One week may be a bit short for a tour to cover China's rich history, vibrant culture, and breathtaking natural wonders. However, with our well-planned itineraries, you can cover China's highlights in around three cities at a comfortable pace.
Whether it's your first time visiting China, or a business trip concentrating on specific regions, our itineraries offer tangible inspiration. See below our suggestions for 4 time-efficient itineraries for a one-week trip through China.
One day trip to Shanghai with Martin
I liked beautiful riverfront with skyscrapers, especially in the evening. The garden is very nice, lots of walkways makes it feel really big. Thanks to the guide the schedule was very flexible. Instead of waiting in a huge queue for the tv tower we went to nearby skyscraper, we also were able to meet with our friends who also visited Shanghai on the same day.more
Aug 2023, Dmitry
We had an amazing trip with China Highlights!
Kris was an excellent tour guide in Shanghai and flexible with our travel plans. Mervyn has impressive knowledge of history and culture in Xi'an and did a stellar job navigating the crowds of tourists seeing the Terra-cotta Army. Cactus brings a depth of historical knowledge to the tours that is super interesting, and she has great enthusiasm that makes the tour enjoyable. All our drivers were very good and helped ensure that we got from one destination to the next as safely and quickly as possible. The air conditioning in the comfortable cars during the exceptionally hot summer was appreciated, as well. Our itinerary included Shanghai, Xi'an, and Beijing, plus a few days trips such as a small water town outside Shanghai and the Terra-cotta Army outside Xi'an. We took high speed trains between all our destinations, and the China Highlights team did everything they could remotely to pre-arrange those logistics and also escorted us as far as they were able to at each train station. We traveled first class whenever the tickets were still available, and we stayed in quality hotels that were clean and centrally-located for most tourist activities in each city. It was maybe the greatest culinary trip of our lives. :)more
Aug 2023, Brett N
Kris from China Highlights in Shanghai was wonderful
We toured Shanghai with Kris from China Highlights as our guide, he was friendly, helpful and made the trip a lot of fun! He also went above and beyond when we traveled to my daughter’s birthplace helping to get information and connect with people from the orphanage where my daughter was adopted from.Highly recommend!!more
Aug 2023, Rita A
Personalized and very memorable!
Kris with China Highlights was friendly and personable during our trip. He told us the history of Shanghai in an interesting way, and gave us great recommendations to avoid crowds but still see the highlights of Shanghai. He also traveled with us to the city I was born and was very helpful in helping us communicate with locals. He made sure we had a memorable and very special experience.more
Aug 2023, Annie A
Short but great visit to Shanghai with Kris
We spent a day touring Shanghai with Kris as our tour guide. Kris was very knowledgable about Shanghai and was great at sharing that knowledge with us. He also made great suggestions on how to enhance our visit and make it even more interesting. We visited the Yu Garden in the morning, super interesting, very beautiful and Kris was able to share the history of the Garden and buildings with us make the visit that much more interesting. We then went up the Shanghai tower, an exhilirating trip with stunning views! Lunch was in a local restaurant and was super tasty. In the afternoon Kris suggested that we take a boat tour down the river to see the Bund from the water. A great suggestion and we enjoyed an hour floating on the river admiring the amazing views!! Thank you Kris for showing us parts of Shanghai that we would never have found ourselves and making our stay very memorable.more
Aug 2023, Sandra
Unusual places in Shanghai with Martin
We had the opportunity to visit Shangai with Martin. It was the second time for us in the city but I must say that Martin made our experience great. We were looking for something different, I love art and Martin inserted in the schedule extra spot to visit such us M50 district. We are used to travel a lot for work, and I can tell that by far Martin is one of the most professional tour guide I have ever met. He was extremely passionate about is work, prepared to talk about topics not only related to the city itself but on different cultures. Super. Strongly recommend a tour with him.more
Aug 2023, Isabella L
Excellent Guide makes an enjoyable tour
My husband booked a two day guided tour with China Highlights for our family whilst in Shanghai. Our guide Jessie was extremely knowledge and professional and made both our days very enjoyable and insightful. I highly recommend booking a trip with Jessie.more
Aug 2023, Sue
Shanghai from many perspectives with Kris!
Our first stop was in Shanghai where we were blessed to spend a few days exploring the city with Kris, our amazing tour guide. He is knowledgeable, enthusiastic, and committed to curating the trip you want. There were a few things that were not on our original itinerary and Kris went out of his way to rearrange the schedule and make sure we got to see and do them all. He made excellent recommendations for evening activities after our tours were complete. It was fun to get to know one another and share our stories of cross-cultural travels and adventures. I plan to recommend China Highlights's tour with Kris to everyone I know heading to Shanghai!more
Jul 2023, Kaila W
Shanghai & Suzhou.
