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8 Days Classic China Tour: Beijing, Xi'an, Shanghai

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  • Day 1-3 Beijing
  • Day 4-5 Xi'an
  • Day 6-8 Shanghai
Tour Details

Visit the three major tourist cities of China with their highlights and no rush thanks to our 8-day, time-smart itinerary.

This is a private tour, optimized for you to enjoy every stop on your trip.

Enter the Forbidden City, where emperors ruled ancient China. Not only visit, but hike to explore, a world wonder — the Great Wall. Explore the majestic Temple of Heaven, where harmony becomes architecture. Discover the unbelievable buried Terracotta Warriors of Xi'an. Finish in Shanghai, where impressive modern skylines meet with old Fengshui Traditional Gardens.

Pick Up & Drop Off Info

  • Your arrival/departure port
  • Your hotel

Meet Time

  • 09:00am Everyday

Price Includes

  • Private English tour guide service
  • All entrance tickets, hotels and meals listed above
  • All transportation in destination location
  • Service charge, luggage transfer, insurance and tax

Price Excludes

  • International airfare or train tickets in or out of China
  • Any meals not listed above
  • Any private expenses
What to Expect
  • Warm up with our exclusive, in-depth Forbidden City journey with our expert in history and architecture.
  • Explore a less-crowded part of the Great Wall by combining effort-saving cable car rides and moderate hiking.
  • Taste crispy, succulent roast duck at the most famous Peking duck restaurant — Quanjude.
  • Stand face-to-face with the Terracotta Warriors and get to know why they were created over 2000 years ago
  • Learn how to make Chinese dumplings at a hospitable local lady's home in Xi'an.
  • Savor the modern and traditional cityscapes of Shanghai

Day 1Beijing Arrival and Private Transfer to Hotel

With a sunny smile, your private guide will be on time and waiting for you at the arrival hall. A comfortable private car (non-smoking) & experienced driver are ready and will transfer you to the hotel. Get the first impression of China.

Crowne Plaza Beijing Chaoyang U-Town (5-star)
Sunworld Hotel Beijing (4-star)
Dongfang Hotel Beijing (3-star)

Meals: None

Good to Know:
Don't worry about being late. Your guide will be there no matter when you arrive. This tour can be customized just for you.
Our tour guides are not only good at English, but also knowledge of the Chinese culture and history. Most importantly, they are nice people, friendly. You'll enjoy a nice time with them.

Free-Time Ideas:
If you are not suffering from jet-lag, we recommend the following activities:
A: Visit Beijing Zoo to see the cute giant pandas. Zoo opening times:
April 1–October 31: 7:30 to 18:00;
November 1–March 31: 7:30 to 17:00.
B: Watch a fabulous night show, such as the Kungfu Show or the Acrobatics Show.
Ask your China tour guide to help you with tickets.

Day 2 9:00–17:00Forbidden City, Hutongs and Summer Palace

You will first visit Tian'anmen Square and the Forbidden City in the morning. Then, have lunch in a local restaurant.

Later, you will get on a rickshaw and the rider will take you into the beating heart of Beijing: the hutongs (old alleyways). Follow up by spending some quality time with a local family in a hutong.

Then visit the Summer Palace. Imagine the time when it was the private garden for the emperor's family.

Crowne Plaza Beijing Chaoyang U-Town (5-star)
Sunworld Hotel Beijing (4-star)
Dongfang Hotel Beijing (3-star)

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Good to Know:
The Forbidden City is the most popular attraction in Beijing, so usually visitors have to take at least half an hour to queue up for entrance tickets. Only 80,000 tickets are sold per day. During the high season, if you don’t get up early to buy the tickets, you may well be shut out.
When you travel with us, however, our tour guide will buy the tickets in advance for you, so that you won’t waste any time standing in a queue and won’t need to worry about whether or not you can get in.

Optional Activities:
Cultural experience: If you are interested in learning to make facial masks for Peking Opera, learning Chinese calligraphy or learning Chinese paper-cutting, just ask us to make a reservation for you. (Each activity takes about 40 minutes and US$5-18.)

Day 3 9:00–17:00Great Wall at Mutianyu and Temple of Heaven

In the morning, take a relaxing visit to the Temple of Heaven, where Chinese emperors used to worship God.

Later, visit the Mutianyu Great Wall (2.5 hours' drive from downtown Beijing). This is a less-crowded section of the Great Wall. A cable car takes you up to a good spot, where you can have an easy walk along the wall.

You can return either by cable car, walking down or tobogganing down. Tobogganing down is actually the most popular.

Crowne Plaza Beijing Chaoyang U-Town (5-star)
Sunworld Hotel Beijing (4-star)
Dongfang Hotel Beijing (3-star)

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

The Great Wall Travel Tips:
Toilets are accessible from the Wall. They are clean and hygienic. You should of course always bring some tissues and wet wipes with you when travelling in China, as there are no tissues at most toilets in China.
Put on your hiking shoes. You can hike at your own pace. If you don't much like hiking, you can take some nice pictures of and from the Great Wall.
Cultural experience: Weather-permitting, at the Temple of Heaven you’ll see locals doing tai chi, making calligraphy and playing traditional instruments, and you can join them if you wish, for experiences you could probably never have in your own country.

Optional Activities:
If a 2-hour hike on the Great Wall at Mutianyu is not enough for you or you want to hike along other parts of the wall, let us know in advance. We can arrange the day according to your preferences.

Day 4 12:30–19:30High-Speed Train to Xi'an, Private Transfer to & from Station

Today the whole morning is free.

