Meet your guide after making your own way to Temple of Heaven Park, an urban oasis where people gather to chat, exercise and enjoy the natural world.
If time allows, your guide may take you through the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Temple of Heaven (additional expense), a Ming temple built by the same emperor who built the Forbidden City. Temple of Heaven served as the stage for important rituals performed by the emperor, especially rituals to please the gods who would grant a plentiful harvest and favorable year. Inside the Hall of Prayer for Good Harvest, your guide shows you acoustical tricks made by the building's structure.
Upon departing the Temple of Heaven, follow your guide to the subway and ride to Tiananmen Square. From there, a short walk takes you to the Forbidden City, where your guide shares informative details about imperial China as you walk through the vast plaza and marvel at its towering gates and fortified walls, then admire rare treasures and artifacts that offer a glimpse into palace life.
Next, enjoy a traditional Chinese lunch of noodles or dumplings and take a stroll through Jingshan Park, formerly an imperial garden during the Yuan, Ming and Qing dynasties. Enjoy a great perspective on the best of Ming Dynasty architecture, including stunning views of the Forbidden City and the ancient heart of Beijing. Your Beijing small-group tour ends in the park in the mid-afternoon, leaving you free to make your way to your next destination.