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Shanghai is a splendid metropolis. No matter which aspect of Shanghai you are interested in, it will not disappoint you.
Read on to get the best the city offer, and learn some tips on planning a Shanghai itinerary.
There are plenty of free things to see and do in Shanghai. Shanghai’s main attractions are its skyline views, historical sites, and nearby water towns.
Here, we've rounded up the best things based on different requirements for your reference.
See our classic Shanghai tour including the must-see attractions. It is specially designed to make the most of your time.
Our 4-Day Shanghai Family Tour can give you some inspiration.
There are several water towns near Shanghai, which are about 1–2 hours' drive away. They have much in common, such as water canals and stone bridges, but each of them has its own unique features.
If you don't know which one to choose, you will find the answer on the Top 10 Ancient Water Towns Near Shanghai — Which One to Visit?
It depends on your schedule and your interests. Usually people spend 2–4 days there. The longer you stay, the deeper you will understand this city.
If time permits, taking an extension tour to Suzhou or Hangzhou is highly recommended.
Here are some suggested itineraries for your reference:
Day 1: the Bund, Yu Garden, the Oriental Pearl TV Tower, the Shanghai Museum
Day 2: Zhujiajiao Water Town or Xitang Water Town
Find out about morein our well-designed tour.
4-Day Tour: Shanghai + Hangzhou + Water Town
Day 1: the Bund, Yu Garden, the Shanghai Tower, the Shanghai Museum
Day 2: Travel to Hangzhou, Lingyin Temple, West Lake, a Tea plantation
Day 3: Nanxun Water Town
See our full 4 days Shanghai tour itinerary for more ideas.
Unlike other travel agencies, who only sell fixed Shanghai tour itineraries, we create unique experiences. Our tours are typically private and tailor-made to your travel style. Let’s create your Shanghai tour, or learn more our exclusive spotlight experiences and see more our Shanghai tours for some inspiration.
Usually, foreigners need to apply for a visa before traveling to China. If you meet the relevant qualifying criteria of the 144-hour visa-free transit policy, you can stay in Shanghai for 144 hours without a visa.
The best times to visit Shanghai are March–May and September–November, as the weather is comfortable.
Mid June to early July is the rainiest period in Shanghai. The hottest time in Shanghai is from July to August. The coldest period is from late January until early February. Read more about Shanghai weather.
We recommend that you book well in advance, and are prepared for huge crowds if you plan to visit during these Chinese holidays:
Shanghai has two airports: Shanghai Pudong International Airport (PVG) and Shanghai Hongqiao International Airport (SHA).
Shanghai Pudong International Airport, which is 30 kilometers (18 miles) east of downtown Shanghai, mainly serves international flights.
Shanghai Hongqiao International Airport, which is 13 kilometers (8 miles) from the city center, mainly serves domestic flights.
There are three major railway stations in the city: Shanghai Railway Station, Shanghai Hongqiao Railway Station, and Shanghai South Railway Station. It is convenient to travel from Beijing and Nanjing to Shanghai. If you are interested, you can travel from Hong Kong to Shanghai as well.
Our private transfer service provides you with convenience and flexibility at a reasonable price.
By Cruise Ship
There are three cruise terminals in Shanghai: Wusongkou International Cruise Terminal, Shanghai Port International Cruise Terminal, and Waigaoqiao International Cruise Terminal.Shanghai has adopted a 15-day visa-free policy for foreign tourist groups entering China by cruise ship.
Shanghai is a modern city with well-developed city transportation. It is not a big problem to travel by metro, bus, and taxi.See more information about Shanghai transportation.
A private tour with your own chauffeured and comfortable vehicle is suitable for those who are looking for a hassle-free journey with efficiency and flexibility.
There are numerous accommodation options in Shanghai, ranging from 5 star hotels to youth hostels. The price is generally higher than elsewhere in mainland China.
If you want to enjoy Shanghai's classic skyline views, you can choose a hotel near the Huangpu River.
Below are some hotels recommended by our local specialists:
Shanghai has a wide range of restaurants, which not only serve local cuisine, but also dishes from all over China and all over the world. So you can easily find a restaurant in Shanghai to fit your tastes.
If you want to try some local food, here are some recommendations:
See more Shanghai dishes you should eat.
If you want no hassles, we recommend you to travel with a professional local guide, who will show you the real Shanghai and lead you to experience the lives of local people.
Here are some sample itineraries. Treat them simply as inspiration, because your trip will be created individually by one of our specialists to match your tastes and budget.