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Beijing - Best Tours & Trips 2019

200 trips to Beijing tours from 64 tour companies. 408 reviews. 4.7/5 avg rating.
Beijing is China's capital, and is an epicenter of Chinese history and modern life. Home to such sites as the Forbidden City and the Temple of Heaven, it's the place to be for absorbing the incredibly extensive history of China.
All Beijing tours, river cruises, expedition cruises, and adventure trips. Find the best guided trips and expert planned vacation and holiday packages.
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Travel Style Travel Style Relaxed A lot of free time, with very few inclusions. Ideal for independent and/or low-key travelers and cruisers.
Full on For those looking to maximize their sight seeing time. You thrive on a packed day’s schedule from 8 am to 6pm, with some (but limited) free time. Most activities and meals included.
Mixed You will have solid amounts of both free time and structured time with some activities and meals included.

Trip Type Trip Type Group Tour Groups are between 25-60 people, typically ~30-40. Usually there will be many opportunities to split off and enjoy meals and excursions in smaller groups. This is the most economical way to travel, saving up to 40% versus booking the same itinerary yourself.
Small Group Tour Small groups are usually defined as between 10 and 24 travelers, often less. If you're the kind of person who enjoys more intimate experiences and personal service this is a good choice. All else being equal you will pay a premium for this style vs a larger group tour.
River Cruise These vessels are smaller than most ocean cruisers, limiting which amenties are available. Passenger counts can vary. One of the biggest advantages of a river cruise is the ability to dock at smaller ports and local villages.
Small Ship Cruise Small ship cruises usually have a max passenger count of 500. The primary purpose of these trips is to spend time off the vessel in local ports (e.g. Mediterranean) or experiencing nature (e.g Galapagos or Antarctica). Cabins can vary from budget to luxury.
Private Guided Private tours give you the undivided attention of a guide, and often involve special access to sites and unique experiences not available to larger groups. This is a great option for families, couples, and small friend groups. Expect to pay a bit more for the extra service.
Self Guided / Independent Tour A travel company plans your itinerary and arranges all the logistics including lodging, local activities, and transportantion. You have the flexibility of a solo trip while still getting the convience and time savings of expert planning. Get 90% of the benefits of a tour, without a guide.
Vacation / Holiday Package Similar to a self guided tour, this usually involves a home base, such as a hotel or resort, with packaged activities and day tours as a part of the stay.
Large Ship Cruise This is the "floating city" experience, with multiple ways to enjoy your vacation aboard the ship as much as on land. Ships are multiple floors, provide several activities, culinary, and shopping options. They often make fewer stops and have less time available for shore excursions.

Itinerary Focus

Lodging Level Lodging Level Camping Typically involves most nights sleeping in tents (sometimes permanent tented sites) or in rustic cabins and lodges.
Basic - 2 star You'll stay in no-frills, but clean and comfortable, hotels or guesthouses. A 'Basic' trip might also involve a few nights of camping.
Value - 3 star Mid-range budget with accommodations ranging from comfortable lodges, guesthouses, and homestays to three star hotels.
Premium - 4 star 3 to 4 star western hotel equivalents. While not all lodging will be 'luxury' they will be quite comfortable by western standards.
Luxury - 5 star The highest level of comfort and service. All accomodations are in four or five star hotels, boutique lodges or high-end homestays.

Price From*

$ 260 $ 10,000+

Price Per Day

Trip Length

Countries

Physical Level Physical Level Very Easy Minimal walking - motor vehicles available for all major parts of trip.
Easy Normal generally flat walking in urban or suburban environments.
Moderate Walking or physical activity half to most of day - no carrying equipment.
Strenuous All or most of day hiking or biking, hills included.
Extreme Very challenging all day hiking and backpacking carrying significant equipment.

Travel Theme

Travelers Age

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Rivers & Seas

Cities & Attractions

Activities

Solo Friendly Solo Friendly Good for Singles Trips that specifically cater to travelers looking to meet other singles.
No Single Supplement Trips where single supplement is usually not required for solo travelers.

