In Shanghai riding bikes is a common and inexpensive way of getting around. You can easily rent bikes, and enjoy the flexibility of exploring Shanghai by bicycle.
Since there are so many cyclists, motorists are used to them. By riding a bike, you can get a more intimate tour of Shanghai. Here are several historic and scenicbike routes in the central city areas and around Shanghai for you to enjoy.
See the end of the page if you would like to cycle in Shanghai with China Highlights. We provide an English-speaking guide and arrange cycle rental.
Route #1: Visiting the Old Architecture on Wukang Road (武康路)
Set out from Wukang Road and head toward Hengshang Road (衡山路), and then turn on to Taojiang Road (桃江路). Enjoy the elegant pathway in front of you.
Turn on to Wukang Road from Huaihai Middle Road (淮海中路) and you will see the warship–shaped Normandie Apartments, designed by Hungarian architect Laszlo Hudec. It was the first gallery apartment house in Shanghai, and most of the residents here were foreigners from Europe and America before the outbreak of the Pacific War. Nowadays, ordinary Chinese families live here, and little trace of its past can be seen except the cambered turnings.
There are old-style villas all along Wukang Road. For example, No. 113 Wukang Road is a garden villa in the British countryside style, and it was the last apartment of Mr. Ba Jin in Shanghai. The villa with white walls and a red roof at No. 390 used to be a consulate. Ferguson Lane (武康庭), at No. 376, is a good place to bring a date, with over 10 shops inside, including cafes and several designers. At the intersection of West Fuxing Road (复兴西路) and Wukang Road there is a tall villa, No. 99, the former residence of the British merchant Zheng Guang He Taipan (正广和大班). The villa was also where the famous movie "Lust, Caution" was shot.
How to Rent a Bike there?
No. 393 Wukang Road is the tourist information center where you can apply for a card with a valid identification. Just pay the deposit of 300 yuan and 100 yuan for your first charge. Every time you rent a bike, it will be free for the first 10 minutes, and then it will cost two yuan per hour. There are agencies for renting and returning bikes near the No. 6 Department Store (第六百货), Hengshan Road, Tianping Road, and the Xunhui district (徐汇区) Christian church. From this area, you can visit Baoqing Road (宝庆路), Taojiang Road (桃江路) and the old buildings in Jingan district (静安区) or even Huangpu district (黄浦区).
Route #2: Old Shanghai Jingan District Route
Weihai Road (威海路) – Yong Quan Fang (涌泉坊) – Hengchangli (亨昌里) – Chunguangfang (春光坊) – Urumqi Lane (乌鲁木齐弄) – Shanzhongli (善钟里)
- Distance: 11 km or 6.8 miles
- Highlights: traditional architecture
One style of Chinese house had a stone ring arched wooden door in the outer wall. This led to a two story structure with a living place in the middle and a second-story bedroom. The style of construction was meant to keep the world and its sounds out. Following this route, you can see narrow alleys and these ring doors. The route covers about 7 miles in Jingan District.
Ride down Weihai Road going east to North Shaanxi Road (陕西北路) and then turn left. After a short distance, you can see a bamboo fence that surrounds an English-style building that is the Soong Ching-ling Love Care Club (宋庆龄爱心会所).
Then, continue to ride along the North Shaanxi Road ((陕西北路) and go to Beijing West Road (北京西路). Then turn left. After riding west about 1.2 or 1.3 kilometers, you'll come to a place where five roads intersect like a starfish. Beijing West Road ends, but if you continue straight ahead, you'll get on Yuyuan Road going west. Don't get on the road going south. About 150 meters west at No. 395 Yuyuan Road (愚园路), there is the Yong Quan Fang. (春光坊). It was listed as one of the Excellent Architecture of Modern Shanghai. You can take photos there.
Then ride about 2 kilometers further southwest on Yuyuan Road, and when you get to Dingxi Road, turn left or south. After about a kilometer, you'll get to Yanan Road. Then turn left and go about half a kilometer to Panyu Road. Go south 200 meters and then go east 200 meters, and you'll get to Xingfu Road. You'll be in a park and old lane area. No. 22, No. 26, No. 70 and No. 90 are called the Chunguangfang. It was the Yu Cottage and had an area of 8 hectares (19.8 acres). Riding through the lanes, you can see red brick houses. You might see old people sitting in front of the gates. You may also hear Shanghai opera or Beijing opera performances.