My friends and I, group of four pax visited Shanghai, Hangzhou and Huangshan in June. We had 3 tour guides for the various cities. Our first guide, Martin was indeed very friendly, helpful and knowledgeable. He was our guide for Suzhou. His explanation and description of Suzhou in English is very good. In Shanghai, he helped us locate the places we wanted to go for our shopping and restaurants to go to. He was very helpful when picking us at airport and train stations and also helping us check in for our train departure at the ever busy Hongqiao station. Martin is highly recommended if you’re looking to visit Shanghai.more
Jul 2023, CindyBeezeebee
Wonderful Shanghai Experience
We took a tour in Shanghai and Kris was our guide. He has a lot of knowledge on the sights we went to, such as the Yuyuen garden, Shanghai tower, French neighborhood. He was very friendly and flexible. If you visit Shanghai ask for Kris, he is a great guide that gave us a wonderful experience . Enrique Marinmore
Jul 2023, 840enriquem
Fantastic guide - Kris in Shanghai
I traveled with a friend to Shanghai got 1 day visit and we were very lucky to have Kris as our guide. He was fantastic and very accommodating to all our needs, he spent most of the day with us which was very much appreciated during the crazy heatwave and large crowds during Dragon boat festival. His English was also excellent and we learnt a lot about Chinese culture (thank you for sharing!) We’ll be be very happy to recommend Kris for future trips in Shanghai!more
Jul 2023, Dreamer47605491007
Private Shanghai Tour during Dragon Boat Festival 2023
A friend & I traveled to China in Jun2023 and we had Kris as our private tour guide in Shanghai. He was extremely professional & entertaining and spent the entire day with us supporting a flexible itinerary. He was very knowledgeable about the sights and relevant history and of course current affairs. He greeted us early morning at our hotel lobby and helped transport us (with a private driver) throughout the day. Though we were meant to see the bund during the day, he was willing to join us into the evening during the Dragon Boat Festival so that we felt safe and supported. We really enjoyed our day with Kris and wouldn’t hesitate to recommend him or request his services again when we we are back!more
Jul 2023, Ankita K
Shanghai with teens
Our guide Martin was so cult but so cool. We learnt a lot about the city, totally recommended. It was a great experience for us and our teen children. Our guide Martin was flexible cult and cool. Our family of 2 adults and 2 teens were very happy. Martin helped us solve some issues we had at the airport when leaving Shanghai.more
Jul 2023, gilberto b
Places a must to visit
A long way away but weather fabulous the Kunlun ( ex Hilton ) hotel fabulous and well situated , whilst shanghai fast becoming my favourite city in the world , fabulous resteraunts , fabulous shopping , go to the Bund , people’s square , shanghai museum , indoor market , Jade Temple , yuan gardens , West Nanjing road and Bar Rouge at night.more
Jul 2023, Peter R
Shanghai - expert local tourguide, Kris
Had the most amazing time in Shanghai, thanks to our nice and helpful expert local tourguide, Kris!more
Jun 2023, Lilla L
Shanghai Tour with China Highlights
We recently had the pleasure of going on a tour of Shanghai with China Highlights, and our guide, Ryan! This experience was wonderful, we were able to visit some of Shanghai’s most iconic locations, such as The Bund, the French Concession, and even got to try some famous Xiaolongbao at Jia Jia Tang Bao. Overall, really recommend China Highlights.more
May 2023, Francesco
Shanghai 1/2 day Tour
Shanghai is a modern big city with some stand out architecture modern and from the past. Ryan was again my guide for Shanghai City tour. We started with Yu Garden which was already flocked with domestic tourists! Yu Garden is the highlight of my Shanghai tour. Ryan explained and pointed out what makes it so special.The next thing we did was go to the Bund and Ryan #chinahighlights, explained some of the prominent old banking buildings and the clock tower tgat was made by the same person that did Big Ben in London. Also pointed out and we entered in disguise, was Peace Hotel. That was another highlight being an Art Deco style original and the Old Men Jazz Band. Then we walked a bit and our driver took us to The Shanghai Tower. Before you go up there is a whole display of Skyscrapers so you can see how the Shanghai Tower ranks. Going up was easy and you would never know you were going so high. It was a rainy morning but visibility was ok. You can walk all the way around to get a view of Shanghai. There were locks you can buy, marketed a "lucky", so you can lock your wishes up there. There is also a metal tree where you can ties a wish ribbon. We then went to the French Quarter which are some old buildings now occupied by modern venues and shops. I was told the area was a night spot so things were just opening. Nanjing Rd is the Retail Heaven thoroughfare, pedestrian only traffic. If you are shopping for name brand you will find it there, just like any other major city. Chinese tourists were out and about, I know they are happy!more
May 2023, JeanneC
Speak about travel in China means speak about China Highlights!
