Six Day Beijing and Tianjin Travel

We have all been there – confused in front of the second largest city, the political and cultural center of China for centuries, Beijing. Tianjin, which is close to but draws less attention than Beijing, is also a vast city to explore. So where should we go? What are the essences of these cities? Where can we get to the tastiest food and snacks?

So, here is a list of the most essential places, food, snacks and activities for you to explore in your six day trip in Beijing and Tianjin.

Day One (Beijing)

Tian'anmen Squarethe Forbidden City– Jingshan Mountain – North Sea (Bei Hai) – Shi Cha Hai

Highlights

Flag-raising Ceremony: There is flag-raising ceremony in Tian'anmen Square. You can see this solemn ceremony carried out by soldiers every morning.

The Forbidden City: It was the palace for the emperors in the Ming and Qing Dynasties. It is the largest and most well-preserved wood structure from this ancient architecture group. The entrance fee for the Imperial Palace is 60 yuan.

Shi Cha Hai: Shi Cha Hai preserves the most typical Beijing style buildings, gardens and other non-material culture heritages.

What to Eat

Hu Guo Temple Snack Shop

This is a snack shop which provides special Beijing snacks. Yellow pea cake, rolling donkey (fried chop rice cake), fried cream cake, sweet ears (fried sugar cake), etc. are some special flavored snacks you may want to try.

  • Average Price Per Person: 15 yuan
  • Contact: 010-66181705 83281700
  • Address: 93 Hu Guo Si Street, Xicheng District

Qianmen Food Court

A number of time-honored restaurants converge at Qianmen Food Court, for example, Quan Ju De Roasted Duck, Du Yi Chu Siu Mai, Lao Zheng Xing Restaurant, etc. These restaurants all have a history of over one hundred years.

  • Address: East Tian'anmen Stop in Subway Line 1 or Qianmen Stop in Subway Line 2.

Dong Lai Shun Wang Fu Jing Restaurant

If you want to try Shuan Yang Rou, instant-boiled mutton in Beijing, you can do it at this restaurant. Dong Lai Shun Wang Fu Jing Restaurant has a history of one hundred years. The instant-boiled mutton in this restaurant is highlighted for its freshness and tenderness.

  • Average Price Per Person: 100 yuan
  • Address: 198, Wang Fu Jing Street, Dong Cheng District

See Top places to eat local snacks in Beijing.

Where to Stay

Hutongren Creative Culture Hotel

A quadrangle house, or quadrangle courtyard, is a kind of Beijing style residence. Hutongren Creative Culture Hotel was built in the style of a quadrangle house. If you want to live in a typical Beijing dwelling, check in to Hutongren Creative Culture Hotel where you can appreciate the beautiful yard and feel the antiqueness of the quadrangle house.

  • Room Rate: 260–480 yuan
  • Address: 71 Xiao Ju Er Hutong, Nan Luo Gu Alley, Gu Lou Dong Street

Home Inn

There is a Home Inn in Da Zha Land Cultural Commercial District. It is close to Tiananmen Square, the Palace Museum and the snack court.

  • Room Rate: 200–300 yuan
  • Contact: 010-63173366
  • Address: 61 Liang Shi Dian Street

Peninsula Beijing Hotel

Peninsula Beijing Hotel is located in the downtown area. This first class hotel is in quite a convenient location to conduct your visits to many places.

  • Room Rate: 1,300 yuan
  • Contact: 010-85162888

See how to select a hotels in Beijing.

Transportation

The public transportation in Beijing is very convenient. It covers almost all of the scenic spots in Beijing.

Tips

  • Convenient as Beijing's public transportation may be, staying in a hotel in the downtown area or traffic hub area is suggested. It will spare you from spending more time traveling.
  • There are several commercial districts in Beijing: Wang Fu Jing Commercial District, Xi Dan Commercial District, Chong Wen Commercial District, etc. You can choose to live near those commercial districts if you are a lover of shopping.
  • Public transportation is the main tool of moving around in Beijing. It is suggested that you purchase an IC card. You can use it on buses and subways at a cheaper rate.

Day Two (Beijing)

Route

Badaling Great Wall

Highlight

Badaling Great Wall is located in Yan Qing County in Beijing. Being one of the nine most important fortifications, Badaling Great Wall is the most well-preserved section of the Great Wall.

Want to have a trip in the Great Wall? See China Highlights' Beijing Great Wall tours

What to Eat

Learn how to eat like a local in Beijing with China Highlights.

Old Beijing Bean Sauce Noodles

There are no restaurants at the Badaling Great Wall, only some eateries. You can have Old Beijing Bean Sauce Noodles if you love noodles. Otherwise, you can bring some bread and water with you.

  • Average Price Per Person: 30 yuan  

Transportation

The convenient and economical way to go to the Badaling Great Wall is by bus 877, which you can take from the square north of De Sheng Men (De Sheng Gate). The bus will set out when it is filled up with people and normally it will take one hour to get to the Badaling Great Wall.

  • Fare: 7 yuan for a common bus, 12 yuan for a bus with air conditioning
  • Operating time of departure for a bus: 6.00 am to 7.00 pm
  • Last returning bus: 6.30 pm

Tips

  • The ticket price for the busy season (1st April to 31st October) is 45 yuan for adults and 25 for children. In the slack season (1st November to 31st March), the price for adults is 35 yuan, for children it is 20 yuan.
  • Wear a hat if you visit the Badaling Great Wall in summer. Bring some suncream.
  • Comfortable shoes are suggested.
  • Toilets at the Badaling Great Wall are rare; be prepared for that.

