Tale of Two CitiesBeijing-Shanghai Tour

Days 5
Destinations 2
Experiences 26

Trip Summary

Family Vacation, Chinese Culture, Gourmet, Romantic

China is a land of contrasts, and no two cities encapsulate the country’s fascinating combination of old and new better than its two biggest. This five-day guided tour will take you to both Beijing and Shanghai, making this itinerary perfect for those who have limited time in China but still want to see its top attractions.

You will launch your tour in the cultural and political capital of the country, Beijing. Here, you will take in the city’s many historic attractions, starting with the most famous of all, the gigantic public space that is Tiananmen Square and the majestic former home of the emperors known as the Forbidden City.

From there, you will enjoy a traditional rickshaw ride through the city’s hutong alleyways and see other historic sights like the impressive imperial retreat of the Summer Palace and the Temple of Heaven, not to mention China’s architectural masterpiece, the Great Wall.

While Beijing is rife with historic and cultural relics, Shanghai’s modern splendors are unmatched. You’ll fully appreciate Shanghai’s futuristic side from the top of Shanghai Tower, the second tallest building in the world, and you’ll have the opportunity to admire the city’s impressive skyline while strolling along the historic colonial promenade known as the Bund.

Interspersed between visits to these and other famous sites, you’ll enjoy authentic local cuisine like Beijing’s eponymous Peking duck and Shanghai’s world-famous soup dumplings.

Like all of our package tours, this itinerary is completely customizable and can be tailored to suit your needs. You can also do this tour in reverse, if desired, by starting in Shanghai and then proceeding to Beijing. Simply let us know!

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Recommended Itinerary

Tale of Two Cities Map
  • Tiananmen Square – China's iconic public square
  • Forbidden City – explore the immense palace complex that was home to China's emperors for more than 400 years
  • Jingshan Park – a charming park with panoramic views of the Forbidden City
  • Lunch – at a traditional hutong home
  • Hutong Rickshaw Tour with Local Family Visit – explore Beijing's narrow hutongs from the back of a rickshaw and see how local people live
  • Houhai lake – stroll around this scenic lake and get a glimpse of local life
  • Drum Tower – enjoy bird's-eye views of Beijing's traditional hutong area from the top of this historic building
  • Acrobatic Show at Chaoyang Theater – prepare to be amazed by this popular acrobatic show (seating: rows 1-4)
  • Overnight – Beijing

What's Included

  • One-on-one trip consulting and planning service from one of our experienced travel specialists
  • Domestic transportation as detailed on your itinerary
  • Private English-speaking guide (selected/trained by our Western staff)
  • Experienced Chinese-speaking driver and quality, air-conditioned vehicle (unlimited bottled water supplied in your vehicle)
  • Entry to all attractions on your itinerary – no hidden costs or commission-based shopping stops
  • Meals as specified on your itinerary (at quality local restaurants)
  • 24/7 support from your guide and travel specialist while you are on tour

What's Not Included

  • International flights to and from China
  • International travel insurance (you should purchase your own policy in your home country)
  • Tips for your guide and driver


  • We offer our itineraries as suggestions only; all of our tours can be tailored to your schedule and interests. If there is anything you do or don't want to include, simply let your agent know
  • Prices vary according to your date of travel and any special requests you might have. Please ask for a free, bespoke quotation
  • Meals may change based on the time and location. You can also ask your guide to change your meals. We will try our best to help you enjoy a variety of Chinese food
  • For tour booking terms and conditions, please read our Terms of Service

Inquiry Form

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With over ten years of trip planning experience for a wide range of travelers, we are China experts
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All itineraries are customizable and can be adjusted even while on tour to reflect your travel preferences
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