Beijing Summer palace travel guide! All you should know in 2024!

2023-11-05   Leo Kui      2

The Summer Palace, located in Beijing, China, is a magnificent architectural masterpiece that has stood the test of time. It is one of the most popular tourist attractions in the country, drawing millions of visitors each year. Standing at the entrance, I couldn’t help but marvel at the grandeur and beauty before me. The Summer Palace is not just a tourist destination but a symbol of China’s rich history and cultural heritage.

History of the Summer Palace

The history of the Summer Palace dates back to the 12th century when it was first built as a royal garden during the Jin Dynasty. However, it was during the Qing Dynasty that the Summer Palace gained its prominence. Emperor Qianlong ordered the construction of a grand palace complex, which was used as a retreat for the royal family during the scorching summer months. Unfortunately, the original palace was destroyed by fire in 1860 during the Second Opium War. It was later rebuilt and restored to its former glory in 1888.

How to get to the Summer Palace?

It is located 25 km northwest of the city center.


Summer Palace has three major entry gates
East Gate ( Main Gate ), also called “East Palace Gate” 东宫门
North Gate, also called “Beigongmen, or North Palace Gate” 北宫门
South Gate, also known as “New Palace Gate” 新建宫门


Take subway line 4 to Beigongmen station, and you will get to the north gate. You will reach the East gate if you get off 1 station earlier.

Open time and tickets

Summer Palace has the main gate ticket and the package ticket. For some attraction tickets, you need a long day to visit; I recommend you buy the primary 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.

High Season (From April 1 to October 31)
Open: 6:00
Tickets stop selling at 19:00;
Close: 20:00

Low Season (From November 1 to March 31 next year)
Open: 6:30
Tickets stop selling at 18:00;
Close: 19:00

Summer Palace Admission
30 yuan (peak season)
20 yuan (off-season)

Summer Palace Combo ticket (It includes the entrance fee of all the other parks inside)
60 Yuan (peak season)
50 yuan (off-season)

The pay attractions inside the park: 5 yuan for De He Garden, Wenchang Exhibition 20 yuan; 10 yuan for Foxiang Pavilion; 10 yuan for Suzhou Street

Highlights of the Summer Palace

As I walked through the vast expanse of the Summer Palace, I couldn’t help but be amazed by the numerous highlights that awaited me at every turn.

Must-See Attractions in the Summer Palace

Summer palace recommend travel route

Summer palace guide map

The Hall of Benevolence and Longevity

Visit the Hall of Benevolence and Longevity (Renshou Dian), Empress Dowager Cixi’s residence. Explore the beautifully adorned halls and gain insights into the life of the imperial court.

Hall of Happiness and Longevity

The Hall of Happiness and Longevity, within Beijing’s Summer Palace, was the residence of Emperor Qianlong’s mother. With its exquisite design and intricate decorations, this grand hall showcases the beauty of imperial Chinese architecture. Visitors can admire its painted ceilings, ornate furnishings, and tranquil garden surroundings.

The Long Corridor

The long corridor is a remarkable covered walkway stretching over 700 meters. It is adorned with intricate paintings and vibrant colors and offers a captivating stroll along Kunming Lake. This architectural marvel provides a delightful experience, combining art, history, and natural scenery.

Tower of Buddhist incense

Begin your journey by ascending Longevity Hill, where you will discover magnificent temples, pavilions, and beautiful vistas. Don’t miss the iconic Tower of Buddhist Incense (Fo Xiang Ge) that offers panoramic views of the palace complex.

The Marble Boat

Marble boat

Marvel at the unique Marble Boat (Shi Fang), a symbolic structure reflecting the extravagance of the Qing Dynasty. This grand marble structure is a testament to the luxury of the imperial era.

17 arch Bridge

Seventeen arch bridge

With its elegant design and seventeen arches, this iconic bridge offers visitors a scenic passage and a stunning view of the surrounding landscape.

Recommended travel routes

How to make the best of your time?

It is far from the city center, so you must schedule about half a day here.

My favorite route to visit the Summer Palace (To do this you need about 2 hours)

East Gate — The palace area — Long corridor — Tower of Buddhist Incense — Marble boat — Take the cruise to the 17 arches bridge- New palace gate.

Photos of the sights in the Summer Palace

Top 8 place to visit in Beijing Summer Palace

Summer Palace Sunset in Winter (PHOTOS)

Nearby Attractions to Visit Near the Summer Palace

After exploring the Summer Palace, there are several nearby attractions worth visiting:

Fragrant Hills Park: Located just a short distance from the Summer Palace, Fragrant Hills Park is known for its vibrant autumn foliage and stunning views. Take a cable car ride to the hilltop for panoramic vistas of the surrounding area.

Old Summer Palace: Also known as the Yuanmingyuan, the Old Summer Palace is a historic site that offers a glimpse into China’s imperial past. The ruins of the palace complex are a haunting reminder of its former glory.

Beijing Botanical Garden: Nature lovers will enjoy a visit to the Beijing Botanical Garden, which is home to a vast collection of plants, flowers, and trees. The garden also features several themed areas, including a rose garden and a bonsai garden.

Dining Options Near the Summer Palace

Xiyuan subway station is located at a business center. There are so many excellent restaurants outside. You will not only find all American fast food but also find super friendly 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 need.


2 Comments so far

BrandonPosted on7:47 am - Apr 29, 2024

Are some of the halls in the summer palace closed on Mondays? If they are – is it still worth visiting?

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