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Gain an in-depth perspective on Beijing's past and present with our specially designed tour of the capital.

Our special Veloso Tours introduction to Beijing will immerse you in the many layers of China's fascinating past and thriving present. We begin amid the Soviet-inspired buildings of Tiananmen Square, a vast public space in which we find many important monuments, as well as the mausoleum of Mao Zedong. The square is the place in China which best embodies the uncompromising communism of the infamous Mao era. We then walk through the north of the square, passing through the Gate of Heavenly Peace and into the 500 year old Forbidden City complex.

The 'city' is so named because for so many centuries it was off limits to the most Beijingers, the sole preserve of the all-powerful Emperor and his family members and most trusted officials. Today we can wander through the main courtyards to reconstruct what life would have been like here during China's Dynastic years and appreciate the traditional architecture.

We exit the Forbidden City at the north end, still on the central axis of the city, and take a climb up Coal Hill. The hill is actually man-made, having been raised to create good Feng Shui for the Emperor's complex. This allows us to survey the unique central Beijing landscape from above; the red rooftops of the Forbidden City, the low-rise grey tiled roofs of the ancient hutongs and the surprising abundance of verdant trees on the hills slopes.

After lunch in a local hutong restaurant, we visit two of Beijing's most important temples, both generally off the typical tourist trail. First is the peaceful Confucius Temple and then the nearby Lama Buddhist Temple, the largest of its kind in China outside of Tibet. In visiting these two temples we can discuss the importance of the ancient philosophies and their importance and relevance in modern day China, alongside Taoism.

If time allows and you wish to see it, we can then return to the nearby Drum Tower to experience the short but impactful drumming performance.

Some of our favourite places to visit and things to do in Beijing
What to do in Beijing

Summer Palace & Old Palace

Tour the magnificent lakeside summer residence of emperors, cross the lake by boat and see the Old Palace ruins.

Temple of Heaven Park

Climb the sacred steps to one of China’s finest temples and observe locals taking their morning exercises.

Hike the Great Wall of China

A range of options to hike along a wild and atmospheric part of the Great Wall of China, just north of Beijing.