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China Cultural & Transition Yr School Trips & Tours

A cultural tour of China will be the experience of a lifetime for many students. The diverse mix of historical landmarks, incredible scenery and interactive Chinese experiences reveal the rich and long history of one of the oldest civilisations in the world that’s now re-inventing itself for the 21st century.

As many aspects of Chinese life are so different from that in the UK and Ireland, a transition year or a tour to China will help to give students an appreciation of different cultures and lifestyles.  

Sample itinerary

Our sample itinerary provides you with an idea of the visits you can cover during your trip. We can tailor-make an itinerary to support your specific learning outcomes.

Morning Afternoon Evening
1 Overnight flight from Ireland
2 Arrive Beijing & meet your guides Transfer to hotel & check in. Temple of Heaven Peking Duck Banquet at your hotel
3 Full day visit to the Great Wall of China, the Sacred Road & the Ming Tombs Traditional Tea Ceremony
4 Tiananmen Square & the Forbidden City Behai Park & Rickshaw ride around the Hutongs Kung Fu Show
5 The Summer Palace and Beijing Zoo Panda House Shopping at local market Chinese Acrobat Show
6 Transfer to airport for return flight to Ireland Arrive Ireland
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Afternoon Overnight flight from Ireland
Morning Arrive Beijing & meet your guides
Afternoon Transfer to hotel & check in. Temple of Heaven
Evening Peking Duck Banquet at your hotel
Morning Full day visit to the Great Wall of China, the Sacred Road & the Ming Tombs
Afternoon Traditional Tea Ceremony
Morning Tiananmen Square & the Forbidden City
Afternoon Behai Park & Rickshaw ride around the Hutongs
Evening Kung Fu Show
Morning The Summer Palace and Beijing Zoo Panda House
Afternoon Shopping at local market
Evening Chinese Acrobat Show
Morning Transfer to airport for return flight to Ireland
Afternoon Arrive Ireland

On-tour support

On-tour support includes...

  • Services of a See Off Representative at your departure airport

Top visits for cultural trips in China

Great Wall of China

Take your group for a walk along a section of the Great Wall of China, one of the greatest wonders of the world, which was listed as a World Heritage by UNESCO in 1987. It winds up and down across deserts, grasslands, mountains and plateaus, stretching approximately 21,196 kilometres from east to west of China.

With a history of more than 2,500 years, some of the sections are now in ruins or have disappeared. However, it is still one of the most appealing attractions all around the world owing to its architectural grandeur and historical significance and is definitely an attraction not to be missed.

Liumingying village

This traditional Chinese village gives your group an insight into the hard reality of life outside the big cities. Your students can visit villagers in their homes and see the hard work that goes into producing their organic food.

Ming Tombs

Not far from Beijing City, at the foot of Tianshou Mountain, is the Ming Tombs, where lie the mausoleums of thirteen emperors of the Ming Dynasty (1368 - 1644). Since 1409 when Zhu Di, the first emperor of the Ming Dynasty, built his Changling Tomb here, the succeeding twelve emperors had their tombs built around Changling during the next 230 years, covering a total area of over 120 square kilometers (46.3 square miles). This is the best preserved tomb area with the most emperors buried. Every year millions of tourists come to the site to appreciate its long history and palatial architecture.

Summer Palace

Situated in the Haidian District northwest of Beijing city, the Summer Palace is 15 kilometres from central Beijing. Being the largest and most well-preserved royal park in China, it greatly influences Chinese horticulture and landscape with its famous natural views and cultural interests, which also has long since been recognised as 'The Museum of Royal Gardens'.

Temple of Heaven

The Temple of Heaven is located in southern Beijing. It was first constructed in 1420, the 18th year of the reign of Ming emperor Yongle and was extended and renovated during the reigns of Ming emperor Jiajing and Qing emperor Qianlong.It was the place where the emperors of the Ming and Qing dynasties would worship the god of heaven and pray for good harvest. Covering an area of 273 hectares, it is the largest architectural complex in the world for rituals to pay homage to heaven.

Tiananmen Square & The Forbidden City

Located at the centre of Beijing city is the remarkable Tiananmen Square, your students will gain an appreciation of the cultural diversity the city has to offer.  You can visit the Tiananmen Tower, Monument to the People's Heroes, Great Hall of the People, Chairman Mao Zedong Memorial Hall and see the national flag raising ceremony. The square was the front door to the forbidden city and is a must place to visit in Beijing City.


