Travel Tips for The Old Summer Palace

On your trip to Beijing, especially when you are going to visit Summer Palace, you may feel obliged to have a glimpse of the Summer Palace ( Yuanmingyuan Ruins Park ) next door (to the east of the present-day Summer Palace).

Beijing’s Old Summer Palace, also known as Yuanmingyuan (CGTN)

The old palace-turned park mainly consists of Qichun Garden, Changchun Garden and Yuanmingyuan, also known as the Three Yuanming Gardens. Tracing China’s modern history, local people’s mood is mostly heavy.

On the evening of October 6, 1860, the Allied forces of Britain and France only used more than 3,500 soldiers to capture the Old Summer Palace with their guns.

On October 7 and 8, and the Allied Forces carried out the mad looting; on October 18 and 19, even though 3,500 British and French soldiers set fire to the royal gardens, which represents the model of Chinese architecture art, which were burned to the ground. The fire lasted for three days. Since then, today we can only see the ruins of the Old Summer Palace.

Visit Time and Travel Route

The Old Summer Palace (Yuanmingyuan Ruins Park) is huge, basically it takes about 2 hours for sightseeing; if you want to take a closer look at all three gardens, it will take 3 or 4 hours. It’s best to decide how much to spend in the park according to your stay in Beijing and your taste.

The Old Summer Palace is divided into three parts, namely: Qichun Garden (绮春园), Changchun Garden (长春园) and Yuanming Yuan (圆明园). Entering the south gate to the park, you first arrive at Qichun Garden (绮春园), .To the north of Qichun Garden are Changchun Garden (长春园) on the east and Yuanming Yuan ( (圆明园) on the west.

Travel Map of the Old Summer Palace (from yuanmingyuanpark)

It is recommended to enter the park from the south gate first, namely, entering Qichun Park. Qichun Garden boasts beautiful scenery mainly composed of water landscape garden, pavilions, lakes and hills.

Then walk north and arrive at the first stop of the Zodiac animal. After the tour, continue north and east to visit the European Palaces Then you get to Changchun Garden.

After visiting Changchun Garden, go west to the east side of Fuhai Lake in Yuanmingyuan area. Fuhai lake is the largest lake in the Old Summer Palace. Walk along the east side of Fuhai Lake to the south and return to the South gate via Qichun Park. The whole tour will take about 2 hours.

Tickets and Opening Hours

Park Opening Hours

January 1 – March 15, October 16 – December 31
Ticketing time: 7:00-17:30
Opening and closing time: 7:00-19:30

March 16 – April 30, September 1 – October 15
Ticketing time: 7:00-18:00
Opening and closing time: 7:00-20:00

May 1 – August 31
Ticketing time: 7:00-19:00
Opening and closing time: 7:00-21:00

Ticketing Information

Ticket offices are located at the palace gate of Qichun Garden (open normally) and the East Gate of Changchun Garden (open normally)

Gate admission:
Entrance Fee for the park: 10 yuan/person;
European Palaces inside the park: 15 yuan/person;
Through ticket ( entrance fee and European Palaces ): 25 yuan/person;

Free Ticket Policy

  1. Free admission for children under 6 years old (including 6 years old) or under 1.3 meters (including 1.3 meters);
  2. Free admission for seniors aged 60 years or older with an old age card or id card.

Pleasure Boats Information:

Fuhai Wharf: Pedal boat and battery boat

Pedal boat for four: 60 yuan/hour, 200 yuan deposit
Pedal boat for six: 80 YUAN/hour, deposit 300 yuan
Six person battery boat: 150 yuan/hour, 400 yuan deposit
Four person battery boat: 100 yuan/hour, 300 yuan deposit

How to get to the Old Summer Palace from downtown Beijing

The Yuanmingyuan Ruins Park is located 18 kilometers to the northwest of Tiananmen Square in central Beijing. It is recommended to take Metro Line 4 or transfer from another metro line to line 4.

The subway

Take subway line 4, get off at Exit B of Yuanmingyuan Station, and walk to the south gate of Yuanmingyuan (the Palace gate the Qichun Yuan).

Bus routes

To get to the palace gate of Qichun Garden of The Old Summer Palace, bus lines are 331, 424, 432, 438, 498, 508, 579, 601, 664, Special 19 and so on.

To the East gate of Changchun Garden, there are 305, 320, 365, 375, 424, 432, 626, 664, 982, And So on.

Yuanmingyuan Self-drive Parking Lots

Qichun Palace Gate parking Spaces: 420;

Changchun Garden East gate parking Spaces: 112;

Ergong gate parking Spaces: 27 large cars (temporarily disassembled into small cars during the epidemic) and 25 cars.

The bicycle parking lot is located at the south gate of Qichunyuan Palace.

Parking fee Standard: Full day :(00:00-24:00)
car: 2.5 yuan /15 minutes
Buses: 2.5 yuan /15 minutes

Chinese version of the travel guide


Further Readings

Winter Skating in Summer Palace.
Top 10 Attractions in Beijing
How to Visit Forbidden City
How to Visit Temple of Heaven
How to Visit Summer Palace
How to Visit Ming Tombs
How to Visit the Great Wall of China
How to Visit Tiananmen Square
How to Visit Hutongs
How to Visit Olympic Sites

Top 10 Markets in Beijing
Top 10 Shopping Malls in Beijing
Beijing Shopping

Wangfujing Night Snack Street
Qianmen Commercial Street
Beijing Huguosi Street

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