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School Geography Trip to Beijing and Shanghai

On a geography school trip to Beijing and Shanghai your students will explore the ancient and modern sides of the world’s most populous country!

By visiting both Beijing and Shanghai, your students will be able to compare two very different cities. They’ll experience the old China, which developed from one of the world’s earliest civilisations to a powerful empire with its influence stretching as far as Europe and Africa along the Silk Road. And they’ll also experience modern China, which is home to one of the world’s fastest-growing economies.

There will be plenty of opportunities to see how the Chinese have exploited natural features for human use. And you’ll see how Old China’s reliance on agriculture led to the power being centred inland, around the fertile northern plains. And how economic power has since shifted to ports such as Shanghai, as exports have become increasingly more important.

Tour highlights
Sample itinerary
What's included
Tiananmen Square, Beijing

Visit Tiananmen Square!

Tiananmen Square is named after the Gate of Heavenly Peace (Tiananmen in Chinese) which links the square to the Forbidden City, and which is famous for displaying a portrait of Chairman Mao.

Despite its name, the square has seen turbulent times, making it a key site in Chinese history, particularly during the 20th century.

As well as the Tiananmen itself, the square contains a number of other important sights, including the Monument to the People’s Heroes, the Great Hall of the People, the National Museum of China and the Mausoleum of Mao Zedong.

Did you know? Every day at sunrise a flag-raising ceremony takes place. Soldiers from the People’s Liberation Army march through the Gate of Heavenly Peace across Dong Chang An Jie at approximately 108 paces per minute, with each pace measuring around 75cm!

Forbidden City, Beijing

Explore the Forbidden City!

This spectacular palace complex lies at the heart of Beijing and consists of 980 surviving buildings.

The largest building in the complex is the Hall of Supreme Harmony. Once the tallest building in the city, it was used for state occasions, such as the emperor’s birthday. The focal point of the building is the impressive Dragon Throne, which sits on a 2m high white jade dais and is backed by carved gilt screens.

The world’s largest collection of well-preserved medieval wooden structures, the Forbidden City is a magnificent example of traditional Chinese architecture and is rich in symbolism, with plenty of dragons, phoenixes and lions on roofs of the most important buildings for prosperity and good fortune.

Did you know? The Forbidden City is the largest palace complex in the world and is three times the size of the Louvre!

Summer Palace, Beijing

Visit the Summer Palace!

One of the most beautiful royal parks in the world, Beijing’s Summer Palace is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is home to 3,000 man-made structures.

The tallest building in the complex, the Tower of Buddhist Incense stands atop Longevity Hill, looking out over Kunming Lake.

Other well-known attractions include the impressive Marble Boat, a lakeside pavilion in the shape of a European-style paddle steamer, and the colourful Long Corridor, constructed to provide the Emperor’s mother with a covered walkway to ensure she could enjoy a walk in the gardens while protected by the elements.

Did you know? The Four Great Regions, a series of temples that are architecturally quite different to the rest of the park, were modelled on the Samye Monastery in Tibet, the first gompa (Buddhist monastery) built in the country.

Day 1
Evening Flight to Beijing
Day 2

Arrive in Beijing

Meet guide and transfer to accommodation

Afternoon Visit the Summer Palace with optional boat ride on the lake
Evening Free evening
Day 3
Morning Visit the Temple of Heaven and Tiananmen Square
Afternoon Visit the Forbidden City
Evening Free evening
Day 4
Morning Full-day tour starting with a photo stop at the Beijing Olympic Stadium
Afternoon Continue on to the Great Wall of China and the Ming Tombs
Evening Free evening
Day 5
Morning Visit Beijing Zoo to see the Panda House
Afternoon Visit the Lama Temple and take a ride through the Hutongs of Beijing
Evening Overnight train to Shanghai
Day 6

Arrive Shanghai

Meet guide and transfer to visits

Afternoon Visit the Yuyan Garden and Jade Buddha Temple
Evening Visit the Bund
Day 7
Morning Visit the Oriental Pearl TV Tower and the Shanghai Museum
Afternoon Visit the People Square and Shanghai Urban Planning Exhibition Hall
Evening Free evening with optional river cruise on your last night in China
Day 8
Morning Return flight to the UK
Afternoon Arrive back in the UK


