The Summer Palace is a vast ensemble of lakes, gardens and palaces in Beijing. Mainly dominated by Longevity Hill and Kunming Lake, it covers an expanse of 2.9 square kilometers, three-quarters of which is water. In December 1998, UNESCO included the Summer Palace on its World Heritage List. It declared the Summer Palace "a masterpiece of Chinese landscape garden design. The natural landscape of hills and open water is combined with artificial features such as pavilions, halls, palaces, temples and bridges to form a harmonious ensemble of outstanding aesthetic value".
Located in the northwest outskirts of Beijing, 15 km from the city, the Summer Palace is originally named "Qingyiyuan" (Gardens of Clear Ripples). Based on the scenery of West Lake as the chief source, the garden absorbs the design method as well as the artistic conception of traditional southern Chinese garden. It gets the reputation of the “museum of the royal garden”.
As the largest royal garden of the Qing Dynasty, it features wonderful scenery in four seasons. The palace gets more mild and colorful in autumn, the hue of which turns into warm colors like yellow, orange and red. Palaces sheltered in the warm color plants are especially charming. Also, some fallen leaves are floating over the water.
Admission Fee: 30 RMB April 1 – October 31
20 RMB November 1 – March 31
Opening Hours: 6:30 – 20:00 last entry at 18:00 April 1 – October 31
7:00 – 19:00 last entry at 17:00 November 1 – March 31
Address: #19 Xinjiangongmen Road, Haidian District, Beijing
West Gate: Take Bus No.469 or 539 and get off at Summer Palace West Gate Stop (颐和园西门站)
North Gate: Take Subway Line 4 and get off at Beigongmen Station (北宫门站).
Take Bus No.303, 330, 331, 346, 375, 384, 563, 601, 608, 683, 696, 697, 718 and get off at Summer Palace North Gate Stop (颐和园北宫门站)