I wish to travel to Beijing and Shanghai on my 11-15 days tour to China in the month of July. I am travelling in a group. I am interested in City Life, Cultural Visit, Heritage, Nature and Village Life. I am looking for deluxe hotel and should be in city center. Can you also arrange a direct flight for me in economy class.

asked on 09 Feb 2015
Sushil Laishram
Interest: Nature, Heritage, Cultural Visit, Village Life, City Life
Travel Expert
A Travel plan for Beijing and Shanghai is ready for you!

Beijing and Shanghai are one of the most popular Asian metropolis and are filled with so many amazing things to do and see. I will try my level best to create an interesting itinerary for you so that it leads to an amazing trip of yours.

Basic Travelling Information

(Source: shenxy)


There are many flight options available as per your trip, but I would suggest you to travel via Korean Air. The total budget of your flights from New York to Beijing and return flight from Shanghai to New York will cost 1, 531.79 USD per person.

Flights Schedule

Flight 1
The flight from New York to Beijing will have a flight change at Seoul-Incheon (ICN). The flight KE 82 of Korean Air will take off at 14:00 hours from Beijing and will land in Seoul at 17:20 hours. After waiting for one hour and forty minutes you need to board flight no. KE 853 that will take off at 19:00 hours and will land in Beijing at 20:05 hours. 
Flight 2
The return flight from Shanghai to New York will also have a flight change at Seoul-Incheon (ICN). The flight no. KE 5810 of Korean Air will take off at 15:00 hours from Shanghai and will land in Seoul at 17:45 hours. After waiting for one hour and forty minutes you need to board flight no. KE 85 that will take off at 19:30 hours and will land in New York at 21:00 hours. 

Time Difference

China is 13 hours ahead of New York, NY, USA. 


The currency of China is Chinese Yuan Renminbi (CNY). 
1 CNY= 0.16245 USD
1 USD= 6.14070 CNY

Weather and What to Pack

July is scorching and humid in most of China — the hottest month. Even Beijing has of its rainiest months (the other being August), with some quite heavy downpours. So do carry your light clothes to enjoy the sunny weather.

Day 1 - Beijing

(Source: MikeBehnken)
Being capital of the People's Republic of China, it is the nation's political, economic, cultural, educational and international trade and communication center. 
There are numerous hotel options in Beijing that includes Beijing Jade Hotel, Novotel Beijing Xinqiao, Beijing Fuxing Holiday Hotel and for more options you can visit here
On the first day you can visit Tiananmen Square, Forbidden City and Temple of Heaven.

Tiananmen Square

(Source: 涉外山頂人™)
Tiananmen Square is a large city square in the center of Beijing, named after the Tiananmen gate (Gate of Heavenly Peace) located to its North, separating it from the Forbidden City. Tiananmen Square is the fourth largest city square in the world. It has great cultural significance as it was the site of several important events in Chinese history.

Forbidden City

(Source: fritzmb)
The Forbidden City is China’s largest and best-preserved collection of ancient buildings, and the largest palace complex in the world. So called because it was off limits for 500 years, when it was steeped in stultifying ritual and Byzantine regal protocol, the otherworldly palace was the reclusive home to two dynasties of imperial rule until the Republic overthrew the last Qing emperor.

Temple of Heaven

(Source: Andy*Enero)
The Temple of Heaven, literally the Altar of Heaven is a complex of religious buildings situated in the southeastern part of central Beijing. The complex was visited by the Emperors of the Ming and Qing dynasties for annual ceremonies of prayer to Heaven for good harvest. It has been regarded as a Daoist temple, although Chinese heaven worship, especially by the reigning monarch of the day, predates Daoism.
With this you can call it a day and head back to your hotel for a nice sleep.

Day 2

On the second day of the tour you can visit the Great Wall, Ming Tombs and famous Bird Nest and Water Cube Stadiums. 

