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Shanghai Old City (Nanshi)
Shanghai Old City (Nanshi)

Shanghai Old City (Nanshi)

Free admission
No.269 Fangbang Middle Road, Huangpu District

The Basics

Most visitors to the old city head for Old Street and Yuyuan Garden, a classical garden also known for its bazaar with antiques and tea shops. The streets and alleys radiating out from this center teem with restaurants, curiosity shops, street food vendors, and temples, including the worthwhile Temple of the Town God.

Many Shanghai tours include a stop in Shanghai Old City, as well as the Bund and the Shanghai Museum. You might choose to explore Nanshi on a leisurely private walking tour, or combine a sightseeing tour that includes Nanshi with lunch and a river cruise.

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Half-Day Bike Tour of Shanghai Old Town with Food Tasting
Half-Day Bike Tour of Shanghai Old Town with Food Tasting
$23.00 per adult
Traveler Favorite
A Unique and Wonderful Morning
This is a great way to see some wonderful parts of Old Shanghai and to really feel part of the daily and street life. The company is excellent. I highly recommend this experience.
Pioneer31599400951, Apr 2019

Recent reviews from experiences in Shanghai

star-5
A great alternative option for seeing Shanghai
Safari57858589275, Jan 2020
Walking Through the Hidden Door of Shanghai Old Town
I opted to do this tour because the typical Shanghai day tours didn't really appeal to me. Kelly was terrific, great local knowledge, flawless English and very patient and generous with her time. Wondering through the tiny alleyways of the old town, I feel I saw and learned things I would never have been able to otherwise. Very happy to recommend it.
star-5
Great way to spend a morning.
Jan_B, Oct 2019
Walking Through the Hidden Door of Shanghai Old Town
Fei Fei was a great guide who showed us a few different areas of Shanghai not usually visited by tourists. She was passionate and had a lot of enthusiasm. The tour was great and more so because of a great guide.
star-5
Interesting historic perspective of Shanghai from the mid 1800's-mid 1900's
Salma_T, Oct 2019
Walking Through the Hidden Door of Shanghai Old Town
Ms. Penny was knowledgeable in her history knowledge of old Shanghai and the political eras that Shanghai went through. There were 2 bonuses 1.Visiting a historic home in old Shanghai and meeting Mrs Gao 2. Visiting the Jade Budha Temple- the architecture is stunning. This tour is definitely off the beaten path! Thank you Ms Penny.
star-5
Shanghai Yu Garden and Old Town Private Tour
fly4sungp, May 2019
2-Hour Shanghai Yu Garden and Old Town Private Walking Tour
MY spouse and I truly enjoyed this private walking tour through old Shanghai. Our guide Sunny was wonderful. She came to meet us at our hotel promptly at 8:30 am. She ordered a Chinese Uber type car service to take us to Old Town Shanghai. Sunny was very knowledgeable, and easy to talk to. Her English speaking skills are excellent. She was very quick to answer any of our questions, and if she didn't know she would use her phone to search for the answer. It was a beautiful morning to walk through the Garden. The Yu Gardens are beautifully planted and well maintained. There are several pavilions to walk through with ponds and water features to enjoy. Sunny made references to the history of the Yu Gardens and any architectural features as we made our way through. She was also very accommodating when we wanted to shop in old town. She translated for us which was very helpful. After our tour she even accompanied us to The French Concession where she suggested we have a cold beer and lunch at The Refinery Shanghai Brewery. We did, and it was the perfect spot. Great for relaxing while people watching and a enjoying tasty lunch. I highly recommend this tour, and especially appreciated our Guide Sunny. You will too.
star-5
Wonderful & Informative Tour
Steve_L, Nov 2018
Shanghai Old Time Exploration with Sassoon's Cathay Mansion or Din Tai Fung Dining
This tour of Shanghai exceeded my expectations. Penny met me on time at my hotel and immediately set out to discover my interests and hopes for the tour. The entire tour was comfortably paced and seamlessly organized. We interacted with people in the park or on the street as appropriate and elements of the city really came to life. Penny proved impressively knowledgable about the history of Shanhai and she clearly enjoys sharing stories of the city. The food and conversation over lunch were both delightful. I heartily recommend this tour for anyone interested in a six-hour journey into this lovely and surprising city.
star-5
Exciting Insights about historical side of Shanghai!
Katharina_P, Sep 2019
Walking Through the Hidden Door of Shanghai Old Town