Chris, in Shanghai; Alice, in Lijiang; Lee, in Dali; May, in Kunming; and others that we have previously known no less efficient and friendly. My greetings and respect to all of them and also to the drivers. They all have a very good command of the English language and strive to make one dedicate themselves to enjoying what China offers us. Thank you, China, and thank you China Highlights!! Just tell you: SEE YOU IN OUR NEXT TRIP!!!more
May 2023, Horacio S
Our consultant Roger Li did a wonderful…
Our consultant Roger Li did a wonderful job of making a great private tour plan for my husband who wanted to add on a few days in China. He incorporated everything my husband wanted to see and made a great tour based on our needs and wants.Roger Li was very easy to get in touch with and was always available and accessible when we had questions.more
Apr 2023, Brian
My husband and I celebrated our 25th wedding anniversary by exploring China ; and first in our bucket list was Shanghai and Beijing.We booked this trip via China Highlights, and we had a tour guide , named Ryan, who made our trip memorable by not only sending us to Shanghai's best spots but most of all his rich knowledge on all these places. One of the best part is that he communicates very well, fluent in English, made us understand China's culture, its stories behind those buildings and sceneries. No doubt will recommend this travel site to our friends, "High Five" to China Highlights and again kudos to our tour Guide, RYAN, see you again !!more
Mar 2023, Jocelyn So G
1) The Classic China 1-Week Itinerary for Families, Couples...
This is the most classic tour itinerary for one week's travel in China. Following this itinerary, you will discover the top highlights of China, including the Great Wall in Beijing, the Terracotta Army in Xi'an, and the Bund in Shanghai.
- Days 1-3: Beijing
- Days 4-5: Xian
- Days 6-7: Shanghai
Beijing: The capital of the exotic 'Middle Kingdom' is full of unique flavors. Discover the main features that China is known for around the world in Beijing.
Explore the Great Wall, and let its immensity wow your heart. Every brick could tell you a story of its history (our guide would tell you about Great Wall bricks and their inscriptions).
For a special experience, we will arrange a tour to visit the Simatai Great Wall section at night. Enjoy the enchanting scenery of the illuminated restored wall under the starry sky together.
Do you want to have an authentic experience on the original wall? We can arrange a Great Wall hike on the unrestored section from Jinshanling to Simatai.
If you are traveling as a family, you might like to take part in some interesting tai chi exercises with a master. Your kids would really enjoy it!
In Xi'an, Discover the intricate facial details of the Terracotta Warriors, and learn the history behind them. We understand that you not only want to visit the Terracotta Army but also to truly experience it. You will make a terracotta warrior of your own with a local artisan's guidance, and take it home as a souvenir. Stroll on Xi'an City Wall and immerse yourself in the atmosphere of how the city was in the Ming Dynasty (1368–1644).
Shanghai: Stroll around the Bund and discover Shanghai's interesting 20th-century history. Our guide will lead you to take a "secret" route that travelers seldom see. He will explain you vivid history of the Bund in the 1920s.
We understand you may need some free time to explore on your own. The rest of your time in Shanghai is flexible to finish the tour on an individual note: just relax, experience Chinese fashion, go shopping, visit a street market, or take a visit to one of Shanghai's impressive skyscrapers.
2). A Relaxing 1-Week China Itinerary in Beijing and Shanghai
If you want to have a more relaxing China trip using 7 days, this itinerary may be best for you. You would have the opportunity to explore the rich history, culture, and modernization of two of China's most important and influential cities at a more relaxed pace.
- Days 1-3: Beijing
- Days 4-5: Shanghai
- Days 6-7: side trip to Suzhou
Beijing: Discover the main features that China is famous for around the world in Beijing. Explore the Great Wall at Mutianyu, its most authentically restored section. For a special experience, visit the Great Wall at night and view the sweeping Milky Way and the Wall by starlight.
Discover the Forbidden City where the last 24 Chinese emperors lived. We would help you avoid the crowds, and take you to visit some hidden halls. With us, you would see more features of the palace, which is the largest in the world. Discover its impressive buildings and rooftops.
