Things to do in
Shanghai

Enter your dates to find available activities

Top activities


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: 3-Hour Local Food Tasting Tour

2. 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 Yunnan 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: Zhujiajiao UNESCO Water Town Afternoon Tour

3. 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

4. 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.

From Shanghai: Suzhou & Zhouzhuang Water Town with Boat Ride

5. From Shanghai: Suzhou & Zhouzhuang Water Town with Boat Ride

Discover two picturesque Chinese towns, Suzhou and Zhouzhuang, each with its own unique characteristics. Founded in around 600 BC, Suzhou is one of the oldest settlements in the Yangtze basin. Its neighborhoods and interconnected waterways are truly a masterpiece. Suzhou was one of the few cities in China to escape the ravages of the Cultural Revolution, its celebrated gardens miraculously surviving largely intact. Visit the Master of Nets Garden, the Silk Embroidery Research Institute, the Grand Canal and a silk factory while in Suzhou. After a traditional Chinese lunch, you'll travel to Zhouzhuang. Well known for its beautiful natural environment and simple architecture, this city has remained remarkably well-preserved for over 900 years. The majority of the town's residences were built during the Ming and Qing dynasties, with nearly 100 classic courtyards and 60 carved-brick archways from those periods still in use. Travel by boat through the city’s waterways and past classic Zhouzhuang dwellings before returning to Shanghai. Immerse yourself in the history of Shanghai with the assistance of your own personal guide.

Shanghai Must-See and Foodie Bike Tour

6. 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: Private Tour of the Shanghai Museum

7. 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.

Shanghai: 8-Hour Private City Tour

8. 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: Private and Personalized Guided Tour

9. Shanghai: Private and Personalized Guided Tour

Book a private tour for 4 or 8 hours and inform the local partner of your preferences so that you can be assigned a like-minded guide to take you around the city. 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. The last stop is the Pudong Business and Financial Center where all of the main skyscrapers are located. See the tallest building, Shanghai Tower, as well as the Shanghai World Finacial Center, and Jinmao Tower before being helped transfer back to your hotel or chosen downtown location.

Full-Day Zhujiajiao Water Town Tour and Huangpu River Cruise

10. Full-Day Zhujiajiao Water Town Tour and Huangpu River Cruise

This 9-hour combination tour begins at around 12:00 PM with a pick-up at your hotel. Drive to visit the Zhujiajiao Water Town, one of Shanghai’s 4 ancient villages, with a history spanning over 1,700 years. This small, fan-shaped village glimmers like a bright pearl, surrounded by a landscape of lakes and mountains. Ancient bridges cross bubbling streams and small rivers are shaded by willow trees – next to the vast metropolis of modern Shanghai. Drive back to Shanghai and visit the Shanghai Silk Museum. Afterwards, board the Shanghai Night-View Luxury Cruise to marvel at the illuminated city skyline and enjoy dinner in a local restaurant. 

Frequently asked questions about Shanghai

What top attractions are a must-see in Shanghai?

Planning Your Visit

  • When to go

    The fall months are the mildest, temperature-wise. Winter gets cold, but is not particularly snowy.

  • Market scams

    Beware of buying precious minerals like pearl necklaces and jade ornaments from markets - it is common that these are not the real deal.

  • English newspaper

    Check out the English-language newspaper, Shanghai Daily, to see what's going on in the city.

  • Pollution

    If you suffer from respiratory issues, look into purchasing a mask that covers your nose and mouth before your trip, as the air pollution concentration in Shanghai is very high.

Good to know

  • Language
    Mandarin
  • Currency
    RNB or Yuan (¥)
  • Time Zone
    UTC (+08:00)
  • Country Code
    +86
  • Best time to visit
    May through October is the most mild weather, but also the busiest time for Shanghai. Late March and October are ideal for weather and avoiding the peak times for tourists and business travelers.

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 913 reviews

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!)

Our guide Tom was so informative. We learnt so much about Shanghai and their culture and history. We had some requirements which got sorted to make it a great experience. We got so much out of it in such a short time

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!