Classic China

Forbidden City, Beijing
11 Days from $2,870 per person

China's must-see cities – eclectic Beijing, buzzing Shanghai and historic Xi'an – are mixed with its must-do experiences, like cruising down the iconic Huangpu River by night. 

You'll enjoy Insider moments like…dashing through the ancient Hutongs by rickshaw. Arriving at a local family's home, you'll be invited in to savor a delicious home-cooked meal, served up with stories of everyday life in this historic part of Beijing.

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Tour Pace: Leisurely
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  1. Board your overnight flight to Asia (not included).

  2. Welcome to Beijing. Upon arrival, transfer to your hotel and settle in before meeting your Travel Director for a Welcome Reception drink and local appetizers.
    hotel:Novotel Peace
  3. Begin your visit to this great capital city by exploring one of the world's largest public areas, Tiananmen Square, home to the National Museum of China, the mausoleum of Mao Zedong and the Great Monument to the People's Heroes. Pass through the south gate to the magnificent Forbidden City, a 180 acre complex of courtyards, palaces, pavilions and gardens. It served as the imperial palace for emperors and their households for more than 500 years and is a UNESCO World Heritage site. After lunch continue to another UNESCO Heritage site - the stunning Temple of Heaven, visited by the emperors of the Ming and Qing dynasties for annual ceremonies of prayer to heaven. This evening, enjoy a succulent Peking Duck Regional Meal - a must during any visit to Beijing.
    meal(s):BB, L, RM
  4. Travel outside the city and look down upon the Chinese countryside from your perch on top of the Great Wall, which is actually a collection of fortifications built and rebuilt from the 5th century B.C. to the 16th century, to defend against nomadic invaders like the Mongols. Walk the Sacred Way to the remnants of the Ming Tombs, the once-lavish burial chambers of 13 emperors of the Ming Dynasty. Both places are listed as UNESCO World Heritage sites.
    meal(s):BB, L
  5. Spend the morning at leisure, before embarking on a unique tour by rickshaw around the ancient alleyways of the courtyard Hutong residences. Stop at the home of a local family for a delicious Be My Guest lunch of traditional Chinese cuisine followed by a visit to a charming tea house, where a Local Specialist prepares and serves tea, while explaining the historic tea making ritual. This afternoon indulge in a relaxing foot massage, a Cultural Insight, at the Foot Reflexology Center.
    meal(s):BB, BG
  6. This morning fly to the city of Xi'an. Later visit the Big Wild Goose Pagoda, one of the city's most distinctive and outstanding landmarks and one of the Silk Road UNESCO listed sites.
    hotel:Sheraton North City
  7. During term-time, meet the children and teachers at a local primary school. Perhaps learn a few words of Chinese from the kids who in turn will be happy to practice their English. Afterwards, visit the legendary army of Terracotta Warriors and Horses in Emperor Qin Shi Huang's subterranean tomb, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. For lunch enjoy a delicious meal of traditional Chinese noodles and later continue with a visit to a Jade factory.
    meal(s):BB, L
  8. This morning your choice of activities gives you the chance to participate in a T'ai Chi Class, with a skilled Local Specialist, or take a cycle tour around part of the ancient City Wall of Xi'an. Continue on to a local restaurant for a Cultural Insight; watch a demonstration in the art of making dumplings, and afterwards enjoy sampling these for lunch. There are 21 different kinds of dumplings with a variety of fillings and different ways of cooking them. Later, transfer to the airport for your flight to Shanghai. This evening take a relaxing cruise along the Huangpu River and admire Shanghai's illuminated skyline; a great introduction to the city.
    meal(s):BB, L
    hotel:Hilton Jing'an
  9. With a Local Specialist, take a stroll along Shanghai's famous 'Bund', the city's renowned waterfront, lined with former colonial buildings and modern sky-scrapers. Learn how marshland was turned into one of the most important trading hubs in the modern world. Continue to Old Shanghai, a little known treasure trove of winding streets and vibrant markets. Despite the rapid pace of development in the rest of the city, the established customs and lifestyle of this area have remained relatively unaltered. Enjoy some free time for lunch and shopping in the Old Town before continuing to visit a silk museum and shop. This evening enjoy a performance by the world-renowned Shanghai Acrobatic Troupe.
  10. Today is yours to explore Shanghai further, do some last minute shopping or take an Optional Experience to Zhujiajiao, an ancient water town founded more than 1,700 years ago. In its heyday, Zhujiajiao was a bustling market town well known throughout the country. Today, old historical buildings such as rice shops, banks, spice stores and even a Qing Dynasty post office can still be found when strolling down the ancient streets and exploring the many bridges that crisscross its canals. In the afternoon enjoy some free time back in Shanghai before joining your travel companions for a Farewell Dinner.
    meal(s):BB, FD
  11. After breakfast transfer to the airport for your flight home.

