Shang Hai Huan Ying N!
Shanghai, a city that evokes history, glam and exotic promises all while being one of the world’s booming financial capitals, is a breathtaking destination to visit. A treasure chest of gastronomic delicacies, streets that bustle with art, futuristic skylines – yet a mystical ode to the past all make it a surprisingly creative city with so much to see and do.
Being in Shanghai isn’t about checking off lists of things to do and top attractions, it’s about walking amidst the neck-craning architecture, savoring the bustling streets and the energy, and indulging in the entertainment that the city has to offer.
Today – Now
PLANNING & BOOKING
The dreaded part of any vacation - planning! Every savvy traveler knows that it’s always better to plan and book early in advance to bag those irresistible bargains. Not only do you get to save up to 25% on flight and hotel prices, but you also get to never settle for second-best! Lower flight prices, room deals and early bird discounts are only some of the many benefits of booking your tickets, excursions and accommodation early on. We recommend planning and booking 3 to 6 months in advance – a surefire way to have a worry-free pre-holiday buzz when the time to travel is near!
Unforgettable Moments - Shanghai Highlights
While you’ll be nestled among some of the world’s tallest skyscrapers, and visiting luxury stores, eating at fancy restaurants and splurging at malls, you’ll also find yourself enamored by the traditional water towns, traditional lane houses, and historical museums. Shanghai will take you on diverse journeys through different architectural attractions, temples, and a rich history!
Day 1: Arrival + Getting Acquainted
Welcome to Shanghai!
You’ll be arriving at the Shanghai Pudong International Airport and you’ll be able to get to the center either by airport shuttle, metro, taxi or a car rental.
· The Shanghai Metro Line 2 will take you to People’s Square in 70 minutes and will cost 7 RMB.
· You can also take the Shanghai Maglev Train that will take you 8 minutes and will cost around 50 RMB.
· The taxi will take you about an hour and will cost RMB 22.
Start your day by exploring the Huangpu District, or the Bund. This is the most famous street in Shanghai, a promenade that bustles with an unparalleled energy and a great place to experience different types of architecture – from Romanesque, to gothic to Baroque.
There is a beautiful juxtaposition between English and French buildings, a plethora of restaurants, hotels, and a great place to start your sightseeing in Shanghai. The grandiose curve ends in the city’s heart – People’s Square – where museums blend effortlessly with skyscrapers.
Once you’ve walked the Bund, head over to M on the Bund, one of the most popular and highest rated restaurants in Shanghai. It’s not the culinary delights that you’ll be served that make this place special, it’s the experience they take you on. The restaurant overlooks the entirety of Shanghai and you’ll be met with awe-inspiring views of most of the top attractions.
After you’ve gotten your energy fix, take the Huangpu River Cruise. It’ll be the perfect way to get acquainted with the city and all it has to offer from the water – you’ll be cruising amidst extraordinary attractions, taking in the scenery along the river and watching the sunset slowly color the skyscrapers with orange and red hues. If you’d rather explore the sights differently, you can take the Bund Sightseeing Tunnel that will captivate you with multimedia effects and will take you through a virtual journey of all attractions.
Finish off your day by having a glass of champagne at the Cloud 9. This bar offers sweeping vistas of Shanghai, incredible Asian snacks and five-star service.
Day Two: Jingan District
Start your day by being perched on top of the 91st floor of the Shanghai World Financial Center while indulging in an incredible breakfast buffet and enjoying a kitchen show by top master chefs.
After breakfast, head to the city’s beating heart – The People’s Square. Spend your morning enjoying the Shanghai Museum and make sure to give yourself some time to check out the Shanghai Urban Planning Exhibition Center! It’s the first of its kind in China and you’ll learn a lot about how Shanghai became the skyscraper-haven of Asia.
A must visit while you’re in Shanghai is the Oriental Park Radio and TV Tower. Built in 1991, the tower’s main attraction is the glass-floored observation deck that will give you sweeping views of the busy river, the city, and the Bund promenade.
Take a taxi to the M50 Art District, the city’s heart for creatives and art-lovers. The labyrinth of art galleries, exhibitions and museums will leave you inspired, and appreciative of the booming creative scene of Shanghai.
There will be a lot of galleries there, but our top 3 favorites are Chronus Art Center (for unique and fun exhibitions), Island7 (for multimedia artwork), and Vanguard Gallery (for impressive photography and paintings)
Grab lunch in the relax Bandu Cabin, and enjoy one of their regular live music performances. Your last stop for the day will be the Jing’An Temple. Beautifully perched amongst gleaming skyscrapers, you’ll find a traditional Chinese temple that embodies Chinese architecture and culture and contrasts the modernity of the rest of the city perfectly. There are two major halls that you can explore if you want to get inside.
You can’t be in Shanghai without catching an ERA Acrobatic Show – a blend between traditional Chinese acrobatics and LED lights and modern technology.
