What to see in Shanghai in 7 days

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Lluis Enric Mayans

wikipedia.org, lonelyplanet.com

Author and references

Are you planning a trip to China? Surely you can't miss the beautiful Shanghai, a cosmopolitan and lively city, who knows combine its modern side with the more traditional one. The city is divided in two by the Huangpu River and between its skyscrapers and buildings with futuristic architecture you will find traditional and ancient tea rooms, temples and beautiful gardens with attention to the smallest detail.

Among the largest cities in China, today it is an economic, financial and communications center, and to visit it far and wide you will necessarily need more than a weekend! Are you ready to leave with us?
Here what to see in Shanghai in 7 days!


  1. 1 day
  2. 2 day
  3. 3 day
  4. 4 day
  5. 5 day
  6. 6 day
  7. 7 day
  8. How much is a week in Shanghai
  9. Before leaving: useful tips
  10. User questions and comments

1 day

First day in Shanghai, the great Chinese metropolis. Start this vacation from People's Square, the most famous square in the city, inside the large city park called People's Park. Visit the Shanghai Museum, a museum of ancient Chinese art to begin learning about Chinese culture. Inside you will find 120.000 artifacts that cover almost 5 millennia of civilization. Open every day from 9:00 to 17:00, admission is free, dedicate at least half a day!

After the visit, stop for lunch near the People's Park, perhaps at the Avant-Garde (average cost per person € 10,00).
In the afternoon, explore the Nanjing Road, the most famous shopping street in the city. It is compared to New York's 5th Avenue! Admire the colonial-style buildings, lose yourself in the thousands of antique shops, luxury boutiques and stop for a drink in the many bars. For a kilometer and a half this street is completely pedestrian.
Follow it all until you reach the The Bund, Shanghai's beautiful riverfront, which stops to admire the evocative skyline of the city. The best time to see this place is in the evening, when the sun starts to go down and the city lights come on.

Finish with a dinner at SHOOK !, from whose terrace you will enjoy a wonderful view (average cost per person € 20,00). After dinner enjoy a stroll and admire the city lights.

In summary:

  • Distance traveled: 4,1 km / 58 min
  • Places visited: People's Square (free), Shanghai Museum (free), Nanjing Road (free), The Bund (free)
  • Daily shopping: € 30,00
  • The Bund and Chinese Acrobatics Show Half day Bund Tour with lunch
  • Lunch at Avant-Garde (Get directions), Dinner at SHOOK! (Get directions)

2 day

Second day to dedicate to discover the old city of Shanghai, the Old Town! Start from Yu Mandarin Garden, a little corner of paradise within the city. Yu Yuan really means "peace and comfort". They are a collection of ponds and pavilions from the Ming dynasty, bamboo groves and small courtyards. They are among the most beautiful gardens in the city. Open daily from 8:45 am to 16:45 pm, admission costs CNY 15,00 (approximately € 2,00).
Once you leave the gardens, get lost in Yuyuan Old Street, a historic street full of traditional shops and places where you can stop for something to eat.

Stop for a quick lunch at Xiaolin Jianbing, to taste Chinese street food (average cost per person € 5,00) and then continue with the exploration of the old city.
Start the afternoon itinerary by visiting the City Gold Temple, one of the most significant and important Taoist monuments in Shanghai. Dedicated to three great Taoist deities, it is open every day from 8:30 am to 16:30 pm and is absolutely worth a visit.
Then stroll along the Shanghai Old Street, central street of the old city, full of shops, restaurants, historic buildings and attractions. Follow it all until you reach the Gucheng Park, a beautiful park ideal for walking and admiring the city skyline.

End the day with a dinner in the old town, perhaps at Masses Stretched Noodles (average cost per person € 10,00) and then head to the Shiliupu Marina, to admire the view of the city from the pier.

In summary:

  • Distance traveled: 3,3 km / 45 min
  • Places visited: Yu Mandarin Garden (€ 2,00), Yuyuan Old Street (free), City Gold Temple (free), Shanghai Old Street (free), Shiliupu Marina (free)
  • Daily shopping: € 17,00
  • entrance ticket to the Yu Mandarin garden splendid 8-hour private city tour
  • Lunch at Xiaolin Jianbing (Get Directions), Dinner at Masses Stretched Noodles (Get Directions)

3 day

Start this day at one of the most beautiful and famous temples in Shanghai, the Jade Buddha Temple. It is currently frequented by about seventy monks. You can visit it inside and it will be one of the most beautiful visits during your stay. Open daily from 8:30 am to 16:30 pm, admission costs CNY 20,00 (approximately € 2,50).
Once the visit is over, take a taxi and reach the second stop of the morning, the Jingan Temple, with inside the largest Buddha in all of China, almost four meters high. Open daily from 7:30 am to 17:00 pm and the entrance fee is CNY 30,00 (approximately € 3,80).

