Beijing Essence & Great Wall Hiking Tour

Suggested Itinerary
Day 1: Arrive in Beijing

Your private guide will be waiting for you at arrivals. You will then be transfered to your hotel in a comfortable vehicle. Your guide will help you check in.


Evening ideas: Your guide will be with you between 9am and 5pm during a typical day. The evenings are yours for exploration or relaxation. You can ask for ideas and recommendations from your guide, an expert on Beijing.

Recommended Free-Time Ideas for Your Beijing Tour

  1. Take a massage to relax. Oriental Taipan massage is reported to be popular with expats. See our full massage guide.
  2. A night cap in the 1920’s US Embassy Building, in the Litigation Quarter of Beijing, offers world class food and drink at China prices.
  3. Discover Beijing snack streets, and taste what Beijing people eat as traditional snacks.
Day 2: Discovering the Forbidden City and the Hutongs
forbidden city china beijing

You will have a Western breakfast at the hotel. Your private guide and driver will be waiting in the lobby, prepared with drinks and map, ready to maximize your time.

Tiananmen Square: The world’s largest public square can accommodate a million people. It is where the ceremony for the founding of the People’s Republic of China was held.

Interesting to know — Guards march at obsessively strict pace: 108 paces per minute, with each pace measuring 75cm. Bring a tape measure if you want!

The Forbidden City: It is the largest and best-preserved imperial palace in the world, constructed in 1420. You private guide will explain the profound culture, history, and stories of the palace to you when escorting you on a visit.

Hutong Discovery: You can discover traditional Beijing life by walking in the hutongs, taking a rickshaw through the hutongs, and visiting a local family in a traditional quadrangle dwelling of over 150 years.

Lunch is at Courtyard 7 Restaurant which provides new and modern French dishes. The building is a well-designed traditional Chinese architecture.

Dinner is at Quanjude Roast Duck Restaurant in Hepingmen (‘Peace Gate’). You can taste the most delicious Beijing food — Beijing roast duck in the world's most famous duck restaurant.


  1. Quanjude Roast Duck Restaurant is an old and inimitably authentic restaurant established in 1864.
  2. Hutong Family Visit — Highly recommended by customers and travel reviews as ‘making the hutongs worth it’.
  3. Want to discover more in the hutongs? Add DIY traditional Chinese handicraft to your Beijing itinerary.
Day 3: Hiking and Photography at the Original Great Wall
The Great Wall at Gubeikou

You will have a 5-hour hiking tour from the Gubeikou section of the Great Wall to the Jinshanling section. There you will discover the original features of the Great Wall of China. The whole journey is about 15 kilometers.

After your Western breakfast at the hotel, you will be transported to Gubeikouo's Great Wall section. Gubeikou's section of the Great Wall is composed of two parts – Panlongshan and Wohushan. As Wohushan is completely wild and rugged, usually the hiking route starts at Panlongshan.

You will pass several watch towers and beacon towers, some of which were destroyed by rain and wind, only leaving foundation stones. The scenery is often bleak yet picturesque.

After about two hours' hiking, you will reach the forbidden section within a military zone. Visitors will need to make a detour down the deep valley to begin the second, much tougher and challenging part, in bushes or fields, leading to the Jinshanling section of the Great Wall.

Lunch is at a Chinese restaurant near the Great Wall.


  1. The Jinshanling section of the Great Wall is a heaven for photographers.
  2. We were the choice of Australia Geographic for their GreatWall hiking adventure. Their trekking route was right from the Gubeikou section of the Great Wall to the Jinshanling section.
Day 4: Discover the Temple of Heaven and the Summer Palace
beijing temple of heaven visit

Your Beijing discovery will continue with the a visiti to the Temple of Heaven, which is the most popular place for Beijingers’ morning exercises.

The Temple of Heaven is the royal altar where the emperors of the Ming and Qing dynasties worshipped heaven, praying for good harvests. If you are interested in Chinese tai chi, you can learn to do the tai chi there.

The Bird’s Nest and the Water Cube are the iconic architectural duo of Beijing 2008 Olympic Games. You will take an exterior visit of these two modern marvels.

The Summer Palace was the imperial court's summer retreat, and now still makes a nice place to escape the heat of the summer. You can climb the hill, take a scroll in the charming decorated walkways, or appreciate the vivid paintings on the corridors, before your cruise in a dragon-shaped boat on Kunming Lake.

Day 5: Depart Beijing

Your private car, driver and guide will be ready and waiting at your hotel lobby to get you to the airport on time. Sit back and relax as they help you check-in and escort you to the correct security gate.

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