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Overview

Explore the best of Beijing. From the ancient to the modern, the city reveals its diversity through insightful tours. See the iconic sites, including the Great Wall of China and Forbidden City, and catch a glimpse of life in the city at the hutongs and art galleries. 

Trip Highlights

Beijing City Break

Get to know Beijing like a local

Explore the vast network of hutongs, alleyways where scenes of local life are found at every turn. 

Beat the crowds to the Great Wall

Wake up early to see the Great Wall bathed in early morning light, before the big tour buses have arrived.

Explore ancient history

Visit the Forbidden Palace, Summer Palace and temple of Heaven to learn about deep-rooted beliefs and historical events. 

Itinerary

1

Beijing arrival

Beijing Capital Airport – Beijing city (approx. 30km): 40 min OR Beijing Daxing Airport – Beijing city (approx. 50km): 1h20min *Depends on local situation (the weather/construction/traffic jam, etc…), may take longer

Welcome to Beijing! A guide will be waiting at the airport for welcoming, providing transport into the city to the hotel.

Jump directly into this Beijing city tour with a visit to the Temple of Heaven (if arrival time permits.) The temple is known for its architectural simplicity and rich symbolism, reflecting early Buddhist and Taoist beliefs. It was here that emperors would forge the link between the ‘round sky’ and the ‘square earth’ through sacrificial rituals, based on the founding principles of this ancient civilization. 

Overnight in Beijing 

2

Beijing

Begin the first full day of this Beijing city tour with a visit to the iconic Forbidden City. Most Chinese buildings face south, which according to ancient beliefs, symbolized the barbarian threat and potential invasion from the north. This explains why the main entrance to the Forbidden City faces south towards Tiananmen Square, the third largest city square in the world.

The construction of the City was finished in 1420 during the reign of the Ming Dynasty Emperor Yongle, and served as the Imperial administrative centre throughout the Ming and Qing Dynasties until the fall of the Empire in 1911.

Beautifully restored for the 2008 Beijing Olympics, the Forbidden City has regained its youthful, vivid colors. For such an unforgettable destination, it’s important to take one’s time exploring all the ins and outs of the site; ample time is set aside for visiting all the surrounding courtyards and rooms. After exploring the interior, ascend the artificial coal hill just behind the Forbidden City for a spectacular view of the entire site and layout of the whole of Beijing.

After spending a few hours exploring the City, spend the remainder of the day walking around romantic Beihai Lake and the more lively Houhai Lake, is encircled by hutongs. Hutongs are the famous Beijing alleyways home to traditional courtyard style homes, many of which have now been converted into pedestrianized streets boasting charming little restaurants and bars.

Continue the walk onwards to the Drum Tower. Here there will be demonstration held of how, during the Ming Dynasty, the passing of each hour was marked with a drum roll. From the peak of the tower, it’s also possible to admire the rooftops of the neighboring Hutongs and the Clock Tower just opposite.

Option: Enjoy an evening Kung Fu show in Red theater! The Red Theater is originally known as Chongwen Worker's Cultural Palace Theater. After the renovation, the stage facilities have been dramatically improved and now the theater specializes in traditional Chinese performances, such as “The Legend of Kung Fu.”

Overnight in Beijing

Please Note:

- Forbidden City access to visitors will be limited to 80,000 pax/day. Passport copies must be provided at least 11 days advance for personal registration (preferably 2 weeks in order to assure a successful booking); modifying the date later on is not possible.

- Visitors are required to bring their passport for security check upon their visit to the monument.

- Forbidden City is closed on Mondays, except for public holidays.

3

Beijing

Beijing city– Mutianyu Great Wall (approx. 75km): approx 2 hours Mutianyu Great Wall – Summer Palace (approx. 75 km): 1h45 Summer Palace – Beijing city (approx. 22 km): 40 min *Depends on local situation (the weather/construction/traffic jam, etc…), may take longer

Contrary to popular myth, the Great Wall cannot be seen from the moon. It is, nonetheless, still one of the most famous symbols of China and should not be missed. Traces of the wall date back over 2000 years ago, while the greater restoration project of the Ming Dynasty created the Wall we know today. Stretching for over 6000 km, the wall spans from from ancient Manchuria to the edge of the Gobi desert in the west.

Begin the day with an early departure for the Wall; arriving in the morning light provides excellent photo opportunities of the Great Wall.

After exploring the Wall, for those who aren’t interested in a walking descent, there are alternative options to choose from. Either take a cable car back to the bottom, or, for the more adventurous, take a toboggan ride back down.

Depending on time, there will also be an option for a picnic lunch on the Great Wall whilst admiring the stunning, rugged scenery all around.

Bringing the Beijing city tour back to the capital, spend some time exploring the beautiful Summer Palace. At one time a simple imperial garden, the site was totally redesigned by Emperor Qianlong in the 18th Century becoming one of the capital’s major sites. The Imperial Court used to relocate to the Summer Palace during the summer months to escape the stifling heat of the Forbidden City. A mix of temples pavilions, lakes, pagodas and gardens make up this harmonious representation of Chinese culture and architecture.

Transport will be provided back to the hotel after exploring the Summer Palace.

Overnight in Beijing 

4

Beijing departure

Beijing city– 798 Art district (approx. 15km): 20 min 798 Art district – Beijing airport (approx. 15km): 20 min *Depends on local situation (the weather/construction/traffic jam, etc…), may take longer

Begin the final day of the Beijing city tour with some explorations of the 798 art district, situated in Dashanzi in the north east of the city. 798 is comprised of a number of abandoned factories, which were renovated in the 90s by Chinese artists. ‘798’ as it is known locally, has become the mouthpiece for Beijing’s most popular contemporary artists and is probably the most vibrant art district in the whole of Asia. The famous Ai Weiwei had his first exhibitions at 798 and a number of other artists have followed in his footsteps. At the time of its opening 798 was noticeably influenced by the Maoist era whilst these days the collection has become much more eclectic. Thanks to 798, Dashanzi is also becoming more popular with cafés, restaurants, and specialist boutiques popping up left and right.

To make the most out of the visit, it is recommended to check upcoming exhibitions on the 798 website (www.798space.com).

After the explorations of 798, transport will be provided to the airport (not far from the Art District) for the departing flight.  

Important Information

Our services include:

  • Accommodation in selected hotels
  • Meals as mentioned (B= Breakfast, L= Lunch, D= Dinner).
  • English speaking guide without shopping (for other languages supplements apply)
  • Tours and transfers as mentioned by private air conditioned vehicle
  • Entrance fees for mentioned visits

Our services do not include:

  • Other meals not mentioned
  • Visa of China
  • Other services than mentioned
  • International and domestic Flights
  • Laundry, telephone calls and expenditure of a personal nature
  • Tips, Travel insurance
  • Other services not clearly indicated in the package inclusions above.

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