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Classic China

The perfect tour for a first time China visit, our Classic China itinerary includes all the popular highlights, spending time in Beijing where you can visit the Forbidden City and Great Wall.

The trip continues by express train to the city of Xian and the fabulous terracotta warriors, before finishing in the exciting city of Shanghai.

Here are more details of an example holiday itinerary as a starting point, but at Kipling Tours, we can tailor-make any itinerary just for you.  Call us to start planning your trip.

  • Day 1

    Departure from the US

    You depart today for an overnight flight to Beijing, the modern capital of China.

  • Day 2


    You are met on arrival and transfer to your hotel. The afternoon will be free for you to enjoy a stroll across Tiananmen Square to view the huge portrait of Chairman Mao, or perhaps visit the vibrant Wangfujing Street, home to many shops and department stores.

  • Day 3

    Beijing & the Forbidden City

    Today you will explore Beijing’s magnificent, sprawling Forbidden City. You enter through the Gate of Supreme Harmony and will find a complex full of imperial riches which never fail to mesmerise. In the afternoon you can explore the Temple of Heaven, a UNESCO world heritage site offering an oasis of calm in this bustling city. In the evening you can enjoy a traditional Chinese acrobatic show.

  • Day 4

    Great Wall of China

    This morning you drive to the Great Wall at Badaling which is the nearest part of the Wall to Beijing. The best way to appreciate its scale and magnificence is to take a walk along the wall itself and experience the impressive scenery that it passes through. In the afternoon you return to Beijing and spend time at the tranquil Summer Palace with its traditional Chinese gardens. In the evening you can go out to eat at a traditional Peking Duck restaurant.

  • Day 5

    Train to Xian

    Today you travel to Xian, the ancient former capital. you take the ultra-modern bullet train which takes just over 5 hours to make the scenic journey. On arrival in Xian you are met and transferred to your hotel. Depending on your arrival time, in the afternoon there may be time to explore the iconic Bell Tower and the Drum Tower. Tonight you can dine at a traditional Shui Jiao dumpling restaurant before going to a performance of Tang Dynasty dancing.

  • Day 6

    Terracotta Warriors

    This morning you visit the world-famous Terracotta Army. Discovered by accident during the 1970’s, the Warriors date from the time of China’s first Emperor, Qin Shi Huang. You spend the morning viewing the life-sized ranks of warriors and horses, and exploring the adjoining museum. Later in the afternoon you can stroll along the city walls which enclose the old town and which date from the 14th century.

  • Day 7

    Fly to Shanghai

    Options in Xian for today will depend on the flight timings but you may be able to visit the Small Wild Goose Pagoda and have time to explore the narrow alleys of the vibrant Muslim Quarter with its street markets and food stalls. In the afternoon you fly to the cosmopolitan city of Shanghai. Your guide will meet you and transfer you to your hotel. In the evening you can stroll along the Bund with its elegant colonial-era buildings.

  • Day 8

    Discover Shanghai

    Shanghai is China’s most modern city where east meets west and futuristic skyscrapers rub shoulders with 10th century temples. You visit the famous Jade Buddha Temple with its elegant pavilions and halls. You continue to the traditional Yu Gardens and the atmospheric alleys of the old town. Your day continues with a stroll along Nanjing Road, Shanghai's premier shopping street. This evening you can see the city from the Huangpu River on a panoramic cruise where you will enjoy the views of The Bund and the futuristic skyline of Pudong.

  • Day 9

    Zhouzhuang Water Town

    Today you take a visit outside of the city to Zhouzhuang, the most famous ancient water town in China. Built on a former canal system it has numerous well-preserved ancient houses and is famous for its folk art and crafts. The town’s narrow alleyways and small stone bridges exude charm and over 1,000 families live in old houses which were built during the Ming and Qing dynasties. In the afternoon you return to Shanghai and can visit the Jin Mao Tower, one of the tallest buildings in China. A high-speed elevator takes you to the public observation deck on the 88th floor, known as the Skywalk where the views across the city are incredible.

  • Day 10

    Depart Shanghai to Home

    You depart from Shanghai today

Prices start from

$1895 for a 10 day tour

Including a tour manager, all admissions and good quality hotels. Prices do not include flights. Contact us for a customized program and quote which includes flights from your chosen departure city.

excludes flights

  • Qianmen Jianguo Hotel

    Spacious and comfortable 3 star hotel ideal for exploring Beijing

    The Qianmen Jianguo hotel is an excellent value 3 star hotel which offers a combination of comfort and location, being just a short drive from the central Tianmen Square, and the Temple of Heaven. The main shopping street of Wangfujin is just a 15 minutes drive, practically on the same block in a city the size of Beijing.

  • Grand New World Hotel Xian

    Four star hotel with 5 minutes of the famous Bell Tower

    The Grand New World Hotel is located in central Xian, just a few minutes walk from the ancient City Walls.  It has comfortable rooms with satellite TV and an indoor pool.

  • Marriott Courtyard Hotel Shanghai

    Excellent four star hotel with heated indoor pool

    The Marriott Courtyard is located in the commercial centre of Shanghai. Within minutes of the hotel you can find the main Shanghai Railway Station, the Museum of Natural History, the Jing An Temple and People’s Square. The hotel has an indoor heated swimming pool  which makes it a great place to relax after a day of sightseeing.

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