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One-Day Shanghai Essence and Water Village Tour

View Shanghai in three ways in one day: From a super-tall skyscraper: Skip the lines at the amazing World Financial Center and view shanghai from on high. By ancient waterway: Take a sculling boat through Zhujiajiao Water Village. Walking between past and future: Wander along the unique bund and discover the old and new faces of Shanghai's colonial and 21st century buildings.

Tour Highlights

  • A visit to Zhujiajiao Water Village to experience ancient watertown in Jiangnan.
  • A unique walk along the bund discovering the old and new face of 17 most representative buildings.
  • A view of all the great buildings of Shanghai from the 55-meter-long skywalk on the 100th floor of the World Financial Center.
  • Go beyond surface appearances with insider narration on attractions.

The Design of the Day Trip

  • Guide: better than a normal licensed tour guide; friendly and helpful with fluent English
  • Driver: reliable licensed local driver with at least 5 years' driving experience
  • Vehicle: Air-conditioned business car (max: 7 seats) with GPS facilities, big windows, and ample space
  • Trippest Shanghai Office: English-speaking backup support - We are very happy to hear your voice
  • Professional product team analysis on every part of the trip to ensure a smooth and enjoyable travel experience.

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Detailed Itinerary

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The day before your tour date

The tour guide will contact you through hotel or leave a message for you regarding the exact pickup time the night before tour.

8:00 AM - 9:30 AMHotel Pick-Up and Journey to Zhujiajiao Water Village

On the morning of your tour, your guide will be waiting for you in the lobby at around 8:00 AM, holding a placard with the China Highlights / Trippest logo and your name on it. Show our confirmation letter and you will be guided to our vehicle.

Your guide will be waiting for you in the lobby Your guide will be waiting for you in the lobby

Note: the appointed pick-up times might be subject to change a little bit late due to local traffic conditions. Thanks for your patience and understanding. We will do our best to help you spend your precious time in interesting places.

Our comfortable car will transfer you and your guide to the 200-year-old 'water village', regarded as the best representative example of Yangtze River Delta lifestyle and architecture. (The journey is about 1 hour.)

Good to Know:

  • If you plan to leave Shanghai after your day tour, please check out from your hotel before departure. Normally it will take 10 to 20 minutes for hotel staff to complete the procedure. You may leave your luggage in our vehicle, and you can be transferred to the airport or train station straight after the tour to make best use of your time.
  • The hotel pick-up and drop-off area should be within the middle ring road of Shanghai. For further distance there might be an extra cost for the transfer. Your travel advisor will give you a notification about this.
9:30 AM – 11:30 AMExplore Zhujiajiao Water Village

In centuries past Zhujiajiao (/joo-jyaa-jyaoww/) was a trading area: the many canals were used to ferry products along in little boats and barges. Boats are still very much part of the charm of the place. Small boats are ubiquitous there, functioning as a nice way to get a view of the town and experience local life. See our cruise guide on Zhujiajiao.

Map of Zhujiajiao Watertown Map of Zhujiajiao Watertown

Zhujiajiao Watertown Zhujiajiao Watertown

It is recommended to take a gondola on the waterway to view the face of old town from a different angle at your pace. Your group will be 3 to 10 people, offering good flexibility. If you want some more time for taking photos, or you have more questions about the history and architecture, just let your guide know.

Taking a gondola on the waterway Taking a gondola on the waterway

A young lady at Zhujiajiao Watertown A young lady at Zhujiajiao Watertown

Making Zongzi Making Zongzi

Good to Know - Carefully-Selected Sights:

