The Forbidden City
Explore Beijing through Its Emperors' Lives
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4-Day Emperor's Tour of Beijing

Discover the spirit of Beijing through the lives of its emperors. This is the perfect trip for first-time-to-Beijing visitors who want a cultural insight into the city's history and traditions.

Feel the might of China's emperors at the Forbidden City. Walk along the Great Wall that protected their empire; relax at the emperors' summer residence, the Summer Palace; take a rickshaw ride through the hutongs where their subjects lived, and savor the local flavor of Beijing roast duck, the most famous imperial cuisine dish.

This 4-day private Beijing tour covers all the highlights of Beijing. Our private tours let you travel at your own flexible pace with no rush. With no strangers to consider, we can concentrate on fulfilling your wishes. Enjoy your time to the utmost.

Highlights

  • Listen to the interesting stories of eight famous figures in the Forbidden City.
  • Enjoy a Chinese cultural experience in a traditional hutong courtyard house.
  • Explore the most beautiful section of the Great Wall, where there are fewer tourists.
  • Enjoy an authentic Beijing roast duck dinner in a time-honored brand restaurant.
Trip Advisor 2500+ Excellent Reviews
We had an amazing time in Beijing! Every day was filled with tourist activities and authentic activities. Our tour guide, Laura, was extremely flexible and accommodating. She made sure all of our needs were met. My daughter and I had many questions and she and our driver, Larry answered all of them.
— Yogi Bear, from the US
Day 1Arrival in Beijing

Your private guide will meet and greet you at the arrival hall of the airport or at the train station's exit. A comfortable private car (non-smoking) with an experienced driver will transfer you directly to your hotel, where your guide will help you check-in.

Free time suggestion:

The Legend of Kung Fu show is a mix of traditional martial arts and modern theater. Presenting stunning kung fu skills with exquisite ballet and music, this beautiful story has no doubt become the most enjoyed kung fu show in China.

The Red Theater is the place to see the performance. Just ask your guide and he/she will help you obtain tickets.

Hotel options:
Novotel Peace Beijing
Crowne Plaza Beijing Chaoyang U-Town

Meet your guide at the airport Meet your guide at the airport

Day 2The Forbidden City, Hutongs Tour, and Beijing Roast Duck

breakfast, lunch, and dinner

Your private guide will meet you at your hotel lobby. You will first visit Tian'anmen Square.

To help you learn more about Tian'anmen Square, your guide will give you an interesting introduction to the history and architecture as well as anecdotes about the square. Enjoy your time walking around and take some great photos.

Then walk through Tian'anmen, as emperors did, to the highlight of the day, the Forbidden City. Marvel at the splendid architecture, and feel the majesty of the emperor's imperial stronghold. The Forbidden City was home to 24 emperors in the Ming and Qing dynasties from 1420 to 1912.

You don't need to wait in a line for the tickets, as we book them in advance. You will enter like an emperor directly through the Meridian Gate. There'll be plenty of time to take photos.

Your tour guide will help you go beyond the tourist route to explore 12 carefully-selected places in the Forbidden City, while other group tours only visit six spots briefly. He/she will help you unfold the secrets of this imperial palace through the lives of the emperors, empresses, and concubines. The stories about them will make the Forbidden City come alive for you.

The Hall of the Supreme Harmony Feel the might of China's imperial emperors with your Knowledgeable guide in the Forbidden City
The Emperor Qianlong The Emperor Qianlong

Have a rest. Enjoy some delicious local food for lunch at a restaurant loved by the locals.

After lunch, go to the old hutong area with your guide and take a rickshaw ride through the 300-year-old hutongs.

A visit to a local family, whose ancestors have lived in the hutongs for generations, offers a local perspective on the area's history and is a highlight for most visitors.

Enjoy an authentic Beijing roast duck dinner in a time-honored brand restaurant — Quanjude. Feel the tradition of the city through its food.

Good to know:

1. Skip the ticket line at the Forbidden City: In order to save your time, your tour guide will buy the tickets online in advance so that you don't need to stand in a long queue.