Great Wall

(Source: mayakamina)
The Great Wall of China is a series of fortifications made of stone, brick, tamped earth, wood, and other materials, generally built along an east-to-west line across the historical northern borders of China to protect the Chinese states and empires against the raids and invasions of the various nomadic groups of the Eurasian Steppe. The Great Wall, one of the greatest wonders of the world, was listed as a World Heritage by UNESCO in 1987. Just like a gigantic dragon, the Great Wall winds up and down across deserts, grasslands, mountains and plateaus, stretching approximately 8, 851.8 kilometers from east to west of China.

Ming Tombs

(Source: Dan Nevill)
The Imperial Tombs of the Ming and Qing Dynasties represents the addition of three Imperial Tombs of the Qing Dynasty in Liaoning to the Ming tombs inscribed in 2000 and 2003. The Three Imperial Tombs of the Qing Dynasty in Liaoning Province include the Yongling Tomb, the Fuling Tomb, and the Zhaoling Tomb, all built in the 17th century. Constructed for the founding emperors of the Qing Dynasty and their ancestors, the tombs follow the precepts of traditional Chinese geomancy and fengshui theory. They feature rich decoration of stone statues and carvings and tiles with dragon motifs, illustrating the development of the funerary architecture of the Qing Dynasty. The three tomb complexes, and their numerous edifices, combine traditions inherited from previous dynasties and new features of Manchu civilization.

Bird Nest and Water Cube Stadiums

(Source: Aaron Webb)
The National Stadium, also known as the “Bird’s Nest” due to its iconic design was the key competition venue of the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games and the 13th Paralympic Games. The opening and closing ceremonies of the two Games have taken place here, together with the football, and track and field competitions.
The National Aquatics Center, also known as “The Water Cube’‘, is one of the dramatic and amazing venues to host Beijing Olympics in 2008. This is the first building of this kind in China and it is also an economical and water-saving creation. The blue-colored material is much lighter than conventional glazing structures though has the same lighting effect. The building managed to make savings on the overall cost of construction as a joint venture managed to produce the material at a much cheaper cost than the original German producer’s costs.
After this you can head back to your hotel for a nice sleep.

Day 3

The itinerary if the third day should include Beijing Zoo, Summer Palace and a Kung Fu show.

Beijing Zoo

(Source: maywong_photos)
The Beijing Zoo is situated in the Xicheng District, it was the first of its kind to be opened in China. It contains a diverse collection of animals, a number of exhibition halls and some sites of historical interest. It is home to around 450 different species and has a population of some 5, 000 animals. Some of the most popular attractions among visitors are the wild and rare animals of China itself, such as the giant pandas, golden monkeys, milu deer and northeast tigers. However, the collection is far from restricted to those species found only in the People's Republic of China; the polar bears, American bison, zebras, kangaroos, giraffes and elephants also draw large crowds.

Summer Palace

(Source: Syromaniac)
The Summer Palace is a vast ensemble of lakes, gardens and palaces in Beijing. The Summer Palace is mainly dominated by Longevity Hill and the Kunming Lake. It covers an expanse of 2.9 square kilometers, three-quarters of which is water. The Summer Palace is the largest and best-preserved imperial garden in China. Its Chinese name, YiHeYuan, translates as 'Garden of Nurtured Harmony' or 'Garden for Maintaining Health and Harmony'. As its name implies, the Summer Palace was used as a summer residence by China's imperial rulers - as a retreat from the main imperial palace now known as the Palace Museum (or 'Forbidden City') - a pleasure-ground in the countryside, yet near to the city.

Kung Fu show

(Source: funnypervertbunny)
The Legend of Kung Fu, presented by China Heaven Creation International Performing Arts Co., Ltd. (CHC) -- China's leading performance art production company, every night have Kungfu show at Red Theatre is a must-see production in Beijing for tourists and Kung Fu lovers. A group of the best Kung Fu practitioners of China are collected and the best directors and designers of the country are invited by CHC. There are English subtitles shown above the stage to keep you informed of the story line. There is no speaking of the actors, just Kung Fu show, dance and acrobatics. The fusion of modern dance with Chinese traditional martial arts makes this performance unique and spectacular.
After this you can head back to your hotel for a nice sleep.

