Private Tour: Tiananmen Square, Forbidden City and Temple of Heaven

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Private Tour: Tiananmen Square, Forbidden City and Temple of Heaven
from USD $154.00
Availablity  
On this dynamic private tour of Beijing, visit culturally significant landmarks like Tiananmen Square and UNESCO World Heritage Sites like the Forbidden City and the Temple of Heaven. Then join locals in leisure activities like afternoon Tai Chi and get a good taste of traditional Chinese cuisine for a yummy lunch.
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In Brief

Location:
Beijing, China
Country:
China
Duration:
7 hours
Operates:
Daily
Highlights:
All entrance fees included
All taxes, fuel surcharges and service fees included
All-inclusive tour
Free hotel pickup and drop-off included
Great overview and orientation of the city
Informative, friendly and professional guide
Lunch included
Perfect introduction for first-time visitors
Private guide for a more personalized experience
Overview
Important InfoInfo
Pricing
Reviews
Itinerary
This is a typical itinerary for this product

Stop At: Tiananmen Square (Tiananmen Guangchang), West Changan Street, Dongcheng District, Beijing 100006 China

Located at the center of Beijing City and the midpoint of Chang'an Avenue is the remarkable Tiananmen Square, where you can visit the Tiananmen Tower, Monument to the People's Heroes, Great Hall of the People, Chairman Mao Zedong Memorial Hall and see the national flag raising ceremony. Thousands of people come to the Square every day. It is the must place to visit in Beijing City.

Duration: 30 minutes

Stop At: Forbidden City-The Palace Museum, No.4 Jingshanqian Street, Dongcheng District, Beijing 100009 China

Forbidden City, also known as the Palace Museum, and Gu Gong in Chinese, lies at the city center of Beijing, and once served as the imperial palace for 24 emperors during the Ming and Qing Dynasties (1368 - 1911). It was first built throughout 14 years during the reign of Emperor Chengzu in the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644). Ancient Chinese Astronomers believed that the Purple Star (Polaris) was in the center of heaven and the Heavenly Emperor lived in the Purple Palace. The Palace for the emperor on earth was so called the Purple City. It was forbidden to enter without special permission of the emperor. Hence its name 'The Purple Forbidden City', usually 'The Forbidden City'.

Now known as the Palace Museum, it is to the north of Tiananmen Square. Rectangular in shape, it is the world's largest palace complex and covers 74 hectares. Surrounded by a 52-meter-wide moat and a 10-meter-high wall are more than 8,700 rooms. The wall has a gate on each side. The distance between the south Meridian Gate (Wumen) and the north Gate of Divine Prowess (Shenwumen) is 961 meters (1,051 yards), while the distance between the east and west gates is 753 meters (823 yards). There are unique and delicately structured towers on each of the four corners of the curtain wall. These afford views over both the palace and the city outside.

The Forbidden City is divided into two parts. The southern section, or the Outer Court was where the emperor exercised his supreme power over the nation. The northern section, or the Inner Court was where he lived with his royal family.

Until 1924 when the last emperor of China was driven from the Inner Court, fourteen emperors of the Ming dynasty and ten emperors of the Qing dynasty had reigned here. Having been the imperial palace for some five centuries, Forbidden City houses numerous rare treasures and curiosities. Listed by UNESCO as a World Cultural Heritage Site in 1987, the Palace Museum is now one of the most popular tourist attractions world-wide.

Construction of the palace complex began in 1407, the 5th year of the Yongle reign of the third emperor (Emperor Chengzu, Zhu Di) of the Ming dynasty. It was completed fourteen years later in 1420, and then the capital city was moved from Nanjing to Beijing the next year. It was said that a million workers including one hundred thousand artisans were driven into the long-term hard labor. Stone needed was quarried from Fangshan District. It was said a well was dug every fifty meters along the road in order to pour water onto the road in winter to slide huge stones on ice into the city. Huge amounts of timber and other materials were freighted from faraway provinces.

Ancient Chinese people displayed their very considerable skills in building the Forbidden City. Take the grand red city wall for example. It has an 8.6 meters wide base reducing to 6.66 meters wide at the top. The angular shape of the wall totally frustrates attempts to climb it. The bricks were made from white lime and glutinous rice while the cement is made from glutinous rice and egg whites. These incredible materials make the wall extraordinarily strong.

