Meet your guide and separate driver at your central Beijing hotel and hop inside your private, climate-controlled vehicle.
Drive to Tiananmen Square, the world’s biggest public square and symbolic heart of China. Gaze at the plaza as you hear its history, and enter the 15th-century, UNESCO-listed Forbidden City, the former home of China’s Ming and Qing emperors.
While most visitors tour the Forbidden City’s central areas, your guide showcases less-crowded sections. Visit the wall and explore the Watchtower, East Gate, Hall of Clocks and Watches, and Treasure Gallery, filled with precious artifacts.
Plus, tour some areas favored by particular emperors, seeing the garden of the Emperor Qianlong and the bedroom and theater of the infamous 19th-century Dowager Empress Cixi as you learn about their lifestyles.
After an imperial-style lunch at Beijing’s oldest imperial restaurant—Fangshan—on an island in Beihai Park, continue to Black Bamboo Park and take a canopied boat cruise to the UNESCO-protected Summer Palace.
Glide by historical sites as you trace a 13th-century imperial waterway, learning how it was commissioned by Kublai Khan and reserved exclusively for the Qing emperors, including Cixi.
On arrival, take a guided tour of the glorious, 18th-century Summer Palace gardens, used as a retreat by China’s later emperors. View the covered, painted Long Corridor walkway and Marble Boat, built by Qianlong to celebrate imperial stability. Ascend Longevity Hill for sweeping views over the garden and take a small boat to Suzhou Street, a quaint canalside shopping street.
Admire the scene here—the itinerary does not include shopping time—before visiting the Central Radio and Television Tower, Beijing’s tallest building.
Ride the lift to the 781-foot (238-meter) high observatory and enjoy the bird’s-eye views before a hotel drop-off concludes your tour.