Beijing Suggested Itineraries

By Viator, November 2014

4.5 423 Reviews | Add your review

Beijing is a wonderful mixture of the ancient and the modern, the past and the present. A true ancient citadel with a history of Emperors and temples, it is now the seat of communist power with a strong vision for the future. Modern skyscrapers sit alongside ancient temples and chaotic, narrow-laned residential neighborhoods. Cars speed along new motorways while rickshaws scramble down the narrow, old streets. This is a confident city with an eye on the future and a foot in the past.

Day 1: Beijing Essentials

If you only have one day, do the essentials. Tiananmen Square dates from 1417 and has witnessed some of the most pivotal moments in China’s history, including the 1989 protests. It’s also the site of Mao’s Mausoleum, a place of pilgrimage for Chinese tourists. The queue for entry looks lengthy, but moves fast and entry is free. Nearby the Forbidden City has over 1,800,000 sq km of gardens, palaces and halls of relics dating back to 1407. Home to 24 emperors over five centuries, the Forbidden City opened to the public in 1924. Then see the other side of Beijing, the hutong, narrow, winding residential streets full of real life and communal-style living. Getting lost in the labyrinth is half the fun.

Day 2: Temples and Pandas

Lama Temple is Beijing’s most magnificent Buddhist temple with elements from Han, Mongolia, Tibet and Manchuria. The highlight is a massive 60 ft (18 m) Buddha, reputedly carved from a single sandalwood tree. Another temple worth seeing is the 15th century Temple of Heaven from the Ming and Qing dynasties. Finally, visit the Summer Palace, the emperor’s favourite retreat. When you’ve had enough of history and architecture, head to the zoo to see the giant pandas, China’s living treasures.

Day 3: The Great Wall

No visit to Beijing is complete without seeing The Great Wall of China. An impressive 3,900 miles (6,300 km) of engineering miracle, it was built to protect China from the rampaging and pillaging Mongols to the north in the 1400s. There are two sections along the wall popular to visit: the Badaling section which is one of the best preserved areas, and the Mutianyu section which is older and steeper, a more challenging climb involving around 1,400 steps but rewarding with its three watchtowers.

Tours & Tickets

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Viator VIP: Beijing's Forbidden City with Special Viewing of Treasure Gallery and the Great Wall Ruins at Badaling

5 star rating: Highly Recommended 9 Reviews

Enjoy a VIP tour of two UNESCO World Heritage Sites from Beijing – the Forbidden City and Badaling Great Wall Ruins. With your expert guide, gain special ...  Read more

Location: Beijing, China
Duration: 9 hours (approx.)

From USD $195.90

Beijing Essential Full-Day Tour including Great Wall at Badaling, Forbidden City and Tiananmen Square

4.5 star rating: Recommended 125 Reviews

If your time in Beijing is short, take this full-day tour to see all the essential sights: Tiananmen Square, the Forbidden City and the Badaling section of ...  Read more

Location: Beijing, China
Duration: 9 hours (approx.)

From USD $86.99

Beijing Acrobatic Show and Peking Duck Banquet Night Tour

4 star rating: Recommended 61 Reviews

Dine on exquisite Chinese cuisine at a Peking Duck banquet dinner then enjoy traditional entertainment from a Chinese acrobat troupe on this Beijing evening ...  Read more

Location: Beijing, China
Duration: 4 hours (approx.)

From USD $86.99

Experience Beijing: Chinese Cooking Class and Market Tour

5 star rating: Highly Recommended 13 Reviews

Learn how to make authentic Chinese food during this Beijing cooking class, taught by an expert chef. Take a walking tour through a market to learn about the ...  Read more

Location: Beijing, China
Duration: 5 hours (approx.)

From USD $69.90

Xi'an in One Day: Day Trip from Beijing by Air with Private Terracotta Warriors

This day trip to Xi’an from Beijing includes round-trip air travel plus a private tour of the UNESCO-listed terracotta warriors and highlights of the Old City ...  Read more

Location: Beijing, China
Duration: 16 hours (approx.)

From USD $792.99

Beijing Your Way: Private Independent Tour with Optional Guide

Go sightseeing on your own, or with a knowledgeable local guide, on a private customized tour of Beijing that includes transport. Make use of a private vehicle ...  Read more

Location: Beijing, China
Duration: 4 or 8 hours

From USD $150.00

3-Night Best of Beijing Private Tour

Gain insight into China’s dynastic history on this 3-night private tour of Beijing. Visit UNESCO World Heritage Sites like the Temple of Heaven and the ...  Read more

Location: Beijing, China
Duration: 4 days (approx.)

From USD $218.66

Private Tour: Ming Tombs and Great Wall at Mutianyu from Beijing

4 star rating: Recommended 17 Reviews

On this full-day private tour, visit two of China’s most famous sites -- the Ming Tombs and the Great Wall at Mutianyu. See the Chang Ling Tomb, an impressive ...  Read more

Location: Beijing, China
Duration: 8 hours (approx.)

From USD $78.99

Private Cultural Tour: Hutong Rickshaw Ride and Dumpling Making in Beijing

5 star rating: Highly Recommended 10 Reviews

Experience the authentic lifestyle of a Beijing local on this private tour. Interact closely with locals and ride a rickshaw through Old Beijing’s 'hutong' ...  Read more

Location: Beijing, China
Duration: 5 hours (approx.)

From USD $105.00

Private Tour: Tiananmen Square, Forbidden City and Temple of Heaven in Beijing

5 star rating: Highly Recommended 18 Reviews

On this dynamic private tour of Beijing, discover world-famous monuments and experience local customs with your friendly local guide. Visit culturally ...  Read more

Location: Beijing, China
Duration: 7 hours (approx.)

From USD $168.00

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