Company

Flights & Transport

Continents & Regions

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China Sampler

SmarTours
Premier
Has very high quality customer experiences and demonstrated commitment to responsible travel practices. read more
10 days
$ 150 / day
$ 1,499
From : $ 4,097
The strike-through price reflects either the high season trip price or the average price a traveler pays for a similar itinerary when the components are booked separately.
Travel Style : You will have solid amounts of both free time and structured time with some activities and meals included. Mixed
Physical Level : Some walking over short or flat distances. Some trips may include cycling options. Some are wheelchair friendly (check for individual trips). Some cruises. Easy
Lodging Level : Mid-range budget with accommodations ranging from comfortable lodges, guesthouses, and homestays to three star hotels. Value - 3 star
Highlights
  • Visit the Tiananmen Square (Beijing)
  • Explore the Great Wall (Beijing)
  • See the Terra Cotta Soldiers (Xian)
  • Embark on a guided orientation drive and stroll down the Bund (Shanghai)
  • Enjoy Suzhou Excursion (Shanghai)
Visits:
Beijing, Shanghai, Suzhou, Terra Cotta Warriors, The Forbidden City, Tiananmen Square, Xian, China
View Trip

The Best of China

SmarTours
Premier
Has very high quality customer experiences and demonstrated commitment to responsible travel practices. read more
12 days
$ 183 / day
$ 2,199
From : $ 5,297
The strike-through price reflects either the high season trip price or the average price a traveler pays for a similar itinerary when the components are booked separately.
Travel Style : You will have solid amounts of both free time and structured time with some activities and meals included. Mixed
Physical Level : Some walking over short or flat distances. Some trips may include cycling options. Some are wheelchair friendly (check for individual trips). Some cruises. Easy
Lodging Level : 3 to 4 star western hotel equivalents. While not all lodging will be 'luxury' they will be quite comfortable by western standards. Premium - 4 star
Highlights
  • Visit Beijing
  • Visit intriguing Tang Art Museum
  • Explore Shanghai
Visits:
Beijing, Chengdu, Shanghai, Suzhou, The Forbidden City, Xian, China
View Trip

China Trip - Amazing Huangshan (Yellow Mountain)

Travel China Guide
Preferred
Has very high quality customer experiences and demonstrated commitment to responsible travel practices. read more
10 days
$ 147 / day
$ 1,469
From : $ 3,967
The strike-through price reflects either the high season trip price or the average price a traveler pays for a similar itinerary when the components are booked separately.
Travel Style : You will have solid amounts of both free time and structured time with some activities and meals included. Mixed
Physical Level : Some walking over short or flat distances. Some trips may include cycling options. Some are wheelchair friendly (check for individual trips). Some cruises. Easy
Lodging Level : Mid-range budget with accommodations ranging from comfortable lodges, guesthouses, and homestays to three star hotels. Value - 3 star
Highlights
  • Must-see sights in China -the Great Wall, Forbidden City, Terracotta Warriors
  • Cruise on the Huangpu River to take in the impressive skylinesof Shanghai
  • Visit Mt. Huangshan, one of the most scenic mountains in China
  • Walk into a local Chinese family, interact & dine with the hosts in their home
Visits:
Beijing, Great Wall of China, Shanghai, Terra Cotta Warriors, The Forbidden City, Tiananmen Square, Xian, China
View Trip

Pandas & Yangtze Cruise

Travel China Guide
Preferred
Has very high quality customer experiences and demonstrated commitment to responsible travel practices. read more
16 days
$ 179 / day
$ 2,859
From : $ 3,898
The strike-through price reflects either the high season trip price or the average price a traveler pays for a similar itinerary when the components are booked separately.
Travel Style : You will have solid amounts of both free time and structured time with some activities and meals included. Mixed
Physical Level : Some walking over short or flat distances. Some trips may include cycling options. Some are wheelchair friendly (check for individual trips). Some cruises. Easy
Lodging Level : 3 to 4 star western hotel equivalents. While not all lodging will be 'luxury' they will be quite comfortable by western standards. Premium - 4 star
Highlights
  • Must-see sights - the Great Wall, Forbidden City, Terracotta Army, Giant Pandas 
  • Fantastic cruise tour on the Li River from Guilin to rural Yangshuo 
  • Have a once in a lifetime chance to get close to the incredibly cute treasure -Pandas 
  • Take in the impressive skylines of Shanghai as you walk along the Bund
Visits:
Beijing, Chengdu, Chongqing, Great Wall of China, Guilin, Shanghai, Terra Cotta Warriors, The Forbidden City, Xian, Yangtze River, Yichang, China
View Trip

