Beijing, Xi'an & Shanghai Highlights

8 days from $2,672 per person*
  • Walk Tiananmen Square, visit the Forbidden City, and explore the Summer Palace on a private tour of Beijing.
  • Marvel at one of the world’s most impressive achievements at a restored section of the Great Wall.
  • Stare down the legendary Terra-Cotta Warriors in Xi’an.
  • Witness the eye-popping architecture and serene temples of Shanghai.
  • Stay at a handpicked selection of quality accommodations.
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A vast country of over a billion people with a history that dates back to the dawn of time, China presents a challenge to travelers for whom time is a luxury. That said, you’d be surprised just how much of this fascinating land you can cover in just a few days. This brief-yet-surprisingly-broad introduction provides a tantalizing taste for the first-time visitor that will no doubt whet the appetite for further exploration in one of the world’s most captivating places.

It starts in Beijing, where ancient China and the modern age meet. After getting settled, explore this fascinating city on a private tour of its many highlights and landmarks, including (but in no way limited to) historic Tiananmen Square, the UNESCO-protected Forbidden City, and the glorious gardens of the Summer Palace before embarking on a cruise around vast Kunming Lake. Next, stand before the imposing Great Wall on a private tour of a picturesque and painstakingly restored section of the world’s largest historical site. The journey continues in Xi'an, the imperial capital of the Qin, Han, Sui, and Tang dynasties that ruled China for hundreds of years. You’ll get the chance to meet the city’s most famous residents – Qin Shi Huang's 7,000-strong Terra-Cotta Warriors – as well as the Big Wild Goose Pagoda and the Ancient City Wall with a private guide. Last stop: dazzling, always-buzzing Shanghai. First, explore the famed Bund waterfront and jaw-dropping futuristic architecture of the dynamic “Paris of the East” on a private tour that takes you from the edge of the Huangpu and through a dizzying array of styles (Romanesque, Renaissance, Gothic, Art Deco, and modernist, just for starters). Later, shift gears and experience Shanghai’s more serene and cerebral side courtesy of a private tour that takes in the Shanghai Museum (home to 120,000 artifacts), the Jade Buddha Temple, and Yu Garden. The perfect experience for a first-time or short-time traveler, this trip offers a taste of China that leaves visitors eager for seconds.
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Kensington Tours creates private trips from the world’s finest ingredients. Tailor-made with care by your personal Destination Expert, your personalized trip is always a one-of-a-kind experience made just for you. Expert local guidance and 24/7 service come standard. « Show Less

Day
Activities Hotel & Meals
Hotel & Meals
  • Day 1 Beijing
    Beijing
    • Airport Meet & Greet
    • Private Transfer - Airport - Vehicle/Guide/Driver
  • Day 2 Beijing
    Beijing
    • Private Tour - Tiananmen, Forbidden City, Summer Palace with Boat Ride with Lunch (7 hrs) - Vehicle/Guide/Driver
  • Day 3 Beijing
    Beijing
    • Private Tour - Great Wall Mutianyu with Lunch (6-7 hrs) - Vehicle/Guide/Driver
  • Day 4 Beijing to Xi'an
    Beijing to Xi'an
    • Private Transfer - Train Station - Vehicle/Guide/Driver
    • Train - Beijing - Xi`an [Bullet Train (6hrs)] - First Class/Soft Seat
    • Private Transfer - Train Station - Vehicle/Guide/Driver
  • Day 5 Xi'an
    Xi'an
    • Private Tour - Terra Cotta Warriors, City Wall & Pagoda with Lunch - Vehicle/Guide/Driver
  • Day 6 Xi'an to Shanghai
    Xi'an to Shanghai
    • Private Transfer - Airport - Vehicle/Guide/Driver
    • Air - Xi`an - Shanghai [(2hrs)] - Economy
    • Private Transfer - Airport (Hongqiao Domestic) - Vehicle/Guide/Driver
    • Private Tour - ½ Day Bund and 20th-Century Architecture Walking Tour (3.5 hrs) - Vehicle/Guide/Driver
    Sofitel Shanghai Hyland Hotel (4*) (B) (Superior Room)
  • Day 7 Shanghai
    Shanghai
    • Private Tour - Jade Buddha Temple, Yu Gardens & Shanghai Museum with Lunch - Vehicle/Guide/Driver
    Sofitel Shanghai Hyland Hotel (4*) (B) (Superior Room)
  • Day 8 Shanghai
    Shanghai
    • Private Transfer - Airport (PVG) - Vehicle/Guide/Driver
We can customize this private tour just for you. Any element can be tailored – activities, length, hotels and destinations.
Call us at 1 888 903-2001 or request a quote.
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Day 1: Beijing