  • tick icon6 nights' half-board accommodation (breakfast and lunch daily)
  • tick iconAirport taxes and passenger duty at current rates
  • tick iconAirport transfers in resort
  • tick iconATOL protected return flights from the UK
  • tick iconComprehensive travel and medical insurance
  • tick iconDetailed information pack
  • tick iconEnglish-speaking guide
  • tick iconFree staff place ratio 1:10
  • tick iconItinerary planning service
  • tick iconOvernight train between Beijing and Shanghai
  • tick iconVamoos travel app - giving you access to all your trip documents on your phone or tablet
  • tick iconVAT at current rates to tour operators
  • tick iconVisits and entrance fees as per the sample itinerary


Forbidden City

Forbidden City

The Forbidden City stands in the centre of Beijing as a monument to the city’s imperial history and rich cultural… Read more

Huangpu River Cruise

Huangpu River Cruise

The Huangpu River (Huangpu Jiang) is the city's shipping artery both to the East China Sea and to the mouth of the Ya… Read more

Jade Buddha Temple

Jade Buddha Temple

Although not a particularly old temple (it was re-built in 1928 after the first temple was destroyed in the revolution … Read more

Oriental Pearl TV Tower

Oriental Pearl TV Tower

The Oriental Pearl Tower is Shanghai’s most recognisable landmark and sits opposite the Bund in Pudong Park. A TV… Read more

Shanghai Museum

Shanghai Museum

The Shanghai Museum is located in People’s Square and, although a modern building, encompasses some of the… Read more

Summer Palace

Summer Palace

Beijing’s Summer Palace is one of the loveliest royal parks you are ever likely to set your eyes on. Created in … Read more

Temple of Heaven

Temple of Heaven

The Temple of Heaven is a stunning complex of religious buildings located to the south of the Forbidden City and Tiana… Read more

The Bund

The Bund

The Shanghai Bund has dozens of historical buildings lining the Huangpu River, that once housed numerous banks and … Read more

The Great Wall of China

The Great Wall of China

The Great Wall of China stretches 5,500 miles across northern China, from Shanhaiguan in the eastern province of Hebei, … Read more

Tiananmen Square

Tiananmen Square

Tiananmen Square is instantly recognisable to all as a symbol of the People’s Republic of China. The gate, after… Read more

Yuyuan Garden

Yuyuan Garden

Yuyuan Garden, a place of peace and comfort in the heart of bustling Shanghai, dates back to the fabled Ming Dynasty.… Read more

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Beijing Feitian Hotel
Dongfang Hotel
Holiday Inn Putuo Shanghai
Beijing Feitan Hotel

The Feitian Hotel is located close to the city's central business district, approximately 6km from the Forbidden City. The Jingsong subway station is close to the hotel, offering easy access to the rest of the city. There are two restaurants - one specialising in Chinese cuisine and the other in Western cuisine. There is also a teahouse, coffeehouse and bar. 

Dongfang Hotel

The Dongfang Hotel offers 288 rooms in a refurbished 1918 historic building of four connected wings. There is an indoor swimming pool and tennis court, fitness room and sauna. Restaurants offer a range of International and Asian cuisine.

Guestrooms are clean and spacious, with plenty of natural light. Amenities include private balconies, cable/satellite TVs, minibars with refrigerators, air conditioning, desks with direct-dial phones, and complimentary high-speed Internet. All rooms also have coffee/tea makers, bottled water, and in-room safes. Bathrooms provide slippers, hair dryers, and shower/tub combinations.

Holiday Inn Putuo Shanghai

The Holiday Inn Putuo offers comfortable guestrooms and suites. The rooms are reasonably spacious and certain rooms have a wonderful view of the city skyline from this hotel.

Facilities available include colour television with cable connection, International Direct Dialing telephone, work desk with lamp, mini bars and coffee making facilities amongst others.


Oldfield School, February 2019

I can’t think of any recommendations for improvement. This was another outstanding trip from Halsbury and reminded me why we always book with your company!

Need help?

Zoe Campbell - Tour Adviser

Don’t hesitate to contact me for any advice or further information on how your school trip can be tailored to your requirements.

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