We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Great Surprise”

Old Summer Palace (Yuanmingyuan)
Book In Advance
More Info
and up
All-Inclusive Private Garden Day Tour: Summer Palace and Old Summer Palace
More Info
and up
Private Tour: Beijing University Campus and Culture Tour
More Info
and up
All inclusive Beijing Private Day to the Imperial Palaces: Summer Palace and...
Ranked #28 of 1,609 things to do in Beijing
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Fee: Yes
Recommended length of visit: 2-3 hours
Owner description: Located only a few hundred meters from the existing Summer Palace, these ruins used to be a grand palace and park built under the Qing emperors in the 18th century, but was later destroyed by French and British troops during the Second Opium War (1860-1862).
Coffs Harbour, Australia
Level 5 Contributor
56 reviews
9 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
“Great Surprise”
Reviewed February 10, 2013

We were going to the Summer palace and got off the subway one stop early only to find this place. Its right outside the subway exit just about 100 metres away, The park has a lot to offer, buildings, ruins, lakes and has a really peacefull vibe. Its a big place so bring your walking shoes although there is a little trolley bus to get around.

Visited October 2012
1 Thank Raymond W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review

797 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • Arabic first
  • Chinese (Traditional) first
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Indonesian first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Korean first
  • Polish first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Thai first
  • Vietnamese first
  • Any
English first
Bangkok, Thailand
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Nothing to do here”
Reviewed January 15, 2013 via mobile

There are 2 gates for entrance Yuanmingyuan , south gate and east gate. If you come from the subway you will see the south gate first. From the south gate , you have to walk around 1.3 km to see the ruins (It take at least 20 minutes). You have to pay 10 yuan for the entrance fee at the gate. Unfortunately , you have to pay an extra money for 15 yuan just to see the ruins !!!!!!! Even if the park has a car to bring you half way to the exit , but unfortunately again it charge you 6 yuan per person !!!!!

4 Thank Fluke R
This review is the subjective opinion of an individual traveler and not of TripAdvisor LLC nor of its partners.
Johor Bahru, Malaysia
Level 6 Contributor
314 reviews
259 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 350 helpful votes
“walking in the history”
Reviewed December 26, 2012

-this is big park, built by Qing emperor, and destroy at end 1890. Suggest do spend one day here. 3 main park (xi-yang-yuan, chang-cun-yuan, )the best way is walk, to discover the whole park.buy all-in one ticket in 40RMB(Low season)

-shuttle services inside the park is free.

-the ruins, make you like walking in the history.

-prepare some foods and water for long walk. there sre stores selling instant noodles.

-take MRT line 4 to off at Yuan-Ming-Yuan Nan-Men (south gate), after finish the trip, walk to Black-Swan lake area and from there exit at East Gate, from there can take bus to Summer Palace . there are Qing-Hua Secondary school there.

Visited December 2012
1 Thank wlysolo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Singapore, Singapore
Level 2 Contributor
7 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Underrated place”
Reviewed November 27, 2012

This place is not as famous as other sights. Quiet park, needs about 5-6 hours at least to cover leisurely. Only managed to see 2 out of 3 of the gardens before we had to leave by 6pm (it closes then). The ruins in the park were great. My friend who had been to london and seen other ruins was not as fascinated. What i didn't like was that the ruins were not protected. We could walk, climb and touch these stones and in a few years i think these ruins would be too weathered. A pity it is. Visit this place before it is a must see place in big tour group's itineraries. Tip: no nice restaurants in this park, with a few stores selling cup noodles and local snacks We ate our lunch in one of the eating place and the food tasted like they were microwaved food. Bland and tasteless and 25RMB for a plate of beef ribs and rice. The meatballs for the snack stall was better. Try to bring your own food there. We rented the audio tour headset. It was supposed to be a personal one, but you can just rent one and replace the ear piece with your own, so 2 person can hear it at once. Costs 20 RMB for each audio device and 100RMB as deposit

Visited November 2012
Thank NanaAng
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Singapore, Singapore
Level 6 Contributor
328 reviews
150 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 153 helpful votes
“History coming alive”
Reviewed November 2, 2012

Having read about how the foreign troops destroyed the old summer palace & more recently, the auction of the zodiac animal heads taken from the palace fountain, visiting Yuanmingyuan brings to life where the action actually took place. The palace ground is huge and takes much walking; so come prepared and walking shoes, although you may opt to take internal shuttle (for 6 RMB pax) or boat for specific locations. It helps to read up history beforehand to appreciate what happened.

Visited October 2012
Thank kapitanchina
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Been to Old Summer Palace (Yuanmingyuan)? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing