8-Day Beijing–Xi'an–Shanghai Private Tour

China Golden Triangle

8-Day Beijing–Xi'an–Shanghai Tour

This 8-day China top cities tour covers the most popular three destinations and five World Heritage sites in China. It makes an ideal tour for first-time visitors.

The itinerary below is only one possibility. Tell us your preferences and our travel experts will customize this trip to suit your interests, tastes, and budget. (cht-1)

Tour 'Wow' Points

Discover the Hidden Halls in the Forbidden City.

While most tour groups only visit the six halls on the central axis, your private guide will take you to the hidden halls for a deeper understanding of the history and dodge the crowds.

Kanas River

Walk on a Top-Ranked Part of the Great Wall.

The Great Wall at Mutianyu is ranked top among all parts of the Great Wall on TripAdvisor. Walk leisurely through the watchtowers, enjoying a superb view of the Mutianyu Great wall snaking across the mountains.

The Great Wall at Mutianyu
The wooden houses and the yellow forest

Taste the Savory Flavor of China

Taste crispy Beijing roast duck, learn how to make dumplings from a local family in Xi’an, and try some Shanghai local snacks.

The wooden houses of Tuvas
Tuvas people and his sheep

Unveil the Secrets of the Terracotta Army and Make Your Own Terracotta Warriors

Your local guide will show you around the Terracotta Army and unveil some secrets of the world wonder. See the life-size warriors at the site, get to know how ancient craftsmen made them. Visit a traditional cave dwelling and learn how to make warriors.

The Terracotta Army
Make Warriors

Cycle or Walk on the Ancient Xi’an City Wall to Hear the Echo of History

Enjoy an ancient city perspective by biking or walking on the City Wall and take a bird's-eye view of Xi’an.

Xi'an City Wall

Discover the Hidden Stories of the Bund and Ascend Shanghai Tower

Travel back in time to the golden age of the Bund in the 1920s. You will walk a route that seldom tourist will find by themselves, see the most original bricks, and hear some interesting stories that you’ll never find in history books.

the Bund
Shanghai Tower

Enjoy a Half-Day Customized Icing-on-the-Cake Experience.

Whether you want to relax, experience fashion, appreciate art, explore folk customs, or shop; from having fun in a fancy bar to exploring an art center, trying nail beauty, testing your popularity in the marriage market, or just buying some lovely gifts, we will make it happen.

The Former French Concession
Shanghai Food Discovery and Shopping

Why Choose Us

Your Wellbeing is Our Priority

Your Wellbeing is Our Priority.

  • 1-to-1 travel expert
  • Vaccinated guides
  • Private Rides
Your Trip is Perfectly Planned

Your Trip is Perfectly Planned.

  • No crowds
  • Exclusive Exciting Experiences
Your Booking is Risk-Free

Your Booking is Risk-Free.

  • No cancellation fee
  • Free changes

Finish Your Booking in as Quick as 1 Day

Tell us your dream travel idea
Work out your unique plan with 1 to 1 expert advice

About China Highlights

travelers' choice 2021

Since 1998 we've guided everyone ranging from US presidents, Australian Geographic and retired backpackers. Our goal is to create unique trips that take you off-the-beaten path, helping you discover China in a more authentic way. Our motto: "Discovery Your Way!"

Itinerary Quick Look

Here is a suggested itinerary. We are happy to customize a tour according to your interests.

Day 1 Arrival in Beijing

With a sunny smile, your private guide will be on time and waiting for you in the arrival hall. A comfortable private car and experienced driver will be ready to transfer you to your hotel. We aim to give you a good first impression of China.

Day 2 Beijing | The Forbidden City and Hutong Alleyways

Start your day with the symbol of new China, the Tian'anmen Square. From there you will proceed to the Forbidden City, the largest and best-preserved ancient imperial palaces with 500 years of history. While most tour groups only visit the six halls on the central axis, your private guide will help you explore 12 carefully-selected places.

Enjoy the Beijing Roast Duck for lunch. Watch the exquisite cutting skills of the chef, taste crispy duck skin, and learn how to eat it in the correct way. Spend a relaxing afternoon in the hutong alleyways.

Day 3 Beijing | The Temple of Heaven and the Great Wall

Start your day from the Temple of Heaven, which was where emperors prayed to 'heaven' for a good harvest. You may arrive early to see the locals practicing martial arts and doing other activities that you may never see in your country.

In the afternoon,visit Mutianyu, which is the section ranked top on TripAdvisor among all the Great Wall sections for its picturesque scenery and beautifully-restored architecture. It is about 2½ hours' drive from downtown Beijing, but the view and experience make it well worth your time.

Day 4Beijing to Xi'an by High-Speed Train |The Summer Palace

Be amazed by the imperial garden at the Summer Palace. It was originally the imperial court's summer retreat, and still makes a nice place to escape the heat of summer.

Get ready to race towards Xi'an on a high-speed train, which is a good way to experience the technological development of China.

Day 5 Xi'an | The Terracotta Warriors and a Traditional Cave Dwelling

In the morning, uncover the mysteries of an underground army that dates back to 206 BC at the Terracotta Army Museum. Then discover a local craftsman's cave dwelling and learn how to make a mini terracotta warrior.

Return to the city area and visit the Ancient City Wall, which has been guarding the inner city for 600 years. Walking along the wall provides a good view of the city. You can also rent a bike to cycle around the wall.

Day 6 Xi'an to Shanghai by Flight | Xi’an City Highlights

Discover more of Xi'an and China's ancient history at Shaanxi History Museum and Big Wild Goose Pagoda, then head to the Muslim Quarter and wander through the alleys to taste the local Muslim cuisine.

In the afternoon, we’ll take you to the airport for your flight to Shanghai. Your Shanghai guide will meet you and escort you to your hotel, where you can have a good rest.

Day 7 Shanghai | The Bund and Shanghai Tower

Do more than just take one or two selfies on the Bund. Let's travel back in time to the golden age of the Bund in the 1920s during our In-Depth Bund Culture Discovery Tour.

Go into some of the old Bund buildings and listen to their stories. Ascend the tallest building in China — Shanghai Tower, where you will not only enjoy a panoramic view of Shanghai but will also see the future of China.

Half-Day Customized Icing-on-the-Cake Experience

After traveling in China for around 8 days, you might want to do something different at the end of your tour. Do you want to have some relaxation time? Do you have any unfulfilled trip wishes? In the magic city of Shanghai, your private guide will make your wishes come true! Just tell us what you’re interested in.

Day 8 Shanghai Departure

Your private car, driver, and guide will be ready and waiting at your hotel lobby to get you to the airport on time. Sit back and relax, as they help you check-in and escort you to the correct security gate. We will take the stress out of your travel and set you up for a nice journey home.

Hotel Selection

—the Icing on the Cake

Boutique hotels are recommended to enrich your travel experience.

hotel room in Xian
hotel in Shanghai

a nice room with river view in Shanghai
From USD 1679p/p Based on a private tour for 2 people. Price varies depending on program, travel date, number of people and chosen hotel

Price Includes:

  • Private air-conditioned business car with big windows and ample space
  • English speaking local guide
  • Activities, hotels, and meals listed in the itinerary
  • The bullet train from Beijing to Xian and flight from Xian to Shanghai
  • 24/7 helpline for while you are traveling

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China Highlights tailor-makes China tours to help travelers discover China their way. We're a passionate team of one hundred avid travelers who love to share our knowledge of China with those looking for a more authentic travel experience, more ...
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