China Golden Triangle Tour

Travel China Guide
Preferred
Has very high quality customer experiences and demonstrated commitment to responsible travel practices. read more
9 days
$ 169 / day
$ 1,519
From : $ 2,475
The strike-through price reflects either the high season trip price or the average price a traveler pays for a similar itinerary when the components are booked separately.
Travel Style : A lot of free time, with very few inclusions. Ideal for independent and/or low-key travelers and cruisers. Relaxed
Physical Level : Some walking over short or flat distances. Some trips may include cycling options. Some are wheelchair friendly (check for individual trips). Some cruises. Easy
Lodging Level : 3 to 4 star western hotel equivalents. While not all lodging will be 'luxury' they will be quite comfortable by western standards. Premium - 4 star
Highlights
  • Must-see sights in China - Mutianyu Great Wall, Forbidden City, Terracotta Army

  • Walk into a local Chinese family, interact & dine with the hosts in their home
  • Try biking on the Ming Dynasty City Wall of Xi'an, or tour by electric car
  • Cruise on the Huangpu River to take in the impressive skylines of Shanghai
Visits:
Beijing, Great Wall of China, Ming tombs, Shanghai, Tiananmen Square, Xian, China
View Trip

Tibet Odyssey

Travel China Guide
Preferred
Has very high quality customer experiences and demonstrated commitment to responsible travel practices. read more
11 days
$ 239 / day
$ 2,629
From : $ 5,876
The strike-through price reflects either the high season trip price or the average price a traveler pays for a similar itinerary when the components are booked separately.
Travel Style : You will have solid amounts of both free time and structured time with some activities and meals included. Mixed
Physical Level : Some walking over short or flat distances. Some trips may include cycling options. Some are wheelchair friendly (check for individual trips). Some cruises. Easy
Lodging Level : The highest level of comfort and service. All accomodations are in four or five star hotels, boutique lodges or high-end homestays. Luxury - 5 star
Highlights
  • Must-see sights in China -the Great Wall, Forbidden City, Terracotta Warriors
  • Full insight visits of the sacred Potala Palace and pure land of Tibet
  • View the soaring city skylines and feel the pulse of modern Shanghai
  • Walk into a local Chinese family, interact & dine with the hosts in their home
Visits:
Great Wall of China, Lhasa, Potala Palace, Shanghai, Terra Cotta Warriors, The Forbidden City, Tiananmen Square, Xian, China
View Trip

China – Panda Conservation Experience

Discover Corps
Premier
Has very high quality customer experiences and demonstrated commitment to responsible travel practices. read more
8 days
$ 374 / day
$ 2,995
From : $ 4,043
The strike-through price reflects either the high season trip price or the average price a traveler pays for a similar itinerary when the components are booked separately.
Travel Style : You will have solid amounts of both free time and structured time with some activities and meals included. Mixed
Physical Level : Some walking over short or flat distances. Some trips may include cycling options. Some are wheelchair friendly (check for individual trips). Some cruises. Easy
Lodging Level : Mid-range budget with accommodations ranging from comfortable lodges, guesthouses, and homestays to three star hotels. Value - 3 star
Highlights
  • Venture behind the scenes of a panda rescue center for hands-on interaction with these gentle creatures
  • Experience the unforgettable Great Wall of China
  • Visit two other UNESCO World Heritage Sites: Visit Xi'an to see the Terracotta Warriors and Beijing’s Summer Palace
  • Share a homemade meal with a local family in Beijing’s traditional districts, or “hutongs”
  • Zip through the bustling city of Beijing in an open- air rickshaw
Visits:
Beijing, Chengdu, Great Wall of China, The Forbidden City, Tiananmen Square, China
View Trip