The entire journey to this point takes about 7 kilometers (4.4 miles). It might take you two hours to get there. It does matter how much time you’ve spent. It may only matter about how happy you are. That is mainly what bike touring is for. You have the freedom to do what you wish. If you are thirsty, you can buy some milk tea. If you are tired, you can try to talk to old people in the lanes.
Then, bike from Chunguangfang east to Huashan Road. Go north on Huashan Road. It curves to the east. Go about 300 meters east of the curve to West Fuxing Road that juts to the southeast. Fuxing Road is a one-way route. You can only ride from the west to the east.
The buildings on Fuxing Road (复兴路) have distinctive characteristics. Chinese films are shot there. Ride east for about 1.4 kilometers, and when you get to Urumqi Middle Road (乌鲁木齐中路), turn left. After going north about 250 kilometers, you'll come to Urumqi Lane that was built in 1937. Ride northwest for about 700 meters. You'll come to Changle Road (长乐路). Go eastwards 300 meters to Changshu Road (常熟路). Go left or northwest, and you'll see restaurants and stores. You can see the Jing'an Temple. There is no sidewalk on Changshu Road, so if you want to go across the road, you have to go on a footbridge. At Shangzhongli, the journey comes to a beautiful end.
Route #3: Shikumen (Stone Gate) Route
Yong Quan Fang (永泉坊) – Chunguang Fang (春光坊) – Urumqi Lane (乌鲁木齐弄) – Shangzhongli (善钟里) – Huaihai Fang (淮海坊) – Fuxing Fang (复兴坊) – Meilan Fang (梅兰坊) – Yuyangli (渔阳里) – Hengmaoli (恒茅里) – Renanli (人安里)
Here is another route in Jingan District to see some preserved buildings and stone ring arched doors.
Route #4: Shanghai Creative Industry Park Area Route
Jingan Creative Space (South Wunning Road, at intersection of Kangding Road 静安创意空间（武宁南路、康定路口) – Wanhangdu Road (万航渡路)- Husizhan Creative Park (湖丝栈 Wanhang Road, No. 1384 Lane, close to Huayang Road) – Kaixuan Road (凯旋路)- Fahuazhen Road (法华镇路) – Fanyu Road (番愚路)- Z58 Green Forest (Z58绿光森林 No. 58, Fanyu Road) – turn back to Kaixuan Road – Nandan Road (南丹路)- Tianyaoqiao Road (天钥桥路) – Longhua Road (龙华路)- 2577 Creative Garden (2577创意大院 No. 2577, Longhua Road) – Dongan Road (东安路)- Xietu Road (斜土路) – X2 Creative Space (X2创意空间 North Chaling Road and Xietu Road)
In an effort to turn sections of Shanghai into creative industry centers for design, publishing, software design, arts, and other profitable and non-polluting occupations, about 100 areas of Shanghai have been turned into creative industry parks.
Route #5: Binjiang Road Route One
Guoding Road (国定路)- Wuchuan Road (武川路) – North Guoquan Road (国权北路)- Yixian Road (逸仙路)- Songbin Road (淞滨路)- Wusongzhen (Wusong Town 吴淞镇 ) – Huacheng Road (化城路) – Wusongkou Ferry (吴淞口渡口) – Binjiang Garden (滨江花园).
Since the area near the viaduct on Yixian Road is bad and the air is polluted, it is suggested that you take Huacheng Road that is quieter and has fewer vehicles. You can ride from the school gate behind the Wusongkou Ferry to enter Binjiang Garden. Biking along Huangpu River will be an interesting experience for you. There is a wetland park under construction that you can visit for free, but you have to park the bike outside and walk into the area.
Route #6: Binjiang Road Route Two
Yingkou Road (营口路)- Longchang Road (隆昌路) – Yangshupu Road (杨树浦路) – Gongping Road Dock (公平路码头) – go across Binjiang River – Riverside Promenade – Binjiang Park – Fucheng Road (福城路)- the Dock – Shiliupu Pier (十六铺) – Shanghai Old Street.
