Summer Palace (Yiheyuan)
Yiheyuan radiates fully the natural beauty and the grandeur of royal gardens. Composed mainly of Longevity Hill and Kunming Lake, it owns over 3,000 man-made ancient structures, including pavilions, towers, bridges, corridors, etc.
Summer Palace Facts
Location: in the western outskirts of Beijing, 15 km (9.3 mi) from the city center
Area: 290 hectares (717 acres)
Age: almost 270 years
Best time for visit: summer
Recommended Time for a Visit: half a day
Summer Palace History
In 1750, the construction of the lavish royal garden started to prepare for the birthday ceremony of Emperor Qianlong’s mother, with the original name being 'Qingyi Garden' (Garden of Clear Ripples).
In 1869, like most of the gardens in Beijing, the Summer Palace could not elude the rampages of the Anglo-French Allied Force and was destroyed by fire.
In 1888, the garden was reconstructed and renamed as the Summer Palace (Yiheyuan). It was recorded that Empress Dowager Cixi embezzled navy funds to reconstruct it as a resort where to spend the rest of her life.
In 1900, Yiheyuan suffered another hit by the Eight-Power Allied Force and was repaired in the next two years.
In 1914, it was open to the public.
In 1998, the Summer Palace ranked amongst the World Heritage Sites by UNESCO, as well as one of the first national AAAAA tourist spots in China.
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Front Area of Longevity Hill
Rear Area of Longevity Hill
How to get to Summer Palace
To the East Palace Gate: Take bus 303, 331, 332, 346, 508, 579, or 584, and then get off at Yiheyuan Station; or take bus 384, 394, 563, 594 or 601 to Poshangcun. After that, walk west for about 200 meters (220 yards) to the gate.
To the West Gate: Take bus 469 or 539 and get off at Yiheyuan Ximen (Yiheyuan West Gate) Station.
To the North Palace Gate: Take bus 303, 331, 346, 394, 563, 584, 594 or Singtseeing Bus Line 3, and get off at Yiheyuan Beigongmen (North Palace Gate) Station; or take bus 332, 384, or 601 to Beigongmen Subway Station.
To the New Palace Gate: Take bus 74, 374, or 437, and get off at Xin Jian Gong Men (Yiheyuan New Palace Gate) Station.
1. Take line 4 to Beigongmen, and exit from D. After that, walk west for 3 minutes to the North Palace Gate.
2. Take line 10 to Bagou Station. Then take Western Suburban Line to Yiheyuanximen Station. Walk north for 4 minutes to the West Gate of Summer Palace.
3. Take line 4 or line 16 to Xiyuan and leave from exit C2. Walk west for about 15 minutes to the East Palace Gate.
Beijing Bus / Subway Search
|Ticket Type||Price (CNY)|
|April to October||November to March|
|Tower of Buddhist Incense||10||10|
|Suzhou Street and Danning Hall||10||10|
|Recommended Time for a Visit||3 hours|
Note: Free for children under 1.2 meters (3.9 feet).
Summer Palace Beijing Hours
|April - October||November - March|
|Entrance: 06:30 - 18:00 |
* Scenic spots are open from 08:30 to 17:00.
|Entrance: 07:00 - 17:00 |
* Scenic spots are open from 09:00 to 16:00.
Top Thing to Do Nearby Summer Palace: Imperial Waterway Cruise
Top 10 Places to Visit in Beijing
I read that the complex opens at 6:30am but the "scenic spots" open at 8:30am. But I can't figure out what the scenic spots are? What would we be able to do/see between 6:30am and 8:30am?