Beijing: Suggested Itinerary
The Forbidden City
Day 1: Arrive at Beijing's Capital International Airport and make your way to your hotel, likely to have been a long flight from the west. In the evening, treat yourself to a swim or spa treatment, take a stroll in the local neighborhood and have some traditional Chinese food, how it was meant to be made as you relax yourself into this vast cubbyhole of knowledge and culture.
Day 2: In the morning head to one of ancient China's most sacred sites, the majestic Temple of Heaven. When you’re quite ready, stroll across the impressive Tiananmen Square, an authoritative symbol of today's China and you will by awed by the majesty of the magnificent Forbidden City. You can take tours here in various languages and some travel companies even offer access to the Emperor’s private chambers on certain days.
Day 3: This needs to be the day when you discover one of the ancient wonders of the world and one of few to be still standing, the iconic Great Wall (visible from space). Spanning from the Gobi desert in the west to the Bohai Gulf in the east, it reaches as far back in time as the seventh century BCE and is considered one of China’s proudest symbols. Do make sure to stop for refreshments as this is one tough trek walking in the footsteps of world history.
Day 4: Take a pedicab for that authentic feeling (yes they have them in London as well) along the Beijing alleyways and get up close to Beijingers in their natural light. If you have time, make your final showpiece stop the Summer Palace and you are sure to find some street vendors and quirky shops for those last-minute gifts.