Shanghai: Experience a blend of old and new in Shanghai. Stroll along the Bund and marvel at its architectural styles with a harmonious blend of East and West. Learn the interesting stories behind them.
Have a panoramic view of Shanghai's ambitious skyline from Shanghai Tower, the tallest building outside Dubai.
Check out our Best Beijing and Shanghai Itinerary: 6-day Beijing and Shanghai Tour
Side Trip to Suzhou
Take a side trip to Suzhou. Wander around the beautiful Lingering Garden.
Explore tranquil Tongli Water Town near Suzhou. Relax in a rowing boat on the canal, admire well-preserved buildings, and experience local life along the waterways.
3). 1-Week Itinerary in Bustling-Yet-Tranquil East China
If you would like to focus your travel time around Shanghai, East China, this one-week itinerary could be the best option for you. It features an enticing mix of the best bustling city life, breathtaking natural wonders, historical water towns, and serene landscapes in East China.
- Days 1-2: Shanghai
- Days 3-5: Huangshan
- Day 6: Wuzhen
- Day 7: Hangzhou
Shanghai: Visit Shanghai Urban Planning Exhibition Hall to get an overview of Shanghai's development, including its history, present, and future. Walk on the Bund to marvel at its unique architectural vista, and learn about 1920s Shanghai in the French Concession.
Huangshan: Huangshan has long been called 'the most beautiful mountain in China'. Take in its breathtaking natural scenery of imaginatively named pines, oddly shaped rocks, and seas of clouds. Don't miss a sunrise over the mountains.
Visit one of the most beautiful old villages in China — Hongcun. Enjoy a relaxing stroll in the village, and explore its old mansions, water channels, and ancestral hall. Take some memorable photos at its serenely scenic village pond.
Wuzhen: Uncover the charm of Wuzhen, a captivating water town. Discover its stone bridges, walk on the century-old pathways along the canal, and explore the traditional wooden buildings of this pretty water town. To fully appreciate the picturesque scenery and unwind in this serene environment, stay overnight there for beautifully-lit nighttime scenery and a relaxing vibe.
In Hangzhou, take a small boat on the stunning West Lake, and enjoy the breathtaking natural scenery around the lake: lush hills, ancient temples, and picturesque gardens.
Visit Meijiawu Tea Village, explore a Chinese tea farm, savor its renowned Hangzhou Dragon Well Tea (Longjing Tea), and pick some yourself. Drive uphill to wander amidst the verdant tea plantations, the very birthplace of authentic Longjing Tea.
Our best tour to explore China's East: 7-day Shanghai, Huangshan, Hangzhou and Wuzhen tour
4) 1-Week China Itinerary with Scenic Guilin
If you want to see China's natural scenery and serene rural life in your first 1-week China tour, this itinerary would be a perfect option to you.
This carefully planned itinerary will take you through China's diverse landscapes and rich history: the imperial majesty of Beijing, the breathtaking beauty of Guilin's karst mountains, and the dynamic urban life of Shanghai.
- Days 1-3: Beijing
- Days 4-5: Guilin
- Days 6-7: Shanghai
In Beijing, visit the Great Wall at Mutianyu. See the awesome scene of the wall snaking along the mountain tops. Explore the grand Forbidden City, the largest palace complex in the world.
In Guilin, Immerse yourself in the awe-inspiring natural beauty of Guilin for two days. Enjoy a half-day Li River cruise, giving you time to relax and take in the stunning views around you. Marvel at the striking limestone peaks and take in the quaint countryside scenes, including farmers working in the fields and water buffalos grazing on the lush meadows.
Have a tranquil walk along the picturesque lakes in Guilin City. Soak in the peaceful atmosphere of this history-themed manmade parkscape with traditional Chinese bridges, pavilions, and pagodas.
In Shanghai, visit the Bund and learn about the city in the 1920s. Have a bird-eye's views of its impressive skyline and take in the vibrant cosmopolitan atmosphere of Shanghai.
How to Travel Around China
Traveling around China can be an enriching experience, with various transportation options to suit your needs. Major cities are connected by an extensive high-speed rail network that offers comfort and convenience, allowing you to traverse the country quickly and efficiently.
For longer distances, domestic flights provide time-saving connectivity.
When booking with us, let us know your travel preferences, and we will arrange the best travel routes for you, seamlessly booking the flight/train tickets you need.
Creating Your Ideal 1-Week China Itinerary
We are here to create a special tour itinerary just for you. Just tell us your ideas, and our traveler advisor will work 1:1 with you to help create your dream China trip.