Beijing Itinerary 7 Days: How to Spend One Week in Beijing

As 5 days are completely enough for a panoramic tour to go through all the highlights in Beijing, you can set aside 2 days to travel to some nearby cities if you have 7 days in Beijing. Xi’an, Luoyang, Pingyao, Datong, etc. are all good optional cities for the last 2 days. The below Beijing itinerary 7 days would detail the plan, with the Xi’an tour on last 2 days.

Day 1: Forbidden City & Beijing City Center

Having 7 days in Beijing China, we recommend you to stroll around the city center where the most significant historical sites gathers on the first day. Tiananmen Square can be the first, as it is surrounded by solemn architecture and reputed as the “heart of China”. Forbidden City, just to its north is the second. This royal palace complex has thousands of rooms and stately halls inside. Forbidden City is so large that you cannot finish the visit until noon. Enjoy your lunch inside the attraction or after getting out.

Opposite to the north exit of the Forbidden City, is Jingshan Park. After, you may go there to overlook the whole Forbidden City and the surroundings on the top of the Jingshan Hill inside. Then, spend the rest of the day in Beihai Park to the west of Jingshan Park. It is also a historical site famed for the vast lake and the landmark White Dagoba.

Day 2: Pandas, Summer Palace, Old Summer Palace, Kungfu Show

A Beijing itinerary 7 days must include lovely pandas. So today, we advise you to see them at Beijing Zoo in the morning, when they are livelier; then Summer Palace in the northwestern downtown. It is honored as the most beautiful classical garden in northern China and the best preserved royal garden.

Have lunch near Summer Palace. Afterwards you may visit the neighboring Old Summer Palace, once the best royal garden with many architecture wonders. Although ruined in war, you can still learn its past glorious from the debris. In the evening, you can watch a wonderful kung fu show in Red Theater.

Day 3: Yonghe Temple, Temple of Confucius, Guozijian, Prince Gong's Mansion & Shichahai

On the 3rd day of Beijing itinerary 7 days, we recommend you to explore more historical sites. In the morning, you can go to Guozijian Street in the eastern downtown, to visit Yonghe Temple, Temple of Confucius, and Guozijian (Imperial Academy). Yonghe Temple, firstly constructed to be a prince’s mansion, later became a Lama temple, the largest Tibetan Buddhist site in this capital city. A road away, Temple of Confucius and Guizijian are close together. They are the highest imperial academies in ancient time. At noon, have lunch at a restaurant nearby.

In the afternoon, you can go to Shichahai Hutong area, where Prince Gong’s Mansion is a noted attraction. It is the Qing prince’s residence with largest scale, including grand rooms and well-designed garden. After that, you may walk around the lakeside Hutongs, to see traditional local courtyards and customs. At night, you can also see the night views and get close to Beijing nightlife at Houhai Bar Street in this area.

Day 4: Mutianyu Great Wall, Bird’s Nest, Water Cube, Nanluoguxiang Hutong

You cannot miss the Great Wall during your 7 days in Beijing. Mutianyu Great Wall, in the northern suburb of Beijing, is the most popular section among international tourists, with prettiest mountain landscapes. After visiting and getting down from the Great Wall, you may feed yourself at its foot. On non-holidays, Badaling Great Wall, the best preserved section is also an option. However, countless visitors swamp Badaling on holidays.

Getting back to downtown, you may pay a visit to Olympic Park, to see Bird’s Nest and Water Cube - two splendid Olympic venues. Next, you may go to Nanluoguxiang, another famous historical hutong, with courtyards, ancient architecture, many old-timey shops and restaurants.

Day 5: Temple of Heaven, Wangfujing, High Speed Train Trip to Xi’an

Temple of Heaven is a solemn historical site for worshipping the Heaven, so as to pray for a bumper year. Now it’s also a park for local people taking morning exercise. Then you may go to Wangfujing Street, the best-known commercial zone in Beijing to select some souvenirs and taste some snacks on the snack street.

