This impressive building, which houses the palace which was once used as a summer residence of Chinese emperors, is one of the most visited monuments of Beijing. To visit and see everything you'll have to spend at least all morning doing it, because there seems to be not only an infinite number of buildings, but also forests, temples, gardens, hills and lakes. There are always many tourists, especially Chinese ones ve come from other parts of China, but for being so big you will not feel too overwhelmed like what can happen in places like the Forbidden City. Chinese emperors fled here in the summer when the heat was scorching, to situated in the northwest of the city. In its original design there was a real garden, but in the 18th century it was extended, now including Lake Kunming. The last reform that took place was started in 1949, but it was damaged by natural disasters.
The Potala Palace is found in the autonomous region of Tibet inside the People's Republic of China. It was the political and religious seat in Tibet and the residence of the Dalai-Lama before his exile to India. Nowadays, it welcomes religious pilgrims from all over Tibet and tourists paying entry fees. The name refers to heavenly residence of bodhisattva Avalokitesvara, known in old Buddhist texts as Riwo Potala. There are actually two parts: The White Palace, which was home to the government, and the Red Palace, which was religious and where the Lamas lived.
The summer palace of the Dalai Lama is a small tourist attraction in the city (at least if you are staying there for two days). The fact is that it is a great resort which is poorly maintained, but the atmosphere is very Tibetan. The first building dates back to the 1930s (if I remember correctly), and it is equipped with modern comforts (electricity and water). In any case, the most interesting thing about this place is the park. The buildings can be visited although they are scattered around. I made a little visit to the zoo, but I did not visit the rest.