Shanghai is a highly developed city in China with skyscrapers and bustling avenues. However, the view is totally different 400 kilometers away in the prefecture of Huangshan, where you can admire the beautiful scenery of the Yellow Mountains, visit some ancient villages, and enjoy the hot springs.
If you are planning to be in Shanghai and have a couple of free days, paying a visit to Huangshan is an excellent choice. Just read on to find the top things to do, visa issues, transportation, and a 3-day tour plan.
The Top Things to Do in Huangshan
The Yellow Mountains Scenic Area
The Yellow Mountains is praised as being one of the most beautiful and spectacular mountain ranges in China. The scenic area is known for its four wonders: imaginatively-named pines, oddly-shaped rocks, a sea of clouds, and hot springs.
The Yellow Mountains offers different views in different seasons: flowers in spring, a green forest in summer, colorful leaves in autumn, and rime in winter. If you like photography, the Yellow Mountains can be a treasure trove for you.
Besides the Yellow Mountains, the ancient villages in Huangshan are worth a visit to see their special Hui-style architectures, which feature among quaint settings and stunning backdrops.
Hongcun is a waterside village with ancient courtyards and well-preserved countryside scenery. Due to its long history and beautiful scenery, Hongcun was listed as a World Heritage Site in 2000. Another World Heritage village is Xidi.
There are more ancient villages in Huangshan District. Read about Huangshan attractions.
Huangshan is outside the Shanghai 144-hour visa-free transit area: you need a visa to visit Huangshan.
Be aware that you cannot apply for a China visa in Shanghai. To visit Huangshan, you must apply for the visa in your country.
Check how to apply for a China visa.
How to Travel from Shanghai to Huangshan
Shanghai and Huangshan are now connected by high-speed rail lines. There are over 10 high-speed trains departing from Shanghai Railway Station and Shanghai Hongqiao Railway Station to Huangshan North Railway Station every day. Depending on the train you take, the journey may take 2½–3½ hours.
A good transfer option from your country to Huangshan is to fly to Shanghai Hongqiao International Airport, walk for 10 minutes to Shanghai Hongqiao Railway Station, and take the train to Huangshan.
During Chinese national holidays (such as May 1st–3rd and October 1st–7th) and weekends, train tickets are harder to book. You are recommended to book them in advance or let us help you book them.
How Many Days Are Needed
A 3-day journey is suitable to enjoy the wonders of the Yellow Mountains and the scenery of the ancient villages. Check the following plan to see what you can expect during your Huangshan tour from Shanghai.
3-Day Huangshan Tour Plan from Shanghai
Day 1: Huangshan Arrival and Ancient Villages
Take the train from Shanghai to Huangshan.
Visit Hongcun Ancient Village, which resembles an ink painting, to see the most authentic Hui-style architecture.
Then, visit Xidi Village to admire the ancient buildings and learn about the local history. After that, taste some local food in Tunxi Ancient Street.
Optional: Bishan Village
You can pay a side visit to Bishan, a village praised as being a rural utopia. Unlike the other villages you visit, the buildings in Bishan combine an ancient style with artistic ideas. There, you can see how artists have reformed the old buildings.
Day 2: The Yellow Mountains
You will go hiking on the Yellow Mountains. Ride in a cable car up to the mountain range and enjoy hiking while you admire the scenery. After lunch, explore West Sea Grand Canyon.
Optional 1: Hike to the Bottom of West Sea Grand Canyon
The route to the bottom of West Sea Grand Canyon is narrow and steep down some steps. You may need professional equipment and you need to be in good physical condition. If you are traveling with us, your guide will suggest the most suitable route for you and lead you to explore the best scenery.
Optional 2: The Yellow Mountains Sunset and Sunrise
If you want to enjoy grand views of a sunset and sunrise over the Yellow Mountains, we can help you to book a hotel room on the mountain range. Your guide will advise you on some of the top places and times to enjoy the views and take photos. Be aware that the hotel facilities could be limited.
Day 3: Huangshan Hot Springs and Departure
If you choose to stay in a hotel in Huangshan, you can visit more attractions on the mountains before taking a cable car ride back down.
A hot spring bath at the foot of the Yellow Mountains is the best way to wash away the tiredness of hiking.
Then, return to the railway station and go back to Shanghai.
Enjoy Your Huangshan Tour from Shanghai with Us
If you are interested in this travel plan, check out our 3-day Huangshan tour from Shanghai for detailed information and a quotation.
It is a good choice to travel with us. You will enjoy a hassle-free journey with a local guide and in a private vehicle. Your guide will suggest authentic ancient villages and the most suitable hiking route, and will lead you all the way during your Huangshan hike.
Also check out more Shanghai tours for ideas of what to do during your Shanghai stay, or our Huangshan tours to see what else you can do in Huangshan.
Also, try to tell us your ideas and let us customize a tour for you.