4.5 star rating: Recommended 2 Reviews

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  • Location: Beijing, China
  • Duration:  5 hours (approx.)
This half-day sightseeing tour takes you on a journey from Beijing’s imperial past to its future as a mega metropolis. You’ll gain an architectural and historical perspective as you learn about dynastic emperors in the Forbidden City and visit the top of the China World Trade Tower. Lunch and beer at a local microbrewery plus round-trip hotel transport are included. Enjoy personal attention from your guide on this small-group tour, limited to 10 people.

Highlights

  • Beijing half-day city sightseeing tour
  • Visit historical sites such as the imperial Forbidden City
  • Glimpse hutongs in the historic city center from atop the China World Trade Tower
  • Get an architect’s insider perspective with narration from your expert guide
  • Enjoy lunch and beer at a favorite local microbrewery
  • Hotel pickup and drop-off by air-conditioned coach included
  • Small-group tour limited to 10 ensures a more personalized experience

What You Can Expect

Small-Group Historical Tour of Beijing Including Forbidden City, China World Trade Tower and Local Brewery

Small-Group Historical Tour of Beijing Including Forbidden City, China World Trade Tower and Local Brewery

After pickup from your hotel, your guide will take your small group through the South Gate of the Forbidden City – the Imperial Palace for emperors of the Ming and Qing dynasties. Containing up to 800 buildings and some 9,000 chambers, the area was strictly forbidden to the general public. Stand before the Meridian Gate and take in the wonders of the monumental grounds, including the striking gold and red hues of the imperial city.

Your guide will explain the significance of the intricate design and inform you about its history. Listen to anecdotes about China's Empress Dowager Tzu-hsi, who wielded power as head of the Qing Dynasty for half a century, and learn the fate of the last emperor.

Continue your sightseeing tour through a modern cityscape where future plans for urban development mix with the conservation of old Beijing. Your guide will inform you about the Japanese occupation, communist party rule and the global shift toward Beijing as a new center of power. Learn about Nixon and Kissinger's visit to China and their secret discussions with Mao Zedong as you view Soviet monuments of glass and chrome.

Head to the Summit Wing, a remarkable space near the top of the 81-floor China World Trade Tower III. Enjoy unrivaled views over the historic city center, including the hutongs, which demonstrate Beijing’s organic development with their narrow alleys that separate traditional courtyard homes.

After your visit, stop for lunch and a local beer in one of the capital's best microbreweries. Your tour of the metropolis ends with return transport to your Beijing hotel.

Customer Reviews

5 star rating: Highly Recommended June 2015

Our guide Grace was outstanding. She held our attention from the moment she began our tour until the very end. She wove an historical story of the China's Ming and Qing Dynasties everyday political, social and family life from 1420 up to 1920. Our entire tour was so special thanks to her tireless attention to our desires to experience Beijing and the fascinating history of China. Thanks Grace!

4 star rating: Recommended February 2014

Okay, firstly I must say that I would give the Tour Guide, Winser Zhao a very good rating because he was friendly, well-informed, had very good English-speaking skills and was very knowledgeable about what we saw on the tour. On our visit to The Forbidden City, Winser took us to the calligraphy exhibition and showed us around the exhibits. His knowledge regarding the calligraphy - historical and contemporary - was interesting and impressive - so full marks to Winser!
However, if you want to take this tour because of an interest in the Underground City or aspects of the Cold War, then this tour is not for you. When we were picked up at our hotel, Winser made it clear the tunnels and bunkers had been closed to tours since 2008!!! And so, the 'Underground City' aspect of this tour should be well-and-truly deleted from all advertising. Had we not been interested in the calligraphy, we would probably have been very disappointed. As we enjoyed the calligraphy however we have rated the tour accordingly. The visit to the China World Trade Tower gave us a great bird's-eye-view of Beijing. And the lunch provided at the brewery (especially the Iron Buddha Brew) was excellent. You don't get any insights into the manufacture of the beers available, but the lunch itself was excellent. As the calligraphy went over time, we had to make our own way back to the hotel by taxi.
Overall, the tour is well worth it to see the Forbidden City (particularly the calligraphy exhibition), to get the bird's eye view, and the unusual but tasty lunch. Winser is an excellent guide! Subsequent to the tour he visited our hotel and gave us a very generous gift of some calligraphy of his own. This was testament to the friendliness and generosity we experienced throughout Beijing on our winter trip to this wonderful city!

From USD $ 112.94

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Tour code: 6139PEKINSIDER

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