Peking Roast Duck is a must-try Beijing food. Near Wangfujing, there is a branch of Quanjude, the best roast duck restaurant in Beijing. It is at No.9, Shuaifuyuan Hutong, Wangfujing Street and the cost is about CNY200 per person.

In this afternoon, go to Xi’an by high speed train. G665 scheduled at 16:00-21:45 and G669 scheduled at 17:08-22:44 are suitable for today’s plan. Both of them depart from Beijing West Railway Station and arrive at Xi’an North Railway Station.

Day 6: Xi’an Day Tour

Xi’an has been the capital of 13 dynasties in China history, hence has many historical relics. In the morning, you may go to the northeastern suburb for Terracotta Army, an ancient wonder with numerous pottery warriors having the same size of real men, guarding the mausoleum of the first emperor in Chinese history. Then return to the downtown for lunch.

After lunch, you can visit Xi’an City Wall, which is the best-persevered and oldest city wall in China. You may rent a bike to tour on the 13.74km (8.5 miles) long rectangle city wall. Bell Tower, in the right center of Xi’an, is a Chinese ancient masterpiece as well as a landmark. Walking a bit west from Bell Tower, there is the Drum Tower – the largest one in China. Both of the two towers are over 600 years old. Behind the Drum Tower, you will find a bustling Muslim Quarter there. It is also a halal snack street, so you can taste various local halal food.

Day 7: Half-Day Xi’an Tour, Return to Beijing

On the last day of your Beijing itinerary 7 days, you can spend the morning still in Xi’an. You may go to Shaanxi History Museum, to appreciate the ancient relics, especially the treasures of Tang Dynasty (61C - 907 AD). Giant Wild Goose Pagoda nearby is also a famed landmark in Xi’an. It is a majestic brick pagoda that was constructed more than 1,300 years ago. Have lunch in the neighborhood.

In the afternoon, go back to Beijing. There are multiple high speed trains available, which include:

High Speed Trains Departing Time from
Xi’an North Railway Station
Arriving Time at
Beijing West Railway Station
G574 14:09 19:53
G664 14:38 20:20
G308 14:47 20:38
G666 16:02 21:31
G438 17:01 21:42
G670 17:59 23:29
G90 18:24 22:52

Xi’an is one of the alternatives on the last days of your 7 days in Beijing China. You can also choose to visit Luoyang, to see Longmen Grottoes, Shaolin Temple, etc. It takes about 4 hours to travel by high speed train from Beijing West Railway Station to Luoyang Longmen Railway Station. The suitable trains include G673 (14:28-18:52), G663 (15:45-19:40), and G665 (16:00-20:11). The returning trains for your choices are G658 (14:17-18:26), G574 (15:43-19:53), G308 (16:29-20:38), G666 (17:35-21:31), and G670 (19:41-23:29).

Apart from Xi’an and Luoyang, going to Pingyao for a two days tour from Beijing is workable as well. Ancient City of Pingyao, Shuanglin Temple, Wang Family Compound and so on are attractive in Pingyao. As for the high speed trains, you can choose D2005 (15:29-19:33) to Pingyao, and G616 (13:34-17:27) to get back to Beijing.

What’s more, Datong, 2-2.5h high speed train ride away from Beijing, houses many cultural heritages, such as Yungang Grottoes, Hanging Monastery and Mt. Hengshan, Wooden Pagoda, and Datong Great Wall. G2515 (15:10-17:23), G2517 (16:10-18:30), G2519 (17:51-20:08) are the trains you can take from Qinghe Railway Station in Beijing. G2521 (18:41-20:26) and G2523 (19:39-21:59) from Beijing North Railway Station are also good choices. To return to Beijing, you may go to Datong South Railway Station, to take G2516 (15:31-17:52), G2518 (17:15-19:00) or G2520 (18:01-20:24), which arrive at Beijing North Railway Station.

Further Reading:
An Ultimate Guide for Layover in Beijing

- Last updated on Apr. 19, 2021 -
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