Day 4

On the fourth day you can head to Lama Temple, Capital Museum and enjoy an Acrobatic Show at Chaoyang Theatre.

Lama Temple

(Source: IvanWalsh.com)
The Yonghe Temple (also known as the "Yonghe Lamasery", or -popularly- the "Lama Temple", is a temple and monastery of the Geluk School of Tibetan Buddhism located in the Dongcheng District of Beijing. The building and the artworks of the temple is a combination of Han Chinese and Tibetan styles.

Capital Museum

(Source: marklyon)
The Capital Museum is an art museum in Beijing. It houses a large collection of ancient porcelain, bronze, calligraphy, painting, jade, sculpture, and Buddhist statues from imperial China as well as other Asian cultures. Part of the museum's collections were formerly housed in the Confucius Temple on Guozijian Road in Beijing.

Acrobatic Show at Chaoyang Theatre

(Source: Matthew Goulding)
Chaoyang Theatre works mainly on the performance of acrobatic show. Established in 1984, the theatre covers an area of 3, 000 sq. m, including a hall and three movie halls. Presently Chaoyang Theater have Flying Acrobatic Show every day. Foreigners can learn about Beijing through it. Chaoyang Theatre builds up a bridge between Chinese traditional culture and the world. It exhibits the profoundness of Chinese acrobatics to the world.
With this you can call it a day and head back to your hotel.

Day 5

On the fifth day you can head to Hutong Tour, National Centre for the Performing Arts and Fayuan Temple.

Hutong Tour

(Source: docsdl)
Take a historical tour of Beijing’s narrow streets, known as hutongs, on a traditional rickshaw (a type of tricycle designed to carry passengers in addition to the driver). See the old Beijing that still exists for millions of people today, and visit the gardens at Prince Gong’s Mansion, Beijing’s largest and the best-preserved royal mansion of the Qing Dynasty.

National Centre for the Performing Arts

(Source: michelsutyadi)
The National Centre for the Performing Arts and colloquially described as The Giant Egg is an arts centre containing an opera house in Beijing, People's Republic of China. The Centre, an ellipsoid dome of titanium and glass surrounded by an artificial lake, seats 5, 452 people in three halls and is almost 12, 000 m² in size.

Fayuan Temple

(Source: Peiyu Liu)
The Fayuan Temple situated in the southwest quarter of central Beijing, is one of the city's most renowned Buddhist temples. It has a compact overall arrangement and buildings are arranged along the medial axis symmetrically. Main buildings there include the Gate of Temple, Heavenly King Hall, Main Hall, Hall of Great Compassion, Sutra Hall, and Bell and Drum Towers.
On both sides of the Gate of Temple stand the Bell Tower and the Drum Tower respectively. The Main Hall, which is magnificent and sacred, houses Statues of Flower Adornment School's three saints: Vairocana Buddha, Manjusri, and Samantabhadra. The Hall of Great Compassion houses statues, carved stones, and artistic masterpieces.
After this you can head back to your hotel to rest as in the morning you need to catch the train to Shanghai.

Day 6 - Shanghai

(Source: MikeBehnken)
The city of Shanghai is counted among few world cities that evoke so much history, excess, glamour, mystique and exotic promise in name alone. As per the train schedule the train leaves at 11:00 hours from Beijing South station and after a journey of four hours and fifty five minutes you will reach Shanghai HongQiao Station by 15:55 hours.
There are numerous hotel options in Shanghai that includes Ruijing Business Hotel, Shanghai Meitian Hotel and for more options you can visit here
On arrival in Shanghai you can head to your respective accommodation and rest as I would suggest you to spend this day t your own leisure. You can rest or even go for a stroll in the city.

