Home - Tibet Travel Guide - Lhasa Travel Guide - Potala Palace

Potala Palace

Potala Palace Tour

The Potala Palace is a magnificent building situated on the top of Marpo Ri Hill (also called Red Hill) in the center of Lhasa city, widely recognized as the symbol of Lhasa and the symbol of Tibet. 3,700 meters above sea level It is not only a masterpiece of Tibetan architecture, but also a treasure-house of the best Tibetan artistic works and precious relics. During its history of over 1,300 years, the Potala Palace has become home to an abundance of historical relics. It was originally built to honor the marriage of the 33rd King of Tibet, Songtsen Gampo to Princess Wencheng of the Tang Dynasty (618B.C. - 907B.C.). Later, the ancient palace was almost destroyed in wars with the collapse of the Songtsen Gampo Dynasty, What we see today is the architecture in the Qing Dynasty (1644B.C. - 1911B.C.). After being restored in 17th century, Potala Palace served as Dalai Lamas' residence in winter and became the center combining politics and local religion.
Today there are still more than 30 lamas living inside the Potala Palace, but it has been converted into a museum for people to visit. The Potala Palace covers an area of over 360,000 square meters, measuring 360 meters from east to west and 270 meters from south to north. Having 13 stories and 117 meters high, the stone-and-wood-structured Potala Palace consists of 2 main parts: the White Palace and Red Palace. The White Palace which forms the eastern and western sides of the complex with more than 1,000 rooms was for secular uses and contained the living quarters, offices, the seminary and the printing house,. The wall painted to white indicates peace and tranquility. A central, yellow-painted courtyard separates the living quarters of the Lama and his monks with the Red Palace. The Red buildings were religious buildings which occupy the center of the cluster of buildings; completely devoted to religious study and Buddhist prayer.
It consists of a complicated layout of many different halls, chapels and libraries on many different levels with a complex array of smaller galleries and winding passages. Inside the palace there are many religious symbols and antiques. Every room in the palace is also filled with colorful murals depicting different scenes associated with Buddhism. Here is some guide information for your tour to the Potala Palace: Only 2300 tickets are issued every day, 1600 for travel agents and 700 for individual tourists. The pre-sale tickets for the following day are sold after 5:00pm every day. Each person can purchase 4 tickets at maximum. Admission Fee: CNY 100 (Nov. 1-Apr. 30); CNY 200 (May 1-Oct.31); Free for children under 1.3m and the old aged above 70. Opening Hours: 09:00 - 16:00 except holidays and major events. Contact Number: 86- 0891-6834362

My Questions *We welcome and appreciate your questions & reviews

User Comments

Question:Is it really beneficial to have a guide when visiting the Potala Palace in Lhasa? Our agency recommends a driver and guide for this, but we are not so sure we need it!

Answer:Our Tibetian guide was extremely useful in giving us insight as we visited the Potala Palace. And she was very helpful in getting us the entrance tickets for Potala Palace and made a good budget of time and route during our visiting.

Question:Hi, wondering is photography allowed inside the Potala Palace and other temples? Are Tibetan open to tourists taking their photo?

Answer:Hello, it is not allowed to take photos inside the Potala Palace. But it is available to take photos or even videos in some other temples, but you need to pay for that. So make it clear before the action. For the Tibetan, it depends. Some local people are happy to take photos with you, but others may are reluctant to do so.