To ensure a seamless experience, your guide will be waiting for you outside the secure customs area with a sign with your name on it. The guide will assist you in meeting up with your private driver and accompany you to your accommodation.

Enjoy a private transfer between the airport and your hotel with an English-speaking guide.

Accommodation: Park Plaza Wangfujing (4*)

Park Plaza Beijing Wangfujing showcases the city as a unique reflection of the many changing facets of contemporary Chinese culture, where ancient cultural sites vie for space alongside high-rise buildings and an intricate freeway system. This Beijing lodging is just minutes away from several popular attractions, such as Tiananmen Square, the National Museum of China, and the Forbidden City. The world-renowned services at the Park Plaza Wangfujing Hotel Beijing ensure that guests enjoy a warm and personalized stay. Guest rooms provide visitors with optimum comfort and feature contemporary amenities, including cable TV, high-speed Internet access and work desks. Enjoy the hotels other amenities, including a gymnasium and massage center. The Park Plaza Wangfujing Hotel features three on-site restaurants that offer a range of cuisines. Enjoy Asian dining at Ooodle, international dishes at Bloo Dining, and a menu of light fare at First Lounge Bar.

Beijing, Xi'an & Shanghai Highlights Tours 2019 - 2020 -  Bloo Dining
Bloo Dining

Day 2: Beijing

Spend the day exploring three of Beijing’s most photographed sites with your private guide and driver. Head to the center of the city and begin with a walk across the sprawling expanse of Tiananmen Square. Built in 1417 during the Ming Dynasty and serving as the front door to the Forbidden City, the present square is one of the largest in the world, stretching a vast 44 square hectares. Here, walk past and featuring the Tiananmen Tower, Monument to the People’s Heroes, Great Hall of the People, and the Mao Zedong Memorial. Many historically important moments have unfolded in this public setting.

From here, cross the street and enter through the towering gates of the Forbidden City, a UNESCO World Heritage Site with the largest number of preserved ancient wooden structures in the world. The expansive palace complex is comprised of 9,999 buildings spread across 74 hectares and protected by a 19-foot deep moat and a 32-foot tall wall, divided into two parts. The Outer Court was where the emperor exercised his supreme power over the nation, while the Inner Court was where he lived with his royal family. Twenty-four emperors from the Ming and Qing dynasties reigned over China from the Imperial Palace here until 1924. Stop for lunch at a local restaurant.

Next, drive to the Summer Palace. The Summer Palace dates to the 12th century, and this UNESCO World Heritage Site is a vast imperial encampment of temples, ornate pavilions, and halls set in a park around Kunming Lake. Occupying an area of 294 hectares, three-quarters of which is water, the compound features a sprawling archetypal Chinese garden that is a masterpiece of landscape garden design, and a truly picturesque setting to explore. The Long Corridor is a must-see – this covered walkway is decorated with more than 14,000 lavish paintings. Sail around Kunming Lake on a shared boat trip before returning to your hotel.

Today’s tour involves a fair amount of walking at a leisurely pace. Comfortable walking shoes and adequate protection from the sun are highly recommended.

Accommodation: Park Plaza Wangfujing (4*)
Beijing, Xi'an & Shanghai Highlights Tours 2019 - 2020 -  Forbidden City
Forbidden City
Beijing, Xi'an & Shanghai Highlights Tours 2019 - 2020 -  Beijing
Beijing

Day 3: Beijing

The Great Wall is by far China’s most iconic architectural wonder, captivating the imagination of generations of travelers intrigued by this feat of engineering. Meet with your private guide and driver at your hotel for a full day of exploration, and head northeast of Beijing with your private driver to explore the Mutinayu section, located 45 miles northeast of the city. This well-preserved section winds along lofty, cragged mountains for 1.4 miles and holds a prominent place in Chinese military history. Construction began during the 6th century Northern Qi Dynasty, and it was restored in the early years of the Ming Dynasty (spanning from the 14th to 17th century).

