3 Days in Shanghai: Itinerary Ideas

Shanghai is a modern city, buzzing with life. It is the largest and most developed Chinese city. There are enough sights to keep you occupied for three days, but you’d also want to explore the water villages close to the city.

Huangpu River splits the city in two, with Puxi being the older city center. Pudong is home to the new , modern buildings.

Itinerary assumptions:

  • You will fly in and out of Shanghai
  • Staying in a hostel or budget hotel is preferred
  • Taking the public transportation and using trains to travel outside the city is preferred over tours.

Day 1

Start your day with getting to know the modern city of Shanghai. Make your way to Nanjing Road, a pedestrian street where you can walk among locals and tourists. Shop or do a bit of people watching.

Then you can take a cruise on Huang River to see both banks of the river. One bank features western-style buildings, while the other features skyscrapers. The views are magnificent no matter when you take the cruise — day or night. Catch the cruise from the Shiliupu Ferry Terminal.




End the way at the Oriental TV Tower, which offers incredible views of the city and its ever-changing skyline. Alternatively, check out the Shanghai World Financial Center, the second tallest building in the world, with its three observatories ( 90th floor, 94th floor and 100th floor). The highest has a glass floor. Maybe have a meal with a view .

>>read more about What to eat in China

Day 2

Take the time to explore the surroundings of the city and get a feel of what it used to be like before the economical boom. The water villages of Suzhou and Zhouzhuang are excellent for a day trip. Suzhou is preserved as a model of Ming Dynasty garden. Then, travel by water to Zhouzhuang to see this amazing village, trapped in time. The locals still go about their daily lives as they did hundreds of years ago.

High speed trains take you in about 25 min to Suzhou, while regular trains take about 1h (and cost 15 RMB / US$2.40).

>>read about Getting from Shanghai to Suzhou

Day 3

It’s time to check out Shanghai’s main sights: People’s Square , Jade Buddha Temple, Shanghai Museum, Yu Garden, the Bund and the Shanghai silk factory. You can also do a self-guided tour of French Concession.

>>read more about the Things to do in Shanghai

Photo credits
: Nanjing Road , Suzhou , the Bund

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