2. A traditional Chinese cultural experience: We are happy to offer you a "one out of three" free experience in the hutongs (lasting for about 40 minutes) if you are interested in this: learn to apply facial makeup for the Peking opera, learn Chinese calligraphy, or learn how to do Chinese paper cutting.

Please tell your tour guide which one you prefer a day in advance so that he/she can make a reservation for you.

The culture experiences in Hutong The culture experiences in Hutong

Day 3 The Great Wall at Mutianyu and Temple of Heaven Tour

breakfast and lunch

Visit the Temple of Heaven in the morning. Marvel at the spectacular architecture and get a glimpse of local life.

After exploring the main buildings, your private guide will show you an area in the park where you will see the local people do their morning exercises: tai chi, dancing, etc.

Enjoy lunch in a local restaurant. Your guide will be happy to help you order food.

The Temple of Heaven The Temple of Heaven

In the afternoon, you'll hike the Great Wall at Mutianyu. This section is ranked top among all parts of the Great Wall on TripAdvisor due to its picturesque scenery and beautifully restored architecture.

In order to allow more time for you at the Wall, we will arrange round-trip cable car rides (you can also choose to walk down) to ascend and descend the Great Wall, instead of spending about 40 minutes climbing the steps.

Your expert guide will walk with you on “the most beautiful part of the Great Wall”, between Mutianyu's 14th and 23rd watchtowers. He/she will introduce the key aspects, answer your questions, and help you take excellent Great Wall photos.

Take in the spectacular scenery for about 2 hours (2–3 kilometers). You will have some free time to walk around and explore any areas that interest you. Enjoy walking at your own pace and our private tour flexibility. It is possible to stay longer on the Wall or finish earlier as you wish.

Good to know:

If your group has no more than four people, we will drive you to the foot of the Great Wall instead of arranging a shuttle bus in order to save your time.

The Great Wall Walking with your guide on the Great Wall

Day 4The Summer Palace and Departure from Beijing

Today you will have a relaxing time at the Summer Palace. It was an imperial garden where the emperors used to enjoy themselves.

Enjoy a leisurely walk through the beautiful and peaceful scenery of the top traditional garden in China.

Then you will relax on a dragon boat on the peaceful lake. Appreciate the artistically-landscaped lakeside views from your boat. (The boat trip is not available in winter as the lake is often frozen).

Enjoy lunch at an attractive traditional restaurant.

Then your private guide and car will transfer you to the airport (or train/bus station according to your arrangements). He/she will handle your luggage and accompany you to the correct check-in desk for your departure.

Enjoy the beautiful lake view in the Summer Palace Enjoy the beautiful lake view in the Summer Palace

Trip Notes

1. Flexible Timings

You can decide to start the tour later or earlier during your stay in Beijing according to your arrival or departure flight.

You can decide to spend more time at the attractions you like and less time at other attractions, and do the trip without rushing.

2. Great Wall Tour Options

We offer two alternative choices on Day 3. Please let us know in advance if you prefer option 2.

Option 1: Visit the Temple of Heaven and the Great Wall at Mutianyu with a round-trip cable car ride.

Option 2: Enjoy a day's Great Wall hiking tour at Jinshanling (3 hours, 6 kilometers) if you are interested in seeing both the restored and wild sections of the Great Wall.

3. About Your Meals

You can order the dishes you like in our selected local restaurants as all the included meals are à la carte, while the group tours only offer a set menu without any choice.

In order to cater to the preferences of different customers, we have selected many great restaurants for the included meals, and we can provide various options, such as vegetarian, Muslim, Chinese, and Indian restaurants.

We are very happy to include your special dietary requests on our reservation form when booking the tour for you.

Inquire about this tour by filling in the form on the right
From USD589 p/p

based on 2 persons and 4-star hotel

Service Includes
  • 1-1 consultancy from an experienced travel expert
  • Private air-conditioned business car with big windows and ample space
  • English speaking local guide
  • Activities, hotels, and meals listed in the itinerary
  • 24/7 helpline for while you are traveling
INQUIRE ABOUT THIS TRIP