An abundance of natural springs in the area give this section of the Great Wall a lush verdant ecosystem, and the rolling forested hills make for an impressive panoramic photo regardless of the time of year. Take a cable car to the top of the hillside to explore the 26-foot-high granite walls. The 22 watchtowers stretch along the top of the mountain ridge as far as the eye can see, an impressive military barrier against invading forces from the north. Lunch will be at a local restaurant near the Great Wall.

Today’s tour involves a fair amount of walking at a leisurely pace. Comfortable walking shoes and adequate protection from the sun are highly recommended.

Accommodation: Park Plaza Wangfujing (4*)
Beijing, Xi'an & Shanghai Highlights Tours 2019 - 2020 -  Great Wall at Mutianyu
Great Wall at Mutianyu
Beijing, Xi'an & Shanghai Highlights Tours 2019 - 2020 -  Park Plaza Wangfujing
Park Plaza Wangfujing

Day 4: Beijing - Xi'an

Enjoy a private transfer between the train station and your hotel with an English-speaking guide.

Transfer from Beijing to Xi'an via the high-speed bullet train. The train ride is approximately 6 hours.

Enjoy a private transfer between the train station and your hotel with an English-speaking guide.

Accommodation: Sofitel on Renmin Square (4*)

The heritage of Xian and the classic French hospitality of Sofitel combine to creature the stunning Sofitel Xian on Renmin Square. Welcoming travelers to the heart of the city, the hotel is located very centrally within the Xian city walls near many historical sites including the Bell Tower, Drum Tower, Great Mosque, and Forest of Steles. Additionally, the airport and Terra Cotta Warriors are both a 45-minute drive away. All guest rooms are adorned with modern conveniences, indulging your senses within a chic design that perfectly complements your stay. Explore Mediterranean flavors and Moroccan, Chinese, Brazilian, and Japanese cuisines from the various selections of elegant restaurants in addition to two bars and lounges. For more leisurely pursuits, guests can enjoy the services of Touch Spa with the swimming pool Jacuzzi and state-of-the-art fitness center.

Beijing, Xi'an & Shanghai Highlights Tours 2019 - 2020 -  Sofitel on Renmin Square
Sofitel on Renmin Square
Beijing, Xi'an & Shanghai Highlights Tours 2019 - 2020 -  Swimming Pool
Swimming Pool

Day 5: Xi'an

The Terra Cotta Warriors are the most iconic site in Xi’an, an impressive marvel that went undiscovered until 1974. With your private driver and English-speaking guide, spend the day visiting the Terra Cotta Warriors, the Ancient City Wall and the Big Wild Goose Pagoda. The incredible army of over 7000 soldiers, archers, horses, and chariots in full battle array has guarded Emperor Qin’s tomb since 210 BC. Incredibly, each figure is unique, and the painstaking repair and excavation continues in 3 pits, protected inside enormous hangars specially constructed for the archeological dig.

Stop for a local lunch before returning to the city center to visit the Ancient City Wall. The walls, ramparts, gates, and watchtowers form one of the oldest and most complete city defenses are still around. Built in the 13th-century on the foundations of the original Tang Forbidden City surrounding the city center you can walk, rent a bike or take an electric cart around the full 8.5-mile circuit, with great views of the city on either side and a deep moat surrounding the fortifications. Next, visit the Big Wild Goose Pagoda. An important Buddhist site, the simple and elegant Pagoda is housed on the grounds of the attractive Da Ci’en Temple. The Pagoda was built in the 7th century to house the Buddhist materials that Xuanzang (Tripitaka) brought back from his epic world-famous 16-year pilgrimage to India. The Temple complex has several large halls with some great Buddhist statues and murals. At the end of the day, return to your hotel by private vehicle.

