Things to do in Shanghai

Our most recommended things to do in Shanghai

Shanghai: City Lights and Huangpu River Cruise Night Tour

1. Shanghai: City Lights and Huangpu River Cruise Night Tour

First, you will stop at the Nanjing Road, where you will take a quick stroll. After that, you will take the evening cruise on the Huangpu River. On the cruise, you can see both sides of the river, Pu Dong and Pu Xi, which means “East River” and “West River”. Then, you will have the chance to walk along the Bund, which is known for its international architecture. Here, there are a lot of chic pubs and restaurants in old historic buildings. Afterwards, you will transfer to the Pudong side to enjoy the wonderful view of the newly developed commercial part of Shanghai city. Here, you can spend time on your own or continue back to your starting point.

Shanghai: 8-Hour Private City Tour

2. Shanghai: 8-Hour Private City Tour

With complete flexibility, follow this itinerary or create your own for a unique Shanghai experience. After meeting your guide at your downtown location, start this 8-hour private tour at the Yu Yuan Garden. Explore the Shanghai Old Street before taking a break in an ancient Chinese tea house. Following tea, head to the People Square to see the City Hall and its surrounding buildings. Stroll along the Xintiandi in the charming former French Concession before enjoying lunch on your own. In the afternoon, marvel at the sacred 19th-century Jade Buddha Temple. Then, head to Bund, which is Shanghai's picturesque waterfront. Admire its soaring skyline and views of the Huangpu River. Drive to Pudong Business and Financial Center where all of the main skyscrapers are located. See the tallest building, Shanghai Tower, as well as the Bottle Opener and Jinmao Tower before being transferred back to your hotel or chosen downtown location.

Shanghai Must-See and Foodie Bike Tour

3. Shanghai Must-See and Foodie Bike Tour

This is one of the most classic routes for visitors to experience Shanghai in a short period of time. You will cycle along the old Nongtang in the Former Concession area, an area which holds the most famous landmarks. Pass through the ancient garden bridge, then head to The Bund to view the most amazing skyline in the world. It’s well-known as the Shanghai epitome for the 19th century. From there, cross one of the busiest commercial roads - Nanjing Road. Afterward, head off to Yu Garden Area and hang around in its labyrinthine back alleyways and find a lot of interesting hidden gems. Get a taste of local life and see a city with its past and future. Join this unique bike tour and expereince the culture of Shanghai. 

Shanghai Seven Treasure Town & Zhujiajiao Water Town Tour

4. Shanghai Seven Treasure Town & Zhujiajiao Water Town Tour

In the morning at 8:30 AM, our driver, and guide will pick you up at your Shanghai downtown hotel. The guide will contact you to reconfirm the pickup time again one day ahead of your travel date. Drive to Zhujiajiao Ancient Town, a water town with a history that can be traced back to the Three Kingdoms Period and best known for its bridges, old streets, and gardens built during the Ming and Qing Dynasties. See the Fangsheng Bridge, Baoguo Temple, Town God's Temple, and Zhuxi Garden. Enjoy the option to take a boat ride along the river and appreciate the special view of this old water town. After lunch, head to Seven Treasure Town, located in the Shanghai suburbs. Built in Ming and Qing dynasties, this old town had been a local famous market place for trading goods like cloth, yarn, and vegetables. Learn about the town's rich commercial history and experience the cultural atmosphere. Transfer back to your downtown Shanghai hotel at around 5 PM.

Shanghai: Zhujiajiao UNESCO Water Town Afternoon Tour

5. Shanghai: Zhujiajiao UNESCO Water Town Afternoon Tour

You can either make your own way to the meeting point or be collected at your accommodation. Board the bus and leave Shanghai. Head to the oldest and most well-protected water village in China.  Located 16 miles west of downtown Shanghai, Zhujiajiao water village is 400 years old and is one of the city’s best-kept secrets. Discover the picturesque canals and rivers and admire the large Dian Shan Lake. Take the opportunity to go shopping, take a stroll, and explore this beautiful village. Try some local street food and be amazed by the tastes. You can even practice your bargaining skills at the local shops. After spending three hours taking in the local culture, you will return to downtown Shanghai for approximately 6:30 PM.

From Shanghai: Hangzhou, West Lake Cruise and Tea Plantation

6. From Shanghai: Hangzhou, West Lake Cruise and Tea Plantation

With its inviting views and outstanding scenery, Hangzhou is one of the leading tourist destinations in all of China. It is a city rich with history and was once the capital of China in the 12th Century. After a 3-hour drive, you will first cruise across the West Lake to view unforgettable scenery such as the Three Pools Mirroring the Moon, the Bai Causeway and Solitary Hill. After a traditional Chinese lunch, you will visit Guo’s Villa, one of the best traditional private gardens in the city. Hangzhou is also famous for its Dragon Well tea and you can discover the history of Chinese tea and the traditional tea ceremony on a visit to the Meijiawu Tea Village. Before returning to Shanghai, you will enjoy a drive along the Qiantang River where you can view the Liuhe Pagoda, also known as the Six Harmonies Pagoda. On this tour, you can immerse yourself in the history of Shanghai with the assistance of your own personal guide.