30 Day Refund Guarantee

We promise you’ll enjoy a stress-free travel experience from the minute you start your vacation planning or we’ll refund your deposit. Make your reservation with a $350 deposit. If you change your mind for any reason within 30 days of booking, we’ll offer you a full refund.

Add air to your reservation

Let our Air Specialists handle your air reservations. We have direct access to the most current airfare routes and prices, so you’ll get the best value available when we book your flights. We never charge a booking fee and you’ll enjoy the flexibility to pay for air 60-90 days prior to departure.

  • Professional Travel Director Professional Travel Director
  • Expertly Selected Hotels Expertly Selected Hotels
  • Most Meals Most Meals
  • Sightseeing with Local Experts Sightseeing with Local Experts
  • VIP Access VIP Access
  • WIFI on Coach and in Hotels WIFI on Coach and in Hotels
  • Personal Flight Options Personal Flight Options
  • Cultural Enrichment Cultural Enrichment
  • Hotel Tips Hotel Tips

Meal Summary

9 nights' accommodations, 9 buffet breakfasts, 5 lunches, 3 dinners.

Included Highlights

Hidden Treasure

  • Enjoy at least one surprise Hidden Treasure.

Be My Guest

  • Get a glimpse into Chinese life during a visit to a Hutong family.

Cultural Insight

  • Indulge in a foot massage and discover the traditions and techniques of dumpling making.

Local Specialist

  • in Xi'an and Shanghai.

Sightseeing Highlights

  • City Tour of Beijing, Xi'an and Shanghai
  • Visit Tiananmen Square, Forbidden City, Temple of Heaven and walk the Sacred Way in Beijing and the Terracotta Warriors and City Wall in Xi'an
  • Cruise the Huangpu River in Shanghai
  • View the Great Wall near Beijing and the Shanghai Acrobats
  • See local people practicing T'ai Chi in the morning
Definite Departure
Depart Date Return Date Price Discount AvailabilityPrice
16 Mar 17 26 Mar 17 $3,125$2,870pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 12
$3,125 $2,870 pp
30 Mar 17 9 Apr 17 $3,195$2,933pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 12
$3,195 $2,933 pp
11 Apr 17 21 Apr 17 checkmark $3,195$2,933pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 12
$3,195 $2,933 pp
27 Apr 17 7 May 17 $3,195$2,933pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 12
$3,195 $2,933 pp
11 May 17 21 May 17 checkmark $3,195$2,933pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 12
$3,195 $2,933 pp
25 May 17 4 Jun 17 $3,195$2,933pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 12
$3,195 $2,933 pp
8 Jun 17 18 Jun 17 $3,125$2,870pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 12
$3,125 $2,870 pp
22 Jun 17 2 Jul 17 $3,125$2,870pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 12
$3,125 $2,870 pp
6 Jul 17 16 Jul 17 checkmark $3,125$2,870pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 12
$3,125 $2,870 pp
3 Aug 17 13 Aug 17 $3,195$2,933pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 12
$3,195 $2,933 pp
17 Aug 17 27 Aug 17 $3,195$2,933pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 12
$3,195 $2,933 pp
7 Sep 17 17 Sep 17 $3,195$2,933pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 12
$3,195 $2,933 pp
21 Sep 17 1 Oct 17 $3,195$2,933pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 12
$3,195 $2,933 pp
28 Sep 17 8 Oct 17 $3,195$2,933pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 12
$3,195 $2,933 pp
5 Oct 17 15 Oct 17 $3,195$2,933pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 12
$3,195 $2,933 pp
12 Oct 17 22 Oct 17 checkmark $3,195$2,933pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 12
$3,195 $2,933 pp

Solo Travelers: These dates offer a discounted single supplement rate. 