China Delights

Travel China Guide
Preferred
Has very high quality customer experiences and demonstrated commitment to responsible travel practices. read more
11 days
$ 139 / day
$ 1,529
From : $ 4,362
The strike-through price reflects either the high season trip price or the average price a traveler pays for a similar itinerary when the components are booked separately.
Travel Style : You will have solid amounts of both free time and structured time with some activities and meals included. Mixed
Physical Level : Some walking over short or flat distances. Some trips may include cycling options. Some are wheelchair friendly (check for individual trips). Some cruises. Easy
Lodging Level : Mid-range budget with accommodations ranging from comfortable lodges, guesthouses, and homestays to three star hotels. Value - 3 star
Highlights
  • See the fascinating Tiananmen Square, Forbidden City
  • Explore Beijing
  • Discover Shanghai
  • Opportunity to Li River cruise to Yangshuo
  • See the Shanghai Museum, Yuyuan Garden
Visits:
Beijing, Guilin, Shanghai, Terra Cotta Warriors, The Forbidden City, Tiananmen Square, Xian, Yangshuo, Yichang, China
View Trip

Pandas & Golden Cities

Travel China Guide
Preferred
Has very high quality customer experiences and demonstrated commitment to responsible travel practices. read more
11 days
$ 155 / day
$ 1,709
From : $ 4,615
The strike-through price reflects either the high season trip price or the average price a traveler pays for a similar itinerary when the components are booked separately.
Travel Style : You will have solid amounts of both free time and structured time with some activities and meals included. Mixed
Physical Level : Some walking over short or flat distances. Some trips may include cycling options. Some are wheelchair friendly (check for individual trips). Some cruises. Easy
Lodging Level : Mid-range budget with accommodations ranging from comfortable lodges, guesthouses, and homestays to three star hotels. Value - 3 star
Highlights
  • Must-see sights - Mutianyu Great Wall, Forbidden City, Terracotta Army, Giant Pandas

  • Have a once in a life chance to get close to the incredibly cute treasure - Pandas
  • Cruise on the Huangpu River to take in the impressive skylines of Shanghai
  • Enjoy a la carte meals, Kung Fu Show, Tang Dynasty Music and Dance performance
Visits:
Beijing, Chengdu, Shanghai, The Forbidden City, Tiananmen Square, Xian, China
View Trip

Follow Pandas' Footprint

Travel China Guide
Preferred
Has very high quality customer experiences and demonstrated commitment to responsible travel practices. read more
9 days
$ 131 / day
$ 1,179
From : $ 2,967
The strike-through price reflects either the high season trip price or the average price a traveler pays for a similar itinerary when the components are booked separately.
Travel Style : You will have solid amounts of both free time and structured time with some activities and meals included. Mixed
Physical Level : Some walking over short or flat distances. Some trips may include cycling options. Some are wheelchair friendly (check for individual trips). Some cruises. Easy
Lodging Level : 3 to 4 star western hotel equivalents. While not all lodging will be 'luxury' they will be quite comfortable by western standards. Premium - 4 star
Highlights
  • Must-see sights - the Great Wall, Forbidden City, Terracotta Army, Giant Pandas
  • See the giant pandas up close in the Panda Breeding and Research Center
  • Try biking on the Ming Dynasty City Wall of Xian, or tour by electric car
  • Enjoy a la carte meals, Kung Fu Show, Tang Dynasty Music and Dance performance
Visits:
Beijing, Chengdu, Great Wall of China, Olympic National Park  , Terra Cotta Warriors, The Forbidden City, Tiananmen Square, Xian, China
View Trip