Xian offers opportunities to study cultural diversity and observe tourism impact and management strategies. Marvel over the Terracotta Army, dating from 210BC and discovered in 1974. Make a short visit to the Huaqing Hot Spring before spending time at the Big Wild Goose Pagoda, a well-preserved ancient building and a holy place for Buddhists. Spend time exploring the Muslim Quarter or cycling along the top of the city walls. You could even enjoy the Tang Dynasty Show, which past groups have said makes a great evening activity.



Shanghai’s rapid economic development perfectly exemplifies the issue of globalisation, and also links to studies of world cities, urbanisation and development. Visit the Oriental Pearl TV Tower, Pudong’s special economic zone, China’s busiest shopping street, Naying Lu, and People’s Square where Tai Chi is performed at sunrise. The Jade Buddha Temple and the Yuyuan Gardens are also excellent visits. Why not end your day with a fantastic evening cruise on the Huangpu River!


An ancient city with a 2,500 year history! Visit the Humble Administrator’s Garden and the silk factory. A short cruise on the Grand Canal will fascinate your students as they observe the river life and this amazing city from an ideal viewpoint.

Beijing Zoo

One of the oldest zoos in China, with one of the largest collections of animals, Beijing Zoo has over six million visitors each year. Best known for its pandas, the zoo also houses several other endangered animals.

Chinese Acrobat Show

Chinese acrobatics covers anything from gymnastics and animal tricks to juggling and magic. The performances are spectacular and students will be talking about them for years to come.

Cookery session

Your local guide will give you some information about Chinese cuisines, then, in the kitchen of a local restaurant, the chef will show you how to cook Chinese dishes and how to make dumplings. Through this cooking lesson, you will learn the basic recipes, cutting skills, seasonings, and you will also get the chance to make your own dishes.


Take your students on an exciting and interesting shopping trip.

Chinese School Cultural Visit

Take this unique chance for UK students to learn about Chinese educational and cultural differences. On a three-hour visit, your students will share information about their life and school with local students. They will take an activity class together followed by a tour of the campus, before a chance to exchange contact details and gifts.

Kindergarten Visit

On request, we can also arrange for your group to visit a local nursery to gain an understanding of children's lives at an earlier age.


Local Hutong in Beijing

Hutong is an ancient city alleyway or lane typical of ancient Beijing. Your local guide will introduce you to several interesting old hutongs in the Houhai area and to a local hutong family. Your group can have lunch with the local residents and have a short talk.

Olympic Stadium

The Beijing National Stadium, known colloquially as the Bird’s Nest, was the spectacular setting for the 2008 Olympic and Paralympic Games. Students can tour this large steel structure while your guide shares their own memories of the games and the legacy the games have left behind.

Painting session

First you will be introduced to the different painting styles in different times of Chinese history in a local art gallery. Then, everybody will get a brush pen and rice paper and learn some basic strokes of Chinese calligraphy. The local art teacher will show you the basic skills of Chinese painting, like drawing a panda and Chinese bamboo.

Peking Duck Banquet

A famous dish from Beijing and one that has been served since the Imperial era. Your students can enjoy this delicacy and get a real taste of China.

The Legend Kung Fu Show

Chinese martial arts have been practised for over 4,000 years and over the years have developed into a number of styles. This show showcases a spectacle of modern dance and traditional arts to provide a truly unique performance.

Evening activites

  • Chinese Acrobats show (Beijing)
  • Peking Opera (Beijing)
  • Kung-Fu show (Beijing)
  • Huangpu river cruise (Shanghai)
  • Tang Dynasty show (Xian)


We offer flights from a variety of departure airports and we’ll work with you to plan your route at the best value possible.


Giving you full support throughout

Before your tour

  • Your own dedicated NST contact
  • Bespoke tour itineraries
  • Unrivalled local knowledge & expertise
  • Curriculum linked visit programmes
  • Great value for money - no hidden costs
  • Free group leader inspection visits
  • Risk assessment guidance
  • Safety assured, transport, accommodation and visits

Whilst you're away

  • Free educational resources
  • Group-friendly accommodation
  • Exceptional standards of coaching
  • On-tour support from our reps on the ground
  • Support & assistance from our specialists guides throughout your tour
  • 24/7 support just a call away
  • Extensive group travel insurance

On your return

  • Priority rebooking services
  • Rewarding your loyalty with our reward scheme
  • You say, we listen - we're committed to continuously improving our tours
  • School travel company of choice since 1996