If you still don’t feel like going back to your hotel, a visit to Cotton Club would be perfect! Frequented by celebrities, this bar hosts some of the best live jazz in Shanghai and has a huge list of drinks you can choose from
Day 3:The French Concession Area
We’re all guilty of indulging in breakfast buffets while traveling, but a casual brunch at Kaiba Taphouse is so worth it. Their “eggs and kegs” brunch deal is enough to get you out of bed, and enjoy the indulgent meals on their Taikang Terrace. Head towards Taikang Road Art Centre; an enclave for craft stores, quirky boutiques, shops, and trendy stores.
If you want to get a gist of the historical and cultural legacies of the city of Shanghai, then definitely visit Xin Tian Di. This pedestrian street boasts an incredibly appealing architectural style and perfectly blends old and new. There are also enough cafes, boutiques and galleries to keep you entertained for a few hours.
Spend the rest of your afternoon at the French Concession, the most beautiful street in Shanghai. Start your experience with a freshly brewed coffee at Baker and Spice then indulge in some shopping at one of the hundreds of stores there.
If you’d rather explore than shop, a visit to the Soong Ching Ling Memorial Residence will be the perfect journey back in time to pre-revolutionary China. You can also visit Zhang Leping Museum – an entire museum dedicated to cartoon art.
We recommend dining at Las Tapas for some European food.
The Shanghai Symphony Orchestra Hall will be the perfect ending to your day. Check out their schedules to see if you can catch a performance there.
Day 4: Day trip to Hangzhou!
Hangzhou is one of the most scenic destinations in China, with the West Lake on its own requiring at least a full day of exploration. You’ll feel like you’ve gone on an absolutely striking gateway, and the natural scenery will perfectly contrast the futuristic vibe of Shanghai. Take the high-speed rail from Shanghai Hongqiao Railway Station and you’ll be there in as little as 45 minutes.
Go there as early as you can. Start off your day by walking around the West Lake and if you’re lucky, you might run into the infamous street performers – from Kung-fu experts to dancing ladies!
Have breakfast at Steamhouse for some delicious handmade dumplings, and then make your way to the Lingyin Temple – one of the oldest in China. If you want to truly indulge yourself in Chinese culture, then there’s no better place to do that that in Hefang Street. Souvenirs, street food, Chinese medicine, home-grown teas, and much more.
Stop at the China Art Museum before lunch to check out the artifacts and pieces exuding Chinese traditions, and then have lunch at Longjing Manor for authentic cuisine straight from Hangzhou. It’s not just the cuisine that will have you falling in love, but the surrounding tea fields and beautiful views will perfectly add to the atmosphere.
Visit the Leifeng Pagoda and marvel at the architecture of the structure, and then head straight back to the lake to catch a boat. A sunset cruise will be the perfect way to truly be fascinated by the scenic city.
If you still have time, book a ticket to Hangzhou Impressions, a show that it performed on the lake itself!
Day Five: Pudong district.
Indulge on some excellent French cuisine at Jade on 36, and then get ready to explore the bizarre architecture and bustling vibe of Pudong. Start your day by walking the Bund but from the Pudong side, until you reach the Shanghai Municipal History Museum. This is by far one of the most entertaining museums in Shanghai and perfectly captures the atmosphere of old Shanghai with life-like wax figures, artifacts, and exhibits.
A lot of people don’t venture as far as Hongkou, but we believe it’s the perfect place to get a sense of historical China. Start by walking down Duolon Road – the cultural and historical street of Shanghai, and browse through the hundreds of galleries, teahouses, shops, and more.
A little further down the street you’ll find Hongde Temple – a church built in Chinese style.
Walk and shop along Nanjing Road, the busiest shopping street in Shanghai and the perfect place to start a bar hopping adventure!
Day Six: Water Towns.
The water towns are as quintessentially Chinese as Shanghai can get. After having breakfast at Osteria, head towards Wuzhen, one of the most popular water towns in China. Start by exploring the East Scenic Zone with its multitude of museums. We recommend checking out incredible examples of ancient beds that date back to the 13th century at The Ancient Bed Museum, then learning about the wine-brewing Chinese culture at the Wine Distillery Workshop.
For your final stop at the East Scenic Zone, check out the Folk Customs Museums where you will learn about the interesting traditions and customs of the Wuzhen area.
Head over the West Scenic Zone, and enjoy the water market, the silk workshops, and the Chinese Foot-Binding Culture Museum.
Spend your last evening reveling in the tranquil atmosphere of Judy’s Too among designers, artists and celebrities that all come here to enjoy the live music and incredible drinks.ccc
Day 7: Zàijiàn Shanghai!
We recommend taking the latest flight out of Shanghai so you can explore a little bit more. If you do have time, we recommend going to Nanjing for some final shopping and eating!
Other places to check out include:
The Jade Buddha Temple