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You are here: Home >> Beijing Attractions >> Summer Palace

Summer Palace

Originally known as the "Garden of Clear Ripples", the Summer Palace(Yiheyuan) is a magnificent imperial garden located 12 km north-west of Beijing City. This is the largest ancient preserved garden in China and a former summer retreat for Emperors and the chosen few! The site includes more than 100 ancient style pavilions, mansions, towers, halls, temples, bridges and an enormous clear water lake. What is most enjoyable about the Summer Palace however, is that it is simply a gorgeous place to relax, escape the smoke and crowds of the city and spend an afternoon walking. That said however, one could just as easily spend one week out here as one afternoon! Given the sheer size of the place (occupying an area of 290 acres) the Summer Palace is as vast as it is spectacular. This is great though, as it means you get the rare chance in Beijing, to lose the crowds and clear the cobwebs from your mind!

Summer Palace   The magnificent Long Corridor at the Summer Palace in Beijing, is 728 metres in length

The original Palace and grounds were destroyed by the allied forces of Great Britain and France in 1860. However, the Empress Dowager Cixi liked the site so much that she used the funds for creating a modern navy, to reconstruct her favorite retreat! The Empress didn't have much luck however, and the Palace and grounds were destroyed again in 1900. Two years later the palace was restored to the scale and design it is today. The Eastern Palace Gate is the main entrance to the Summer Palace and the arrival point where buses and taxis stop. The opening in the center used to be exclusively for the emperor and empress. Entrance today is RMB 45 and you can now walk through any of the openings in the gateway!

Summer Palace   Summer Palace

The Summer Palace includes many interesting and spectacular sites. For detailed information on what to see and do at the Palace, click below! It's best to spend at least an afternoon or morning here in order to really appreciate the beauty of the place and do it justice. There are also shops and various restaurants and tea-houses dotted about the Palace.

Summer Palace   Summer Palace

Transportation: You can take bus No.301,303,330,332,331,346,362,374,375,904,905 to get there. In fact, the best means is to take the subway and get off at Xizhimen station (not far away from Peking Zoo), then you can take a bus from there. In addition, you could also go by bicycle, which would take you one and a half or two hours approximate

Summer Palace   Summer Palace

Summer Palace   Summer Palace

Useful Information For Visiting Summer Palace
Admission Fee For common tickets, it is RMB20 off-season (Nov.1-Mar.31), while RMB30 peak season (April.1-Oct.31); For integrated tickets, it's RMB40 off-season, and RMB50 peak season, (which includes the admission tickets of the Theatre in the Garden of Virtuous Harmony, the Buddha Fragrance Pavilion and Suzhou Street).
Opening Hours 7:00-17:00(Nov. 1---March 31(next year) ); 6:30-18:00(Apr.1---Oct.31)
Entrances and best routes The Summer Palace has 3 main entrances for travelers: the East Palace Gate, the North Palace Gate and the Newly-built Palace Gate (Xin Jian Gong Men). Here following are several best travel routes concluded by both former visitors and staff from the Palace:

Entering from East Palace Gate:
A. East Palace Gate→Hall of Benevolence and Longevity→Garden of Virtue and Harmony→Wenchang Hall→Hall of Jade Ripples, Yiyun House→Hall of Joyful Longevity→Long Gallery→Hall of Dispelling Clouds→Tower of Buddhist Incense→Marble Boat→Nanhu Island (by boat)→Seventeen-Arch Bridge→Bronze Ox→Newly-built Palace Gate (about 2.5 hours)

B. East Palace Gate→Hall of Benevolence and Longevity→Garden of Virtue and Harmony→ Wenchang Hall→Hall of Jade Ripples, Yiyun House→Hall of Joyful Longevity→Long Gallery→Hall of Dispelling Clouds→Tower of Buddhist Incense→Suzhou Market Street→North Palace Gate (about 2 hours)

Entering from North Palace Gate:
A. North Palace Gate→Suzhou Market Street→Four Great Regions→Tower of the Buddhist Incense→Hall of Dispelling Clouds→Long Gallery→Marble Boat→Nanhu Island (by boat) →Seventeen-Arch Bridge→Bronze Ox→East Causeway of Kunming Lake→Wenchang Hall→Hall of Jade Ripples, Yiyun House→Hall of Joyful Longevity→Garden of Virtue and Harmony→Hall of Benevolence and Longevity→East Palace Gate (about 3 hours)

B. North Palace Gate→Suzhou Market Street-Marble Boat→Long Gallery→Hall of Dispelling Clouds→Tower of Buddhist Incense→Hall of Joyful Longevity→Garden of Virtue and Harmony→Wenchang Hall→Hall of Benevolence and Longevity→East Palace Gate (about 2 hours)

