds (Paiyun Dian) → Tower of the Fragrance of the Buddha (Foxiang Ge) → Hall of Happiness in Longevity (Leshou Tang) → Wenchang Gallery (Wenchang Yuan) → Hall of Benevolence and Longevity ( Renshou Dian) → the East Palace Gate (Donggongmen)   About 2 hours
  • The tour route of entering throughthe Xinjiangong men
  1. Xinjiangong men →the East Bank of Kunming Lake (Kunming Hu) → Wenchang Gallery (Wenchang Yuan) → Hall of Benevolence and Longevity ( Renshou Dian) → Hall of Jade Ripples(Yulan Tang) & Yiyun Hall (Yiyun Guan) → Hall of Happiness in Longevity (Leshou Tang) → Long Corridor (Chang Lang ) → Hall that Dispels the Clouds (Paiyun Dian) → Tower of the Fragrance of the Buddha (Foxiang Ge) → Suzhou Street (Suzhou Jie) → the North Palace Gate(Beigongmen)   About 2.5 hours
  2. Xinjiangong men →the South Lake Island (Nanhu Dao) → Seventeen-Arch Bridge (Shiqi Kong Qiao) → Bronze Ox (Tongniu) → Take boat to the Clear and Peaceful Boat (Qingyan Fang) → Suzhou Street (Suzhou Jie) → Tower of the Fragrance of the Buddha (Foxiang Ge) → Hall that Dispels the Clouds (Paiyun Dian) → Long Corridor (Chang Lang ) → Hall of Happiness in Longevity (Leshou Tang) → Hall of Jade Ripples(Yulan Tang) & Yiyun Hall (Yiyun Guan) → Wenchang Gallery (Wenchang Yuan) → Hall of Benevolence and Longevity ( Renshou Dian) → the East Palace Gate (Donggongmen)   About 3 hours

Booking Method

  • Step 1: You can directly book online or please feel free to share your tour plans or thoughts at [email protected] , our travel consultant will contact you within 12 hours.
  • Step 2: A small amount deposit will be required to book a tour. After deposit received, a detailed service voucher will be sent to you to confirm the booking.
  • Step 3: Balance due will be required 7-15 days ahead of your travel date.

If you have any further question, please feel free to contact us!
Email: [email protected]
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Meals

Food is a very important part of Chinese culture. You won’t want to miss the opportunity to taste the real local Chinese food!

Buffet breakfast will be included in the hotel if you would like accommodation to be arranged by us. Having lunch at local restaurants close and convenient to the attractions you will visit, you would enjoy the local dishes in each city. Chinese style, Vegetarian or Muslim meals are all available. If you have any other diet requirements or allergies, please feel free to let us know, we will try our best to organize it.

For daily dinner, you are suggested to have it on your own when you are exploring each city in your own time, this way would be more flexible for you to choose food as per your interest and preference.

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