Your guide will pick you up at your hotel lobby at about 12:30. You'll then be transferred to the train station for a high-speed train travel. The train journey takes four and a half hours.

You'll arrive in Xi'an at 18:23, whereupon your Xi'an tour guide and driver will take you to your hotel directly.

Wyndham Grand Xian South (5-star)
Grand Noble Hotel (4-star)
Titan Times Hotel (3-star)

Meals: Breakfast

Free-Time Idea:
Quanjude Roast Duck is world-famous. You can taste it at brunch, if you wish. Ask your guide, who will help you to arrange this.

Optional Activities:
Beijing is a big city with many famous attractions not listed above, like the Bird’s Nest, Jingshan Park, the Bell and Drum Tower, the Yonghe Lama Temple and the Fragrant Hills Park. If you’d like to explore the city more, tell us on your inquiry form. We can customize a tour to meet your requirements.

Day 5 9:00–17:00Terracotta Warriors, Muslim Quarter, Mosque and Xi’an Ancient City Wall

The first Emperor united all of China. Stand face to face with 6,000 statues at the Terracotta Warriors and Horses, created by the first Emperor. It is said the warriors were all sculpted in the shape of powerful or rich people of the time.

After a dumpling lunch, explore the Ancient City Wall, which surrounds the city center. The wall was built in the 13th century on the foundations of the original Tang Forbidden City.

Later, visit the Muslim Quarter. Many souvenir shops, cafés and bars there are operated by Muslim people. At its heart is one of the largest Islamic mosques in China, remarkable for its combination of Chinese architecture and Islamic practice.

Wyndham Grand Xian South (5-star)
Grand Noble Hotel (4-star)
Titan Times Hotel (3-star)

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Free-Time Ideas:
Visit the Bell Tower and Drum Tower. When night falls, the towers are lighted, becoming beautiful and romantic. They are not far from your hotel, so you can walk there and back.
The Tang Dynasty Music and Dance Show is also recommended. If you’d like to see it, your guide will help you buy tickets.

Optional Activities:
Weather-permitting, you can bike on (or right round) the city wall.

Day 6 9:00–19:30Shaanxi History Museum, Big Wild Goose Pagoda and Flight to Shanghai

Xi'an was the starting point of the Silk Road. So it transpires that Shaanxi Historical Museum is an important place for gaining an initial understanding of how deeply Chinese civilization influenced the country and even the world.

The museum contains some of the most valuable collections from the earlier dynasties up to the Tang dynasty.

Later, visit the Big Wild Goose Pagoda. Historically, this played a huge role in the introduction of Buddhism to China.

After a dumplimg lunch, you'll be transferred to the airport for your flight to Shanghai. It takes about 1 hour to airport and we will make sure that you have about 1.5 hours ahead of departure time. The flight takes about 2 hours.

Radisson Blu Hotel Shanghai New World (5-star)
The Bund Hotel (4-star)
Kingstown Hotel Plaza Shanghai (3-star)

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Free-Time Ideas:
If you feel like you’d like a free afternoon or day, or would like to add some days to explore the city, just let us know.

Day 7 9:00–17:00World Financial Center, the Bund, Yuyuan Garden and Tianzifang

In the morning, you climb to the top of Shanghai World Financial Center, the second high building in Shanghai, for a panoramic view of Shanghai.

After lunch, take a walk along the Bund to appreciate the city's European architectural heritage.

Later in the afternoon, explore Yuyuan Garden, a classic Chinese garden, and visit Tianzifang and the Former French Concession, a place noted for its leafy tree-lined avenues and less modern architecture.

Radisson Blu Hotel Shanghai New World (5-star)
The Bund Hotel (4-star)
Kingstown Hotel Plaza Shanghai (3-star)

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Good to Know:
There is very little by way of written English descriptions at Yuyuan Garden and the Bund, so our English-speaking guide is very helpful.
The Oriental Pearl Tower is always crowded (most are Chinese people), so we don’t recommend.

Optional Activities:
If you want to go to the Shanghai Tower instead of the World Financial Center, please let us know.

Night Time Ideas:
Watch ERA Acrobatics Show. Each individual performance attracts your attention and impresses your imagination. The artists do incredible things. After each trick you can hear sighs of admiration from the people around.
Take a Huangpu River Cruise in the evening, to witness the gleaming night-Bund.

Day 8Private Transfer to the Airport and Shanghai Departure

You will be transferred to the airport on time for your flight. We will make sure that you arrive at the airport 1.5 hours ahead of departure time for domestic flights, and 2.5 hours for international flights.

Optional Trips:
Tongli Water Town is beautiful and gives you a taste of ancient China. The quaint streets, waterways and houses are juxtaposed harmoniously. You get a fully-fledged feel for the ancient surroundings by just walking round the fairly large town.
Many souvenirs are for sale. Test your bargaining powers. Tip: Go down as low as 40% and then settle somewhere around 50% of the opening price. Enjoy!
If you want to visit this water town near Shanghai, let us know on your inquiry form. We’ll arrange it for you. Cost for 1-Day Suzhou and Tongli Water Town Tour from Shanghai is US$179.

Travel Tips:
If you have several hours free before you go to the airport, you might consider a couple of possibilities:
Take 2 hours to visit the Shanghai Propaganda Poster Art Center. The Center hosts a very interesting exhibition of propaganda posters from the 1930s to the 1980s. English explanations are provided.

Visit Nanjing Road, the most famous commercial center in Shanghai, to buy souvenirs for your family and friends. You can buy almost anything you can think of there. It’s near the Bund.

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