Day 7

On the seventh day of your tour to China you can visit Shanghai Museum, Jade Buddha Temple, Madame Tussauds and Jade on 36.

Shanghai Museum

(Source: David Leo Veksler)
The Shanghai Museum is located in the Huangpu district of Shanghai and it houses a collection of over 120, 000 pieces, including bronze, calligraphy, furniture, ceramics, jades, seals, ancient coins, paintings, sculptures, foreign art and minority art. The grand museum opened in 1996, boasts of eleven state-of-the-art galleries. The admission is free only special exhibitions have an admission fee of 20 Yuan.

Jade Buddha Temple

(Source: timlam18)
Jade Buddha Temple is a Buddhist temple located in the western part of Shanghai. Founded in 1882 two of the jade statues were imported from Burma by sea. The temple features a reclining Buddha 1.95 meters tall and weighing 3 tons. The temple layout can be broken down into various sections- Chamber of Four Heavenly Kings, Grand Hall and Jade Buddha Chamber.

Madame Tussauds

(Source: English Girl at Home)
Madame Tussauds wax museum in Shanghai's Huangpu district is world famous for its life-like wax figures. There are about 80 wax statues in the museum. Here tourists are allowed to make their own hand models by themselves and take them home as souvenirs.

Jade on 36

(Source: Marc van der Chijs)
You can retire for the day by having a delectable dinner at Jade on 36 located in the Pudong district of Shanghai. The interiors of this restaurant is superb, and to add on to the ambiance they have soft lights and soft music. Dishes include Foie Gras, French oyster in size 3, lots of seafood like crabs, shrimps, different types of sausage, salmon with caviar, cheese station, pancake station, dessert with Port wine. 
After this you can call it a day and head back to your hotel for a nice sleep.

Day 8

The itinerary of the eighth day should include Shanghai Circus World, YuYuan Garden, City God Temple and Shanghai Science amp Technology Museum.

Shanghai Circus World

(Source: Jing Qu)
Shanghai Circus World, regarded as China's 'No. 1 Circus World' is located in Zhabei District. Situated opposite the Zhabei Stadium to the south it is adjacent to Guangzhong Park to the north. It has a distinctive architecture with a splendid golden vault and can seat an audience of 1638. The advanced stage facilities, lighting and sound equipment enable it to be a comprehensive performance site, which holds domestic and international circus programs, acrobatics, singing and dancing performances as well as the Shanghai International Magic Festival amp Competition.

YuYuan Garden

(Source: SteFou!)
Located in the old city of Shanghai, Yuyuan Gardens is a 5 acre park with classical Chinese architecture. Also known as the garden of contentment, the area is divided into 6 sections each separated by a boundary wall.

City God Temple

(Source: leniners)
The City God Temple or Chenghuang Miao is a temple located in Shanghai, China, within the old walled city. Today the "City God Temple" not only refers to the large temple complex, but also the traditional district of commerce in the city, surrounding the temple. There are over a hundred stores and shops in this area, and most of these store buildings are nearly a century old. The temple connects to the Yuyuan Garden.

Shanghai Science & Technology Museum

(Source: Wolfgang Staudt)
Shanghai Science and Technology Museum is a large museum in Pudong, Shanghai, close to Century Park, the largest park within the inner districts of the city. The original design of the museum and its core exhibits was managed by Shanghai based high tech and multimedia firm Creative Star Digital. The construction of the museum cost 3.75 billion RMB, and now features over 14 interactive multimedia exhibits.
With this you can end your day and have dinner and after that head back to your hotel for a nice sleep.

Day 9

On this day, you can indulge in some interesting activities like horse riding and then see some interesting sights. You can visit Shanghai Equestrian Course, Tongli Water Village and Oriental Pearl Tower.

