Potala Palace Facts
Location: on the Red Hill of central Lhasa
Height: 3,767.19m (12,359.55ft) at the topmost point
Built in: 631
|Click the map to enlarge it, |
or go for more Lhasa maps
Potala Palace is the highest ancient palace in the world. Potala named after a holy hill in South India is a Sanskrit word meaning "Abode of the Avalokitesvara (Buddha of Mercy)." The Potala Palace is said to be used for greeting a Han Princess. Legend has it that in the 7th century, to greet his bride Princess Wen Cheng of the Tang Dynasty (618 - 907) of China, the then Tibet King Songtsen Gampo built a 9-storey palace with a thousand rooms up on the Red Hill and named it Potala. The palace was mainly made of stones and woods, and decorated with special local willow branches called Baima Grass. Later, with the collapse of the Songtsen Gampo Dynasty, the ancient palace was almost destroyed in wars. What we see at present is the architecture of the Qing Dynasty (1644 - 1911) and the continuous expanding work outcome since the 17th century.
Potala Palace is a symbol of the cultural and economic communication of Tibet and Tang Court. Now, with high historical value, the palace is very important to China.
The Palace is composed of 2 parts, the Red Palace as the center and the White Palace as two wings.
Red Palace in Potala Palace
White Palace in Potala Palace
Other Annexes in Potala Palace
2. The visit time is limited in 1 hour.
3. Note that expect the toilet at the right side of the White Palace Square, there is no rest room during the route of the rest time. The water closet at the back gate of the White Palace is said to be distinctive and worth a try.
4. Watch your steps due to the high altitude. Bring along an overcoat as it is a bit cold and damp in the hall.
2. Smoking is prohibited and cigarettes are not allowed to be taken into the Potala Palace. Any violation of the rule will invalidate the entrance ticket.
3. Oxygen Bag is prohibited.
4. Be aware of the taboos of Tibetan Buddhism during the visit. Don't wear a hat or sunglasses; don't step on the doorsill; don't take photos in the palace although it is allowed outside it.
Ticket Purchase Procdure in High Season
The visiting date and exact time, number of visitors and ID document numbers are printed on the reservation tickets. Visitors have to visit the palace at the given date and time. Those visitors who have reservation tickets should make their tickets extended or canceled if they can’t visit the place for personal reasons. Otherwise, they will be forbidden to apply again within a week because their names are added to the blacklist.
On the following day, visitors should go to the main gate to have their reservation tickets and ID documents checked and walk to the ticket office in front of the White Palace to buy the entrance tickets. Then they can start their tour after another security check.
Special notice: Visitors should queue up for applying for the reservation tickets as early as they can. The tickets are sent out quickly because there are too many visitors.
How to get to Potala Palace
2. Take bus 32 to Lazhong Bus Stop and then walk southeast for 10mins to the ticket office.
Tourists can take airport shuttle bus from Gonggar Airport to Minhangju Bus Stop and then visit the palace. It costs CNY 25. If they arrive at Lhasa Railway Station, they can take bus no. 13 and get off at Yaowangshan Caishichang Bus Stop.
|Entrance Fee||May - Oct. : CNY 200; |
Nov. - Apr. : CNY 100;
Free for children under 1.2m (3.9 feet).
Free admission from Nov. 1, 2023 to Mar. 15, 2024.
Tourists need to make a reservation online 1-10 days in advance.
|Opening Hours||9:30 - 15:20|
See detailed introduction to Collections of Potala Palace, including its stupas, frescos, thangkas, carvings and sculptures, etc.
4 Days Lhasa Tour from $559
12 Days China Tibet Tour to Beijing - Lhasa - Xi'an - Shanghai from $2689