China Tour - Beijing Highlights

Travel China Guide
Preferred
Has very high quality customer experiences and demonstrated commitment to responsible travel practices. read more
4 days
$ 75 / day
$ 299
From : $ 837
The strike-through price reflects either the high season trip price or the average price a traveler pays for a similar itinerary when the components are booked separately.
Travel Style : You will have solid amounts of both free time and structured time with some activities and meals included. Mixed
Physical Level : Some walking over short or flat distances. Some trips may include cycling options. Some are wheelchair friendly (check for individual trips). Some cruises. Easy
Lodging Level : Mid-range budget with accommodations ranging from comfortable lodges, guesthouses, and homestays to three star hotels. Value - 3 star
Highlights
  • Must-see sights -the Great Wall, Forbidden City, Temple of Heaven
  • Admire the world's largest city center square, Tiananmen Square
  • Enjoy an a la carte lunch with Beijing Roast Duck at a superb restaurant
  • Watch the marvelous Chinese Kung Fu Show at the Red Theater
Visits:
Beijing, Great Wall of China, The Forbidden City, Tiananmen Square, China
View Trip

Incredible Zhangjiajie

Travel China Guide
Preferred
Has very high quality customer experiences and demonstrated commitment to responsible travel practices. read more
11 days
$ 187 / day
$ 2,059
From : $ 4,757
The strike-through price reflects either the high season trip price or the average price a traveler pays for a similar itinerary when the components are booked separately.
Travel Style : You will have solid amounts of both free time and structured time with some activities and meals included. Mixed
Physical Level : Some walking over short or flat distances. Some trips may include cycling options. Some are wheelchair friendly (check for individual trips). Some cruises. Easy
Lodging Level : 3 to 4 star western hotel equivalents. While not all lodging will be 'luxury' they will be quite comfortable by western standards. Premium - 4 star
Highlights
  • Must-see sights in China -the Great Wall, Forbidden City, Terracotta Warriors
  • See the floating mountains of Avatar in reality in Zhangjiajie Forest Park
  • Have an exciting walk on the world's highest and longest glass bridge
  • View the soaring city skylines and feel the pulse of modern Shanghai
Visits:
Beijing, Shanghai, Terra Cotta Warriors, The Forbidden City, Tiananmen Square, Xian, China
View Trip

Golden Triangle & Yangtze

Travel China Guide
Preferred
Has very high quality customer experiences and demonstrated commitment to responsible travel practices. read more
11 days
$ 139 / day
$ 1,529
From : $ 2,418
The strike-through price reflects either the high season trip price or the average price a traveler pays for a similar itinerary when the components are booked separately.
Travel Style : You will have solid amounts of both free time and structured time with some activities and meals included. Mixed
Physical Level : Some walking over short or flat distances. Some trips may include cycling options. Some are wheelchair friendly (check for individual trips). Some cruises. Easy
Lodging Level : 3 to 4 star western hotel equivalents. While not all lodging will be 'luxury' they will be quite comfortable by western standards. Premium - 4 star
Highlights
  • Must-see sights in China - the Great Wall, Forbidden City, Terracotta Warriors 
  • Unwind with a Yangtze River cruise tour & see the Three Gorges 
  • Take in the impressive skylines of Shanghai as you walk along the Bund 
  • Walk into a local Chinese family, interact & dine with the hosts in their home
Visits:
Beijing, Chongqing, Great Wall of China, Shanghai, Terra Cotta Warriors, The Forbidden City, Xian, Yichang, China
View Trip

Splendid China

Travel China Guide
Preferred
Has very high quality customer experiences and demonstrated commitment to responsible travel practices. read more
10 days
$ 176 / day
$ 1,759
From : $ 4,991
The strike-through price reflects either the high season trip price or the average price a traveler pays for a similar itinerary when the components are booked separately.
Travel Style : You will have solid amounts of both free time and structured time with some activities and meals included. Mixed
Physical Level : Some walking over short or flat distances. Some trips may include cycling options. Some are wheelchair friendly (check for individual trips). Some cruises. Easy
Lodging Level : Mid-range budget with accommodations ranging from comfortable lodges, guesthouses, and homestays to three star hotels. Value - 3 star
Highlights
  • Must-see sights in China - Mutianyu Great Wall, Forbidden City, Terracotta Army

  • Take in the impressive skylines of Shanghai as you walk along the Bund
  • Feel the vibrant atmosphere & explore bustling markets in Hong Kong
  • Walk into a local Chinese family, interact & dine with the hosts in their home
Visits:
Beijing, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Terra Cotta Warriors, The Forbidden City, Tiananmen Square, Victoria Peak, Xian, China
View Trip

