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How to Spend 3 Days in Beijing

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How to Spend 3 Days in Beijing
With three days in Beijing, you can explore imperial highlights—from the Forbidden City to the Summer Palace—tour the Great Wall, and take a deeper dive into local life in Beijing, including its markets, parks, temples, and traditional neighborhoods. Here are a few ways to make the most of your three days in Beijing.

Day 1: Imperial Beijing
Take the first day to get an overview of the city. Small group sightseeing tours typically include visits to the Forbidden City, Tiananmen Square, Temple of Heaven, and Summer Palace. If you’d rather explore at your own pace, opt for a customized private tour. After a day of sightseeing, treat your tastebuds to a culinary exploration of the city. Take a walking food tour through the hutongs (alleys) to sample some of the city’s best street food, or book a table at a Michelin-starred restaurant to feast on succulent Chinese soup dumplings.

Day 2: Local Flavor
Now that you’ve seen Beijing’s marquee attractions, take the morning to dive deeper into your own interests. Foodies can tour a local market and learn to cook Chinese specialties with a professional chef or local family, while those interested in Chinese culture and religion can spend time temple-hopping—highlights include the Tibetan-style Lama Temple, serene Confucius Temple, and the sprawling Tanzhe Temple. In the afternoon, hop in a rickshaw to explore the city’s ancient hutongs, cruise on Houhai Lake, or take a walking tour of the imperial gardens of Beihai Park. Treat yourself to a night out by booking seats at one of the many theaters for an evening of Chinese opera, traditional acrobatics, or Shaolin-style kung fu. Many shows include the option for dinner and round-trip transportation.

Day 3: Great Wall of China
You’ve explored Beijing proper; now head out of town for a day dedicated to one of China’s most famous landmarks, the Great Wall. There’s a section of the wall suited to just about every traveler. Active types can take a guided hike from Simatai West to Jinshanling, or along the remote stretch of wall near Jiankou. Families might prefer a tour of the Mutianyu Great Wall, where visitors ride a cable car up and slide back down on a toboggan. Many Great Wall day trips include a stop at the Ming Tombs, a UNESCO World Heritage Site where China’s Ming emperors are interred. Back in Beijing, wrap up your visit with dinner at a traditional Chinese hot pot restaurant.
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Shaolin Kung Fu Show Tickets at Beijing Red TheaterTheater, Shows & Musicals

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Shaolin Kung Fu Show Tickets at Beijing Red Theater

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Enjoy a 70-minute Shaolin kung fu performance at Beijing Red Theater that displays the eye-popping athleticism and artistry of this famous Chinese martial art. See skilled performers whip out lightning fast kung fu kicks, leaps and daredevil tricks as they tell the story of a boy practitioner at Shaolin Temple, known as the birthplace of kung fu. You also see contortion- and drunken boxing-style kung fu during the show. Includes entrance ticket and the option to upgrade for hotel pickup and drop-off in central Beijing.
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  • 1 hour 10 minutes
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Beijing Old Hutongs Tour by RickshawHalf-day Tours

Beijing Old Hutongs Tour by Rickshaw

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Weave your way around charming streets and ancient alleys (hutongs) on a 3-hour rickshaw tour of Beijing. Clamber into your traditional mode of transport and discover an alternative side of Beijing; see locals going about daily life and marvel at spectacular sights like Drum Tower. Visit a local home to gain insight into ancient Chinese customs and culture and sip aromatic tea collected from local plantations. Enjoy the convenience of round-trip transportation from your hotel on this enriching tour.
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  • 3 hours
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  • 3 hours
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Experience Beijing: Chinese Cooking Class and Market TourCooking Classes

Experience Beijing: Chinese Cooking Class and Market Tour

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Uncover the ancient secrets of Chinese cuisine during a 5-hour cooking class in Beijing. Immerse yourself in the bustling atmosphere of a local market to gain insight into the region’s rich culinary culture and purchase fresh ingredients from enticing stalls. Then, under the guidance of an expert chef, prepare local delicacies and delicious dishes inspired by ancient recipes. Cook in the cozy environment of a local home and master the techniques of sweet and sour pork and kung pao chicken. Feast upon the fruits of your labor at the end of the class and enjoy the relaxed ambience of the family home on this enriching experience.
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Beijing Classic Full-Day Tour including the Forbidden City, Tiananmen Square, Summer Palace and Temple of HeavenFull-day Tours

Beijing Classic Full-Day Tour including the Forbidden City, Tiananmen Square, Summer Palace and Temple of Heaven

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Enhance your sightseeing experience in Beijing on a full-day tour of the city’s most captivating sights. Accompanied by a knowledgeable guide, immerse yourself in the ancient mystery of the Forbidden City; absorb the majestic charm of the Summer Palace and Temple of Heaven; and stroll around the legendary Tiananmen Square. Relax during a scenic bus ride; purchase special souvenirs in the bustling Pearl Market; and satisfy an appetite for authenticity with a traditional Chinese lunch.
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Great Wall of China at Mutianyu Full-Day Tour Including Lunch from BeijingDay Trips

