Old Summer Palace (Yuanmingyuan)

Attraction Qinghuan West Road, Haidian District, Beijing 100007, China Published on: 08-08-2016

2 hours
07:00 AM - 06:00 PM
09:00 AM
11:00 AM
First-time visit
Must see
1.47 USD

Old Summer Palace (Yuanmingyuan) is good for

Good for family with kids Family with kids Good
Good for senior Senior Good
Good for couple Couple Good
Good for solo Solo Good
Good for group Group Good
  • Highly recommended by fellow travellers.
The Old Summer Palace, known as the Gardens of Perfect Brightness and originally called the Imperial Gardens, is a complex of palaces and gardens in Beijing

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Why Old Summer Palace (Yuanmingyuan) is special ?

The Old Summer Palace in Beijing is also referred to as the Garden of Perfection and Light (Yuanmingyuan in Chinese) and is renowned as one of the Chinese capital's most attractive gardens. First created in 1709 at the time of rule of the Qing Dynasty's Emperor Kangxi, the site was expanded over the next one and a half centuries into an pleasure garden for the Chinese Emperors.

The Old Summer Palace differs from other Chinese gardens as its horticulture and construction incorporate elements of both western design and conventional Chinese landscaping, all combined to form a harmonious whole. The garden's picturesque sights include the Labyrinth, Grand Waterworks and the Throne for viewing the waterworks.

Source: http://www.millenniumhotels.com.cn/

What to explore at Old Summer Palace (Yuanmingyuan)?

The Old Summer Palace may be broadly separated into three sections, namely Yuanmingyuan, the Garden of Blossoming Spring (Wanchunyuan) and the Garden of Eternal Spring (Changchunyuan). The vast garden contains innumerable scenic attractions including handsome pavilions, chambers, intricately constructed halls and kiosks as well as natural features such as rivers, ponds, rocks and earth hills adorned with exotic grasses and flowers brought in from the various regions of China. The garden is considered to exemplify the ancient Chinese art of garden landscaping.

Source: Source: http://www.millenniumhotels.com.cn/

How to get to Old Summer Palace (Yuanmingyuan)?


Subway Line 4: get off at Yuanmingyuan Station and get out of the station from Exit B (northeast exit).

Bus Route:

1. Take bus 614, 562, 664, 681, 982, Yuntong 205, 656, Te4, 717, Yuntong 105, 365, 432 and get off at Yuanmingyuan Dongmen (East Gate) Station.

2. Take bus 365, 562, 664, 681, 982, Yuntong 205, Te4, Yuntong 105, 432, 614 and get off at Yuanmingyuan Dong Lu Station.

3. Take bus 664, 438, 498, 331, 696, Te 6, 601, 697, 320, 690, 628, 432, 626, 319 and get off at Yuanmingyuan Nanmen (South Gate).

Source: http://www.travelchinaguide.com/

Selling points

  • “Worth the hassle”
  • “Solemn Reminder of History”
  • “Nice Heritage Palace in Beijing”
  • “Superb gardens”
  • “Breath taking palace”
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4.0 days
143.03 USD
Total travel distance
Number of places
12 places




Qinghuan West Road, Haidian District, Beijing 100007, China

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Tips for you

  • The old summer palace requires substantial time to explore.
  • Opening Hours: 07:00-19:00 (May-August) 07:00-18:00 (April, September and October) 07:00-17:30 (January, February, March, November and December)
  • Children below 3.9 feet (1.2 meters) are admitted at half-price.
    Ticket and Pricing
  • If you go on your own, you should get a map at the entry
    Things to do
  • For visiting the biggest ruins, they make you pay an extra fee
  • Be prepared that a very long walk before you get to the ruins.
  • It's very nice for walking and admiring nature.


TripAdvisor View more

I heard from my boyfriend that the Old Summer Palace was a different sort of attraction in Beijing, so I fended off the skepticism from colleagues and tour guides that told me it was a pile of rocks and I should really see the nice beautiful NEW Summer Palace next door. I'm glad I did! I contacted about 10 different guides on TripAdvisor and finally found someone who would take me there, but I have to say, her knowledge of the place was not so deep. I don't think most guides get requests to tour this place, and it's a difficult place to tour because of its sad history. But despite the relatively few facts we got during the tour, I left the Old Summer Palace with my jaw on the ground. There are so many beautiful glorious monuments in Beijing, New Summer Palace included, but the Old Summer Palace is a (mostly) unrestored piece of recent Chinese history, and it is a terrible reminder of what the British and French did to China. Also, it's great to forget you're in the city for a few hours as you wander around the beautiful grounds and the lake. I would recommend this attraction to anyone, but especially those who have already seen Beijing's other amazing monuments - I just wished I had used a tour guide that understood why I requested to get off the beaten path.

TripAdvisor View more

I didn't expect such a big park, even after reading reviews beforehand! I thought the size of the park was in regards to the ruins area but, in fact, the ruins are only a small part of the park. Lots of nice lakes, black swans and beautiful flowers. Really glad to have gone and found a strolling place in the middle of Beijing! Come out of the Yuanmingyuan subway stop, exit B and turn left for the entrance.

TripAdvisor View more

Oh my god, all the tour groups. Most of the park is made up of ponds full of lilies surrounded by willow trees; walking through these areas, it doesn't seem so crowded. It's beautiful. But once I reached the ruins, it was like walking into a wall of people - lots of kids climbing all over the ruins and tour groups walking around with megaphones. And this was on a Monday in the rain. I'm sure there are places to "get away" in the park; there are a lot of places to sit and relax (but there are also a lot of vendors / hawkers). I think this park could be really charming if you went at the right time.

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