Private Guided China Delights

Travel China Guide
Preferred
Has very high quality customer experiences and demonstrated commitment to responsible travel practices. read more
11 days
$ 177 / day
$ 1,949
From : $ 3,327
The strike-through price reflects either the high season trip price or the average price a traveler pays for a similar itinerary when the components are booked separately.
Travel Style : A lot of free time, with very few inclusions. Ideal for independent and/or low-key travelers and cruisers. Relaxed
Physical Level : Some walking over short or flat distances. Some trips may include cycling options. Some are wheelchair friendly (check for individual trips). Some cruises. Easy
Lodging Level : 3 to 4 star western hotel equivalents. While not all lodging will be 'luxury' they will be quite comfortable by western standards. Premium - 4 star
Highlights
  • Must-see sights in China - Mutianyu Great Wall, Forbidden City, Terracotta Army

  • Walk into a local Chinese family, interact & dine with the hosts in their home
  • Try biking on the Ming Dynasty City Wall of Xi'an, or tour by electric car
  • Cruise on the Huangpu River to take in the impressive skylines of Shanghai
Visits:
Beijing, Guilin, Shanghai, The Forbidden City, Tiananmen Square, Xian, China
View Trip
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Top Beijing Experiences and Attractions

Top Beijing Experiences

Riding a rickshaw through the winding streets of the Hutong, Beijing’s historic district.

Climbing up one of the wonders of the world, the Great Wall of China, and having a view at the expansive Chinese countryside.

Walking through an impressive and expansive night market in the city, and trying exotic snacks.

Spending an afternoon admiring the incredible Forbidden City and its multiple palaces.

Taking your first bite of succulent Peking duck in Beijing, the city where the dish was invented.

Hiking up Victoria Peak to get an amazing view of the modern city below.


view more

Beijing Trip Reviews

408 Beijing Tour Reviews - Summary 99% Recommend

4.7 out of 5
Excellent 295
Great 107
Average 2
Disappointing 1
Terrible 3
Value
4.7
Guide
4.7
Activities
4.7
Lodging
4.7
Transportation
4.7
Meals
4.7

Tour Reviews Write a Review

Outstanding!

5.0
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0

We've just returned from our 12-day tour of China and there's only one adjective to describe the service of Ritz tour guides and drivers: OUTSTANDING! The five-star hotels were beyond expectations and the shows were spectacular! Thank you Ritz for a wonderful vacation....

Read more
Operator Ritz Tours

Fantastic

5.0
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0

They took very good care of me as I was a woman traveling alone, never once did I worry about a thing. It was extraordinary. I am using them again to go to Japan.

Read more
Operator Alexander + Roberts

Imperial China and Yangtze River Cruise

5.0
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0

An excellent introduction to China covering a number of the very diverse
facets of the country.
I am inspired to return to China to explore other aspects of the country. In
particular the Great Wall trek.
I would recommend travelling with a group, such as Exodus. It is not the
easiest country to get about in. There is very little English spoken and most
of the signs are in Chinese only. Our tour leader took care of
interpretations.
The Great Wall was great, the Three Gorges cruise on the Yangtze, the cycling
in the country amongst the limestone karsts, amazing landscape. There were a
number of other WOW factors not least of which was the food.


Leon was excellent: very knowledgeable about all the areas that we visited,
he was helpful on a personal level as well as to the group particularly when
it came to ordering food where the menus were only in Chinese. He was well up
to the standard of tour leaders that I had come to expect of Exodus.
His English was excellent also.


Travelling in China could be a bit of a challenge particularly as there is
little English spoken and much of the signs even at airports and railway
stations are in Chinese. Having a competent Chinese speaker with you, such as
we had, made life much easier.

The trip was billed as 1 leisurely. I think a 2 grading would be more exact;
the steps up to the great wall and later on up to the Moon Rock were
something of a challenge for some.


Keep your eyes open and look for quaint English translations of signs.


Read more
Operator Exodus Travels

In general, it was a wonderful trip. Our guide was the best.