Great Wall of China at Mutianyu Full-Day Tour Including Lunch from Beijing

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Escape the crowds around the Great Wall of China and visit the ancient Mutianyu section on a full-day sightseeing tour from Beijing. Accompanied by a guide, learn the history behind the 6th-century section and marvel at the spectacular natural scenery that surrounds it. See impressive parapets and defensive watch towers and enjoy an optional cable car ride if you wish (own expense). An authentic Chinese lunch and convenient, round-trip transportation from your Beijing hotel are also included.
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  • 7 hours
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Full-Day Small-Group Great Wall Hike: Simatai West to JinshanlingDay Trips

Full-Day Small-Group Great Wall Hike: Simatai West to Jinshanling

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Take a break from busy Beijing for a full-day hike along the Great Wall of China, one of the world’s most famous monuments. Hike the section of the Great Wall from Simatai West to Jinshanling, a beautiful and less-crowded section of this UNESCO World Heritage Site. See parts of the Great Wall that have been carefully restored as well as sections that have not been retouched. After the hike, have lunch at a restaurant operated by local farmers before returning to Beijing.
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  • 9 hours
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Beijing Private Hutong Food Walking TourHalf-day Tours

Beijing Private Hutong Food Walking Tour

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Go off the beaten path in Beijing to visit a ‘hutong' (traditional-style neighborhood) with an experienced private guide for an authentic experience of local Chinese cuisine and the rich culture of old Beijing. Visit the produce market and sample more than 20 different dishes at a range of small eateries including locally owned shops, bakeries and restaurants. Meet the owners and learn about Chinese culinary customs from your guide. Your 4-hour tour includes all food tastings, a great treat for foodies!
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  • 4 hours
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Private Great Wall Hiking from Jiankou to MutianyuHiking & Camping

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Private Great Wall Hiking from Jiankou to Mutianyu

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Explore the Great Wall of China from Jiankou to Mutianyu on a full-day hiking tour from Beijing. Enjoy great views and firsthand experience of this remote section of the Great Wall. Enjoy a moderately challenging hike with your guide along the mountain ridge that ensures a memorable experience of this world-famous monument that is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
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  • 9 to 10 hours
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  • 9 to 10 hours
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Private Custom Tour: Beijing in One DayFull-day Tours

Private Custom Tour: Beijing in One Day

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See the spectacular sights of Beijing according to a personalized itinerary on this full-day private tour of the city. Accompanied by a private and knowledgeable guide, tailor your tour according to which landmarks interest you most; perhaps see the ancient mystery of the Forbidden City; venture to the iconic Greet Wall; or admire the exquisite exterior of the Lama Temple. Follow your guide around the narrow alleys and ambient streets of the city to purchase special souvenirs, or sample some sumptuous street food in bustling markets.
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  • 8 hours
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Peking Opera and Peking Duck Gourmet Dinner with TransferTheater, Shows & Musicals

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Peking Opera and Peking Duck Gourmet Dinner with Transfer

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Beijing is famous for many things, but Peking duck and opera are two of its celebrated must-dos. Start an evening with a Peking duck dinner, and feast on the signature Beijing dish of marinated duck — roasted until its skin crackles.  Afterward, travel to Liyuan Theater to watch an opera, complete with beautiful sets, intricate costumes, martial arts and, of course, opera singing. For a hassle-free evening, private transport is included through the experience.
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Din Tai Fung Dinner Experience plus VIP Seated Acrobatics Show in BeijingDining Experiences

Din Tai Fung Dinner Experience plus VIP Seated Acrobatics Show in Beijing

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If you’re after an evening of entertainment and fine food then look no further than this VIP experience, which includes dinner at a Michelin-recommended restaurant and VIP tickets to an acrobatic show. From premium seats, witness tightrope tricks, ventriloquists, and acrobatics before a gourmet dining experience at Din Tai Fung restaurant, famed for its dumplings. Hotel pickup and drop-off are included.
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  • 4 hours
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Private Illuminated Beijing Tour with Mongolia Hot Pot Dinner in HutongDining Experiences

Private Illuminated Beijing Tour with Mongolia Hot Pot Dinner in Hutong

Beijing is an exciting city at all times of day, but the Chinese capital truly comes alive at night. Get a peek at landmarks illuminated in glittering lights and customize your evening tour with multiple destination options, from Tiananmen Square to the bars of Houhai Lake. Tours end with an exclusive visit to a centuries-old Hutong and a personalized dinner at a local Mongolian Hot Pot restaurant.
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  • 4 hours
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  • 4 hours
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2-Hour Beijing Private Jingshan Coal Hill Park and Beihai Park Walking TourPrivate Sightseeing Tours

2-Hour Beijing Private Jingshan Coal Hill Park and Beihai Park Walking Tour

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Beijing is one of the world’s busiest urban centers, but the Chinese capital also has some beautiful green spaces to escape to. This 2-hour private walking tour explores two of Beijing’s imperial gardens, Jingshan (Coal Hill) Park and Beihai Park, including landmarks such as Five Dragon Pavilion, Jade Island, and Nine Dragon Screen.
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  • 2 hours
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