The best places to see lotus flowers in Beijing

Take a boat out and while away an afternoon in these parks for the best views of summer flowers

Photo: inBeijing/Wechat
Summer is looking lovely in Beijing as water lilies and lotus flowers start to bloom. And July to August is the best time to see these flowers blossom across the city's many lakes. So put on those shades, and the sunscreen, and head to these parks to catch them in all its glory.

Beihai Park (北海公园)

Planted during the Ming and Qing dynasties for the exclusive viewing by the royal family, Beihai Park’s lotus flowers are straight out of a travel postcard. Enter via its south gate for a shortcut to where the flowers are at. Pro-tip: if you’re taking a selfie, try to capture the park’s main attraction, the Tibetan White Pagoda in the background.

Entry: 20RMB

Open hours: 6.30-9pm daily

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1 Wenjin Jie (Xicheng, Xicheng)

Lotus Pond Park 莲花池公园

The aptly named park is believed to be the key source of water and birthplace of the ancient city of Beijing for thousands of years since the Zhou Dynasty (1,046 BC–256 BC). Located near the Beijing West Railway Station, it’s today an exquisite, classical garden with pavilions, bridges and ponds that are covered with some 80,000 flowers from over 250 lotus species.

Entry: 2RMB

Open hours: 6am-10pm 

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38 Xisanhuan Nan Lu (Fengtai)

Old Summer Palace

The former imperial garden boasts a whooping 1,000 acres of water lilies and lotus flowers, undoubtedly the largest lotus flower display in Beijing. Every year, the Old Summer Palace hosts the bustling Lotus Festival, which is a major draw for tourists and shutterbugs. It runs from June 28 to August 20 2019 with some 300 variety of water lilies and lotus flowers on display. While there’re numerous footpaths to take to see the beauty, we recommend renting a boat or, if you're looking to burn some calories, a canoe, and coast through the lake’s waterways where you can see the flowers upclose.

Entry: 10RMB

Opening hours (summer): 7am-9pm daily, May-Aug

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28 Qinghua Xi Lu (Chaoyang, --select--)

Summer Palace (颐和园)

Kunming Lake is covered with water lilies and lotus flowers in summer, creating an enchanted scene that has been memorialised in many a Chinese poem through the millennia. There’s been prose admiring them in bloom all the way back in the Yuan and Ming dynasties (1,271-1,644). Best come in the mornings to avoid the heat and take a boat ride, or stroll along the lake, and capture the lush green and pink flowers swaying in the breeze.

Entry: 60RMB

Open hours: 6.30am-6pm daily

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(Haidian, Haidian)

Shichahai 什刹海公园

During mid-summer, Houhai's lake is covered with the different floral colors of lotus flowers in full bloom. For the best views, make for the Lotus Market, an ancient and touristy market that’s located on the west bank of Shichahai that's also packed with bars and restaurants. There’s a 300-metre-long wooden platform suspended atop the water, which allows tourists to see the flowers from a close distance. To beat the crowds, there’re also electric and pedal boats for rent at the wharf by the Lotus Market.

Entry: Free

Open hours: All day

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49 Dianmen Xi Dajie (Xicheng, Xicheng)

Taoranting Park 陶然亭公园

One of the 'Big Four Pavilions' in China, Taoranting Park has a lush landscape dotted with pavilions, gardens and temples. In its centre is a 17-hectare lake, suitable for boating and taking in the views when the lotus flowers bloom in summer. If you get tired of gawking at the flowers, take a walk and explore the massive park – it's picturesque greenery is worth getting lost in.

Entry: 2RMB

Open hours: 6am-9.30pm daily

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19 Taipingjie (Fengtai)
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