  • Your tour guide will help you explore three carefully-selected places along the waterway, recommended by our local experts, while other group tours only ride the waterway in a routine way.
  • Kezhi (/ker-jrr/) Garden at the northern edge of the old district on Xijing Street is a garden dating back to 1912. "Kezhi" means 'Study Plants', and the garden was a place to see and learn about plants. You can get some excellent pictures, for example of bright yellow rapeseed flowers, in Kezhi Garden.
  • The area consists of a main hall, a garden, and an artificial hill. The outstanding feature of the garden is a five-story building with a pavilion on its roof - the tallest structure in old Zhujiajiao.
  • Qing Dynasty Post Office: On Xihu (/sshee-hoo/ 'West Lake') Street there is a post office built in the Qing Dynasty (1644–1911), said to be the best preserved of its era in China. There are many exhibits: among them old letters written on bamboo and antique post cards of old Shanghai.
  • Fangsheng Bridge is one of the main attractions among the 36 ancient stone bridges, some only one yard wide. It was built in 1812, and is said to be the largest stone arch bridge in Shanghai, resting on five arches, about 70 meters long, and 5.8 meters tall.

Kezhi Garden Kezhi Garden

Qing Dynasty Post Office Qing Dynasty Post Office

11:30 AM - 12:30 PMLunch at a local restaurant (Not Included)

If you want to try some traditional Shanghai cuisines, we will take you to a nice local restaurant in the water village for a more enjoyable lunch.

The menu has been carefully selected by our product manager based on the tastes of customers from different corners in the world to ensure an agreeable gourmet experience. We would be very pleased to hear from you, and make a special arrangements, if you have any particular requests for food.

Lunch at a local restaurant Lunch at a local restaurant

12:30 PM – 4:00 PMAscend the World Financial Center

In the afternoon, travel 1 hour by car to the World Financial Center and go up to the 100th floor for spectacular views of the city.

It is the world's tenth tallest building (492 m), and the fifth tallest in Mainland China [2016]. The 100th floor has a viewing gallery 55 meters long - the third highest observation deck in China, after the Canton Tower and Shenzhen IFC, and fourth highest in the world (the Burj Khalifa's is highest) [2016].

As one of the most popular attractions in Shanghai, the World Financial Center receives many tourists every day. Usually people have to stand in a queue for at least half an hour! Your tour guide will buy the tickets on-line in advance so that you will NOT need to stand in a boring long queue.

In order to save your time and improve your experience, our product team have researched the best time of day to be 1:30 in the afternoon for 3 reasons: less people, brighter sunlight, and better views, especially on poorer air quality days.

Tall Building Ranking Tall Building Ranking

Top 3 tallest building in Shanghai Top 3 tallest building in Shanghai

A bird view from the World Financial Center A bird view from the World Financial Center

4:00 PM – 5:00 PMWalking on the Bund

Next we will drive you to the top scenic spot in Shanghai - the Bund. It is a fantastic promenade along the Huangpu River. Across the riverside street you will see some of the most unique and wonderful buildings of colonial Shanghai.

To avoid a "just-a-glance" superficial experience, when we walk on the Bund, our guide will present an In-depth introduction. On a map we label the 17 most-representative buildings and document the architecture of Shanghai. What you will get is not only a few photos of the new buildings, but also the history and historic images of its colonial past.

Walk on the Bund Walk on the Bund

Our customers at the Bund Our customers at the Bund

The Bund of Shanghai The Bund of Shanghai

5:00 PM – 6:00 PMTransport to Your Hotel or Onward Transport

We will transfer you to your hotel at the end of the tour, or, if you need to catch a flight or a train after the tour, we are more than happy to help you arrange it. Please let us know.

Going back to your hotel in Shanghai will normally take about 20 to 30 minutes. Likewise for a Shanghai train station. Going to Shanghai Hongqiao Airport directly normally takes about 1½ hours, while 2 hours is needed for going to Pudong Airport from the Bund.

You will need to be at the airport 1½ hours before a domestic flight, or 2½ hours before you're an international flight. Tell us about your departure time when booking, and remind our guide, and we will make arrangements accordingly.

You may follow us on our Facebook page to see the latest updates, photos and posts from your tour guide at:

Know Before You Book

Price Includes:

  • Admission to Zhujiajiao Ancient Town and Shanghai World Financial Center.
  • Transport between attractions, including pickup and return to your hotel.
  • English-speaking local guide service.

