Code: BJ-T02

Beijing 1-Day Tour: Temple of Heaven & Summer Palace

Here is a recommended itinerary for your 1-day Beijing independent tour, which leads to the Temple of Heaven and the Summer Palace.
Temple of Heaven
First, you may take Beijing subway line 5 to Tiantan Dongmen Station. Take Exit A2, you will see the entrance of the park of Temple of Heaven in front of you. Or you can take bus 6, 34, 35, 39, 41, 43, 60, 72, 116, 128, 525, 623 or 684 to Fahuasi stop. After alighting, walk south along Tiantan Road for 150 yards to the East Gate of the Temple of Heaven.

As one of the top attractions of Beijing City, the Temple of Heaven used to be the sacred site for emperors to worship the Heaven and pray for good harvest for their people. You can not only admire elaborate architecture of the altar, but also trace the wisdom of ancient China. Circular Mound Altar and Hall of Prayer for Good Harvests stand apart facing each other. The Echo Wall and Three Echo Stones are ingenious in design, and you should have a try to experience the miracle of sound. Nearby local citizens like to do some morning exercises in the park, such as dancing, practicing opera, doing Tai Chi, and practicing swords. There you get a chance to know about the old Beijingers' daily life. To tour the whole park, you are advised to follow this itinerary: East Gate → Hall of Prayer for Good Harvests → Danbi Bridge → Imperial Vault of Heaven → Echo Wall → Three Echo Stones → Circular Mound Altar → South Divine Kitchen → Palace of Abstinence → Flower Garden → North Gate.
After you leave from the North Gate, you can continue with the second half of this 1-day Beijing independent tour to Summer Palace. Please walk north straight along the Qinian Street for 550 yards, and turn west for another 150 yards forward to Qiaowan Subway Station. There you could take subway line 7 to Caishikou Station, and interchange with line 4 to Beigongmen. Take Exit D and walk westward for 250 yards, you will reach the north entrance of the Summer Palace.
Kunming Lake in Summer Palace
The Summer Palace is one of the largest and best-preserved imperial gardens in China, which was the summer resort for the royal families during Ming and Qing Dynasties (1368 - 1911). It attracts numerous tourists with its enchanting natural scenery and delicate architectures. As the park is quite large, you are suggested to purchase a map before entry. The highlights of the palace include the Tower of Buddhist Incense, Long Gallery, Marble Boat, Suzhou Market Street, Seventeen-Arch Bridge, and Garden of Harmonious Interests. In summer days, it would be interesting to rent a boat to tour the Kunming Lake and appreciate the lotus flowers.

Here is a recommended tour itinerary of the Summer Palace: North Palace Gate → Suzhou Market Street → Four Great Regions → Tower of the Buddhist Incense → Hall of Dispelling Clouds → Long Gallery → Marble Boat → Nanhu Island (by boat) →Seventeen-Arch Bridge → Bronze Ox → East Causeway of Kunming Lake → Tower of Literary Prosperity → Hall of Jade Ripples, Yiyun House → Hall of Joyful Longevity → Garden of Virtue and Harmony → Hall of Benevolence and Longevity → East Palace Gate. The whole sightseeing takes about 4-5 hours.
This one-day Beijing independent tour comes to an end at this point. You can either take a public bus in front of the East Palace Gate of Summer Palace or go along Tongqing Street to take subway line 4 at Xiyuan Station to leave.

 Recommended Guided Tours: 
    Beijing One-Day Tours from $59 per person

 Other Independent Beijing 1-Day Tours:
    Badaling & Sacred Way: day trip to Badaling Great Wall and Sacred Way of the Ming Tombs 
    Wandering around Tiananmen Square: day trip to the National Museum, Forbidden City and Jingshan Park
    Lugou Bridge: one day to Wanping City, Lugou Bridge...