Stop for lunch at Twosome Coffee (average cost per person € 10,00) and then enjoy a walk in the beautiful Jing'an Park, a park that takes its name from the temple.
Then head to one of the most visited areas: theformer French concession, of which one of the main streets is Huai Hai Zhong Lu. This area was a foreign concession from 1849 until 1946, until the French handed it back to the local government. Today is a trendy and youthful neighborhood, in the evening it becomes the center of nightlife of the whole area. Get lost in its streets and don't forget to take a trip to Tianzifang, a set of small streets full of shops, clubs, small shops and corners to be discovered.

End the day with a Western-style dinner at New York Style Steak & Burger (average cost per person € 10,00) and then enjoy an eventful evening in this neighborhood!

In summary:

  • Distance traveled: 7,4 km / 1 h 42 min
  • Places visited: Jade Buddha Temple (€ 2,50), Jingan Temple (€ 3,80), Jingan Park (free), former French concession (free), Huai Hai Zhong Lu (free), Tianzifang (free)
  • Daily shopping: € 26,00
  • 2-hour walking tour of the Shanghai French Concession
  • Lunch at Twosome Coffee (Get Directions), Dinner at New York Style Steak & Burger (Get Directions)

4 day

Day dedicated to the discovery of Pudong, the modern and futuristic part of Shanghai!

Start the morning by visiting the China Art Museum, one of the largest art museums in all of Asia! Also called China Art Palace or Shanghai Art Museum, it is housed inside the Chinese pavilion of Expo 2010. A real architectural jewel, inside you can admire a collection of modern art with works by Chinese and international artists. Open Tuesday to Sunday from 10:00 to 18:00, free to visit, admission to special and temporary exhibitions costs 20,00 CNY (approximately € 2,50).

Have lunch at Grandma's Home (average cost per person € 15,00) and then take a taxi and reach the financial center of Shanghai in about 15 minutes.
Admire the large skyscrapers of this area and strolling through its streets, lo Shanghai World Financial Center Jin Mao Tower and get onOriental Pearl Tower, the Shanghai Television Tower. On its observatory you can admire the city from above, it will be a truly incredible experience! The ticket costs 220,00 CNY (approximately € 28,00).

End the day with an international dinner at Blue Frog (average cost per person € 20,00) and then enjoy a stroll along the banks of the river.

In summary:

  • Distance traveled: 13,4 km / 34 min (by car)
  • Places visited: China Art Museum (free, special exhibitions € 2,50), Shanghai World Financial Center (free), Jin Mao Tower (free), Oriental Pearl Tower (€ 28,00)
  • Daily shopping: € 65,00
  • Bund and Oriental Pearl: Half Day Shanghai Tour
  • Lunch at Grandma's Home (Get directions), Dinner at Blue Frog (Get directions)

5 day

Did you know that there is a theme park in Shanghai Disneyland? It is the second largest in China (first is that of Hong Kong) and the sixth in the world! It was inaugurated in June 2016 and was built thanks to an agreement between The Walt Disney Company and the Shanghai Shendi Group.
Here you can spend a day of total fun, not to be missed! Reaching it is really very simple thanks to the metro line 11 that connects the theme park to the city center!

The park is generally open every day approximately from 9:00 to 22:00. The basic ticket starts from € 85,00 for adults and € 63,00 for children, then there are several packages, all available on the official website.
The park consists of 5 large thematic areas: Gardens of Imagination, Fantasyland, Adventure Isle, Tomorrowland and Treasure Cove.

For dinner, return to Shanghai, again in the Pudong area, in the financial district, Paulaner Brauhaus Shanghai At Binjiang Branch (average cost per person € 20,00).

In summary:

  • Distance traveled: 61,5 km / 1 h 25 min (by car)
  • Places visited: Disneyland Shanghai (€ 85,00)
  • Daily shopping: € 105,00
  • Lunch at Disneyland Shanghai (Get Directions), Dinner at Paulaner Brauhaus Shanghai At Binjiang Branch (Get Directions)

6 day

Here is a somewhat particular out-of-town trip one of the many villages on the water: Zhujiajiao, 47 kilometers from the city. This small ancient city is full of canals and waterways, so much so that it has been called the Little Venice of the East. Reaching it is very simple: from the Puanlu bus station (near People's Square) you will have to take the bus of the Huzhu Gaosu Kuàixiàn line, which will take you to your destination in about an hour (departures every 15 or 30 minutes).

Explore Zhujiajiao da Bei Da Jie, the main artery of this town. Follow it all, cross the Fangsheng Bridge (the most famous bridge in the city), get to the Zhujiajiao Ancient Town, an immense garden full of paths and canals all to explore!

Here, stop for lunch at Jinman Farmhouse Food (average cost per person € 10,00).
Then continue along the alleys until you reach the Yuanjin Temple, a Buddhist monastery also known as the Temple of the Goddess. Open every day from 8:30 am to 16:30 pm, admission is free.
Then visit the Qing Dynasty Post Office, an old post office used as a museum that will take you back in time! Open every day from 8:30 am to 16:30 pm, admission costs CNY 30,00 (approximately € 3,80).

