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8-Day China Winter Tour: Shanghai, Beijing, Harbin, Xi'an

Harbin Ice and Snow Festival

Discover the enchanting wonders of Shanghai, Beijing, Harbin, and Xi'an on an incredible 8-day tour. Immerse yourself in the vibrant cityscape of Shanghai, exploring iconic attractions like the Bund and Yu Garden. Uncover the imperial grandeur of Beijing as you visit the Great Wall and Forbidden City. Experience the winter wonderland of Harbin, with its magnificent ice sculptures and mesmerizing Ice and Snow Festival.

Delve into the ancient history of Xi'an, marveling at the Terracotta Warriors and the ancient city walls. This carefully crafted itinerary ensures a delightful blend of cultural heritage, natural beauty, and unforgettable experiences. Embark on this unforgettable journey and create memories to last a lifetime.

The itinerary below is only one possibility. Tips to tailor-make your trip are offered as inspiration. Send us details of your preferences and our travel experts will customize this trip to suit your interests, tastes, and budget.

Tour Highlights

Explore a Top-Ranked Section of the Great Wall

Jinshanling Great Wall

Find the Hidden Halls in the Forbidden City

the Forbidden City

Discover the Unique Blend of Wildlife and Frozen Beauty of Ice and Snow Festival

 Ice and Snow Festival

Explore Huashan Mountain by a Cable Car

Huashan Mountain

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Itinerary Quick Look

Here is a suggested itinerary. We are happy to customize a tour according to your interests.

DAY 1 Shanghai

Experience the vibrant city of Shanghai on our night cruise tour along the Pujiang River. Explore its iconic landmarks, from historical sites to the ever-growing skyline. Witness the breathtaking night views that make this city truly enchanting. Don't miss the bustling markets and quaint old streets waiting to be discovered. For a dose of history and relaxation, venture into the nearby water towns of Nanxun and Xitang. Join us for an unforgettable journey through China's largest and most prosperous city, Shanghai.

DAY 2 Beijing| The Forbidden City

Step into the heart of Beijing and explore the magnificent Forbidden City, once home to 24 emperors during the Ming and Qing dynasties. This ancient imperial complex is the largest and best preserved in the world, showcasing grand halls, gates, and intricate gardens. Discover the exhibitions, a treasure trove of ancient Chinese artifacts. Expect around 2 hours of walking (2 kilometers) within the Forbidden City. The walks are rated as moderate.

Beijing Forbidden City

Visit Tiananmen Square, the largest city square in the center of Beijing. Named after the Gate of Heavenly Peace, it holds immense cultural significance and has witnessed key events in Chinese history. Take in the impressive surroundings, including the Heavenly Gate, Museums, government buildings, and Chairman Mao's Mausoleum.

Just 9 miles (15 kilometers) from downtown Beijing lies the magnificent Summer Palace. As China's largest and best-preserved royal park, it has had a significant influence on Chinese horticulture and landscape. Immerse yourself in the natural beauty and cultural heritage of this "Museum of Royal Gardens." Prepare for approximately 2 hours of walking (2 kilometers) within the park.

DAY 3 Beijing| Jinshanling to Simatai Great Wall

Embark on a thrilling adventure with our 1-day hiking tour from Jinshanling to Simatai West. Offering breathtaking views and stunning photo opportunities throughout the year, this moderate-level hike is perfect for US travelers seeking an unforgettable Great Wall experience.

The journey begins with a scenic 2½ hour drive from Beijing to Jinshanling, or a short 20-minute drive from Gubeikou village. Get ready to witness over 15 well-preserved watchtowers, each with its own unique architectural style, enveloped by the lush landscape.

As you traverse this half-restored section of the wall, you'll encounter both the magnificent ancient watchtowers and the restored sections. Get a glimpse of the unrepaired portions and broken segments, adding an authentic touch to your hike.

The entire trek takes approximately 3 hours, culminating at Simatai West, where the Jinshanling and Simatai sections converge. Prepare to immerse yourself in the captivating history and beauty of one of the world's most iconic landmarks.

DAY 4 Harbin | St. Sofia Orthodox Church

Embark on a captivating journey through Harbin, a city where East meets West. Immerse yourself in its rich history and stunning architecture with our carefully curated itinerary, perfect for US travelers seeking an unforgettable experience.

Marvel at the grandeur of the largest Orthodox Church in the Far East. Standing tall at 53 meters (174 ft) and showcasing magnificent Byzantine architecture, the St. Sofia Orthodox Church is a true gem of Harbin. Delve into the city's history through captivating photo exhibitions and gain insights into Russian and Orthodox influences.

St. Sofia Orthodox Church

Step back in time as you stroll along the bustling Central Street, built in 1898 and now the heart of Harbin's prosperity. This one-mile-long pedestrian street mesmerizes with its charming blend of Western architectural styles, including Baroque and Byzantine. Discover an architectural masterpiece at every turn and don't miss out on the shopping and dining opportunities that abound.

Experience Harbin's unique winter sports culture with an awe-inspiring spectacle. Brave locals, particularly senior citizens, take a dip in the icy swimming pool chiseled through the frozen surface of the Songhua River. Witness their resilience and passion for health as they embrace the extreme cold, creating a truly unforgettable winter moment.