Accommodation: Sofitel on Renmin Square (4*)
Beijing, Xi'an & Shanghai Highlights Tours 2019 - 2020 -  Terra Cotta Warrior
Terra Cotta Warrior
Beijing, Xi'an & Shanghai Highlights Tours 2019 - 2020 -  Xi'an
Xi'an

Day 6: Xi'an - Shanghai

Meet your driver for an airport transfer with a private vehicle and English speaking guide.

Board a flight with direct service from Xi'an to Shanghai. Approximate flight time is 2 hours.

Meet your driver for an airport transfer with a private vehicle and English speaking guide.

Shanghai’s architecture is unique from the rest of the country. Lining the western bend of the Huangpu River, The Bund is a popular pedestrian area that parallels the river with a dramatic backdrop of majestic Shanghai buildings dating to the 1920s and 1930s. Step back in time and discover and the best of 20th-century Shanghai architecture with your private guide driver, exploring an area that was the former Shanghai International Settlement. The buildings were constructed in a wide range of European architectural styles, with a theme of restoration of ancient traditions. The resulting skyline is an eclectic mix of Romanesque, Gothic, Renaissance, and Baroque Revival themes, along with Neo-Classical and Beaux-Arts styles. Most notable is the rich collection of Art Deco style buildings which Shanghai is well-known for. See the outside of the former Sassoon House (the current Fairmont Peace Hotel) and Broadway Mansions (now known as the Shanghai Mansions), which belong to the early modernist school of architecture. At the end of the tour, transfer back to your hotel by private vehicle.

Accommodation: Sofitel Shanghai Hyland Hotel (4*) (B) (Superior Room)

Sofitel Shanghai Hyland is located in the heart of the city's commercial hub on China's most famous pedestrian shopping street, Nanjing Road. The hotel artfully blends the elegance of Shanghai's bustling 1920s with Chinese tradition. The 383 impeccably designed guest rooms, located on the upper floors, provide guests the breathtaking view of the metropolis. The hotel offers guests a unique experience with stylish Shanghai restaurants, sophisticated comfort, and 9 conference rooms equipped with advanced technological equipment. The hotel is within walking distance of People's Square, the Bund, and the Grand Theatre. Once known as the "Paris of the East", Shanghai has a combination of historical and ultra-modern architecture, making it a city where old and new, east and west harmoniously co-exist.

Beijing, Xi'an & Shanghai Highlights Tours 2019 - 2020 -  The Bund and Oriental Pearl
The Bund and Oriental Pearl
Beijing, Xi'an & Shanghai Highlights Tours 2019 - 2020 -  Lobby
Lobby

Day 7: Shanghai

Spend the day visiting some of Shanghai’s most captivating sites with your private guide and driver. Start with a visit to the Shanghai Museum, treasure trove of ancient Chinese art. The museum collection features over 120,000 pieces, including bronze, ceramics, calligraphy, furniture, jade, ancient coins, paintings, seals, and sculptures. Home to eleven galleries, the collection includes several items of national importance, including one of three specimens of a “transparent” bronze mirror from the Han Dynasty.

Stop for lunch at a local restaurant showcasing Shanghai’s cuisine, then drive to the Jade Buddha Temple, one of the most famous Buddhist shrines in Shanghai. The statue was brought to China from neighboring Myanmar in the late 19th century, and the temple itself was destroyed during the revolution that overthrew the Qing Dynasty. The current temple was erected in 1928 to protect the jade statues inside. Next, drive to the Yu Gardens, the largest of Shanghai’s ancient gardens, dating to the mid-16th century. The expansive grounds feature the architectural styles of the Ming and Qing Dynasties, with six pavilions each with their own unique design, laid out in the Suzhou style. The Grand Rockery in the center of the garden is a popular photo stop, with replica peaks, cliffs, and caves. The Yu Gardens are a year-round delightful retreat from Shanghai’s frenetic pace, as the changing seasons offer a different experience and a moment of quiet contemplation. Adjacent to the gardens is the City God Temple, surrounded by a network of local snack vendors and souvenir shops that make for a colorful walk into the Yu Garden. At the end of the day, return to your hotel by private vehicle.

