Stroll ancient alleyways, inhale the incense fumes of historic temples, and ride a rickshaw through the city streets on this 8-hour private tour of Beijing. You'll visit the Lama Temple and the Confucius Temple, see the Drum Tower and Bell Tower, and explore Nanluoguxiang, Back Lakes, and a local family's hutong home.
Enjoy a leisurely breakfast before meeting your private guide at your Beijing hotel by 9am.It's a short drive into the center to visit the Lama Temple, the most famous Tibetan Buddhist temple outside Tibet. Built as an imperial palace, it became a lamasery in 1744 and is home to stunning Buddha sculptures, including one supposedly carved from a single piece of sandalwood. Soak up the atmosphere as your guide explains the role of Buddhism in Chinese culture before you stroll around the corner to learn about another of China's great religious systems, Confucianism, and its philosopher founder, Confucius. This Confucius Temple is the second largest in all of China, and the Imperial College next door was the epicenter of learning in late imperial China. Ask your guide if there are any specific dishes you'd like to try for lunch: they'll recommend a restaurant to suit your budget and palate. After lunch, you'll ride a rickshaw through historic hutong, narrow alleyways lined with low courtyard houses, and visit a local family's home, before seeing the Bell Tower and Drum Tower. Once the tallest buildings in Beijing, these ancient structures were used to tell the time: should you wish, you can climb up and see the giant bell and museum of timepieces they contain (own expense). From here, explore the colorful warren of streets around Nanluoguxiang, a vibrant street lined with snack shops and boutiques, before walking to the Back Lakes (Shichahai) area, which is buzzing with lively bars and restaurants. You'll be dropped back at your hotel by 5pm.