Beihai Park Beijing
oldest classic Chinese imperial garden, a place to cool down and relax in summer and the biggest skating rinks in winter, close to the Forbidden City
Located in central Beijing, Beihai Park is one of the oldest and most authentically preserved imperial gardens in China, with a history of 1,000 years, and the Forbidden City and Jingshan Park to its east, Zhong Nan Hai to its south. It is not only the only classic combination of the grandiosity of the northern gardens and the refinement of the southern gardens in China, but also a perfect integration of magnificent imperial palaces and solemn religious constructions.
Covering an area of about 0.71 square meters, more than half of the park is taken up by the lake. Today, Beihai Park is a popular retreat for many local citizens, a place to cool down and relax in summer, and one of the biggest skating rinks of Beijing in winter.
The whole park can be divided into four scenic areas: Qionghua Islet, Circular City, the eastern bank area and the northern bank area.
Highlight of the Beihai Park
The Qinghai Islet: Standing at the center of the park, the Qinghai Islet is densely distributed with halls, rockeries and pavilions.
Yong’an Temple: the largest building complex composed of several halls, a bell tower and a drum tower.
Circular City: The Circular City, the southeast of the park, is surrounded by a wall and is actually an exquisite garden.
Eastern Bank Area: As to the bank areas, the eastern bank enjoys its tranquility while the northern bank is very crowded with artificial structures. What is most conspicuous on the eastern bank is a lovely courtyard hidden in the trees. The courtyard was built as the former residence of emperors in the Qing Dynasty. The traditional buildings were elaborately designed, with a clear pool in the center.
Northern Bank Area: On the northern bank area, the Five-Dragon Pavilions and the Nine-Dragon Wall are must-sees for visitors. The Five-Dragon Pavilions are said to be the place where the emperors went fishing and enjoyed the bright moon.
Location: Xicheng District, close to the Forbidden City, Beijing center
Opening Hours: 06:00 – 22:00
How to Get there
1. Buses no. 101, 103, 109, 812, 814, 846 will take you to the South Gate of Beihai Park;
2. Buses no. 107, 111, 118, 701, 823 will take you to the North Gate of Beihai Park;
3. Bus no. 5 will take you to the East Gate of Beihai Park.
The nearest metro station is Tiananmen west of the Metro Line 1. From there, you can walk to the South Gate of Beihai Park within a half hour.
Weather/Best Time to Go
Amazing Beijing enjoys different features for its clear distinction of four seasons, characterized by a long hot summer, long chilly winter, and shorter spring and autumn. The hottest month in Beijing is July and coldest is January. Considering the frequent sandstorms in spring, September and October with their pleasant weather are considered the best visiting times.
You can go to the Beihai Park any time of the year. You can feel the clear air, blossoming flowers and the full lease of life in the spring; relax and cool down in the summer; enjoy the leaf falling in the autumn; and skiing on the lake in the winter. However, the sunny day is much better, so you can check out the Beijing weather forecast here.
- The south gate of Beihai Park is just half of a kilometer to the west of the north gate of the Forbidden City, so you can arrange your Forbidden City tour and Beihai Park tour within one day.
- You can come here in the early morning, since there are crowds of local people playing music and dancing. You can join them.
Recommended Beijing tours including Beihai Park
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