A Tale of Two Cities
6-Day Beijing and Shanghai Tour
If you want to understand the history of China over the last 600 years and how fast China is developing right now, this private 6 days Beijing and Shanghai tour is a great option. These 2 metropolises will let you see different sides of China. They facilitate discovery of China's history, culture, tradition and modern life for first-time visitors.
- Listen to stories about the royal families, when visiting 12 selected halls of the Forbidden City.
- Enjoy a home-visit to a traditional hutong courtyard house and learn Chinese calligraphy.
- Walk on the famous but less-crowded section of the Great Wall at Mutianyu.
- Discover both the old and the modern sides of Shanghai on the Bund.
- Try a traditional snack, loved by locals in Shanghai for over half a century.
Our tour guide, Summer, was wonderful! She took us around Shanghai to show us the highlights of this fascinating city! She was so fun to be with! Wonderful city to see! Read more
Kristine Rayne, from US
Your private guide will await you in the arrivals hall, displaying your name and the China Highlights sign. An experienced driver with a comfortable (no-smoking) private car will transfer you directly to your hotel. Your guide will help check-in before leaving.
Novotel Peace Beijing (good location)
Crowne Plaza Hotel Chaoyang U-Town (Surrounded by touring conveniences)
Breakfast and lunch
Meet your guide in the hotel lobby after breakfast. A comfortable private car will transfer you and your guide to the first site, Tian'anmen Square.
Your guide will give you some information about the history and architecture, as well as telling you some anecdotes about the biggest city square in the world.
After taking some photos, walk to the main highlight of the day - the Forbidden City, home to 24 emperors during the Ming and Qing dynasties (1420–1911).
Your tour guide will help you explore 12 carefully-selected palaces in the Forbidden City, while other group tours usually only visit 6-8 spots briefly.
Besides admiring the splendid palaces on the central axis, you will get off the main tourist route to explore spots related to some famous figures in the 2 dynasties: the most hardworking emperors, the longest-serving empress dowager, the most talented concubine and the last emperor.
Have a rest and enjoy some delicious Chinese food for lunch at one of our selected local restaurants.
After lunch, ride to the old hutong area with your guide and take a rickshaw through the 300-year-old hutongs. This is a good opportunity for you to see the traditional residential houses and discover the traditional life of the ordinary people.
A visit to a local family, whose ancestors have lived in the hutongs for generations, offers a local perspective on history, and is a highlight for most visitors
A traditional Chinese culture experience：We're happy to offer you "one out of three" free experiences in the hutongs (for about 40 minutes) if you are interested: either learn to apply facial makeup for Peking Opera; or learn Chinese calligraphy; or learn Chinese paper-cutting.
Learn Chinese calligraphy in Hutong
breakfast and lunch
Visit the Temple of Heaven in the morning. This was a place where emperors used to pray for a good harvest. The Round Altar, Echo Wall and Imperial Vault of Heaven are rated as key sights here, and we will see them all.
The park of the Temple of Heaven is full of life. In the morning lots of elderly local people meet there to sing, exercise, and do traditional Chinese tai chi. Immerse yourself in the lives of the local people – now and centuries ago – through joining in their morning activities.
The Temple of Heaven and Chinese Kungfu
Travel 1½ hours from downtown Beijing to the Great Wall at Mutianyu. Have a rest and enjoy delicious Beijing local food for lunch at our well-selected local restaurant before hiking the Great Wall at Mutianyu. This section is ranked top on TripAdvisor among all sections of the Great Wall for its picturesque scenery, and beautifully restored architecture.
In order to save your time and energy, we use round-trip cable car rides to ascend and descend the Wall, instead of spending about 40 minutes climbing and descending steps. On the Wall, you will have free time to walk around, after your guide gives some introductions.
Walking on the Mutianyu Great Wall
breakfast and lunch
After breakfast, explore the Summer Palace. It is a world-famous imperial garden where the emperors used to retreat from the summer heat. It consists of 290 hectares divided into three main scenic areas: the palace area, the lake area, and the mountain area.
The magnificent theater buildings, the long corridor with thousands of paintings, the pretty pavilion and the elegant marble boat on the lake will reveal stories about the royal family.
Take a dragon boat on the lake (the boat trip is not available in winter as the lake will be frozen). On the way, you will have a chance to view all the beautiful palaces around the lake.
The marble boat in the Summer Palace
After visiting the Summer Palace, enjoy lunch at an attractive traditional restaurant.
After lunch, move on to the railway station, and ride the high-speed train to Shanghai. You will have a first-class seat and we select the fastest train (about 4.5 hours) for your trip from Beijing to Shanghai.
Take the bullet train to Shanghai
breakfast and lunch
Visit the Bund in-depth and learn about the history of Shanghai. Your guide will uncover stories hidden behind the old buildings.
Catch a glimpse of locals' lives in an old alley and then sit down in a Michelin-starred restaurant for a break and enjoy some delicious Shanghai food for lunch. You will also have a chance to experience the most popular way to order a takeaway in China.
Take a ferry across the Huangpu River and be amazed by the skyscrapers in Shanghai's Pudong New Area, which tells another part of Shanghai's story.
Ascend the tallest building in Shanghai - Shanghai Tower.
In the more traditional part of the city, Yu Garden presents exquisite garden scenes.
Listen to stories from the 1930s in the Former French Concession Precinct of China.
Sunrise On The Bund Hotels & Resorts (near the Bund and the metro station)
Les Suites Orient, Bund Shanghai (located on the Bund)
1. Free-Time Suggestions for your Beijing and Shanghai tour
In Beijing: The Legend of Kung Fu Show is a mix of traditional martial arts and modern theatre. It is the most popular Kung Fu show in China, with a beautiful story, presented with stunning Kung Fu skills, plus exquisite ballet and music.
The performance takes place in the Red Theater. There are English subtitles above the stage to keep you up with the story-line. Just ask your guide, and he/she will help you obtain tickets.
In Shanghai: The acrobatics show is exciting and a night cruise on Huangpu River is also recommended to enjoy the colorful lights of the skyscrapers.
2. Customizing the Tour - According to Your Needs
You can extend by a few days, visiting more areas and attractions, such as Hangzhou and Suzhou near Shanghai, for the famous West Lake or beautiful Chinese gardens, respectively. If on the other hand your time is limited, you can arrange to shorten the tour by a day in Beijing or Shanghai.
based on 2 persons and 4-star hotel