Finish with a Longtang Noodle dinner (average cost per person € 10,00) and then return to Shanghai.

In summary:

  • Distance traveled: 99,5 km / 2 h 11 min (by car)
  • Places visited: Zhujiajiao (free), Bei Da Jie (free), Fangsheng Bridge (free), Zhujiajiao Ancient Town (free), Yuanjin Temple (free), Qing Dynasty Post Office (€ 3,80)
  • Daily shopping: € 14,00
  • Afternoon Tour to Zhujiajiao Zhujiajiao Water Village: Zhujiajiao Ancient City Private Tour and Huangpu River Cruise
  • Lunch at Jinman Farmhouse Food (Get Directions), Dinner at Longtang Noodle (Get Directions)

7 day

In the morning enjoy a beautiful visit to Shanghai Ocean Aquarium, an incredible aquarium to learn about the marine world. You can admire more than 450 marine species, some of which are very rare, and you can walk in a 180 meter long glass tunnel under the water. Open daily from 9:00 to 18:00, admission costs CNY 135,00 (approximately € 17,20).

For lunch, stop for a sandwich from Subway (average cost per person € 10,00), under the Oriental Pearl Tower, and then reach by taxi, in 15 min, Shiliupu Marina from where many ferries and boats depart every day that will make you do a beautiful boat ride on the Huangpu River. There are cruises of different duration, active every day from 11:00 to 20:30, we advise you to participate in one of one hour at a cost of about € 17,00. Once the boat ride is over and you get off on the way to Shiliupu Marina, enjoy a 20-minute walk along the river bank until you return to the Bund, which was visited on the first day.

End your vacation with dinner at M on the Bund. Here the prices are a bit high, but you will have a fabulous view over Pudong (average cost per person € 40,00).

In summary:

  • Distance traveled: 4,6 km / 1 h 2 min
  • Places visited: Shanghai Ocean Aquarium (€ 17,20), River boat ride (€ 17,00), Bund (free)
  • Daily shopping: € 84,00
  • half day tour to Yu Yuan and Bund gardens
  • Lunch at Subway (Get directions), Dinner at M on the Bund (Get directions)

How much is a week in Shanghai

NB: The prices expressed in the table above are to be intended "per person".

Shanghai is a city suitable for all budgets and all types of travelers! Thanks to its wide range of hostels, b & bs, mid-range hotels and large luxury hotels, you will be able to find the right accommodation for you!
Also for lunches and dinners, you will find both small places that serve traditional local dishes at a very economical price, and luxury restaurants with extraordinary views over the city with a very high final bill.
The purchase of the flight will affect your budget more, but by taking your time you can find good offers!

  • starting from € 400,00 -
  • Hotel and b & b starting from € 20 per room -
  • gorgeous 8-hour private city tour Huangpu River evening boat tour Yu Yuan and Bund Gardens half day tour
  • Total cost of a week, flight included: from € 950,00 per person

Before leaving: useful tips

  • When to visit Shanghai: from May to September, paying attention in July and August as they are the hottest months. In winter, however, it can be very cold and, above all, there is a lot of rainfall
  • How to get to Shanghai-Pudong airport: It is 30 kilometers from the center and can be reached by Maglev Train (50,00 CNY, approximately € 6,40, one way; 80,00 CNY, approximately € 10,20, return ticket), by metro line 2 (7,00 CNY, around € 0,90) or by taxi (average fare 100,00 CNY, around € 12,70). Flights starting from € 313,00 -
  • How to get to Shanghai Hongqiao airport: It is 13 kilometers away and can be reached by metro, lines 2 and 10 (7,00 CNY, about € 0,90), by bus from terminal 1 (7,00 CNY, about € 0,90) and by taxi ( average fare CNY 70,00, about € 8,90). Flights starting from € 313,00 -
  • Huangpu is the central district, one of the most expensive, close to subway stations and attractions. Xuhui is the residential district. The Old Town is characteristic, while Pudong is the neighborhood full of skyscrapers and futuristic buildings
  • Getting around: on foot they are in the individual districts, given its size we recommend using public transport. You can use the subway with 13 lines (ticket cost from 3,00 to 6,00 CNY, about € 0,40-0,70), buses, although not recommended as all lines are written in Chinese (ticket cost from 3,00 to 6,00 CNY, about € 0,40-0,70) or taxis, very cheap - find out more
  • Local currency: Chinese yuan (CNY) / € 1,00 = CNY 7,85
  • Time zone: + 7 hours compared to Italy; + 6 hours when summer time is in force in Italy
  • Entry requirements: passport with residual validity of at least 6 months, visa to be requested from the Chinese Diplomatic-Consular Missions in Italy
  • Recommended cards and passes: Go Shanghai Card, in the All-Inclusive or Explorer forms, includes free admissions, free use of public transport and discounts on authorized shops and restaurants

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