Accommodation: Sofitel Shanghai Hyland Hotel (4*) (B) (Superior Room)
Beijing, Xi'an & Shanghai Highlights Tours 2019 - 2020 -  Yu Gardens
Yu Gardens
Beijing, Xi'an & Shanghai Highlights Tours 2019 - 2020 -  Exterior View Hotel
Exterior View Hotel

Day 8: Shanghai

Meet your driver for an airport transfer with a private vehicle and English speaking guide.

Accommodation: Depart (B) (Int`l Airport)

Depart from Shanghai international airport - end of itinerary.

Beijing, Xi'an & Shanghai Highlights Tours 2019 - 2020 -  Jin Mao Tower
Jin Mao Tower
We can customize this private tour just for you. Any element can be tailored – activities, length, hotels and destinations.
Call us at 1 888 903-2001 or request a quote.

Trip Terms & Conditions

  • Your deposit is due immediately on booking (30% of program price, minimum $350). The balance is due 90 days prior to departure.
  • Cancellations of confirmed bookings 90 days or more prior to departure will receive full refund minus a $350 (per person) administrative fee and any non-refundable paid fees (e.g. non-refundable airfare, cruise or hotel deposits). 60-89 days will be subject to loss of 30% of program price. 30-59 days will be subject to loss of 50% of program price. 29 days or less will be subject to loss of 100% of program price.
  • Tour quotes do not include airfare to/from the trip start point unless noted on the itinerary
  • Cost increases in currency exchange, government fees, taxes, surcharges or hotel/lodge tariff increases between quote date and start date are payable by the client.
  • Availability cannot be guaranteed until booked. We will exercise best efforts to book hotels per the itinerary, however, in busy seasons and with client bookings made within 90 days of tour date we may be forced to offer substitutes.
  • Payment of the program price constitutes your acceptance of the terms and conditions set out at www.kensingtontours.com/terms-and-conditions
  • Living Standards and practices at destination may differ from those in North America with respect to provisions of utilities, services and accommodation.

Park Plaza Wangfujing (4*): Beijing

Park Plaza Beijing Wangfujing showcases the city as a unique reflection of the many changing facets of contemporary Chinese culture, where ancient cultural sites vie for space alongside high-rise buildings and an intricate freeway system. This Beijing lodging is just minutes away from several popular attractions, such as Tiananmen Square, the National Museum of China, and the Forbidden City. The world-renowned services at the Park Plaza Wangfujing Hotel Beijing ensure that guests enjoy a warm and personalized stay. Guest rooms provide visitors with optimum comfort and feature contemporary amenities, including cable TV, high-speed Internet access and work desks. Enjoy the hotels other amenities, including a gymnasium and massage center. The Park Plaza Wangfujing Hotel features three on-site restaurants that offer a range of cuisines. Enjoy Asian dining at Ooodle, international dishes at Bloo Dining, and a menu of light fare at First Lounge Bar.

Beijing, Xi'an & Shanghai Highlights Tours 2019 - 2020 -  Park Plaza Wangfujing
Park Plaza Wangfujing
Beijing, Xi'an & Shanghai Highlights Tours 2019 - 2020 -  Lobby
Lobby

Sofitel on Renmin Square (4*): Xi'an

The heritage of Xian and the classic French hospitality of Sofitel combine to creature the stunning Sofitel Xian on Renmin Square. Welcoming travelers to the heart of the city, the hotel is located very centrally within the Xian city walls near many historical sites including the Bell Tower, Drum Tower, Great Mosque, and Forest of Steles. Additionally, the airport and Terra Cotta Warriors are both a 45-minute drive away. All guest rooms are adorned with modern conveniences, indulging your senses within a chic design that perfectly complements your stay. Explore Mediterranean flavors and Moroccan, Chinese, Brazilian, and Japanese cuisines from the various selections of elegant restaurants in addition to two bars and lounges. For more leisurely pursuits, guests can enjoy the services of Touch Spa with the swimming pool Jacuzzi and state-of-the-art fitness center.