You might find surprises on this Yangshupu Road route such as the Waterworks Plant, the Binjiang Creative Center and so forth. It is said that you are not allowed to ride in the Binjiang Park, but that hasn't stopped people. You can experience boarding the Shangbai ferry on this route.
Route #7: A Nostalgic Cycling Journey around Shanghai
Duolun Road (多伦)
Duolun Road is a path about 500 meters long, behind North Sichuan Road (四川北路), with many former residences of celebrities from the 1930s.
Taojiang Road (桃江路)
Taojiang Road is known as the most beautiful small road in Shanghai. There are few people on Taojiang Road, but expect some bicycles passing by or a few couples taking wedding photos. Dongping Road (东平路) nearby is a busy road, and you can try the Madisonrestaurant there, where the most popular breakfast and lunch in Shanghai are served.
By the Suzhou River (苏州)
By the river there are many buildings with ancient architecture styles. Walk your bike along the riverside with slate slabs under your feet telling you the historical origins of each building.
Shajing Road (沙泾路
The 500-meter "Bumpy Road" will jolt you badly if you ride over it too fast and your tires are well-inflated. It goes from the south of Zheao Road Bridge (柘皋路桥) to Liyang Road (溧阳路).
Route #8: Getting Closer to Nature at Sheshan Mountain (佘山)
If you would like to enjoy the experience of cycling in a place with gorgeous mountains and rivers while still remaining close to Shanghai, Sheshan Mountain is for you. With over 1,000 public bicycles and 15 rental agencies located around the area, and Chenshan Arboretum (辰山植物园) and Moon-lake Sculpture Park along the way, the natural scenery here cannot be beat.
Cycling around Sheshan Mountain is not as tiring as you would expect. Set out from Shanghai and take Subway Line 9 to Sheshan Station. Rent a bike as soon as you exit the station, and then ride along Park Avenue to Sheshan National Forest Park. The first scenic spot you will come across is Moon-Lake Sculpture Park, with sculptures by artists from Taiwan, Japan, England, Italy and mainland China. The park is the only spot in Shanghai that allows you to bring pets. Next to the park is a hotel, the Meridien Sheshan Shanghai (世茂佘山艾美酒店), and there is an artificial lake and a little beach inside the hotel, with a very tropical atmosphere.
Chenshan Arboretum has become a popular spot in recent years with its 207 hectares of green space. There are many themed areas and a big greenhouse. Don't miss the plentiful flowers and grasses here, especially in the spring. You can also pay 10 yuan to take the sightseeing bus. Turn right off Park Avenue to get to Waiqingsong Highway (外青松公路), and then you will arrive at Sheshan National Forest Park. The highway divides the park into the East Mountain and the West Mountain. Most people will barbecue in the east and visit the cathedral, observatory and seismographic station in the west.
How to Rent a Bike?
There are 15 branches where you can rent bicycles, and the most convenient is located just opposite from the Sheshan subway station. Bring a valid identification and pay 200 yuan as deposit to get the zipcard. You can apply for and return zipcards at only 5 of the 15 branches, namely those located at Sheshan Station, Happy Valley, the south gate of East Sheshan Mountain, the north gate of West Sheshan Mountain, and the south gate of Chenshan Arboretum.
When you rent a bike, it will be free for the first two hours, and then you must pay for each hour beyond the first two. Only people between 16 and 65 years old are allowed to rent bicycles, and you can only ride on the roads outside the scenic areas. You may never carry anyone else on your bike.
- Entry: Sheshan National Forest Park: Free, Happy Valley: 200 yuan
Route #9: Cycling on the Ecological Trail in Baoshan District (宝山区)
The first ecological trail in Shanghai is about 100 kilometers long and 2 meters wide and runs through Baoshan district. It is suitable for both hiking and cycling. The first section of the trail goes through Gucun Town (顾村镇) and is about 12.6 kilometers long. It starts from Wenzao Creek (蕰藻浜), passes Gucun Park (顾村公园) to the east of the Central River (中心河), and goes across the Shapu River (沙浦河) to Luodian Town (罗店镇) in the north. This section features natural country scenery, with the man-made Shapu River, Xiushui Garden (秀水公园) and Ling Family House (凌家宅) along the way. Gucun Park is famous for its sakuras and traditional gardens.
