All you should know before visiting Beijing Summer palace!
Known as the most beautiful imperial garden in Beijing. With her amazing 250 years of history, 3 times bigger than the Forbidden City…Even if you only have 1 hour, there is an easy way for you to enjoy the poetic and picturesque garden!
How to get to the Summer Palace?
Summer Palace in Chinese: 颐和园
Address: No.19 Xinjian Gongmen Road, Haidian District, Beijing
It is located 25kms on northwest of Tiananmen Square. You can easily get there by subway line 4. About 5 minute’s walk to the north gate by following the sign.
If you want to go to the north gate, take the subway line 4 to Beigongmen Station. If you want to get to the east gate, take subway line 4 to Xiyuan station and walk 10 minutes to the east gate.
Open time and tickets
Summer Palace has the main gate ticket and the package ticket. For some of the attraction tickets you need a long day to visit, I recommend you buy the main gate tickets and go inside and buy the inside park tickets if you feel interested.
Is it open on Monday? YES, It is open every day.
|Tickets price||April to October||November to March|
|April to October||6:30||18:00|
|November to March||7:00||17:00|
The park inside:
|April to October||8:30||17:00|
|November to March||9:00||16:00|
History of the Summer Palace
Why was the Summer Palace built?
Around 1749, the Qianlong Emperor decided to build a palace in the vicinity of Jar Hill and the Western Lake to celebrate the 60th birthday of his mother, Empress Dowager Chongqing under the name of improving the capital’s waterworks system.
There is another story about the Summer Palace besides the official facts:
Emperor Qianlong got his crown with the help of his mother when he was a little boy. (A lot of competition between the princes since the emperors were allowed to have a lot of wives). So the mother acts as a regent for the state. As the emperor grew up he feels he couldn’t really rule the country because of his mother. She was very powerful and a bit addicted to power. So the emperor decided to build a perfect place for his mum and move her out. If the Mother knows this, she must feel unhappy. That’s why the emperor uses the name to improve the capital’s waterworks system to cover the project. He asked the artist to copy the most beautiful architecture in China and united it in this palace. A few years later, when the Summer Palace finished. The emperor took his mother here on her 60th birthday and told her the Palace was made for her. For such a nice birthday gift, nobody can refuse. So the Summer Palace was officially named “YIHEYUAN” which means heaven like a palace for an elder’s life.
Destroyed twice and Empress dowager Cixi
In 1860, the British and French allies invade Beijing because of the Opium war. The summer palace, as well as other imperial gardens nearby, are all destroyed and robbed. After the Wall, Emperor Xianfeng died on the flee way. His only 4 years little son became the emperor. His mother who is called Empress dowager Cixi started to regent the country. She was very obsessively about power and county the state in her hand. To make her happy, people start built the garden for her when the county had financial difficulty. Empress dowager Cixi is a metaphor for corrupt nobles in modern China.
In 1912, following the abdication of the Puyi, the Last Emperor, the Summer Palace became the private property of the former imperial family of the Qing Empire. Two years later, the Summer Palace was opened to the public, and entry tickets were sold. In 1924, after Puyi was expelled from the Forbidden City by the warlord Feng Yuxiang, the Beijing municipal government took charge of administrating the Summer Palace and turned it into a public park.
Recommended travel routes
How to make the best of your time?
A. From April to October, there is a ferry from the Newly built gate to the Mable boat. Start from the Newly-built Palace Gate (新建宫门)， visit the 17 arch bridge, take the ferry to the Mable boat, and walk out to North Ruyi Gate. This is also good for people who don’t want too much to walk, you can see the summer palace on the dragon ferry boat. The price for the boat is 20RMB pp. It takes you about 20 minutes.
B. This is the most classic tourists route:
East gate — long corridor –marble boat– the north gate
East Gate — Dehe Garden — Long corridor — Tower of Buddhist Incense — Marble boat — North gate
If you want to spend half-day or more in the Palace, you can walk around Kunming lake after visiting all the sights on the north side.
Photos of the sights in the Summer Palace
6. A great place to eat near the Summer Palace
Xiyuan subway station is located at a business center. There are so many nice restaurants outside. You will not only find all American fast food but also find super nice Chinese restaurants. There are 4 I recommend to you!
If you have any questions, I will be happy to answer your questions and provide you with as much information as you may need.