An itinerary that uncovers a country with a fascinating and troubled history, from ancient dynasties to imperial China to Communism, here’s our History school trip in China at a glance:
- Days 1-3 in Shanghai: Shanghai Museum, The Bund, Lujiazui (financial district), Pearl TV Tower, Shanghai Urban Planning Museum, Yu Yuan Gardens, Yu Yuan Bazaar, Huangpu River cruise, Former French Concession, Propaganda Poster Museum, fast train to Nanjing, historical film screening
- Day 4 in Nanjing: Nanjing Massacre Museum, city walls, Zhonghua Gate, Confucius temple, Qinhuai river
- Days 5-6 in Xi’an: city walls biking, dance performance, Terracotta Warriors, calligraphy lesson, Muslim Quarter market, night train to Beijing
- Days 7-9 in Beijing: hutong tour, Mao-era restaurant, Tiananmen Square, Forbidden City, Jingshan Park, Great Wall, acrobatics show, kung fu lesson, Temple of Heaven, Old Summer Palace
Like what you see? Discover the fascinating and troubled history of China in our detailed itinerary below! But remember, all our school trips are completely customisable.
*Prices based on groups of 20 students and 2 free teachers.
✓ All accommodation costs
✓ Full board meals for the entire trip
✓ All transportation costs, including airport pick-up and drop-off
✓ All activities listed in the itinerary
✓ 1 free teacher per 10 paying students
✓ 24-hour emergency contact support during the trip
✓ Detailed pre-departure summary & briefing
✓ Full financial failure protection
✓ Public liability insurance
✓ Our trips are fully risk-assessed
Day 1: Shanghai’s Glitz and Glamour
Step off the plane and jump on the transfer to your city accommodation. On the way, listen up as you get some general knowledge about Shanghai.
After you’ve settled in, introduce yourself to Shanghai’s history with Chinese artifacts in Shanghai museum. Take a walk around The Bund and learn about China’s rapid urban development from your guide.
Day 2: Shake Hands with Old Shanghai
On your first morning in China, you’re taking a tour of Shanghai’s fancy financial district, Lujiazui. Head up the Pearl TV Tower for a view of the whole city you’re about to explore. Don’t forget to stop in at the Shanghai Urban Planning Museum, just under the Pearl Tower, too.
For lunch, try Shanghai’s famous Xiao Long Bao dumplings. Send us a snap on Twitter if you want to be on the receiving end of some serious food envy! Once you’ve refueled, take a chilled afternoon strolling around the Yu Yuan Gardens to learn more about Chinese garden art. Yu in Chinese means pleasing and satisfying – and you’ll see why. Think lush greenery, serene waters and ornate pavilions. Then, try local delicacies or pick up some last-minute souvenirs at the Yu Yuan Bazaar, the heart of old Shanghai.
Enjoy an evening cruise on the Huangpu River to witness Shanghai’s stunning skyline.
Day 3: Colonialism, Communism
Start your day off with a 2-hour walking tour of the Former French Concession’s Art Street to learn about colonial Shanghai. Discover colonial mansions and hear the who-what-where-when-why of the formation of the French Concession. Visit quirky cafés and hip restaurants, concept bars and eclectic breweries, pop-up boutiques and experimental art galleries. Then, learn about China’s communist history at the underground Propaganda Poster Museum.
Leave Shanghai for Nanjing – you’re taking a fast train, so you’ll be there in an hour to watch the film ‘Nanjing, Nanjing’ in the evening. It will give you an introductory understanding of the history and background of the city.
Day 4: Nanjing
Spend the morning at Nanjing Massacre Museum to find out about the atrocities of war.
Then, head outside after lunch to explore the ancient city walls, Zhonghua Gate and the Confucius temple.
Take a leisurely walk along the serene waters of the Qinhuai river, also known as the mother-river of Nanjing.
Day 5: Ancient Xi’an
Jet off on a 2-hour flight. Hit the ground running (or cycling) with a bike ride around the top of Xi’an’s ancient city walls. Look over the city and try to spot the next few locations you’re visiting.
At dinner, sample the unique flavours of Hui Muslim food, before finishing the day off with a Tang Dynasty dance and music performance.
Day 6: Terracotta Warriors
No trip to Xi’an would be complete without heading out of the city and delving into the ancient past of the Terracotta Warriors. Thousands of terracotta warriors were buried with the emperor, as there was a belief that they would come alive and protect him in the afterlife.
Spend the rest of your afternoon taking a calligraphy lesson at a local museum and exploring the Muslim Quarter market.
That’s it, tick Xi’an off your bucket list! Take advantage of the 13 hours on the night train to get some rest so that you’re ready to start Beijing right.
Day 7: Authentic Beijing
Save the tourist hotspots for later. First, you’re learning about Beijing through the eyes of a local. Go on a 2-hour guided walking tour through one of Beijing’s ancient hutong areas. Hutongs are the traditional courtyard-based residential streets of Beijing and will give you a real insight into local life.
You’ve been up and about the whole morning, so take it easy at a teahouse where you can experience a Chinese tea ceremony.
Treat yourself to lunch at a Mao-era themed restaurant, complete with propaganda posters, communist imagery and, of course, great food.
Once you’ve eaten your weight in Chinese food, learn about China’s fascinating imperial history at Tiananmen Square and the Forbidden City. The Forbidden City is the world’s largest imperial palace and has been the home of 24 emperors! Stroll out to the former imperial gardens, Jingshan Park, for spectacular panoramic views of Beijing.
Day 8: The Great Wall, minus the crowds
Make your way to the outskirts of the city and take a 2-3-hour hike to a secluded and fantastically beautiful section of the Great Wall. This is one of the most famous sites in the world – but we know China’s ins and outs, so today we’re sidestepping the big tourist crowds.
It’s been an active day, so sit back and relax. It’s time to get inspired at a spectacular acrobatics show.
Day 9: Imperial China
Start the day bright and early with a kung fu lesson in the park. Then continue on to the Temple of Heaven to admire classic imperial Chinese architecture.
After lunch, check out the Old Summer Palace, a unique imperial garden with a troubled history. It was destroyed by the British and French armies during the Second Opium war, and now, only ruins remain.
There’s no better goodbye to Beijing than a magnificent Peking roast duck banquet for dinner – Peking is the romanized name for Beijing.
Day 10: Bye, Beijing!
It’s home time, but it’s not over. China’s history will follow you back to the classroom….and beyond.