Shanghai: 3.5-Hour Old Shanghai City Tour

7. Shanghai: 3.5-Hour Old Shanghai City Tour

Get an inside perspective of the changing scenes of Shanghai on a 3.5-hour tour that discovers old city sights, and the trendy entertainment area of Xintiandi. The tour begins with a visit to Yuyuan Garden, one of the finest imperial gardens in China, known for its classic landscape architecture. Stop at a market that sells birds and crickets, as well as an antique market, where you can rummage for bargain items. Wander down lively streets filled with local residents, sometimes still dressed in their pajamas. See tiny family-owned shops, and elderly folk playing cards on the streets. Once you reach Xintiandi, the scenery will change, and Old Shanghai gives way to its new cosmopolitan face. The stylish nightlife district is crammed with boutique stores, busy pubs and bars, and chic restaurants. Once known as the Old Shikumen area, the antique charm has been gentrified to international levels of sophistication.

Shanghai: 3-Hour Local Food Tasting Tour

8. Shanghai: 3-Hour Local Food Tasting Tour

Explore the local restaurant scene of Shanghai on a 3-hour food tasting tour of the city center. Start in the Xintiandi area to taste one of the best dumpling soups in the city. Then, go to the Huaihai Road to sit down at 3 different restaurants and a dessert shop. Marvel at the change in architecture as you move from the French Concession to the shikumen-style buildings that combine western and Chinese elements. Sample authentic dishes such as parched chicken, red-braised pork, scallion oil noodles, candied lotus rice and moon cakes. Try a cup of Longjing green tea or Fujian black tea and get a local insight into life in Shanghai.

Shanghai: Private Tour of the Shanghai Museum

9. Shanghai: Private Tour of the Shanghai Museum

Explore one of the best museums in Shanghai on a 3-hour guided tour of the Shanghai Museum. Learn about the ancient stories of Egyptians, Greeks, and Romans while taking in the stunning atmosphere.  Meet your guide and enter the museum before exploring the long history of China with thousands of masterpieces of ancient Chinese artworks. Some were even made 3000 years ago.  Witness the creativeness of the ancient Chinese and find all different shapes of wine cups here, whether shaped like a dog or a human being.  See the ceramics, calligraphy, bronze objects, and many other elements together with your guide. Whether you are an archaeology and history fan, or not, you can have a lot of fun on this tour.

From Shanghai: Suzhou Private Full-Day Trip by Fast Train

10. From Shanghai: Suzhou Private Full-Day Trip by Fast Train

Suzhou was the capital of Wu culture 800 years ago and is one of China's leading historic cities. Developing around the Grand Canal that forged much of China's traditional north-south commerce Suzhou is built around a series of canals. Now a modern thriving city, Suzhou maintains a traditional core surrounded by a moat and is world-famous as a UNESCO world heritage site for its traditional Chinese gardens. Upon arrival, you will be met by your local guide in Suzhou and transferred to visit one of China's most exquisite gardens, The Humble Administrator's Garden, a Cultural Heritage site including both a residential quarter and a delicately landscaped garden. You will learn the beauty of the well-known Suzhou Garden while wandering around the pavilions, bridges, houses, etc. in the garden. After lunch at a local restaurant, you will be transferred to Shantang Street which is a good example of a water town in Southern China with well-preserved traditional architecture. You can wander around the old street to view the Opera Stage, Boat Museum, etc. Then you will take a boat on the Grand Canal for about 40 minutes to view the scenery. Then you will be moved to the Suzhou Silk Museum which exhibits the history of Chinese Silk from ancient times to modern times. Afterward, you will be transferred to Suzhou Railway Station to catch a bullet train back to Shanghai.

Other Sightseeing Options in Shanghai

Want to discover all there is to do in Shanghai? Click here for a full list.

What people are saying about Shanghai

Overall rating

4.5 / 5

based on 914 reviews

What a great afternoon experience with my guide! Given the covid influence, I wasn't sure whether tours still exist or not. It turned out to be one of my favorite day since moved to this city last year. A perfect balance between tea& dessert and walking through old concession neigbourhood. Different from my western taste, it surprised me a lot about locals' flavor. Highly recommend if you're into culture, food and local life.

I had one of the best sightseeing tours. I left all the planning to Tom and he came up trumps. During these Covid times he had planned ahead to ensure we could enter all the attractions I wanted to see. He was knowledgeable, relaxed and easy to talk to. I look forward to my next trip to Shanghai when I will book Tom again. I will also recommend him to friends and colleagues who visit Shanghai too.

Tom was an amazing tour guide who was flexible and wonderfully knowledgeable. He communicates so well both before and during the tour I learned so much from him about the local history and even the plans for the city in the future. Would definitely recommend you book his tour! (I travel extensively and he is one of the best most knowledgeable guides I’ve ever had!)

Tom is a great guide. Vast knowledge about history, but also gives interesting facts about Chinese lifestyle. I enjoyed every moment. Definitely will recommend.

Tom was an amazing guide and he incredibly informative!