Shanghai Equestrian Course

(Source: Augapfel)
Indulge in some interesting activity like horse riding and Shanghai Equestrian Course offers such interesting activities. There are professional guides who teach and escort through the rides. You will be provided with a retired yet well-behaved and trust-worthy horse. It's been 15 years since its establishment. Besides earning riding skills, you enjoy the tranquil settings.

Tongli Water Village

(Source: pkwill)
The Tongli Water Village can be a fun place to explore. Tongli is one of the most beautiful villages of the Jiangsu Province, boasting tranquil waterways, ancient bridges and its traditional houses. This water village is set-up on 7 islets, featuring 15 canals and around 50 antiquarian bridges. The local craftsmanship is at its best and is worth-witnessing. You can enjoy it at the Jiayin Hall. This museum was set-up in 1922 and exhibits more than 100 wooden sculpting of Chinese manikins. You would really enjoy a walk over the bridges such as the Taiping, which means peace, Jili, which means luck amp over the Changqing, which means celebration. There are also beautiful gardens in Tongli such as the Tuisi Garden, which dates back to 18th century.

Oriental Pearl Tower

(Source: David Baggins)
The most recognized landmark of Shanghai, Oriental Pearl Tower offers a great high altitude view of the city. This 468m tall tower tripod has three tapering levels of spheres representing pearls and is a symbol of the Shanghai Renaissance. A must visit for one and all.
After this you can head back to your hotel for a nice sleep.

Day 10

On day tenth, you can explore more about the locals of Shanghai, visit to Bund will let you experience the locals and then head to Bund tunnel, finally rejuvenate yourself in one of the best Spas.

The Bund

(Source: travelourplanet.com)
Head to the riverfront side of the Bund early in the morning. This gathering place of the locals gets busy right after the dawn. You will encounter locals’ ballroom dancing, doing acrobatics, practicing kung fu, tai chi and others. In the evenings, the place becomes a romantic place for lovers.

Psychedelic Tunnel

(Source: therealstephenwhite)
The Psychedelic Tunnel is another off-beat attraction of Shanghai, which can be a real fun to visit. This tunnel runs from the Oriental pearl Tower of Pudong to the Bund of Puxi. This adventurous and fun-filled trip is also the single conveyance between those two banks. Just go ahead and board a glass portal car, whose speed can be adjusted with that of a walking pace and set-off your ride beneath the Huangpu River. The amazing projection of the underwater scene is worth-experiencing. Guided tours are also available here. You must go for it.

One Wellness

(Source: alexliu417)
Now time to relax and rejuvenate yourselves after hectic and tiring tours. One Wellness is one the best spas in Shanghai offering wonderful ways of rejuvenating and relaxing. They offer several classes where you can explore more all the types. You could settle for a relaxing massage to help you soothe your tired muscles. Alternatively (depending on availability) you could choose to attend a basic Yoga Class. The center also had Tai Chi and other newer forms of work outs.
After the relaxing session you can head to your hotel for a nice meal and sleep.

Day 11

On the eleventh day of your trip you can head for day trip to Suzhou and Zhouzhuang Water Village.

Day trip to Suzhou and Zhouzhuang Water Village

(Source: Luther Bailey)
Suzhou and Zhouzhuang Water Village Day Trip from Shanghai is an excellent way to learn about the ancient Chinese culture, history and traditions through its beautiful villages. You get to see magnificent sights that include Net Master Garden, Silk Spinning Factory to residences built by the Ming and Qing Dynasties. The trip is inclusive of Entrance Fees, Local Guide, and Lunch and to and fro hotel transfer. Experience the old world charm of China's rich cultural heritage.
There are many operators who provide these trips and you can contact your hotel reception to arrange one for you.

Day 12

Dedicate this day on exploring and learning about their food and I have also listed two museums. You can visit Shanghai History Museum, Shanghai Ocean Aquarium, Tea Houses and attend a Chinese Cooking Workshop.