Enter a winter wonderland at the renowned Harbin International Ice and Snow Festival centerpiece - Zhaolin Park. Transformed into a magical realm where mesmerizing ice lanterns tell enchanting stories, this park immerses visitors in a world of wonder. At night, be astounded by the vibrant display of lights and sounds, igniting the park with boundless joy.

Uncover the historical bond between Russia and China at Stalin Park, a symbolic site of friendship. As you stroll along the southern bank of the Songhua River, admire Russian-style flower beds and encounter a series of captivating statues. Take in the serene surroundings and appreciate the significance of the connection between these two iconic nations.

DAY 5 Harbin | The Sun Island Park

Prepare for an extraordinary adventure in Harbin, China's winter wonderland. Discover the unique blend of wildlife and frozen beauty with our handpicked itinerary, tailored for US travelers craving an unforgettable experience. Step into the largest breeding center in the world for Siberian tigers. Hop on a bus with wire-mesh protection and get up close to approximately 100 majestic purebred Siberian tigers roaming freely inside the park.

Indulge in the enchanting wonders of Sun Island Park, a highlight of the Harbin International Ice and Snow Festival. In winter, witness a magical snow world adorned with impressive snow sculptures of various sizes, crafted by both Chinese and international artists.

Immerse yourself in the surreal beauty of the Ice and Snow World, located on the picturesque north bank of the Songhua River. This exquisite attraction is a focal point of the Harbin International Ice and Snow Festival. Witness the artistic brilliance of both Chinese and international craftsmen as they create a galaxy of mesmerizing ice and snow sculptures. After dusk, prepare to be dazzled as the sculptures come to life, illuminated in a breathtaking display of lights.

DAY 6 Xi'an | Terracotta Warriors

Embark on a captivating journey through Xi'an, immersing yourself in its rich history and vibrant culture. We've handcrafted an unforgettable itinerary tailored for US travelers seeking to discover the wonders of this ancient city. Uncover the legendary army that has stood guard over Emperor Qin's tomb since 210 BC. This awe-inspiring collection boasts over 7,000 life-sized soldiers, archers, horses, and chariots, each with unique features.

Xian terracotta warriors

Step back in time as you explore one of the oldest and most complete city defenses in existence. Originally built in the 13th century and based on the foundations of the Tang Forbidden City, the Ancient City Wall encircles the city center. Take a leisurely stroll or opt for an additional fee to rent a bike (CNY 40 per person) or an electric cart (CNY 80 per person) and tour the full 14-km circuit. Enjoy spectacular views of the city from atop the wall, offering a unique perspective of Xi'an's history.

Just 100 meters west of the Bell Tower lies the vibrant Muslim Quarter. Explore a lively 500-meter avenue paved with beautiful bluestones, lined with unique stalls, souvenir shops, cafes, and bars predominantly run by the Muslim community. Immerse yourself in the cultural diversity and bustling atmosphere as tourists from around the world gather to shop and soak up the vibrant ambiance of this enchanting area.

DAY 7 Xian | Shaanxi History Museum

Embark on a fascinating journey through history as we explore the treasures of Shaanxi. Tailored for travelers seeking to discover the essence of China, this curated itinerary will leave you captivated. Uncover the rich history of China in one of the nation's finest museums. Housed within grand Tang-style buildings, the Shaanxi History Museum showcases a vast and impressive collection of artifacts beautifully displayed across four major galleries.

Immerse yourself in the serenity of the Big Wild Goose Pagoda, a significant Buddhist site nestled within the charming Da Ci'en Temple grounds. Built in the 7th century, this simple and elegant brick pagoda served as a repository for the Buddhist treasures brought from India by Xuanzang, also known as Tripitaka. Explore the temple complex, adorned with marvelous Buddhist statues and captivating murals, and let the tranquility envelop you.

Unravel the history of ancient China at the Shaanxi History Museum, and embrace the spiritual aura of the Big Wild Goose Pagoda. Book your journey today and immerse yourself in the profound heritage of Shaanxi

DAY 8 Xian | Huashan Mountain

Explore the famous Huashan, located near Huayin city in Shaanxi Province. Known for its breathtaking precipice, this destination is perfect for adventurous US travelers looking to experience the essence of China.

Only a quick 2½ hour drive from the city, Huashan is one of China's renowned Five Mountains and was historically referred to as the West Mountain. Its five stunning summits include the south peak (2160.5m above sea level), the east Morning Sun peak, the west Lotus Flower peak, the north peak, and the middle peak.

To fully appreciate Huashan's beauty, we recommend taking a cable car up from the north peak. Enjoy a scenic 30-minute ride, marveling at the captivating landscapes along the way. Once at the top, embark on a memorable 2-hour trek on the Canglongling range, which is the highlight of the trip. Please note that you'll have approximately 2 hours of free time to explore the range. Your guide will wait for you at the cable car station, ready to join you for the return journey down.

While hiking on Mount Hua, be prepared to encounter various peaks like the East Peak, West Peak, and South Peak. Optimal for catching a mesmerizing sunrise, the East Peak is an absolute must-visit. Don't forget to pack some snacks for the hike, and you'll also find a few shops conveniently located on the mountain.

Embark on an extraordinary journey to Huashan, where adventure awaits amidst stunning mountain vistas and unforgettable experiences.

Tour Price

FromUS2,000 p/p Based on a private tour for 2 people. Price varies depending on program, travel date, number of people and chosen hotel

Price includes:

  • 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

Tour code: cht-cx-3

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