Summer Palace Travel Tips

Before you step into this super luxury Summer Palace, please read the following tips which offer you some useful information to optimize your trip to this royal garden.

 

Best Summer Palace Tour 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 tour routes concluded by both former visitors and staff from the Palace:
 

East Palace Gate
East Palace Gate

Entering from East Palace Gate:

Tour Route 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) 

Tour Route 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:

Tour Route 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)

Tour Route 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)
 

Zhichun Pavilion
Zhichun Pavilion

Entering from Newly-built Palace Gate:

Tour Route 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)

Tour Route 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

Summer Palace Cruise Ships
Smmer Palace Cruise Ships

To hire a boat is a good choice to appreciate the lake view during a Summer Palace tour. There are different kinds of boats varying of size, startups, and close time. Boat rental at 8 wharfs is available from 08:00 to 16:00, but will be closed in stormy days.

There are mainly 5 kinds of boats. There is a large boat from Beijing Exhibition Center to the Summer Palace via 
Beijing Zoo, The National Library of China, Zizhuyuan (Purple Bamboo) Park, Royal Purple Bay, and Longevity Temple (Wanshou Temple) and there is boat from the Summer Palace to Yuyuantan Park.

Ticket for a single trip is CNY40-50 excluding entrance fee of the Summer Palace.

 

Boats Categories Wharfs Location Deposit Price
Pedal Boat at the south of Zhichun Pavilion and the Gate of 
Dispelling Clouds
CNY300 CNY40 /h (4 seats)
CNY60 /h (6 seats)
Manual Boat at the eastern end of Seventeen -Arch Bridge and
the south of Bafang Pavilion
CNY300 CNY40 /h (4 seats)
Battery Boat at the south of Zhichun Pavilion CNY400 CNY60 /h (4 seats)
CNY100 /h (6 seats)
Dragon Boat Shizhang Pavilion (west end of the Long Gallery ) and 
Bronze Ox
CNY10 (single trip)
Large Ancient
Pleasure Boat
Marble Boat and Nanhu Island  CNY8 (single trip)
 

Dinning and Others

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.

For the convenience of visitors, there are free hand-power wheelchairs at most entrances (East Palace Gate, Gate of Wenchang Hall, North Palace Gate, North Ruyi Gate, Newly-built Palace Gate, South Ruyi Gate, and South Palace Gate) and Tourist Service Center in the southeast out of East Palace Gate. Interpretation service in English and Russian is available. Kindly note that as a regulation, professional video camera equipments are not allowed to be used inside without permission, and that all cultural relics and sights inside should be respected by visitors.

- Last modified on Aug. 30, 2019 -
Questions & Answers on Summer Palace Travel Tips
Asked by Margaret from AUSTRALIA | Aug. 29, 2019 04:23Reply
Hi, How do we get from Beijing Prime Wangfujing hotel to Summer palace by subway/bus please?
Answers (1)
Answered by Amber from USA | Aug. 30, 2019 01:17
00Reply


Take metro line 8 from China art museum station to Beitucheng station, and take metro line 10 to Haidian Huangzhuang station, then take metro line 4 to Beigongmen station (Exit D), and walk south of 400m to your destination. It takes around 1 hour with CNY5.
Asked by Rachel from MALAYSIA | Jul. 16, 2019 22:15Reply
I'm a first time visitor. How to get to Summer Palace from Chongwenmen?
Also, what is recommended travel route?
Answers (1)
Answered by Shona from MALAYSIA | Jul. 17, 2019 02:34
00Reply


Take metro Line 2 from Chongwenmen Station to Xuanwumen Station, and transfer to metro Line 4 to Beigongmen Station (Exit A), and walk west of 400m to it. The article mentioned lots of good travel route, so you can choose one.
Asked by BONGTANG | Mar. 05, 2017 06:24Reply
What is the nearest Subway Train station to Newly-built Palace Gate?
Hi, we will b Beijing before end of this month. One of the routes we are going to use will end up in Newly-Built Palace Gate. We like to know if there is a Subway Train Station near the said gate. Hoping somebody can share about it.
Answers (2)
Answered by Nancy from HUNGARY | Mar. 06, 2017 00:44
10Reply


Yes, the Xiyuan Subway Station is near the Newly-built Palace Gate, but it's still about a 1,400-yard walking distance from the gate.
Answered by BONGTANG | Mar. 06, 2017 02:38
00Reply


Hi Ms. Nancy,

Thanks so much for sharing the info.
Asked by KenAlog from INDONESIA | Nov. 29, 2016 03:56Reply
Is there any boat service from Beijing Exhibition Centre to Summer Palace in late December?
Answers (1)
Answered by Edward from USA | Nov. 30, 2016 00:46
10Reply


Yes! You can take a boat to the palace from Huangdichuan Wharf at the rear lake of BJ Exhibition Center. The boats are available from 10:00 to 16:00 at hourly intervals. The trip takes about 1 hour. The fare is CNY 40 for a single trip; CNY 80 for a round trip. Just buy the ticket on the spot upon arrival! :)
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