Entering from Newly-built Palace Gate:
A. Newly-built Palace Gate→East Causeway of Kunming Lake→Wenchang Hall→Hall of Benevolence and Longevity→Garden of Virtue and Harmony→Hall of Jade Ripples, Yiyun House→Hall of Joyful Longevity→Long Gallery→Hall of Dispelling Clouds→Tower of Buddhist Incense→Suzhou Market Street→North Palace Gate (about 2.5 hours)

B. Newly-built Palace Gate→Nanhu Island→Seventeen-Arch Bridge→Bronze Ox→Marble Boat (by boat) →Farming and Weaving Scenic Area→Suzhou Market Street→Tower of Buddhist Incense→Hall of Dispelling Clouds→Long Gallery→Hall of Joyful Longevity→Garden of Virtue and Harmony→Hall of Jade Ripples, Yiyun House→Wenchang Hall→Hall of Benevolence and Longevity→East Palace Gate (about 3 hours)

Tips: Visitors can take a battery cart when traveling by land, which connects the following 5 stops: Bafang Pavilion (near the Seventeen-Arch Bridge), Xiuyi Bridge (near South Ruyi Gate), Pavilion of Bright Scenery (south of six Bridges on West Bank), Changguan Hall (near Western Palace Gate) and Jade Belt Bridge.

Boat Service
Boats Categories Wharfs Location Deposit Price
Pedal Boat at the south of Zhichun Pavilion and the Gate of Dispelling Clouds RMB300 RMB40/h (4 seats)
RMB60/h (6 seats)
Manual Boat at the eastern end of Seventeen-Arch Bridge and the south of Bafang Pavilion RMB300 RMB40/h (4 seats)
Battery Boat at the south of Zhichun Pavilion RMB400 RMB60/h (4 seats)
RMB100/h (6 seats)
Dragon Boat Shizhang Pavilion (west end of the Long Gallery ) and Bronze Ox RMB10 (single trip)
Large Ancient
Pleasure Boat
Marble Boat and Nanhu Island  RMB8 (single trip)
Dining There are 3 fast food restaurants in Zhichun Pavilion, nine rooms east of Hall of Dispelling Clouds and Shizhang Pavilion. They offer mainly Chinese food, together with various noodles. Near Marble Boat stands a restaurant offering imperial food, named Tingli Guan (also called Hall of Listening to Orioles), which has another branch near North Ruyi Gate. Their meal time is between 11:00 to 14:30. Moreover, there is a McDonald's outside the North Palace Gate.
Performances Morning 9:00 10:00 11:00; Afternoon 14:30 16:30 17:30
Transportation

By Subway
Line 4: get off at Beigongmen Station (Beigongmen means the North Palace Gate); or get off at Xiyuan Station, get out of the station from Exit C2 (southwest exit) and walk west.

By Bus
1. Take bus 209, 330, 331, 332, 346, 394, 683, 690, 696, 718, 801, 808, or 826 and get off at Yiheyuan; Station.Take bus 469 or 539 and get off at Yiheyuan West Palace Gate Station.
2. Take bus 209, 319, 320, 331, 332, 333(内), 333(外), 394, 432, 438, 498, 628, 664, 718, 801, 826, 特6, Yuntong 106, Yuntong 114, or Yuntong 118 and get off at Yiheyuanlu Dongkou Station (The Eastern End of Yiheyuan Road).
3. Take bus 303, 331, 346, 375, 384, 393, 498, 634, 683, 696, 697, 718, 801, 808, 特5 or 特10 and get off at Yiheyuan North Palace Gate Station.
4. Take bus 74, 374, 437 or 952 and get off at Xin Jian Gong Men (Yiheyuan New Palace Gate) Station.

Suggested time for a visit 3 hours

Summer Palace Tours

Beijing Group Tours
Beijing Group Tour B: Tian'anmen Square + Forbidden City + Temple of Heaven + Summer Palace
Beijing Group Tour F: Badaling Great Wall + Summber Palace

Beijing Private Tours
Beijing Half-day Private Tour E: Summer Palace
Beijing 1-day Private Tour B: Tian'anmen Square + Forbidden City + Temple of Heaven + Summer Palace
Beijing 1-day Private Tour G: Badaling Great Wall + Summer Palace

Multi-day Group Tour Packages
Beijing 4-day Group Tour Package A
Beijing 4-day Group Tour Package B
Beijing 5-day Group Tour Package A
Beijing 5-day Group Tour Package B


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