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Home China City Tours Beijing Tours Beijing Harbin Tours 8 Days China Winter Tour of Beijing, Harbin, Shanghai

Tour Overview

Are you planning a winter trip to China but don’t know which destinations you should visit? This itinerary is a reasonable answer, including Beijing, Harbin and Shanghai. Harbin, known as the “Ice City” and “Moscow of the East”, is definitely the most popular place for winter travel in China. Direct high-speed train and airplane connections between the city and Beijing and Shanghai make your China winter tour more convenient.

Beijing and Harbin are located in the north of China and in most of the winter days it may snow. You have a great chance to take a leisurely stroll with your family in the snow-covered, red-walled royal palaces. In Harbin, you will enjoy the revelry of the grand annual Ice and Snow Festival and admire the huge snow and ice sculptures carefully carved by Chinese and foreign artists. Finally, this winter trip will take you to the slightly warmer, cosmopolitan city of Shanghai to hear the story of the Bund and the banks of the Huangpu River!

Travel destinations: Beijing, Harbin, Shanghai
Suitable for: Winter Enthusiasts, Family with Kids
Tour type: Private

Highlights of this tour:

  • Enjoy enchanting winter landscapes, including exquisite snow & ice sculptures.
  • Experience the rich cultural heritage by exploring historical sites in Beijing.
  • Marvel the wonderful architecture of Beijing, Harbin & Shanghai, from the majestic Forbidden City to the elegant St. Sophia Cathedral and the skyline of Shanghai.
  • Explore the lesser-visited section of the Great Wall at Mutianyu and have a hike along its ancient ramparts.
  • Experience some of interesting winter activities such as ice skating, ice sleigh, ice spin, and ice biking.
  • Stroll along the 55-meter-long transparent sightseeing corridor of Shanghai World Financial Center to capture the panoramic view of this international metropolis.

Day-by-day Itinerary

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  1. Welcome to the capital city - Beijing, the starting point of your China winter tour! Your private driver will greet you at the exit of the arrival hall by holding a welcome sign and then transfer to your Beijing downtown hotel.

    The rest of the day is yours. You can take some time to relax and recover from your trip or explore the nearby areas at your own pace. If you need any suggestions in your free time, we will be very happy to help you.

    Meal: N/A

    Accommodation: in Beijing

  2. Start your winter tour in China by visiting Tian'anmen Square, an iconic landmark and the heart of Beijing. It is one of the largest public squares in the world. You will learn the stories of historical events and appreciate the iconic buildings around the square, such as Monument to the People's Heroes and the Chairman Mao Memorial Hall.

    Next, walk north to the Palace Museum, aka the Forbidden City, one of the largest and most completely preserved palace complexes built of wood. It functioned as the imperial palace in the Ming (1368-1644) and Qing Dynasties (1616-1912). 24 emperors of the two dynasties once lived here. If you happen to visit the Forbidden City on a snowy day, you will take stunning photos.

    Forbidden City Snow Scenery
    The Forbidden City in the Snow

    Optionally, you can ascend Jingshan Park's hilltop pavilions for a breathtaking panoramic view of the Forbidden City and Beijing's skyline.

    In the afternoon, we head to Beijing Hutong. Enjoying the rickshaw riding through narrow alleys will be your memorable experience. You can learn about the daily life of Beijing people by visiting a local family. After that, move on to Summer Palace. With an area of 2.9 square kilometers, this palace was the best place where the emperors of the Qing Dynasty spent their summers. Here you will enjoy the amazing lake view, explore the exquisite long corridor, appreciate precious cultural relics, step on the elegant stone bridge, etc. In addition, you can take the option of a boat ride to enjoy Kunming Lake (optional, if the weather permits).

    Meal: Breakfast + Lunch

    Accommodation: in Beijing

    Beijing Summer Palace in Winter
    Frozen beauty of Kunming Lake

  3. Today you will start your tour to the Great Wall of Beijing. Before that, you will be taken to visit the Temple of Heaven, the special altar for the emperors of the Ming and Qing dynasties to offer sacrifices to the heavens, ask for rain and pray for a good year. The entire Temple of Heaven is divided into two parts, the Inner Altar and the Outer Altar. Our tour will mainly focus on the Inner Altar, where you will visit the Hall of Prayer for Good Harvest and the Echo Wall building.

    After the visit, we drive to Mutianyu Great Wall. Built in the early Ming Dynasty in 1368 and stretching for 5,400 meters, it is the most scenic part of the Chinese Great Wall. 90 percent of the Mutianyu is covered by vegetation. So in each season, this part of the Great Wall will treat visitors with its unique scenery.

    Mutianyu Great Wall in Winter
    Mutianyu Great Wall in Winter

    Note: If pure hiking is too much for you, there are also options for cable car and toboggan to see the spectacular scenery from different angles (optional).

    On the way back to Beijing downtown, you have an exterior visit to the marvelous Bird's Nest and Water Cube, which were built for the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games. You can walk around the outside of the building to appreciate the unique design and take some pictures.

    For dinner, we will arrange for you Beijing Roast Duck, a famous palace dish, cooked with charcoal fire, crispy on the outside and tender inside. You will learn the proper way to eat it.

    Meal: Breakfast + Dinner

    Accommodation: in Beijing

  4. After breakfast, your private driver will transfer you to the railway station to board the high-speed train to the Ice City - Harbin. The whole journey will last 5-5.5 hours. Upon arrival, your local tour guide will give you a brief introduction of our upcoming Harbin tour and escort you to your hotel for rest. The rest of the day is free for you.