Price is per person and is based on two people sharing a twin bedded room. Single rooms are available at a supplement.

Single Room Supplement: from $700.

Room Share: Guaranteed Room Share is not available on this trip. 

All inter-trip air related charges in economy class for Beijing o Xi'an and Xi'an to Shanghai are included in the Land Only price shown based on accurate airfare as of June 14, 2016. At the time you purchase your trip the inter-trip air prices may be higher.

Visas are generally required for China, please call for details. 

Early Payment Discount: Pay in full to save the amount listed above. For details, click here

AARP Members are entitled to an exclusive Member Benefit Discount on all Grand European Travel vacations. Plus receive a free travel gift!  Call Toll Free: 1-866-847-3858 for details.

Frequent Travelers: Save an additional 5% off the price of the vacation. 

  • U.S. citizens traveling to China must have a current passport that is valid for six months beyond the conclusion of their trip. You can find information on how to apply for a passport here, and how to renew a passport here. Travelers visiting China will also need an entry visa.  We will send you application forms to complete to obtain your visa prior to departure. Visa costs and entry requirements can change at any time. Please visit to learn more.

  • The currency in China is the Renminbi (RMB).  Yuan is the name of a unit of the renminbi currency – something may cost one yuan or 20 yuan.  The most convenient way to obtain cash is to use your ATM card at local banks in China. We recommend you also bring a valid credit card for purchases while you are traveling.  It is important that you inform your financial institutions of your travel plans before you leave home so they don’t flag your purchases as potentially fraudulent charges.

  • One of the most enjoyable parts of traveling is sampling the local cuisine.  The history of Chinese cuisine dates back thousands of years and varies by region.  You’ll discover an array of specialties with the country’s “Eight Cuisines” – Anhui, Cantonese, Fujian, Hunan, Jiangsu, Shandong, Sichuan, and Zhejiang.  Staples foods include rice, noodles and vegetables such as bok choy, bean sprouts, and watercress.  Dishes are usually flavored with things like fresh ginger, garlic and scallions, as well as chilies and dried mushrooms.

  • We suggest bringing a variety of comfortable clothes that can be layered to give you many options for how to dress in China’s various climates. A lightweight jacket will come in handy and study walking shows are recommended for sightseeing excursions. Keep in mind that your shoulders and legs should be covered while visiting religious sites. For more helpful information please refer to our Packing Tips & Packing List.

  • In China it is not common practice to leave a tip when dining out.

    At the end of your guided vacation, it is customary to offer your motor coach driver and Travel Director a gratuity.  We recommend the equivalent of $4 per person/per day for your driver and $6 per person/per day for your Travel Director.  Recommended gratuity for a Local Host and Local Specialist is the equivalent of 1-2 dollars per person, paid at the conclusion of each guided visit.  A convenient option is to prepay your tips before your departure.

  • Baggage on our trips is restricted to one large suitcase per person with dimensions not exceeding 30x19x10 inches and a maximum weight of 50 pounds. You are also permitted one piece of hand luggage, which should be small enough to fit under your coach seat or on the small overhead shelf compartment. Please note that luggage with an adjustable handle and wheels will not fit in the overhead compartment of the coach. Hotel porterage is included in your vacation.

  • You will need to be comfortable on your feet, walking and standing for up to three hours in various weather conditions.  All of our vacations involve walking, often on cobblestone and uneven surfaces in historic city centers.  In order to get the most out of your vacation you need to be able to comfortably walk 1-3 miles unassisted in one day, be in good condition and be able to keep pace with the group. 

    If you need any medications, it is important that you bring enough to last you the whole trip and keep them in your carry-on bag while you travel.

  • We highly recommend our optional Travel Protection Plan, which allows you to cancel for any reason up to 48 hours before departure. The plan also includes trip interruption, baggage loss or delay, and medical and emergency assistance. Click here for a summary of coverage details, terms and conditions.


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