Ancient to Modern - Essential China

From £1,899.00
Duration 9 Days
Departures from Sep 2021 - Nov 2021
Book now
From £1,899.00
Duration 9 Days
Departures from Sep 2021 - Nov 2021
Tour Overview

​​This exciting tour is the perfect way to see China's most iconic sights. Beginning with a sightseeing tour of vibrant Shanghai, you'll then fly to Xian and see one of the world's most remarkable sights, the famous Terracotta Army. Beijing is your next stop, where you'll see highlights including Tiananmen Square, the incredible Forbidden City and fascinating Temple of Heaven. The Great Wall of China passes within about 40 miles of Beijing and we'll discover it at Badaling, before a visit to the beautiful Summer Palace completes this wonderful adventure.

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Your Holiday Includes

  • Return flights from Heathrow with Air China (outbound via Beijing)
  • 6 nights in 4-star hotels plus 1 night in flight
  • 14 meals: 6 breakfasts, 5 lunches, 3 dinners and welcome drink
  • Travelsphere Tour Manager and Specialist Local Guide
  • Overseas transfers, internal flight, other transportation and porterage
  • Audio Guide

Included Holiday Highlights

  • Tour the exciting city of Shanghai
  • Afternoon tea on the Bund in Shanghai
  • Journey on the High-speed China Railway (CRH)
  • Visit the ancient Xian City Wall
  • The world-famous Terracotta Army
  • Beijing, including the Forbidden City and Tiananmen Square
  • The iconic Great Wall of China
  • The stunning Summer Palace​, Beijing

Free Private Chauffeur Transfers

Your very own private executive car will whisk you in comfort to and from the airport.

Ts & Cs apply. Find out more >

Free Private Chauffeur Transfers

Your very own private executive car will whisk you in comfort to and from the airport.

Ts & Cs apply. Find out more >


Day 1 UK - Shanghai

​Today you will fly overnight to Shanghai.

Day 2 Shanghai

On arrival in Shanghai, we will transfer you to your hotel.
Shanghai is a fascinating city and at its heart is the Huangpu River and the famous riverside boulevard, the Bund, which is lined with magnificent former colonial buildings. Why not start your holiday with an optional cruise along the river this evening. You'll see many of the city's famous sights, including the Monument to the People's Heroes, the Oriental Pearl TV Tower and the dramatic skyline of the Pudong business district.

Meals included: D

Day 3 Shanghai

Your sightseeing begins in earnest today with a tour of vibrant Shanghai, one of the fastest developing cities in China, if not the world. We'll introduce you to the busy Nanjing Road, said to be the world's longest shopping precinct. You'll also see the Old Town, the Yu Yuan Gardens and visit the ornate Jade Buddha Temple.
Explore the famous waterfront of the Bund, with its varied architecture. Here, you will enjoy an afternoon tea, an English tradition immensely popular in Shanghai. 
This evening you have a chance to watch the incredible Shanghai Acrobats. Be prepared for an amazing spectacle if you choose to join this optional excursion, which also includes dinner.​

Meals included: B,L

Day 4 Shanghai - Xian

​After breakfast we're going to set off for the airport and take a flight to Xian, the 'City of Eternal Peace'. On arrival in Xian we'll visit its ancient and beautifully preserved City Wall before we transfer you to your hotel.
This evening you have the opportunity to join an optional excursion to watch the famous Tang Dynasty show, with dinner included. The show you will see is performed by the world-renowned Shaanxi Song and Dance Troupe, the largest performing group in Western China, and promises to be truly entertaining.

