Long Layover in Beijing – How to Spend 1 to 6 Days in Beijing?

You can well plan a tour when you get a long layover in Beijing more than 24 hours. Generally speaking, 1-2 days are enough to cover the most famous attractions; 3-5 days are good for a Beijing city tour including all the landmarks. If you have 5-6 days’ long layover in Beijing, you can go to visit the outer suburbs, Tianjin, Pingyao, Luoyang, Xi’an or other cities on the last two days. Here are some workable travel plans for your reference.

One Day Layover in Beijing – 3 Best Itineraries

Visit the Great Wall
Visit the Great Wall of China

1. Tiananmen Square and Forbidden City in the morning, Mutianyu Great Wall or Badaling Great Wall in the afternoon, Shichahai Hutongs (including Houhai Bar Street) in late afternoon or at night.
2. Tiananmen Square and Forbidden City in the morning, Temple of Heaven and Summer Palace in the afternoon.
3. Mutianyu Great Wall in the morning, then go back to downtown for Summer Palace and Hutongs in the afternoon.

 Recommended Tour:

 Private Beijing Day Tour to Tiananmen Square, Forbidden City & Mutianyu Great Wall from $130

Beijing Day Tours

2 Days Layover in Beijing

On 2 days long layover in Beijing, you can travel around the most popular attractions in depth.

Day 1: In the morning, visit Tiananmen Square and Forbidden City. After, arrive at Mutianyu Great Wall at noon, have lunch and climb it in the afternoon. And then go back to the downtown to see night views of Bird's Nest & Water Cube. If it’s not on holidays, Badaling Great Wall is also an option instead of Mutianyu Great Wall.

Day 2: Pay a visit to Temple of Heaven and Summer Palace in the morning. Then go to Shichahai Hutongs in the afternoon. Have lunch nearby Summer Palace after sightseeing, or at the Hutongs after arrival. If you are not hurry to leave, you can stay longer to enjoy the Beijing nightlife at Shichahai Bar Street.

 Recommended Tour:

 2 Days Mini Group Tour with Beijing Highlights from $299

 2-Day Private Beijing Tour with Mutianyu Great Wall

3 Days Layover in Beijing

Day 1: Have a morning tour to Tiananmen Square and Forbidden City. After lunch, go for a panoramic Forbidden City view on the top of the hill in Jingshan Park, which is opposite the Forbidden City. And then enjoy a leisurely afternoon at Beihai Park.

Day 2: Visit Mutianyu Great Wall in the morning, then return to Beijing downtown and have lunch at the Hutongs. Afternoon, have a stroll around Shichahai Hutongs and visit Prince Gong's Mansion there. In the evening, watch Kung Fu Show at Red Theater. Badaling Great Wall is an alternative to Mutianyu on non-holidays.

Day 3: Have a visit to Temple of Heaven and then Summer Palace in the morning. Go to Wangfujing Street for lunch, and hang out along the street all the afternoon.

 Recommended Tour:
Beijing 3 Day Tours

4 Days Long Layover in Beijing

Based on the 3 days Beijing itinerary above, you may add more attractions you’re interested in to your plan for the 4 days long layover in Beijing, such as:
1. Beijing Zoo, Old Summer Palace (Ruins of Yuanmingyuan): Both of the two are close to Summer Palace, so you may visit them together with Summer Palace in one day.
2. Qianmen, Dashilar Street: Neighboring Tiananmen Square and Forbidden City, they are nice spots for shopping and savoring local delicacies.
3. Yonghe Temple, Temple of Confucius & Beijing Guozijian: They are all historical sites near Hutongs at North Second Ring Road.

 Recommended Tour:  4 Days Best Beijing Tours from $539


5 or 6 Days Long Layover in Beijing

You may spend the first 3 or 4 days following the itineraries mentioned above. On the last two days of your long layover in Beijing, you may visit Beijing outskirts or take the high speed train to other surrounding cities. Here are the most popular plans for the last two days:

1. Simatai Great Wall + Gubei Water Town: They are at the most northeast part of Beijing, 120km (75miles) and 2-2.5h’s drive away from the downtown. Simatai is the only Great Wall section open at night.
2. Ancient City of Pingyao: It is one of the four most famous ancient towns in China, about 4 hours’ high speed train ride away.
3. Luoyang: Luoyang is a noted historical city in central China, taking 4-4.5 hours’ high speed train to reach from Beijing. Longmen Grottoes and Shaolin Temple are the most remarkable attractions there.
4. Xi’an: Taking the high speed train for 4.5-6 hours, you can get to Xi’an, the city used to be the capital for long times in ancient times. There are some famed historical sites, like Terracotta Army, Xi'an City Wall, Giant Wild Goose Pagoda, and Shaanxi History Museum.

- Last updated on Apr. 14, 2023 by Catherine He -
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