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Explore the Imposing Potala Palace in Tibet


The Potala Palace, located in Lhasa City, is the landmark of Tibet and the masterpiece of Tibetan architecture. It is the highest palace in the world built 12,000 feet above sea level.


The earliest construction began a thousand years earlier on the commission of a Tibetan King in honor of his marriage to a princess of China. The growing fortress became the winter home of the Dalai Lamas monastic leaders of Tibetan Buddhism.



It is divided into three parts including Red Palace, White Palace and Snow City. The Red Palace is for religious practice and the White Palace is for administrative use. Snow City is the workplace and residence for the aristocracy. The grounds now became a museum containing a vast collection of sacred texts and works of art.


The main building of the palace is 115 meters high with a total of 13 stories. The palace structures are made of stone and wood with granite palace walls. It contains 1,000 rooms, including assembly halls, stupa halls, shrines, prayer rooms, monks’ dormitories, government offices, and temples, as well as courtyards.



Red Palace

As the highest part in the center of Potala Palace, it is completely devoted to religious study and Buddhist prayer. It was painted in red to represent stateliness and power. Every golden roof is decorated with bell-shaped spires of flowers that serve as lightning conductors.

The layout inside the building consists of halls, chapels, and libraries. The 725 sq meters Great West Hall is the largest hall with beautiful murals painted on its inner walls. Around the Great West Hall are three chapels. The Dharma Cave and the Saint’s Chapel are the only two remaining constructions of the 7th century with the statues of Songtsen Gampo, Princess Wen Cheng, and Princess Bhrikuti.



White Palace

This is the place that once served as the office building of Tibet’s local government as well as the living quarters of Dalai Lama. Its wall was painted white to convey peace and quiet. The Great East Hall on the fourth floor, occupying a space of 717 sq meters was the site for momentous religious and political events. The fifth and sixth floors are used as the living quarters and offices of regents while the seventh floor is the home of Dalai Lama.



Snow City

At the bottom of Potala Palace, there are other annexes including the School of Buddhist Logic, the seminary, the printing House, gardens, jail and courtyards. For more than 300 years, architecture has treasured many cultural relics such as murals, stupas, statues, thangkas, and rare sutras.



Travel Tips

  • The travel route here is set strictly with a visit time limited to 1 hour.
  • Smoking is prohibited and cigarettes are not allowed to be taken into the Potala Palace.
  • Inside the Potala Palace is not allowed to take photos.
  • The ticket needs to be booked in advance, visitors are suggested to book the tickets through travel agencies.
  • Remember to cancel the ticket if you are not able to visit, otherwise, you will cannot apply again for a week.
  • In the peak season, about 3,000 visitors per day are allowed to visit Potala Palace.
  • Flammable items (such as alcohol, sprays, lighters, cigarettes) or sharp items (such as scissors and even nail clippers) are not allowed inside the palace.
  • Visiting the Potala Palace requires avoiding the taboos of Tibetan Buddhism. Don’t wear revealing clothes, hats, sunglasses, or masks.


There are many things that await your exploration at Potala Palace. No matter you visit it for the first time or return to visit it again, we believe you will discover a brand new Potala Palace. Come and plan your very own trip together with our travel consultants! BOOK NOW!

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