Meals included: B,L

Day 5 Xian - Beijing

Today's the day that you are going to see one of the world's most remarkable sights, the Terracotta Army at Li Shan Mountain. Discovered in the 1970s by farmers digging a well, this collection of at least 6,000 life-size terracotta figures was interred in 200 BC with the first Qin emperor. The warriors, representing individuals of the Imperial Guard, are grouped in battle order, rank by rank. Some are mounted on horse-drawn chariots and others are armed with spears, swords and crossbows. This dazzling display of Chinese military power is quite simply breathtaking. 
We then board a high-speed train and head to our next destination, Beijing. With a three-night stay here, we'll have ample time to discover so much of this fascinating city.​

Meals included: B,L,D

Day 6 Beijing

Beijing is an extraordinary city, where ancient temples and palaces stand beside the vast 20th​ century civic buildings created by Chairman Mao and his people.
You're going to explore today on a sightseeing tour that will take you to Tiananmen Square, the largest public square in the world. From here we will pass through the Gate of Heavenly Peace into the incredible Forbidden City, the largest palace complex in the world. Prepare to be blown away by its size and the magnificent buildings that house the Imperial Palace from which China was ruled for hundreds of years.
After lunch we'll take a guided tour of the Temple of Heaven, which was built during the Ming Dynasty in 1420. It sits within a vast park and during your tour you'll see amazing collections of Chinese bronzes, porcelain, paintings and other treasures.
This evening is yours to enjoy at leisure, or if you want to carry on exploring, we offer an optional walking tour along the city's narrow streets and alleys known as hutongs. In these traditional residential areas we will visit local families and learn about their day-to-day lives. We'll also head to a restaurant, where dinner is included on this excursion.​

Meals included: B,L

Day 7 Beijing

It's the final day of your holiday and there's another fabulous highlight still to come, a visit to the Great Wall of China. Winding its way through the hills of northern China, this iconic structure passes within about 40 miles of Beijing, and that's where we visit it, at Badaling. It's wide enough to allow five horsemen to ride abreast at this point, and you'll have plenty of time to walk along the historic ramparts.
When we return to Beijing this afternoon, we'll head to the Summer Palace, which is surrounded by hills and set beside the Kunming Lake. You'll have time to admire the views and soak up its tranquil beauty.
This evening, we'll enjoy Beijing's most famous dish, Peking Duck.

Meals included: B,L,D

Day 8 Beijing - UK

​Today we will transfer you to the airport for your return flight to the UK. You'll arrive later the same day.

Meals included: B

Additional Information

Please note: To introduce you to China's many extraordinary sights, our itineraries are very full with some early starts and long days, but they are also extremely rewarding.

  1. Favourite Moment

    Walk along the imposing Great Wall of China, the world's greatest man-made wonder.


Green Land Jiulong Hotel

The 4-star Greenland Jiulong Hotel is ideally located in the north bund area of Shanghai.

Hotel facilities include a selection of restaurants, bar and a gym. Bedrooms have private facilities, air-conditioning, hairdryer and a TV.

Holiday Inn Xian Big Goose Pagoda

Holiday Inn Xi’an Big Goose Pagoda guestrooms all feature flat-screen televisions, satellite channels, work desks with ergonomic seats and high-speed Internet access. The hotel has a fitness centre, spa, bar and restaurants.

Beijing Royal Grand Hotel

Beijing Royal Grand Hotel is located 20 kilometres from Beijing Capital International Airport, short walk from the rail station, multiple subway lines and bus stops. Also near to Beijings attractions such as the New CIEC and the Forbidden City. Hotels facilities include the Huang Du Restaurant, Royal Cafe, The Grill, The Bar and fitness centre. Bedrooms have private facilities.

If you've booked this tour and the departure date is not showing, it is because we are no longer taking new bookings for this date.

Prices shown are based on twin occupancy of a double or twin bedded room with private facilities unless otherwise stated. Single occupancy supplements will apply. Travelsphere have made every effort to ensure the accuracy of the hotel images provided on this website and images of room types displayed may vary to those offered on your tour. Therefore due to the possibility of inadvertent errors we do not guarantee their accuracy. Hotels, airlines used and flight times are subject to change and will be confirmed in your final documents.

Reasons to Book with Travelsphere


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All Travelsphere holidays are financially protected via ATOL (flight-inclusive holidays) and financial insurance (non-flight packages). Additionally, all customer money is held in a Trust Fund, governed by independent Trustees. This means your money is 100% protected no matter what.