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How to Spend 1 Day in Shanghai

How to Spend 1 Day in Shanghai

China’s ultra-modern metropolis, Shanghai is home to tall skyscrapers, trendy cuisine, and a rich multicultural history. With a little planning, even time-restricted travelers can see the city’s top attractions in a day. Here’s what you need to know to make the most out of your 24 hours in Shanghai.

Morning: Modern Shanghai

Begin your day with a city sightseeing tour that starts in Pudong financial district. Head to the top of the Oriental Pearl Tower, World Financial Center, or Shanghai Tower to take in the views before descending back to street level for a photo op of the skyline from the Bund. Shanghai is perhaps most famous for its futuristic skyline, and this colonial-era promenade along the Huangpu River affords some of the best views. 

Afternoon: Historic City Sites

After lunch, step into Old Shanghai and back in time on a walking tour of the French Concession with its collection of colonial mansions or check out the 500-year-old Yuyuan Garden in the heart of Shanghai’s Old Town (Nanshi). If time permits, stop by Jade Buddha Temple, one of China’s few working Buddhist monasteries, to see the statues within. If you prefer to explore the city at your own pace, consider taking a hop-on hop-off sightseeing bus, which stops at these highlights and more. 

Night: Dinner Cruise

End your day in Shanghai with a cruise along Huangpu River. Book a table at Din Tai Fung for  dumplings beforehand, or have dinner onboard as you float past the illuminated skyscrapers of Pudong. If you still have energy after a day of sightseeing, upgrade your evening with some guided bar-hopping along the Shanghai riverfront or pub crawl through the French Concession.

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9 Tours and Activities

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Private Full-Day Tour: Shanghai Old and New Highlights

Private Full-Day Tour: Shanghai Old and New Highlights

star-5
399
Discover old and modern Shanghai as you wish on a full-day private tour. With a personal guide, explore attractions like The Bund, Ming-Dynasty Yu Garden, Jade Buddha Temple, and visit the observation deck of one of Shanghai’s highest skyscrapers. Customize your itinerary to suit you and opt to explore by private vehicle with lunch and select entrance fees included, or by private vehicle or public transit with lunch and entrance fees at own expense.
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  • 7 to 8 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$121.50
Price varies by group size
From
$121.50
Price varies by group size

Best of Shanghai Day Tour, including Jade Buddha Temple & Bund & Yuyuan Garden

Best of Shanghai Day Tour, including Jade Buddha Temple & Bund & Yuyuan Garden

star-4
291
Enhance your sightseeing experience of Shanghai on an enriching full-day excursion around the city. See all of the city’s spectacular sights with a knowledgeable guide as you tour a selection of historical highlights; absorb the sacred majesty of the Jade Buddha Temple; immerse yourself in the city’s rich heritage at the Shanghai Museum; and stroll amid the botanical beauty of the Yuyuan Garden. Walk along the Bund and the former French Concession and enjoy a traditional Chinese lunch.
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  • 8 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$79.00
From
$79.00

Shanghai Half Day Morning or Afternoon Sightseeing Tour

Shanghai Half Day Morning or Afternoon Sightseeing Tour

star-3.5
103
Enhance your experience of Shanghai regardless of time constrains on a morning or afternoon half-day sightseeing tour. See the best of Shanghai with a knowledgeable guide as you discover historical highlights like The Bund and the Jade Buddha Temple. Learn the complex process of pearl cultivation at the Fresh Water Pearl Gallery; absorb the antique charm of Shanghai Old Street; and delve into the city’s rich historical heritage at Shanghai Museum. Convenient round-trip transportation from your Shanghai hotel is included on this tour.
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  • 4 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$56.54
From
$56.54

Walking Through the Hidden Door of Shanghai Old Town

Walking Through the Hidden Door of Shanghai Old Town

star-5
87
From ancient carvings located behind laundries to the 300-year-old Secluded Library (not open to the public), learn what lies behind the modern glamour of one of China’s largest and most cosmopolitan cities on this private walking tour of Old Shanghai. With just your group and private guide, head to a number of off-the-beaten-track attractions and quirky historical sites that create a fuller understanding of Shanghai’s history and contemporary culture alike.
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  • 3 hours to 3 hours 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
From
$99.00
Price varies by group size
From
$99.00
Price varies by group size

Shanghai Night River Cruise Tour with Xinjiang Style Dining Experience

Shanghai Night River Cruise Tour with Xinjiang Style Dining Experience

star-5
179
Get the most out of your Shanghai trip by experiencing the combination of a Huangpu River cruise and a Xinjiang food experience. Take the stress out of navigating the metro, and instead travel in a private, air-conditioned vehicle. See multiple famous Shanghai landmarks from your river cruise such as Oriental Pearl TV Tower and World Financial Center, and have a guide to translate the menu during your Xinjiang feast.
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  • 3 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$138.00
Price varies by group size
From
$138.00
Price varies by group size

Din Tai Fung Dinner Experience and Acrobatics Show in Shanghai

Din Tai Fung Dinner Experience and Acrobatics Show in Shanghai

star-5
11
Ensure a memorable evening out in Shanghai on this 4-hour tour, including dinner at one of the city’s Michelin-starred restaurants. Tuck into delicious soup dumplings, wontons, and other Chinese specialties at Din Tai Fung restaurant, then enjoy a spectacular 75-minute performance by the Shanghai Acrobatics Troupe, including martial arts, circus tricks, acrobatics and magic acts. Hotel pickup and drop-off is included.
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  • 4 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$168.00
Price varies by group size
From
$168.00
Price varies by group size

Huangpu River Cruise and Bund City Lights Evening Tour of Shanghai

Huangpu River Cruise and Bund City Lights Evening Tour of Shanghai

star-4
102
Experience the incandescent beauty of The Bund, Shanghai’s cosmopolitan cultural district, on an evening tour of the waterfront. Accompanied by an expert guide, see the city’s most significant landmarks under the atmospheric cover of darkness; board an evening cruise boat to watch the city sparkle from the shimmering Huangpu River, then stroll the area to admire the historical Peace Hotel. Hop into a trolley to enjoy spectacular views of Nanjing Road and enjoy the convenience of round-trip transportation from your Shanghai hotel.
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  • 2 hours 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
From
$84.27
From
$84.27

Half-Day Bike Tour of Shanghai Old Town with Food Tasting

Half-Day Bike Tour of Shanghai Old Town with Food Tasting

star-5
255
China’s biggest city might not seem like the place for a relaxing bike ride, but the narrow lanes of Shanghai’s atmospheric Old Town are ideal for a cycling tour. On this bike tour, explore the Former French Concession, pedal around Fuxing Park, and hop off to visit a Buddhist temple, stroll around a traditional wet market, and re-fuel with coffee and pastries.
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  • 4 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$23.06
From
$23.06

Private Customized Tour: Shanghai in One Day

Private Customized Tour: Shanghai in One Day

star-4
28
Enhance your sightseeing experience of Shanghai by designing your own itinerary on this private, full-day tour. Accompanied by a knowledgeable guide, customize your day according to your interests and see only the Shanghai sights that you wish to see. Choose to visit some of the city’s historical highlights; ask your guide to take you to the most popular shopping locations; or delve into the rich historical heritage of the area by visiting intriguing museums. However you wish to spend your time in Shanghai, the undivided attention of your guide is guaranteed on this private custom tour. 
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  • 8 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$75.00
Price varies by group size
From
$75.00
Price varies by group size