Private Tour of Beijing's Must-See Sights For Independent Travelers or Groups
Summer Palace, Kunming Lake
Great Wall, Jinshanling Pass
Tour Day 1: Tian'anmen Square, Forbidden City, Summer Palace, Hutong
Tour Day 2: Temple of Heaven, Ming Tombs, Great Wall, Olympic Park
Duration of Tour: 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Pick-up and Drop-off will be your hotel lobby
Services Included: Depending on the number of passengers, the price of the tour includes an air-conditioned car, bus, or van. It also includes a private, English-speaking tour guide, all entrance fees, and 2 lunches at authentic Chinese restaurants that locals frequent. It does not include tips for the tour guide or driver. We recommend that you tip each $5 USD per day. The price also does not include hotel accommodations. If you wish, we can book a hotel for you.
Itinerary: On this two day tour, you will visit many of Beijing's best-known sights.
Tour Day 1
After picking you up at your hotel, we will head to Tian'anmen Square, the world's largest square. Located in the very center of Beijing, Tian'anmen Square is Beijing's political heart. Here you will see the Great Hall of the People, China National History Museum, Tian'anmenGate Tower, and Chairman Mao Memorial Hall. Our next stop will be the Forbidden City, located just north of Tian'anmen Gate Tower. The Forbidden City was the residence of the emperors of the Ming and Qing Dynasties, who ruled China from here for 491 years. (1420 to 1911). It is a magnificent maze of palaces and courtyards. No longer forbidden territory, this vast imperial palace gives insight into the lives of those who called it home.
After lunch in a local restaurant, we will drive to the northwestern suburbs of Beijing to visit the Summer Palace. TheSummer Palace was the pleasure garden for the Qing emperors for more than 150 years. As we walk through the Summer Palace, we will see the stunningly beautiful Kunming Lake, and the impressive Longevity Hill. To fully enjoy this splendid place, we will take a boat ride on the lake. After our visit, we will drive back into the center of Beijing and visit the Hutong area. The Hutong is the oldest part of the city, where we can still see clusters of old residences for the average citizen scattered among modern glass buildings. We will go to visit a local family and learn about the regular people's daily life. To get around the narrow alleys of the Hutong, we will be taken by pedicab. Getting to know the people is the most enjoyable part of the Hutong tour.
Tour Day 2
We will visit the Temple of Heaven early in the morning to see the local people doing their morning exercises. People from all walks of life go here to do tai chi, to fly kites, to sing Beijing Opera and even do some matchmaking for their children. The Temple of Heaven is an imperial temple and was built in 1420. The emperors of the Ming and Qing Dynasties went here to worship the God of Heaven for a good harvest and rainfall. It is a truly enjoyable park, and it should not be missed. After our visit, we will head northeast of the city to visit the Ming Tombs, where thirteen of the sixteen emperors of the Ming Dynasty are buried. Here we will see an amazing selection of treasures buried with the emperors 500 years ago.
We head next to the Great Wall; stopping for lunch along the way. Depending on your preference, our destination is either the Great Wall at Juyongguan Pass or Badaling Pass. We will get to see the countryside outside of Beijing as we travel to this imposing site. Almost 4000 miles long, and construction beginning over 2000 years ago, the iconic Great Wall is the most well-known tourist attraction in China. We will spend time walking the top and admiring the views that extend in every direction. On our way back to Beijing, we will stop at Shahe Cloisonne to see skilled artisans still practicing this ancient art form. Our final stop will be Beijing Olympic Park. Here we will get the chance to walk the Olympic Park grounds of this modern historic site. The National Aquatic Center (Water Cube) and National Stadium (Bird's Nest) are fast becoming the new iconic sites of modern Beijing.