Day Three (Beijing)

Route

The Bird's Nest (State Stadium of China) – the Water Cube (National Swimming Center) – Yonghe Lama Palace - the Imperial College (Guo Zi Jian) South Luo Gu Alley

Highlights

The Bird's Nest and Water Cube in Beijing became must-go places after the 2008 Olympic Games; Yong He Palace was the mansion of Emperor Yong Zhengwhen he was a prince; South Luo Gu Alley is a good place to experience Beijing Hutong culture.

What to Eat

Asian Games Village Food Street

Asian Games Village is located besides the Bird's Nest and Water Cube. After you finish visiting these two spots, you can have your lunch there. There is a wide range of food in Asian Games Village Food Street.

What to Buy

Taking some Beijing local products and souvenirs home for your family and friends is a very good choice. Here are some products you may want to get.

  • Tuckahoe Pie: Tuckahoe is an edible fungus used for dietary therapy. Tuckahoe pie is helpful for insomnia, palpitation, dropsy, etc.
  • Roasted Duck: You can buy vacuum-packed roasted duck at Quan Ju De Roasted Duck Restaurant and Bian Yi Fang Roasted Duck Restaurant.
  • Beijing Dried Fruit: Beijing dried fruit is sold in many big supermarkets. Children like this kind of snack.
  • Er Guo Tou Wine: Er Guo Tou is a kind of spirit produced in Beijing. Niu Lan Shan and Red Star are the two most famous brands of Er Guo Tou wine. You can get it in most supermarkets.

Read Beijing shopping guide

Tips

  • There are two vacations: Labor Day on May 1st and National Day on October1st, each of which last for a week. There will be an unimaginable amount of people at that time. Watch out for your possessions, including your kids if you have any.
  • There are many unlicensed taxis around Qianmen and Tiananmen. Do not get in those vehicles.
  • Beijing has a very dry autumn; drink more water if you visit Beijing in autumn.

Day Four (Beijing)

Itinerary

Beijing Zoo – Beijing Planetarium – Zoo Wholesale Market

Highlights

Beijing Zoo is the largest urban zoo in China. There is a Panda Pavilion, Penguin Pavilion, Rhino Pavilion and a Hippo Pavilion in the zoo. Tickets for Beijing Zoo are 15 yuan in the busy season and 10 yuan in the slack season.

Beijing Planetarium is the earliest planetarium in Beijing.

What to Eat

There are restaurants near the Lion and Tiger Pavilion, Penguin Pavilion, Rhino Pavilion, Hippo Pavilion, Amphibian Pavilion and Aquarium in Beijing Zoo. If you do not want to eat inside the zoo, there are many restaurants offering Beijing specialties outside the zoo.

Where to Buy

The Zoo Wholesale Market is a distributing center of clothing in China. You can get almost all of the clothes you need there.

Also read a travel story about traveling in Beijing in summer.

Day Five (Tianjin)

Route

Confucius Temple (Wen Miao) – Ancient Culture Street – Queen of Heaven Palace (Tian Hou Palace) - Food Street in Southern City – the Five Avenues

Highlights

  • The Confucius Temple has a history of 500 years. It is the last official-style building in Tianjin.
  • Ancient Culture Street is characterized by many non-material heritages such as skills of making clay figurines, kites, brick engraving, etc.
  • The Queen of Heaven Palace is actually a temple. It draws lots of pious Buddhists.
  • The Five Avenues consist of many European style buildings. There are over 230 buildings of styles similar to England, France, Germany, etc. Over 50 of these buildings were the mansions of celebrities.

What to Eat

Food Street in Southern City is the largest food market in China. It has a collection of many special snacks from different regions.

  • Specialties: rice crust, Guo Ren Zhang (food made from different nuts such as peanuts, walnuts, pine nuts, etc.), fried dough twists, different kind of cakes, etc.
  • Average Price Per Person: 40 yuan
  • Address: Nan Shi (Southern City) Commercial District in Heping District.

Where to Stay

There is a "Hotel Street" in Tianjin. About 30 to 40 hotels of different styles and fair prices are located in this street. Hotel Street is next to Food Street. It is very convenient.

  • Room Rate: 120 yuan

Tips

  • The average temperature of Tianjin in October is about 14 °C. You need to bring a coat with you.
  • Room rates in Hotel Street are negotiable. Compare some of them before you make your choice. If you are not a bargain lover, you can reserve your room on the internet.
  • Tianjin has a wide range of snacks and the prices are acceptable. Spare some space in your stomach because you never know what will be next.

Check out our best selling tour: Four-Day Essence Tour Of Beijing

Day Six (Tianjin)

Route

Tianjin Radio and TV Tower – Xi Kai Church – Eye of Tianjin – Quan Ye Market.

Highlights

Tianjin Radio and TV Tower ranks number six in the world's highest buildings and number four in Asia's highest buildings. It is the perfect place to see the whole of Tianjin city.

Xi Kai Church is a French style building built under the order of a French priest. Xi Kai Church is closed at 6.00 pm. Make sure that you are there before this time if you want to visit the church.

The Eye of Tianjin is a Ferris wheel built over the Yong Le Bridge on Hai River. It is the first and only Ferris wheel built on a bridge.

What to Eat

There is a food street on Liaoning Road near Quan Ye Market. You can get some local snacks such as sweet soup balls, bean ice cream, pear cakes, etc. in this street.

See Tianjin dining.

Where to Buy

Tang Gu Foreign Goods Market: you can tell from the name that this street sells imported goods. The prices of goods in the street are not high.

Xiao Bai Lou Commercial District: this is a high-end shopping and entertaining center.

See Tianjin shopping

Questions and Answers About Six Day Beijing and Tianjin Travel

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Hi, I'm Ruru Zhou
I updated this article on January 23, 2013
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