Summer Palace

Summer Palace featuring heritage elements
This majestic former summer residence of the Qing Dynasty is now a world heritage site and favourite Beijing attraction.

The Summer Palace on the shore of Kunming Lake was built as a retreat in the 1750s by China’s last great ruling dynasty, the Qing. It later became their principal residence and, although it suffered damage during the Second Opium War and the Boxer Rebellion, it has gone on to become one of Beijing’s most-loved attractions.

The 60-metre hill in the middle of Kunming Lake is a stunning location for the magnificent buildings and manicured pavilions that UNESCO describe as “a masterpiece of Chinese landscape garden design”. Along with the remarkable temples, halls and bridges, there is plentiful natural beauty here. In fact, the unique setting and one-of-a-kind architecture led to the palace being declared a world heritage site in 1998.

The entrance to the complex is at the East Palace Gate where you’ll be faced with the Hall of Benevolence and Longevity, which houses ornate furnishings including intricate engravings and bronze sculptures. Further along the north-west shore from here is one of the man-made island’s most remarkable structures: the Boat of Purity and Ease. It has the appearance of a lavish boat but it is in fact a wooden pavilion constructed on a stone base.

The earth that was excavated to create Kunming Lake created Longevity Hill, the foot of which is just a short stroll from the boat. Take a deep breath, then set off up the steep front slope towards the towering Hall of Dispensing Clouds, taking time to admire the symmetrically laid-out buildings on both sides. At the top, you can enter the three-storey Tower of Buddhist Incense for a small additional charge where you’ll find an incredible gold statue of the Buddha with a thousand eyes and hands.

After you’ve admired the view, make your way back down the rear end of the hill which is covered in natural woodland and scattered ruins. The best way to get to the Summer Palace, located in the Haidian district, north-west of Beijing, is via a 30-minute taxi ride as the subway can take twice as long. There is a small charge for admission to the complex.

Top 10 Hotels Near Summer Palace

Aloft Beijing, Haidian
Aloft Beijing, Haidian
3.5 out of 5
No.25 Yuan Da Road, Haidian District, Beijing, Beijing, 100097
The price is S$101 per night from 24 Dec to 25 Dec
S$101
per night
24 Dec - 25 Dec
Stay at this 3.5-star business-friendly hotel in Beijing. Enjoy free WiFi, free parking and breakfast. Our guests praise the helpful staff in their reviews. ...
3.8/5 Good! (40 reviews)
"Smoking is prevalent in China, however, the hotel has adopted this smell throughout the building. Even on the non-smoking floors, you can still smell traces of it. I don't know if the non-smoking floors have individual air flitration systems that keep the air going into that room separate but I had ..."

Reviewed on 24 Jun,2019

Aloft Beijing, Haidian
The Lake View Hotel Beijing
The Lake View Hotel Beijing
4.5 out of 5
No 127 North Street, Zhongguancun, Beijing, Beijing, 118305
Stay at this 4.5-star luxury hotel in Beijing. Enjoy free WiFi, free parking and 3 restaurants. Our guests praise the helpful staff in their reviews. Popular ...
3.8/5 Good! (84 reviews)
My staying in the hot August
"I stayed for 2 nights, breakfast was decent but pricey, also had a late supper in the Chinese restaurant downstairs, it was actually pretty good. My room located at the end of 3rd floor which was nice and clean. One thing bothered me quite a bit was during my staying, the 3rd floor hallway had very ..."

Reviewed on 14 Aug,2017

The Lake View Hotel Beijing
Crowne Plaza Beijing Zhongguancun, an IHG Hotel
Crowne Plaza Beijing Zhongguancun, an IHG Hotel
4.5 out of 5
No.106 Zhi Chun Road, Haidian District, Beijing, Beijing, 100086
The price is S$156 per night from 2 Dec to 3 Dec
S$156
per night
2 Dec - 3 Dec
Stay at this 4.5-star luxury hotel in Beijing. Enjoy free WiFi, 3 restaurants and breakfast. Our guests praise the breakfast and the comfy rooms in their reviews. ...
4.4/5 Excellent! (287 reviews)
Good hotel in Zhongguancun university area
"Business centre computer and scanning equipment are too old. Need upgrade! Friendly staff who are willing to listen and help!"

Reviewed on 6 Jun,2021

Crowne Plaza Beijing Zhongguancun, an IHG Hotel
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.

Top Summer Palace Hotel Deals

Aloft Beijing, Haidian
Aloft Beijing, Haidian
3.5 out of 5
No.25 Yuan Da Road, Haidian District, Beijing, Beijing, 100097
Aloft Beijing, Haidian
The Lake View Hotel Beijing
The Lake View Hotel Beijing
4.5 out of 5
No 127 North Street, Zhongguancun, Beijing, Beijing, 118305
The Lake View Hotel Beijing
Crowne Plaza Beijing Zhongguancun, an IHG Hotel
Crowne Plaza Beijing Zhongguancun, an IHG Hotel
4.5 out of 5
No.106 Zhi Chun Road, Haidian District, Beijing, Beijing, 100086
Crowne Plaza Beijing Zhongguancun, an IHG Hotel
Four Points by Sheraton Beijing, Haidian
Four Points by Sheraton Beijing, Haidian
4 out of 5
Tower 1 25 Yuanda Road, Haidian District, Beijing, Beijing, 100097
Four Points by Sheraton Beijing, Haidian
Wenjin Hotel
Wenjin Hotel
4 out of 5
South Gate of Tsinghua University, Chengfu Road, Haidian District, Beijing, 100084
Wenjin Hotel
Holiday Inn Beijing Haidian, an IHG Hotel
Holiday Inn Beijing Haidian, an IHG Hotel
4 out of 5
Building A, No. 89 Shuangqing Rd, Haidian District, Beijing, Beijing, 100085
Holiday Inn Beijing Haidian, an IHG Hotel
Holiday Inn Express Beijing Shangdi, an IHG Hotel
Holiday Inn Express Beijing Shangdi, an IHG Hotel
3 out of 5
No 33 Shangdi East Road, Beijing, Beijing, 100085
Holiday Inn Express Beijing Shangdi, an IHG Hotel
Shangri-La Beijing
Shangri-La Beijing
5 out of 5
29 Zizhuyuan Road, Beijing, Beijing, 100089
Shangri-La Beijing
Park Plaza Beijing Science Park
Park Plaza Beijing Science Park
4 out of 5
No.25 Zhichun Road, Haidian District, Beijing, Beijing, 100083
Park Plaza Beijing Science Park
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.