Price Excludes:

  • Personal expenses.
  • A gondola tour in Zhujiajiao. (Price 200 RMB per boat)
  • Lunch fee (60 RMB per capita, depending on appetite).
  • Tipping of guide & driver recommended on good service on a 2:1 ratio separately (usually 50-100 RMB per person).

Important Notes:

  1. Daily departure. Minimum number of participants required for the tour to run is 3. Tour may be canceled in case of minimum number of participants not met. You will get a full refund.
  2. You'll be a part of a mini group with maximum 10 people.
  3. Optional Airport/train station drop-off.

FAQs About This Tour

What is the hotel pick-up and drop-off area?

The hotel pick-up and drop-off area should be within the middle ring road of Shanghai. For further distance there might be an extra cost for the transfer. Your travel advisor will give you a notification about this.

The hotel pick-up and drop-off area The hotel pick-up and drop-off area

What is your cancellation policy?
  •  If we are not able to implement the contract due to war, flood, typhoon, fire, strikes, storm, earthquake, or any other condition we are not able to foresee and avoid, we will inform customers at the first possible opportunity and offer the best possible solutions, and the final bill shall be settled based on the service we actually provide.
  •  Up to 7 days before departure: 100% refund of all money paid, excluding penalties charged by hotels, railways, airlines, and PayPal, if applicable. All penalties will be itemized.
  •  From 3 to 7 days before departure: 90% refund, excluding penalties charged by hotels, railways, airlines, and PayPal, if applicable. All penalties will be itemized.
  •  Within 3 days before departure: no refund.
  •  After the trip has commenced, we are unable to refund any amount for cancelled services due to non-participation, early departure, late arrival, or missed days on tours.
  •  For groups of more than 10 people: The terms for cancellation may vary from case to case. Please ask your travel advisor regarding the cancellation policy for your group.

What Makes Us Different

In-Depth Discovery

We go deep into how best to tour Shanghai. We research our customers' favorite spots and photo sites, and work out the best routes to cover Shanghai's top sights.

In Zhujiajiao: Your tour guide will help you explore three carefully-selected places along the waterway, recommended by our local experts, while other group tours only get a routine waterway cruise. Also you will be taking a gondola with our guide, giving you the chance to ask questions and ask to stop in the best places to view the old town from unique angles and get some really unique pictures.

On the Bund: We‘ve chosen the most beautiful part of the bund - between the Asia Building and the Former Consulate-General of the United Kingdom - the Shanghai insider's “golden route”. We will send you map with our insights and visual aids to help you discover the Bund in depth. (You would do a less interesting walk of about 30 minutes, if you chose to do a routine "bund tour", as most of our competitors do.)

In-Depth Discovery

  • We have GPS in our vehicles to avoid traffic jams.
  • We go to Zhujiajiao in the morning to avoid the crowds.
  • We buy World Financial Center tickets in advance to avoid lines, and go up to the observation deck at 1:30 PM when fewer tourists are there.
  • We drive you back to downtown Shanghai from Zhujiajiao just after noon (China's lunch and siesta time) to avoid traffic jams on the highway.
  • We don't go to tourist shops, factories, etc. and waste your precious time.


Carefully Researched Products

For each of our Shanghai tours, our product team inspects every item several times to establish their quality, and make sure our information is authoritative and up-to-date.

Carefully Researched Products

Friendly Guides

Our tour guides are friendly, knowledgeable, and well-trained. They only work for China Highlights. We don't use freelance tour guides in Shanghai.

Friendly Guides

Locally-Based for Quick Quality Service

Unlike some other online travel agents who sell tour products made by local travel agents, we built our own branch company in Shanghai in 2010, and since then we have started to make our own unique products. We aim to deliver a high-value tour to every one of our customers. We have more than 50 local staff in Shanghai to solve your problems on the spot.

China Highlights Shanghai Office: +86-18807734970 (24/7 customer service)

Trippst Shanghai Office

china highlights' wechat code
For any questions please contact us via
Mobile: +86 18807734970
WeChat: trippest666
Price from USD 119  p/p

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