5.0
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0

Our guide in Beijing was the best. My husband likes to ask questions and she always had a great answer and very knowledgeable in history.
Jen, Vice President of Operations at Myths and Mountains, provided reminder emails and also answered all our questions. My husband liked the pre-trip phone call too. We loved touring the Mogao Caves. It was better than anticipated! Second highlight were the Terracotta Warriors.

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Operator Myths and Mountains

Classic China

5.0
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0

Covered the historic highlights of the trip.
(Anyway to avoid long lines would be helpful.)

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Operator Trafalgar

The China sampler tour

5.0
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0

The China sampler was a wonderful trip. We had never ventured to the orient and the China Sampler was a good introduction to Chinese culture. We liked all the places we visited in Beijing, Xian, Shanghai,and Sozhou. The hotels were very nice and comfortable. Out guides Hou and Lilly were very knowledgeable and spoke perfect English. All the extra excursions were well worth the time and expense. I would definitely recommend the tour to anyone.

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Operator SmarTours

Beijing Tours and Travel Guide

Beijing Attractions & Landmarks Guide

6 Best Things To Do on a Tour in Beijing

  1. The Forbidden City. This incredible attraction is named after the fact that it was not open to the public until 1924 -- it was believed to be a divine place housing rulers chosen by God, and so ordinary people were not allowed to enter. The Forbidden City includes the largest palatial home in the world, which took 14 years to build and has served 24 emperors in its history. It is an incredible example of traditional Chinese architecture, and includes 100 acres of beautifully manicured gardens.
  2. The Palace Museum. Inside the Forbidden City is the Palace Museum, which holds over 1 million pieces of rare Chinese art, and has some of the most impressive displays in the world. If you are at all interested in Chinese history and culture, this museum is a must-see on your trip to Beijing.
  3. Tiananmen Square. This large square (technically the 4th largest in the world) is a key component of any historical tour of Beijing. The iconic spot of the Tiananmen Square Massacre is a great place to learn about China’s controversial past and present political system, censorship, and those who protested it. You can also visit Mao Zedong’s mausoleum and see his remains.
  4. The Hutongs. The Hutongs are Beijing’s historic residential area that was primarily built during the 15th century.  The homes are, for the most part, single story and multi-generational, with small courtyards. They can be found on small, tree-lined alleyways, which aren’t wide enough for cars, so you can fully experience what life was like in ancient China -- and if you need a lift, take a rickshaw!
  5. Walk Wangfujing. the city’s most popular shopping street. The 1 mile long road is lit with neon signs is one of the busiest in the city, so if you dislike crowds, maybe skip this attraction. Its shops range from large and modern department stores, to time honored traditional Chinese shops specialize in everything from silk to hats.
  6. Donghuamen Night Market. This market is made up of hundreds speciality stands, selling all kinds of exotic food. If you’re feeling adventurous, fried starfish, scorpion, snake, and sheep’s penis are all served on a stick. There are also more classic dishes available, such as handmade dumplings, fried noodles, wontons, and fried ice cream, for sale.

5 Top Beijing Travel Tips

The good news is that if you’re on a group or guided tour of Beijing, there is a lot less you have to worry about. From figuring out how to navigate a public transportation system not only in a different language, but a language in different characters, to balancing different activities depending on when they’re open and what you get tickets to -- your tour guide is going to have it taken care of. That being said, there are still some things any foreign traveler to Beijing should be aware of before arriving.

  1. The day doesn’t end when the sun sets. Most tours plan your itinerary for the entire day, not for the night. At the start of your trip you may need this time to catch up on some much-needed sleep and beat your jet lag, though Beijing’s nightlife is not something you should miss. Beijing has it all -- from casual karaoke venues, to ritzy nightclubs, to scenic rooftop bars, there is something for everyone, so get out of your comfort zone and meet some locals!

  2. Learn a few words in Mandarin, which is the language spoken in Beijing. Even with your tour guide, the people you interact with will appreciate your being able to say a quick “hello” (ni hao) and “thank you” (xiexie). And when you need to get through a crowded street, knwoing how to say “excuse me” ( jièguò yīxià) may be invaluable!