The next section is the Luodian section, which is about 16.8 kilometers long. It goes through Fuzhang Road (富张路), Meilan Lake (美兰湖) and the east part of Fuyuan Road (抚远路) to the north of the Lianqi River (练祈河), connecting to the Panjing River (潘泾河) and Luojing section (罗泾段) at Shitai Road (石太路). The Meilan Lake scenic area is not only a large outdoor park but also a popular spot for taking wedding photographs.
The Yuepu and Luojing sections are home to many birds. The Luojing section is the northernmost part of the ecological trail and is about 17.5 kilometers long. It goes through the Baogang and Chenhang Reservoirs. It is one of the 10 largest areas for bird watching. The Yuepu section is 13.6 kilometers long, and it goes through many orchards such as the Fengshui Pear Orchard, which also attracts many birds. The best time to see birds on these sections is from March to May every year.
To get there, take Bus No. 963 or the Pengluo Line (彭罗线) to the ecological trail, or take Subway Line 7 to Meilan Lake Station (美兰湖站). If you would like to go by car, drive along Hutai Road (沪太路) and take Exit Ramp A20 to Chenfu Road (陈富路), and then turn left. Since there are no bicycles to rent in this area, bring your bike with you.
- Entry: Gucun Park: 20 yuan, Meilan Lake: Free
Biking and Hiking Routes for Shanghai in Spring
Chongming District (崇明区)
The Dongping National Forest Park (东平国家森林公园). Cycling around Chongming Island (崇明岛) (3 days).
Hutai Road to Cartoon Street on Wenshui Road (汶水路动漫街) to the International Folk Art Museum in Baoshan (宝山国际民间艺术博览馆) to Gucun Park to Meilan Lake and finally to Baoshan Temple (宝山寺).
Mudanjiang Road (牡丹江路) to Wusong Train Station Exhibition Hall (吴淞火车站展示馆) to the Shanghai Navy Museum (海军上海博览馆) to Wusong Forts Gulf Wetland Forest Park (吴淞炮台湾湿地森林公园) to the Shanghai Liberation Memorial Hall (上海解放纪念馆) to the Songhu Anti-Japanese War Memorial Hall/Chen Huacheng Memorial Hall (淞沪抗战纪念馆/陈化成纪念馆) to Chuangyi Happiness Bay (创邑幸福湾) and finally to Peninsula 1919 (半岛1919).
The ecological trails around Baoshan district.
Pudong District (浦东区)
Cycling around Lingang City (临港新城).
Cycling through Century Avenue to Lianyang International Community (联洋国际社区).
Cycling along the Expo Avenue.
Jiading District (嘉定区)
No. 68 Shaxia Road (沙霞路68号) to No. 45 Bole Road (博乐路45号).
No. 218 Huyi Highway (沪宜公路218号) to People's Street in Nanxiang Town (南翔镇人民街).
No. 518 Shuangzhu Highway (霜竹公路518号) to No. 1268 Shuangzhu Highway (霜竹公路1268号).
No. 2000 Yining Road (伊宁路2000号) to Changji and Xintan Roads in Anting Town (安亭镇新谭路昌吉路).
Fengxian District (奉贤区)
Haiwan Avenue (海湾林荫道) to Suitanghe Road in Haiwan Town in Fengxian district (海湾镇随塘河路).
Zhuangxing Golden Sightseeing Avenue (庄行金色观光大道).
Qingpu District (青浦)
Cycling and hiking around Dianshan Lake (淀山湖).
Songjiang District (松江)
Subway Line 9's Dongjing Station (9号线洞泾站) to Happy Valley to Moon-lake Sculpture Park to Sheshan National Forest Park and finally to Chenshan Arboretum.
If you are new to cycling in China, it is suggested that you ride slowly and defensively on the cycle lanes, if there are any. Watch out for holes in the road and things left on the sidewalks and on the streets. Wear brightly colored clothes. Ride slowly until you get used to cycling. The behavior of other road users may also be different to what you are used to. See Traffic in China and Cycling in China.