Since yellow is the symbol of the royal family, it is the dominant color in it. Roofs are built with yellow glazed tiles; decorations in the palace are painted yellow; even the bricks on the ground are made yellow by a special process. However, there is one exception. Wenyuange, the royal library, has a black roof. The reason is that it was believed black represented water then and could extinguish fire.

Nowadays, Forbidden City is open to tourists from home and abroad. Splendid painted decoration on these royal architectural wonders, the grand and deluxe halls, with their surprisingly magnificent treasures will certainly satisfy 'modern civilians'.

Duration: 2 hours

Stop At: Temple of Heaven, Tiantan Road, Dongcheng District, Beijing 100050 China

The Temple of Heaven Park is located in the Chongwen District, Beijing. Originally, this was the place where emperors of the Ming Dynasty (1368 - 1644) and Qing Dynasty (1644 - 1911) held the Heaven Worship Ceremony. It is the largest and most representative existing masterpiece among China's ancient sacrificial buildings. First built in 1420, the 18th year of the reign of Emperor Yongle of the Ming Dynasty (1368 - 1644), Temple of Heaven was enlarged and rebuilt during the reigns of the Ming emperor Jiajing and the Qing emperor Qianlong. In 1988, it was opened to the public as a park, showing ancient philosophy, history and religion. Its grand architectural style and profound cultural connotation give an insight into the practices of the ancient Eastern civilization.

Covering an area of 2,700,000 square meters (3,529,412 square yards), Temple of Heaven is larger than the Forbidden City. As the 'Sons of Heaven', Chinese emperors were precluded from building a dwelling for themselves that was greater than the earthly residence dedicated to Heaven hence the difference in overall size of the two complexes. The temple is enclosed by a long wall. The northern part within the wall is semicircular symbolizing the heavens and the southern part is square symbolizing the earth. The northern part is higher than the southern part. This design shows that the heaven is high and the earth is low and the design reflected an ancient Chinese thought of 'the heaven is round and the earth is square'.

Temple of Heaven is divided by two encircling walls into an inner part and outer part. The main buildings lie at the south and north ends of the middle axis of the inner part. The most magnificent buildings are the Circular Mound Altar (Huanqiutan), the Imperial Vault of Heaven (Huangqiongyu) and the Hall of Prayer for Good Harvest (Qiniandian) from south to north.

Duration: 2 hours

Inclusions

  • Professional English-speaking guide
  • Hotel pickup and drop-off
  • Lunch with drinks
  • Private transport in a nice air-conditioned travel vehicle
  • Entrance fee of Forbidden City
  • Entrance fee of Temple of Heaven
  • Entry/Admission - Forbidden City-The Palace Museum
  • Entry/Admission - Temple of Heaven

Exclusions

  • Gratuities to tour guide and driver (optional)

Departure Time

8:00 AM

Departure Point

Traveler pickup is offered
We can pick you up from your Beijing hotel at downtown area, or pick you up from the airport or train station with extra cost

Returns To

Your Beijing hotel

Additional Information

  • Confirmation will be received at time of booking
  • Please be advised that the Forbidden City is closed on Mondays. Beijing Zoo where you can see lovely Giant Pandas or Summer Palace will be substituted instead.
  • Passport name, passport number, country is required at time of booking for all participants, we need that to book the Forbidden City ticket beforehand
  • Not wheelchair accessible
  • Stroller accessible
  • Near public transportation
  • Infants must sit on laps
  • Most travelers can participate
  • This is a private tour/activity. Only your group will participate

Booking Information

You can present either a paper or an electronic voucher for this activity.

Cancellation Terms

This trip is fully refundable up to 96 hours prior to the commencement of your trip.

Booking Terms and Conditions

When you book this trip, you need to read and accept the terms and conditions for booking our day trips in excursions.

Scoring an average traveller rating of 5 out of 5 based on the last 24 recent reviews

