Undoubtedly the most beautiful park we visited, with its immense lake and dragon-shaped boat rides. The Summer Palace is a complex of gardens, pavilions, temples, towers, and bridges. You’ll need a full day to see everything and, most importantly, to take your time: look up to admire the painted woodwork in the galleries, take a leisurely boat ride on the lake, or visit the small bookstores in the towers.

The Summer Palace was the summer retreat for the court of the Forbidden City. Be sure to get both park and palace tickets to see everything.

The main building is the Hall of Benevolence and Longevity. This is where the emperor managed state affairs, and you can admire his throne. In the “small” garden of this pavilion, you can also admire bronze animals.

Continue your visit with the Long Corridor, which is absolutely splendid! It’s a richly decorated and colorful wooden passage that tells the story and mythology of China. On Longevity Hill, you’ll find most of the pavilions and, at the summit, the Buddhist Temple of the Sea of Wisdom.

Strolling around the lake, you can admire the Marble Boat. Known as the “Empress’s Boat,” it’s actually made of marble and painted wood to imitate marble. The effect is incredibly convincing!

From the dock, you can go to the South Lake Island or take the Seventeen-Arch Bridge. Here, you can admire the Pavilion of the Dragon King, where emperors prayed for rain during droughts.

In the Wenchang Gallery, take a leisurely stroll to admire the calligraphies, richly decorated porcelains, bronzes, and jade objects.

We loved visiting the Summer Palace; it’s truly a must-see. Despite the crowds (much like in the Forbidden City), you don’t feel oppressed. On the contrary, the park invites relaxation and tranquility.

About Author

We are Sophie, Adrien, and our two adorable little ones. Passionate about travel, discovery, and gastronomy, we bought a 2007 Rapido camper van to travel differently, travel more, and introduce our children to the world. Here, we share our wonderful discoveries and tips for activities to do with children in France and beyond ! Welcome !

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