Beijing, Xi'an & Shanghai Highlights Tours 2019 - 2020 -  Sofitel on Renmin Square
Sofitel on Renmin Square
Beijing, Xi'an & Shanghai Highlights Tours 2019 - 2020 -  Swimming Pool
Swimming Pool

Sofitel Shanghai Hyland Hotel (4*) (B) (Superior Room): Shanghai

Sofitel Shanghai Hyland is located in the heart of the city's commercial hub on China's most famous pedestrian shopping street, Nanjing Road. The hotel artfully blends the elegance of Shanghai's bustling 1920s with Chinese tradition. The 383 impeccably designed guest rooms, located on the upper floors, provide guests the breathtaking view of the metropolis. The hotel offers guests a unique experience with stylish Shanghai restaurants, sophisticated comfort, and 9 conference rooms equipped with advanced technological equipment. The hotel is within walking distance of People's Square, the Bund, and the Grand Theatre. Once known as the "Paris of the East", Shanghai has a combination of historical and ultra-modern architecture, making it a city where old and new, east and west harmoniously co-exist.

Depart (B) (Int`l Airport): Shanghai

Depart from Shanghai international airport - end of itinerary.

We can customize this private tour just for you. Any element can be tailored – activities, length, hotels and destinations.
Call us at 1 888 903-2001 or request a quote.
We can customize this private tour just for you. Any element can be tailored – activities, length, hotels and destinations.
Call us at 1 888 903-2001 or request a quote.
  • Daryl H. — January 26, 2019 — Asia

    I was pleasantly surprised and pleased with the superb attention to detail in fulfilling my requests and my dreams

  • Laura E. — January 08, 2019 — Asia

    One of the benefits was that the guides were very flexible and suggested and accommodated changes to plans based on the weather and other circumstances. They all said they could do this when working with Kensington because Kensington supported it and empowered them with this flexibility. A big advantage in making the trip perfect!

  • Ajitkumar P. — January 04, 2019 — Asia

    The whole trip was well organized and we have recommended using Kensington to our friends.

  • Donna F. — February 03, 2018 — Asia

    Mark was able to put together the perfect tour! Our guide was very knowledge and we really appreciated her being so flexible with the holiday as we were there for Chinese New Year! She was able to take us to all the sights and part of the highlight was eating traditional Chinese food for New Year's.

  • Marjorie H. — October 01, 2018 — Asia

    This tour was so well organized - everything went off perfectly. As two women traveling together in a country where the language barrier was a challenge, it gave us great peace of mind to know that we would be escorted wherever needed. We appreciated not being part of a group - our private tour guides were delightful and the entire trip was very special for my daughter and me.

  • Sandra S. — October 13, 2018 — Asia

    The trip was very enjoyable. We gained new insights into China and the Chinese people. I wish we could have stayed longer. There is so much to see. My favorite sites were the Great Wall, Terra Cotta Soldiers, White Jade Buddah and the Shanghai night skyline. Cindy was most helpful in planning our trip. She's truly an asset to your company. Kensington Tours met all of our vacation needs.

  • Gina A. — January 09, 2019 — Asia

    I usually don't write reviews but I have to tell you, this was the best vacation. Yuki, our Destination Expert, did an excellent job putting it all together and the guides were excellent. I will be using you guys for my next international vacation.

  • Larkin H. — December 22, 2018 — Asia

    It was such a spectacular trip - one we will never forget.

  • Brian S. — November 02, 2018 — Asia

    Gayan, our guide in Sri Lanka, was BEYOND amazing. I literally cannot do justice to how fantastic he was for my wife and I on our honeymoon. An amazing guide, a great companion, and an extremely good person.

  • Caryl G. — December 21, 2018 — Asia

    It was a stellar experience in every way, but mostly due to the caliber of our tour guide. Tomo was exceptional in all areas - intelligence, expertise, personality and commitment to our comfort and needs. She truly went above and beyond and was a delightful companion, as well. It was actually emotional saying goodbye to each other!

We can customize this private tour just for you. Any element can be tailored – activities, length, hotels and destinations.
Call us at 1 888 903-2001 or request a quote.

* USD per person, double occupancy. Custom designed personal tour. Prices subject to change.

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