My daughter and I were lucky enough to have Allison as our tour guide. She met us in the lobby of our hotel. She explained how the day's tour would go, how long it would take to get to our first destination, and what would follow. She had an impressive knowledge of Chinese history, especially when it came to all of the different parts of the Forbidden City, suggesting places for photos and taking photos of my daughter and me together. She was also very knowledgeable about the Temple of Heaven. We really enjoyed this tour and eating at a local restaurant. This was a day well spent.
• Submitted 03 May 2018
Our guide was Torry and we cant recommend her enough. We had a fantastic time and she was very knowledgeable and also very supportive of us with our toddler who could be a bit of a handful at times! We learnt alot from Torry and I hope we can tour with her again in the future in Beijing!
• Submitted 23 Jan 2018
What an amazing day. Our guide was Torry, PLEASE ask for Torry. One of the bests we've had. It was like hanging out with a friend. Very informative, she took care of us very nicely. We could see the places, even if very crowded, in a very organized way. Highly recommended!
• Submitted 16 Jan 2018
Our visit to the Summer Palace, Temple of Heaven and T-Square was a great experience, much thanks to our guide Torry! She really gave us context to the places we were visiting, the history behind it and the struggles of ancient China that help carve these buildings into what we see today. Torry was so energetic, charismatic and so helpful not only during our day-trip but even the days following she provided us with go-to locations and even sent screenshots of the metro system, explaining which lines we should take. She was absolutely amazing and highly recommend her service!
• Submitted 27 Dec 2017
Torry is a true ambassador not only for Beijing, but also for China. I took the Tiananman Square, Forbidden City, and Temple of Heaven Day tour with Torry and it was absolutely outstanding! She greeted me in the lobby of the hotel with a huge smile and the entire tour she was outgoing, friendly, professional, and a great guide. She takes pride in what she does and she wants everyone thats on her tour to truly understand Chinese history, Feng Shui building, the significance of colors, the royalty and the various dynasties, and how all of that plays a role in China today. The place she picked out for lunch was beyond amazing and I was the only Westerner in the restaurant, which tells me its authentic and where all of the locals go. The driver was also very professional and nice and I never felt unsafe as he drove through the crazy Beijing traffic. If you come to Beijing, make sure you tour with Torry. You will not regret it!!
• Submitted 22 Dec 2017
Fantastic tour. Dean was a excellent guide with tremendous amount of knowledge.
• Submitted 16 Dec 2017
This was our best tour in Beijing and probably the best tour during our trip in China thanks to our guide Torry. She was extremely warm, friendly and knowledgeable. She definitely made us fall in love with China, chinese people, the rich and ancient culture and the delicious food. Towards the end of the day it was obvious she exceeded all our expectations because of the incredible experience she created just for us! Torry, if you read this you are our best guide ever! Words will never be enough to express our gratitude!!!
• Submitted 04 Dec 2017
I quickly followed up my first Viator tour in Beijing with this one. Allison was a great tour guide and walked me through all of the detailed history about each of the sites we were seeing. This was a great tour and I really loved having my own tour guide and driver so I didn't have to worry about getting around or trying to figure out what was best to see during the day. Saw ton of things and learning a ton. Highly recommended!
• Submitted 03 Dec 2017
Very enjoyable and saw everything we expected to see, our guide was very knowledgeable on the history of Beijing. Highly recommend.
• Submitted 01 Oct 2017
This was a great way to see some of the most famous sites in Beijing. There are lots of tours to these sites, but the real difference was our guide, Torry. She was absolutely fantastic. She went above and beyond what is expected of a tour guide. She brought us to a great local restaurant and ordered lunch for us. She took us to the pearl market and helped us barter with the vendors. She even arranged for a driver to take us to the airport. We felt like we had met up with an old friend who showed us around the city and really took care of us. Thanks again Torry!
• Submitted 24 Sep 2017
Fantastic! Enjoyed a great day touring Beijings great sites. Our tour guide Torry was terrific. She provided the needed cultural and historical facts to bring it all together. Lunch was also delicious. Highly recommend this tour and would request Torry if possible.
• Submitted 14 Sep 2017
The Forbidden City and Temple of Heaven are pretty much must-sees if you're in Beijing and haven't seen them before. Our tour guide, Torry, was cheerful, friendly, helpful, and knowledgeable. You couldn't ask for more. She answered questions about the attractions and about life in China in general. My husband's ankle was sore and she gave us a recommendation for an herbal medicine. A couple negatives: first, Beijing is unfortunately quite polluted. If it rains, the next day can be nice, but if not, it is pretty bad. Second, both these attractions are understandably very popular. Tons of tourists, tour groups, and the accompanying din of microphoned tour guides. For both climate and crowd reasons, if you can avoid visiting Beijing in the summer, you should. Obviously these elements are out of the tour guide's control I'm saying this just so you know what to expect. Again, Torry was great!
