A Taste of China

10 Days Guided Tours
  • Shanghai
  • Beijing
  • Xi'an

Virgin Holidays' view

This is the essential China tour, introducing the key sights, including the Mu Tian Yu section of the great wall, which takes you away for the main crowds and gives you fantastic opportunities to explore and take photos; the modern metropolis of Shanghai; the historic Beijing, home to some of the most stunning architectural wonders in the world including the Imperial residences and the iconic Great Wall and Xi’an, the site of one of the world’s most important archeological treasures: the army of 2,200-year-old famous Terracotta Warriors with life-size soldiers, chariots and horses buried to protect the tomb of the first Qin emperor.


Day 1: Friday

Fly overnight from London Heathrow to Shanghai with Virgin Atlantic.

Day 2: Saturday

On arrival into Shanghai, you will be transferred by the exciting Maglev train to the Jinjiang Hotel for the next 2 nights. The rest of the day is at leisure to explore China’s most vibrant city.

Day 3: Sunday

The day begins with a visit to the lovely Yu Gardens and the Old Town, followed by a stop at the Shanghai Museum to view 5,000 years of Chinese culture. A stop will be made at the Bund and Nanjing road, excellent for shopping. This evening, there is the opportunity to take an excursion to the world famous Shanghai Acrobatic Troupe show, a highlight of any visit to Shanghai (see locally booked excursions). (B/L)

Day 4: Monday

This morning take the bullet train from Shanghai to Beijing (approx 5 hours). Arrive into Beijing and transfer to the Beijing International Hotel or similar for the next 3 nights. Afternoon visit to the stunning Summer Palace, the seasonal retreat of the Qing Emperors. Return to your hotel after your sightseeing before going out this evening for dinner. (B/D) Please note: Sometimes it may be necessary to visit the Summer Palace prior to checking into your hotel, your guide will inform you locally in what order this will happen.

Day 5: Tuesday

There are few structures on earth that can evoke the same sense of wonder and awe than the imposing presence of the Great Wall of China. Begun over 2,000 years ago it stretches for some 5,000 kilometres, across a timeless landscape. Enjoy a tour to the Mu Tian Yu section of the wall. It will take around 2 hours to reach The Great Wall where you can enjoy a memorable walk along a section of one of mankind’s most incredible creations. (B/L)

Day 6: Wednesday

Today’s sightseeing includes the Temple of Heaven with a traditional T'ai chi lesson, China’s largest sacrificial building symbolizing the relationship between heaven and earth and deftly illustrates the evolution of one of the Earth’s greatest civilizations. Continue to Tiananmen Square and the Forbidden City, the iconic Chinese imperial palace from the Ming and Qing. (B/L)

Day 7: Thursday

Morning transfer to catch the high speed train to Xi’an. On arrival, transfer to the Grand Noble Hotel for the next 2 nights. Afternoon visit to the dramatic Small Wild Goose Pagoda. This evening, dine out at a local dumpling dinner and traditional show. (B/D)

Day 8: Friday

Enjoy a full-day tour to see the magnificent Terracotta Warriors, the tomb of the first Emperor of the Qin Dynasty. Xi’an is the cradle of Chinese civilisation and retains many relics of its rich and colourful past. Also visit the City Wall with lunch at a local restaurant. (B/L)

Day 9: Saturday

Morning transfer to Xi’an airport for your flight to Shanghai. On arrival, transfer to the Jinjiang Hotel for overnight. Afternoon at leisure. (B) Please note: Guests travelling on to Hong Kong will fly direct from Xi’an today and miss the final night in Shanghai.

Day 10: Sunday

After an early breakfast, you will be transferred to Shanghai airport for your flight back to London Heathrow with Virgin Atlantic. (B)

Dates & prices

The table below shows our escorted tour departure dates.

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Prices are described as Guide prices on this website and may be higher or lower due to availability, flights (if included) and date of departure.

Prices are for departure dates listed, ex-UK and are per adult based on two adults travelling and sharing a standard room and with return economy flights where stated, not tour only. Single room and flight upgrade prices are available at a supplement.

Please note some tours are subject to minimum numbers, please call our travel experts or visit your local retail store for full details as well as our latest prices.

Tour information

Please click here to download a pdf of the tour itinerary and additional tour notes

Pre/post tour information

The first day of the tour is at leisure so allows you enough time to arrive and relax. If you wish to arrive earlier extra nights can be added to your tour in the Holiday Inn Vista in Shanghai. We recommend extending the end of your tour with a few nights exploring Hong Kong.

Time difference

GMT +8 hours (summer) +9 hours (winter).

Tour inclusions

  • International flight with Virgin Atlantic in economy class, including all UK and overseas airport taxes and applicable fuel surcharges
  • Domestic flights
  • Private air conditioned transport throughout. Train journey’s are on non-exclusive air-conditioned express trains
  • Sightseeing as detailed including entrance fees, still camera fees and game drives
  • The services of an experienced local guide in each destination
  • Road taxes, parking fees, fuel surcharges and interstate taxes.

Tour exclusions

  • Flight upgrades and airport transfers in the UK
  • Insurance
  • Items of a personal nature such as drinks, laundry, tips & gratuities, video camera fees at monuments
  • The required Chinese visa – details will be provided at time of booking
  • Anything not detailed on the itinerary.

Dining inclusions

8 breakfasts, 4 lunch and 2 dinners. The majority of meals are likely to be Chinese rather than international; vegetarians can be catered for but the food is quite different from that which you are likely to be used to. Larger city hotels provide international cuisine as well as Chinese, but presentation and taste may vary from western standards.

Included activities

  • Tours listed in the itinerary.

Optional activities (not included and booked locally)

  • Beijing Night Tour
  • The Tang Dynasty Dinner and Show
  • Shanghai by Night


Occasionally we may need to substitute one or more of the hotels with that of a similar standard.

Journey times

China is a vast country and journey times between destinations can sometimes be long. Journey times are listed in the itinerary and are approximate.

Group size

There is a maximum of 25 people per group. 

Limited mobility

This tour is not recommended for clients with limited mobility, please contact the Special Assistance team for more information https://www.virginholidays.co.uk/important/special-assistance


Take the fast train from Xi’an on day 9 for 2 nights in Chengdu. Visit the Panda Breeding Centre and explore the old city including Jinli Street before flying to either Shanghai for a final night or direct to Hong Kong. Alternatively omit Shanghai and fly direct from Xi’an to Hong Kong on day 9.