Shanghai History Museum

(Source: Jin Aili)
Located at the basement of Oriental Pearl TV Tower, Shanghai History Museum tells us about Shanghai's history and culture laying an emphasis on the colonial period. Showing the city's highs and lows, life-sized models fill the museum. It is a must visit if you would like to know about Shanghai's history.

Shanghai Ocean Aquarium

(Source: tab2_dawa)
The Shanghai Ocean Aquarium is another must-see attraction for your kids. It is the largest aquarium of Asia, exhibiting 28 different sections, and housing more than 10, 000 aquatic animals including sharks, lion-fish, jelly-fish, turtles, sea otters, Yangzi sturgeon etc. The major highlight is its glass tunnel, where you can have a clear vision of Sand Tiger shark, Port Jackson shark, Chinese water dragon, giant Gourami etc. This aquarium is home to Bruce, an Oranda goldfish, which was named after Bruce Lee.

Tea Houses

(Source: andreweland)
Chinese love their tea and tea houses. For a local flavor in an intimate setting, visit one of the many tea houses in the city. There are more than 3, 000 tea houses in Shanghai. Shanghai Old Street has many old and famous tea houses. Besides sampling the excellent Chinese tea, you can dig into simple local food served along with the tea. 

Chinese Cooking Workshop

(Source: mollystevens)
Chinese cuisine is famous world over and is definitely on the top of the list of favorites of many people. But to master authentic Chinese Cuisine, you have to learn from an Authentic Cooking School. Chinese Cooking Workshop not only teaches you the art of cooking lip smacking Chinese Delicacies but also ensures you have fun while doing so. They have a number of courses to choose from that target different types of dishes. It might be interesting to learn a new recipe and take it back as a souvenir to showcase to your friends.
With this you can call it a day and head back to your hotel.

Day 13

Explore Shanghai on a bicycle and then finally pick up some knick knacks and souvenirs to take back home from the two local markets I have listed.

China Cycle Tours

(Source: steveonjava)
Explore Shanghai in a non-traditional way on a cycle, China Cycle Tours offers such tours.  Depending on the tour you choose, you can discover popular sights in Shanghai such as Nanjing Road, People's Square, Shanghai Museum, Antique Market on Dongtai Road and much more. The tour is inclusive of a guide, lunch, bike, helmet and entrance fees. Alternatively, you could also hire a bike and do a tour on your own. They also offer tours to places of interest near Shanghai.

Yatai Xinyang Fashion and Gift Market

(Source: Myna Bird Production)
Located near Science and Technology Museum, inside the underground maze of the metro station, Yatai Xinyang Fashion and Gift Market is a popular market in Shanghai selling all the junk items made in China. This includes fake watches, bags, shirts and viewing material. Just be warned, it is fake, no matter what they tell you.

Dong Tai Road

(Source: ullrich.c)
Located off Tibet or "Xizang" Road near the old part of town, Dong Tai Road is bisected by another smaller street and "antique" stores proliferate all over the small neighborhood. You can find just about anything from baskets to ceramics, Mao memorabilia, lanterns - junk or treasure. 
After this you can call it a day and head back to your hotel to rest as you need to catch your flight to New York the next day.

Day 14

This is the last day of your trip you need to head back to New York. Your return flight is scheduled in the evening so make sure you pack all your belongings carefully and reach airport three hours prior your flight timings. 
The return flight from Shanghai to New York will also have a flight change at Seoul-Incheon (ICN). The flight no. KE 5810 of Korean Air will take off at 15:00 hours from Shanghai and will land in Seoul at 17:45 hours. After waiting for one hour and forty minutes you need to board flight no. KE 85 that will take off at 19:30 hours and will land in New York at 21:00 hours. 
I hope the destinations mentioned, according to your interest will lead to a memorable trip. I wish you return with the most exciting experience and memories of your life. 
Have a wonderful trip!
Ridhima Arora

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