The tour was absolutely the right choice! Penny is a very knowledgeable and competent guide and a beautiful woman too!  I really enjoyed the tour, learned a lot about the historical side of Shanghai and for sure saw some exciting corners and places of old Shanghai, which are not accessible for an usual tourist. Absolutely recommendable and I will for sure book the next tour on my future trip to Shanghai! Thank you.
star-5
Walking Tour Shanghai Old Town
Kimberly_C, Jun 2019
Walking Through the Hidden Door of Shanghai Old Town
Ms. Kelly was very professional and knowledgeable. The pace of the tour was just right and all sights informative and interesting. Would highly recommend. Thank you!!
star-4
Fascinating glimpse into old Shanghai
tocdew, Jun 2018
Walking Through the Hidden Door of Shanghai Old Town
Our Guide Fei Fei was extremely knowledgeable and enthusiastic. Fascinating to visit a home in Old Shanghai to see what life was like before the high rise apartments. Also saw the Jade Buddha and Confucius temple, which were not crowded like the other tourist sites. Our guide was always conscious of our comfort level, as it was pouring rain that day and it is a walking tour. Would recommend this tour.
star-4
Walking through the hidden door of shanghai old town
Ginny_S, Oct 2019
Walking Through the Hidden Door of Shanghai Old Town
My adult son and I took this tour. Penny was a very knowledgeable guide and answered all of our questions. We learned things about the old shanghai town, which we had never seen before, while on previous trips to Shanghai. Just a friendly suggestion though: when picking up customers for this private tour I would suggest that the tour guide announce our name(s) when she enters the lobby of the hotel to pick us up. We waited for 25 minutes in the lobby not realizing that the guide was in the lobby too. Instead she texted me (I only left my home phone number and did not include my cell no.) therefore she was not able to reach me. Announce our names first or show our names on a piece of paper, than have the hotel call up to our room, and lastly if still unable to reach the customer, than contact the customer on the cell phone through text or by calling. Other than that the tour was very informative. Thank you.
star-5
Great experience!
aanchalkumar, Sep 2019
Walking Through the Hidden Door of Shanghai Old Town
This was a fantastic tour. Kelly (our guide) took us through little nooks and crannies of the city we would never have explored by ourselves..It was fantastic to see the old houses and the old way of life co-existing side by side with the new. We also got a taste of the local supermarket and street food! I was very happy to be able to able to experience this side of Shanghai, after having visited the fancy bars and clubs the previous night:) Special mention to Kelly for being so knowledgeable and helpful:) I would highly recommend this tour to anyone- especially if you enjoy doing the "non touristy" stuff!
star-5
Amazing look into Shanghai's history
Venice N, Jun 2019
Walking Through the Hidden Door of Shanghai Old Town
We had Kelly as our guide. She met us at our hotel at 9am and took us on an amazing journey through Shanghai history. Kelly has such a great knowledge of Chinese history. It is a shame to find out that much of the Old Town is set to be demolished with the residents being moved out. Hopefully there will be a museum established to allow this history to be passed on to visitors of this area. We recommend if you are visiting Shanghai in the next year make sure you visit here and do the tour because it will be gone forever. So glad we did the tour and thank you Kelly you were amazing.

Things to Know Before You Go

  • Shanghai Old City is a must-see for first-time visitors, history buffs, and bargain hunters.

  • Wear comfortable shoes suitable for walking over uneven surfaces.

  • If you’re visiting independently, give yourself two to four hours to explore the area.

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How to Get There

Shanghai Old City is located southwest of the Bund. The easiest way to get to the neighborhood is to take the subway, line 10 to Yuyuan Garden or line 8 to Dashijie.

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Trip ideas

Ways to Beat the Crowds in Shanghai

Ways to Beat the Crowds in Shanghai


When to Get There

The best time to visit Shanghai Old City is on a weekday morning. Weekends tend to be crowded with tourists and shoppers, so plan to arrive early if you’re visiting on a Saturday or Sunday. Garden enthusiasts should aim to visit in early spring, when the trees are budding and the gardens are perhaps at their loveliest.

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What to Eat in Nanshi

There are several famous Chinese foods associated with the Old City area, most notably soup dumplings, or xiaolongbao. Be prepared to line up for this street food favorite. After getting your fill, spend some time sipping tea at Huxinting, one of China’s oldest and most famous tea houses, just outside Yuyuan Garden.

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