  3. Chinese massages aren’t what you might expect. Sometimes confused with Thai massages, people often recommend you get a cheap massage in China. However, Chinese massages are a bit different -- the Chinese prioritize healing over physical pleasure, and this means your “massage” may consist mainly of suction cups, needles, and wooden hammers instead of kneading hands. This doesn’t mean they aren’t fun to try, or effective, just be aware before booking your first one!

  4. Bring your own toilet paper and hand sanitizer. The vast majority of bathrooms in Beijing are “squat toilets” -- essentially a toilet boil in the ground, without a seat or their own toilet paper -- so you will probably run into at least a couple on your Beijing trip. If you have your own supplies, you’ll be prepared.

  5. Watch where you’re crossing! Pedestrians don’t have the right of way in Beijing, and traffic can be confusing and chaotic. This can be intimidating when you first get to the city. When you do decide to cross, pick a line and stay on it. This way, cars will be able to easily drive around you.


What to Eat in Beijing

  • Peking Duck: This delicacy dates back to the imperial kitchens in 1330, and it became eponymous with Beijing—or Peking, as it was then known—in the 1450s.
  • Qianlong Cabbage: This tasty vegetarian dish is made of shredded cabbage soaked in a tasty soy sauce, vinegar, and sesame. It’s also a Beijing staple, so whether you have it as a side or your main course, know that you’re eating a traditional and still-popular dish.
  • Beijing Fried Sauce Noodles: These wheat noodles are served in a big bowl topped in garnish, occasionally bits of fried pork, and with a delicious side of dark brown sauce. This sauce is essentially a salty, soybean reduction.
  • Wandouhuang (Pea Cake): This “snack” was a favorite of one of China’s empresses, and remains a staple snack food. The yellow gelatin-like squares look sweet, and are bright yellow in color, but taste like peas.
  • Old Beijing’s Pear Drink: This sweet tea-like drink is made of pear, plums, wolfberries -- as well white fungus and rock sugar. It is a popular palette cleanser, and known for easing sore throats, so give it a try!
  • Anything on a skewer: A trip to Beijing wouldn’t be complete without a taste of the city’s famous street food, a great portion of which is sold on sticks. So whatever calls your fancy, from prawns, to mushrooms, to more exotic pickings like starfish. You will watch the meal get fried up right in front of you, and get to choose how spicy you want it.

Top Beijing Travel Companies

Things to Know Before You Go

Beijing Weather

The best times to visit Beijing are during the spring and fall. Not only do you miss the tourist crowds in the summer, but these two seasons also have the best weather, and the cleanest air (smog is most prolific in winter). You don’t have to worry about snow or monsoons, and instead should pack for temperatures anywhere in the 70’s. This weather also rushes in gorgeous blooms, so you are sure to have some beautiful scenery on your escorted tour to Beijing.


What to Wear in Beijing

Dress codes are casual in Beijing, and as a tourist you should feel free to wear the same things you would at home. This applies for restaurants and sightseeing, too. If you want to dress like a local, consider wearing darker clothing, especially black pants with a white top as a man (which is the typical business dress code).

 

Beijing Safety

Beijing is one of the safest cities to visit, although as in any foreign country, you should always remain aware when traveling. There are a couple safety issues to keep in mind, and if you do so, your trip to Beijing should go smoothly!

Scams: Scams in Beijing are minor, and usually take the form of a taxi driver or a rickshaw man implying a cheap fare, and then demanding a ridiculous fee at the end of your ride. To avoid this, always negotiate the price of your ride before getting in the vehicle.

Drugged Drinks: One safety issue to be aware of if you plan on going to nightclubs is getting a drugged drink. This is, of course, a safety issue wherever you go -- if someone hands you a drink you did not see prepared, it is best not to drink it. In some nightclubs popular with foreigners, however, Westerners have been reported to be targeted.

Car Accidents: Car and pedestrian accidents are disproportionately common in Beijing, where there are few traffic laws and a growing population of new drivers on the road everyday. Pay attention to your surroundings when crossing streets and intersections in particular.


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