• Submitted 03 Sep 2017
Torry was great - highly recommend!
• Submitted 26 Aug 2017
Torry is a very nice person and a delight to have as our tour guide. She was very responsive to our needs. We were traveling with my elderly parents and infant daughter. She was helping my parents when they were walking up the stairs and gave them umbrella shade when it was very hot. We saw Forbidden city and Temple of heaven with her but upon our request she made these tours in slow pace and we could have rest in such hot weather tour. A nice tour. I recommend this to all of you.
• Submitted 07 Jul 2017
Our tour guide - Dean - was the best I've ever experienced. Both myself and my partner are extensive travelers, and we both agreed that Dean's level of service, professionalism, knowledge and enthusiasm for his vocation was unsurpassed. I had been to the Forbidden City before with other tour guides, and yet still learned more from Dean that I didn't know. His attention to detail is exceptional. His attention to our needs was superb. And when we wanted something a little different he was incredibly accommodating. Highly recommend this tour, and if you do - make sure you request Dean. You will be so glad you did.
• Submitted 19 Jun 2017
Booking a private tour was not cheap but 100 worth it. Attending a conference in Beijing I heard a lot about being rushed during tours done by others. Not me. I had all time I wanted. I was told a lot of stories which I will recall and sensed a bit of the history of this remarkable place. Much more than I had expected! The guide, Dean, made me feel welcome and different to the quite numerous other visitors.
• Submitted 19 Jun 2017
Torry my guide could not have been more helpful, she is well informed and really makes the day go well. Torry went above and beyond her remit and helped fix several issues for me that were above and beyond my expectations. The lunch was well organised and we had traditional Beijng Duck. Overall an excellent trip.
• Submitted 15 May 2017
The best tour I ever taken !!! I truly believe I had the best tour guide on town, TORRY did excellent job with lots of historical and practical information given in a understandable way with no rush in every place. I had a blast day with her and the places we visit. I highly recommend her to be your tour guide. Sorry thanks for your job very well done.
• Submitted 17 Apr 2017
Excellent! Very knowledgeable, accommodating and professional. He made the tour very interesting and entertaining.
• Submitted 09 Apr 2017
We've done a lot of traveling and have utilized our fair share of tour guides...and Torrey has surpassed them all! Beijing has a reputation for being chaotic and unpunctual (mostly due to traffic) but Torry was prompt and well-organized. Her primary mission was to show us the genuineness of China. From authentic food to enriching us with Chinese history to her pleasant presence...the overall tour was greatest display of hospitality we have ever experienced! Torry exudes such a bright enthusiasm for Chinese culture and shares this enthusiasm with everyone she comes in contact with. She never rushed us and always had a good walking pace which allowed us to absorb the sights and drink up all of the culture we were exposed to. She was more than happy to take our pictures from time to time and even asked locals to politely step out of our pictures (which happens all the time when visiting popular sights). Torry was truly a delight and made thee absolutely best ending to our trip. We wanted to stay an extra day just so that she can unveil more of the true Beijing we have always dreamt of experiencing.
• Submitted 02 Apr 2017
We had an amazing day with Alison as our guide. She took us everywhere we wanted to go and had interesting stories and information about the sites we were visiting. She and our driver was at our hotel on time in the AM and our day was planned perfectly. Alison knew pathways we could take when we were at very crowded places that made it so much easier to walk around. She recommended a restaurant for lunch that was wonderful. She also recommended a tourist acrobatic show which was fun. We definitely recommend Viator for choosing excellent guides such as Alison. It made our day. Stan Oremland
• Submitted 16 Jan 2017
ROBERT was great he and the driver ! Robert described everything and took his time letting us set the pace of the day! Definately recommend
• Submitted 20 Nov 2016
Definitely a must! Had the best guide ever - Dean. Sent an email with his number to confirm pickup and was spot on time. We had a full and beautiful day with him. Very informative on the history of each site and in general. Even took us by the lake and to a Kung-fu/acrobat show.
• Submitted 06 Oct 2016
Great fun with Robert! Warm and friendly plus extremely knowledgable on the history and dates of everything we saw. Plus he directed us to a wonderful calligrapher who made me a one-of-a-kind scroll for my 50th birthday.
• Submitted 22 Jun 2016

In Brief

Location:
Beijing, China
Country:
China
Duration:
7 hours
Operates:
Daily
Highlights:
All entrance fees included
All taxes, fuel surcharges and service fees included
All-inclusive tour
Free hotel pickup and drop-off included
Great overview and orientation of the city
Informative, friendly and professional guide
Lunch included
Perfect introduction for first-time visitors
Private guide for a more personalized experience