Beihai Park vs Summer Palace – Which One Is Better

Beihai Park vs Summer palace

Beihai Park and Summer Palace are both well-known imperial gardens and popular tourist attractions. If you can only add one to your travel itinerary, which of them will be a better choice? Well, you may consider your final plan from the following four aspects.


Beihai Park is located at the center of Beijing, right next to the Forbidden City, while the Summer Palace is at the northwest corner, between the third and fourth rings. Although both can be easily accessed by various public transport, if you only have limited time, I recommend you pick Beihai Park. You can get there in 10 minutes after touring the Forbidden City. However, if you choose the Summer Palace, you will have to spend another hour on the road.

Fitness level

The Summer Palaces occupies an area of 3,000,000 sq. meters compared to only 682,000 sq. meters in the case of Beihai Park. Both places can only be toured on foot. There are no other transportations like solar vehicles, bicycles, or shuttle buses (but you can row a boat on the lake). So, the Summer Palace will be a terrific choice if you are active and energetic. However, if you are not that fit or travel with children, you should probably choose Beihai Park to save energy for the next day’s activities.


Due to its larger area, the tourist spots in the Summer Palace are also more diverse. There is the Buddha Temple, Bronze Pavilion, various classic wooden royal buildings, small gardens, and sophisticated bridges. By contrast, the views in Beihai Park are a little monotonous. In fact, you may even find them similar to those you have just seen in the forbidden city. So, the Summer Palace should appeal to you if you crave something new and different.


The price of the tickets to the Summer Palace stands at 30 RMB during peak seasons, compared to 10 RMB of Beihai Park. Both are very affordable. In fact, if you think about the beautiful scenery you can appreciate, you will find every penny is worth it.


In conclusion, if you are in a hurry or not that fit, Beihai Park would be a better choice. Otherwise, I strongly recommend you pick the Summer Palace.

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