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Shanghai Jetlag Activities - Adjustment Tips, Easy Outings

Shanghai Jetlag Activities - Adjustment Tips, Easy Outings

Written by Candice SongUpdated Nov. 13, 2023
Airplane and Clouds

Jetlag can stand between you and the opportunity of having a good time in Shanghai and China. This is true especially if your trip is not very long, when being out of synch physically and mentally for a few of your precious days in China matters more. 

The good news is that Shanghai has some great activities suitable for those suffering from jetlag.

Understanding jetlag, as well as knowing suitable jetlag activities, is key to optimising your schedule so that you will be able to enjoy your vacation from day one. Planning ahead will empower you to be more efficient in your exploration, and see more of what the place has to offer, while others are maybe still struggling to adapt to the new time zone.

Symptoms of Jetlag

Grimacing Woman with LaptopTake it easy if you arrive in Shanghai with jetlag.

One of the keys to acclimation is understanding and being prepared for the likely symptoms of jetlag:

  • tiredness
  • slowed reactions
  • headaches
  • a sense of nausea due to the interruption of regular sleeping time

Expert Advice

In order to adjust to the local time-zone as speedily as possible, experts recommend to:

  • Get into the daily rhythm of your destination.
  • Eat at local meal times.
  • Don't go to bed until after sundown.
  • Avoid taking sleeping pills.
  • Spend time outside.

If you don't sleep well on planes, you could arrange a flight that arrives in Shanghai in the late afternoon, rather than the morning, so you can go to bed soon after arrival. 

If you're traveling from America, you should travel to Shanghai westwards in preference, because on average the human body adjusts 20% faster when going westwards compared to when going eastwards.

You may want to read more on Understanding the Time Difference in China.

Jetlag Activities in Shanghai

These activities should be done during the daytime. Even if you are sleepy, you should stay awake and only go to bed during the Shanghai evening. Also these activities are outdoors to help the body adjust to the new time zone. The ideal activities for a person suffering from jetlag when travelling to Shanghai are light activities that do not require high powers of concentration or input...

1. Visit the Parks and Gardens in Shanghai

Shanghai Peach Blossom FestivalYou can enjoy peach blossom in Shanghai parks in March and April.

There are many parks in Shanghai that are worth exploring and serve as excellent ways to spend your time while under the influence of jetlag. Because they are spread all around Shanghai, it is almost certain that you will find one near your hotel or place of residence. Here are some of the most famous but certainly not the only ones.

  • Century Park Pudong - Huamu Lu, corner of Fangdian Lu 浦东世纪公园 五号门花木路1359号
  • People's Park - 75 Nanjing Xi Lu, near Huangpi Bei Lu 人民公园 南京西路75号
  • Xujiahui Park - 889 Zhaojiabang Lu, near Tianping Lu 肇嘉 889号
  • Zhongshan Park - 780 Changning Lu, near Dingxi Lu 中山公园 宁路780号, 近定西路
  • Gongqing Forest Park - 2000 Jungong Lu, near Yinhang Lu 杨浦区军工路2000号,近银行路

2. Enjoy a Cruise on the Huangpu River

Huangpu River, ShanghaiHuangpu cruises also run at night, if you can't get to sleep...

A Huangpu River cruise has become a very popular activity for tourists, and because it doesn't require much from the traveller except enjoying the view it can be considered an excellent jetlag activity.

There are many different service providers running cruises on the Huangpu. The cruise ships are of various sizes and have various types of amenities and decorations depending on how much you are willing to spend. The most luxurious offer banquet halls, conference rooms, air conditioning, bar, and TV.

The ships usually depart from the Bund (also known as Zhongshan Road) and sail towards the southern Huangpu Bridge, turn and then go northwards to Wusongkou. Upon reaching Wusongkou, the ships return you back to the Bund.

3. Take a Sightseeing Bus Tour

These are as popular in Shanghai as they are in Europe. Tickets are inexpensive, around 30 yuan (US$4.50 or £3.50 [2016]) for a ticket valid 24 hours. You can enjoy the sights either on the upper or the lower levels of the double decker buses. Hop on and off at various attractions or simply enjoy the whole ride without getting off and only admire the sights from inside. 

4. Enjoy the Pudong Riverside Promenade - The Bund

Walking and admiring the sights on the riverside of Huangpu river could also be a significant cost-free option for spending a few hours until evening in the local time-zone. You can catch a glimpse of the newly built skyscrapers and take some excellent photographs.

You have the option of enjoying a beverage or a meal at one of the restaurants or coffee houses in the area.

  • Metro line 2 (Lujiazui Station) and buses 81, 82, 870, 871, and 872 go to the Bund.

Take a Tour of Shanghai with China Highlights

Shanghai ViewsEnjoy the spectacular Bund views in Shanghai.

Creating a personalised tour with China Highlights, in which you schedule jetlag friendly activities during the first days of your trip, is a great option. You can ensure that all the activities included are suitable for your current state of body and mind.

You can also select one of our pre-made tours that meets your needs best and fine-tune it to your requirements.

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