    It is recommended to visit Zhaolin Park, where the fascinating Ice Lantern Show is held every year from January 5 to the end of February (free admission). Here, you can not only admire the ice sculptures made by various artists and skilled craftsmen, but also enjoy ice skating!

    Meal: Breakfast

    Accommodation: in Harbin

    Harbin Zhaolin Park Ice Lantern Show
    Zhaolin Park Ice Lantern Show

  5. Your guided China winter tour package in Harbin begins at Sun Island, the main venue where the annual International Snow Sculpture Art Expo was held during the Harbin Ice and Snow Festival. Here the display of many intricate snow sculptures will bring you a fantastic experience.

    Afterward that, you will be transferred to the Siberian Tiger Park, a reserve dedicated to the breeding and protection of the Siberian Tiger. It aims to provide a suitable living environment for the endangered tiger.

    Harbin Sun Island Park
    Sun Island Park

    In the evening, savor a delicious dinner with a local guide's advice, enjoying local Harbin cuisine, influenced by Russian and Chinese culinary traditions. As night falls, we will take you to the Ice and Snow World to admire the ice sculptures illuminated by colorful lights. You can also experience a variety of ice activities here, from ice slides to Ferris wheels.

    Warm Tips:

    Be aware of the longer queues during peak hours, especially during the traditional Chinese Lunar New Year and weekends.

    Meal: Breakfast

    Accommodation: in Harbin

    Harbin Ice and Snow World
    Harbin Ice and Snow World

  6. After breakfast, you will be guided to admire the St. Sophia Cathedral. Built in 1907, it is one of the more well-preserved Byzantine-style buildings in China. The church has a large, full and massive onion-head dome, a typical Russian architectural roof form that rivals Moscow's St. Basil's Cathedral.

    Next, take a stroll along Central Street, a more than 100-year-old shopping street with classic European architecture and stores. During the Ice and Snow Festival, there are interesting ice and snow sculptures everywhere, and you can take photos with them.

    St. Sophia Cathedral Harbin
    St. Sophia Cathedral

    Afterwards, take a guided tour of Laodaowai, Harbin's historic old neighborhood with its baroque-style buildings built in the early 20th century. Jiuzhan Park is the last stop on this China Harbin tour, a strip of open riverside parks across the river from the famous Sun Island Scenic Area. It is a playground for local elderly and children.

    After the tour, your tour guide and driver will escort you to the airport for onward flight to Shanghai, an international metropolis known for its modern skyline and vibrant energy.

    Meal: Breakfast

    Accommodation: in Shanghai

  7. After a hearty breakfast, you will be transferred to Shanghai Museum, which houses millions of collections and especially features bronze wares, porcelain works, paintings, and calligraphy works. Then, move on to Yuyuan Garden. It is a famous classical garden which was originally built by the owner as a place for his parents to enjoy a tranquil and happy time in their old age.

    Nearby is the lively Yuyuan Market, where you can get everything from traditional Chinese crafts like chopsticks, fans, and pottery to local delicacies such as steamed buns, crab shell cake, and pork chop with rice cakes. Don't forget to haggle for a better price.

    Shanghai Yu Garden in Winter
    Yu Garden in Winter

    The next stop will be the Shanghai World Financial Center. The building looks like a bottle opener from the outside. You will have a chance to go up to the 100th floor to have a marvelous panoramic view of the Huangpu River. Walking on the 55-meter-long transparent sightseeing corridor will be an exciting experience.

    In the late afternoon, wander around Nanjing Road to see traditional department stores and optionally try some authentic Shanghai snacks. Afterwards, stroll on the Bund. You will admire buildings of various styles, enjoy the beautiful Huangpu River, and listen to your guide explaining its history.

    Optional evening activity: If your are interested, we can arrange a wonderful Acrobatic Show for you and you will marvel at the extraordinary talent and skill of the performers (at additional cost).

    Meal: Breakfast + Lunch

    Accommodation: in Shanghai

    Shanghai the Bund
    The Bund at Night

  8. Today is the last day of your 8-day China winter tour. In the morning, your guide will take you to visit the Jade Buddha Temple and Tianzifang, popular attractions for Shanghai tours. Jade Buddha Temple is a historic Buddhist temple enshrining two Jade Buddhas, a precious heritage of Buddhist culture and art.

    Tianzifang is a creative industry park converted from a Shikumen complex, where studios, galleries and cafes of artists and designers are gathered. Strolling through the alleys of Tianzifang, you can enjoy various art exhibitions, handicrafts and creative decorations.

    Shanghai Tianzifang

    Your China tour of Beijing Harbin Shanghai ends here. The guide will escort you to the airport for your departure flight. Wish you a pleasant journey!

    Meal: Breakfast

    Accommodation: N/A

Tour Price Per Person

The price varies depending on the activity, number of people, travel date, and selected hotel. Please contact us for a specific price.

Price Includes

  • 7 nights' accommodation in well-selected hotels;
  • Meals listed in the itinerary;
  • Private air-conditioned vehicle with licensed drivers;
  • Excellent local English-speaking tour guides services as mentioned in the itinerary;
  • Entrance tickets as mentioned in the itinerary;
  • Second-class Train ticket from Beijing to Harbin & Air ticket from Harbin to Shanghai;
  • 1 bottle of mineral water per person per day;
  • China Travel Insurance.

Price Excludes

  • Flight/train tickets to Beijing / off Shanghai;
  • Any optional activities inside the attractions;
  • Any item not mentioned in the itinerary;
  • Single Room Supplement;
  • All kinds of gratuities for guides, drivers & others.
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