Beijing: An Insiders Perspective Tour Overview
The capital of one of the world’s greatest empires for hundreds of years, Beijing has never ceased to capture the imagination of the world. Nearly every major building within the capital has some sort of historical significance, from ornate palaces and imperial temples to the rustic surrounding 'hutong' (neighbourhoods). A city built for power, the structures old and new are meant to dazzle and impress. Beijing itself is intimately connected to China, from the seat of political power to the cultural centrepiece of the nation, a trend continuing to the modern day.
Our itinerary introduces you to an 'Insider's' Beijing - we visit a local Beijing family in a charismatic hutong, which retains the culture and traditions of Old Beijing, then we journey back in time into the Emperor’s Palace and the Forbidden City. Walk along an ancient architectural masterpiece at the Great Wall before seeing the newest developments in art and architecture at the chic 798 Art District. Hosting impressive views of the ancient to the contemporary, a trip to Beijing is sure to instil a sense of wonder with every traveller.
Insider Experiences & Highlights:
The Forbidden City, Tiananmen Square, The Great Wall of China, Art District 798, Historical Guides, local 'hutong', amazing culinry delights and more!
5 Star Quality: The Prime Beijing is centrally located and nearby the famous 700-year-old Wangfujing Street, Prime Hotel offers 5 dining options, an indoor pool and free parking. Spacious rooms feature free internet with Beijing City views.
Accomodation/Hotel, Private Driver Transfers to and from the Airport, Private Tour Guides, Museum & Heritage Buildings' Entrances, Culinary Excursions with daily breakfast and lunch where we have selected restaurants highlighting excellent local cuisine.
Duration: 3 Days
Day by Day: Your tailored Beijing itinerary...
Day 01 Welcome! Check-in, local dining and sights
After arrival, your guide will take you through the wide boulevards of the capital towards the 5 Star Prime Hotel - ideally located near the famous 700-year-old Wangfujing Street, with Beijing City views. After check-in, wind your way through the labyrinthine alleys of the hutong districts to meet with a local family for dinner, diving deep into the lingering culture of old China in a very 'ever-day' type of way.
Day 02 Tiananmen Square, Forbidden City & Summer Palace
For nearly five hundred years, the center of China’s political control laid within one place: Tiananmen Square. Start with a glimpse of the heart of modern China at the largest public square in the world, flanked by museums and monuments dedicated to the Chinese people, before passing through the massive imperial court gate hundreds of years back in time to view the Palace of the Emperors, with over a thousand ornate and extravagantly arranged palaces, pavilions and courtyards. We then move on to a walking tour of Liulichang Antique Street, a restored alley where cultural officiendos and historians have been selling traditional paintings and calligraphy for generations.
... Enjoy a lunch at one of our favourite hand made dumpling kitchens, and then an afternoon at the amazing Summer Palace.
Located on the western outskirts of Beijing, the Summer Palace is a welcome retreat from the stressful nature of Beijing, ranking as one of the finest classical gardens in the world. The park is exquisitely planned out to the smallest detail with the most supreme works of art, pavilions, and corridors skillfully fitting with the surrounding hills and the lovely Kunming Lake. By the end of the late Qing Dynasty, the garden had been enlarged to its luxurious size providing royal families with rest and entertainment, and today the graceful landscapes and magnificent pavilions rank as among the most beautiful sites in China
Day 03 A spot of Tai Chi, The Temple of Heaven, PLUS, The Great Wall of China, Beijing Art District, Boutiques & more....
We'll collect you from the hotel and enjoy the company of local citizens doing morning Tai Chi - we can even show you how its done and join in - guaranteed to relax and inspire you! Afterward we'll visit The Temple of Heaven which consists of a sequence of temples and altars set in a beautifully landscaped park. In Imperial China, twice a year the emperor and a magnificent procession of some 1,000 eunuchs, courtiers, and ministers would leave the Forbidden City for the temple where the emperor would entreat the gods to bless the coming harvest. The dominant feature of the complex is the Hall of Prayer for Good Harvests, which amazingly, was constructed without using a single nail or any cement; the walls and ceiling are supported by four huge timber pillars and a system of intricate timber brackets.
...then the Great Wall of China & famous Art District 798
Then .... the awe inspiring Great Wall. Stand guard upon one of the wonders of the ancient world at the Mutianyu Great Wall, built to defend the capital from northern invaders hundreds of years ago. The Wall itself snakes across misty mountainsides as it reaches quite literally from one end of China to the other. Along the way back, see a different side of the city with a banquet at a local farmer’s house providing a taste of tuly authentic home cooked quisine with wonderful fresh produce. Afterward we'll return to the cosmopolitan and Beijing’s cultural flair with a visit to the 798 Art District, a restored factory complex turned into a showcase of the most famous galleries, artists, and designers alongside swanky boutiques and cafes.
Further Details: Accommodation, food, weather, inclusions ...
The Prime Hotel Beijing is 5 Stars, has business, health club facilities and is located centrally at the top end of Wangfujing, Beijing's most famous shopping street. Just 2 km (1 mile) from Tiananmen Square and the Forbidden City, and a short taxi ride from parks and lakes it also has an indoor pool, fitness center, mahjong and massage rooms. There are also saunas, steam rooms, and plunge pools, and a full-service health spa.Complimentary Internet is inclusive. Decorated in relaxing shades of gold and yellow, guestrooms are furnished with sofas, armchairs, and desks with complimentary high-speed Internet access. Cable TVs have over 60 premium channels. Relax in style!
China and food are inseperable in terms culture, sights, sounds, tastes... Beijing cuisine is a combination of all Chinese styles combined - as with any capital of an Empire it reflects its many parts, so to say it caters for all tastes! In addition it has its own local flavor which contains the Han, the Manchu and the Islamic style. The typical dishes, 'Imperial Court Food', and a multitude of various apetizers are part of our tour and will be sure to stimulate your appetite. Truly delicious!
What to pack? What's the weather like?
Beijing's climate is defined as "continental monsoon." The four seasons are distinctly recognizable. Spring and Autumn are the best times to be in Beijing, particularly in the months of April, May, September and October. Autumn is considered to be the most visually impressive time to visit Beijing as the skies are clear and the weather is very comfortable.
All hotel accommodation based on double occupancy. Brilliant hotels known for luxury, charm, hospitality and uniqueness are a hallmark of Variarts itineraries. Fly into town, unwind and know you'll be staying at the best places with truly great value offered via the tours. Every night you spend with us is included in the price of your trip.
All meals as indicated in the itinerary, highlighting the local cuisine including local beer or wine (as selected by VariArts local guides). We include meals where it makes sense, yet we understand that going off on your own to make a great discovery is rewarding, too!
All special events and private tours. Our guides will do whatever it takes to make your trip hassle free. They are equipped with cellphones and on call 24/7. They also happen to be firendly, highly informed, fun ... and they really care you get the most out of each trip!
Services of professional local guides and other staff. Each morning, our guides brief you on the day’s options. We do this one-on-one, so you never get the feeling you’re involved in anything touristy.
Admission charges to all places and activities mentioned in the itinerary.
All transportation from rendezvous to drop-off.
All baggage transportation. Your baggage is transported from one hotel to the next. This is done by local handlers so the guides are free to concentrate on you.
Extra support. Each trip offers the opportunity to dine or lunch independently from the group…and we’ll happily make arrangements for you.
The VariArts difference - it may be intangible but years of experience and exhaustive research on the ground; local knowhow and the countless personal relationships we’ve cultivated which make for a seamless care free travel experience.
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