7-Day Itinerary in Shanghai, China

7-Day Itinerary in Shanghai, China

Welcome to Shanghai, China’s vibrant and cosmopolitan metropolis! Get ready to embark on a 7-day adventure, exploring the city’s top attractions, savoring delicious cuisine, and immersing yourself in the rich culture and history that Shanghai has to offer. This comprehensive travel guide will provide you with a carefully curated itinerary, ensuring you make the most of your time in this incredible city.

Key Takeaways:

  • Discover the best of Shanghai with a 7-day itinerary packed with exciting activities and sightseeing opportunities.
  • Experience the blend of old and new as you explore historical landmarks and modern skyscrapers.
  • Indulge in the delectable flavors of Shanghai’s cuisine, from traditional dishes to international delights.
  • Immerse yourself in the city’s vibrant culture through visits to museums, gardens, and cultural enclaves.
  • Make day trips to nearby cities like Suzhou and Hangzhou to explore their unique attractions and scenic beauty.

Day 1: Arrival and City Orientation

On your first day in Shanghai, take some time to settle in and get acquainted with the city. Start your exploration by visiting the iconic The Bund, a waterfront area along the Huangpu River known for its stunning skyline views. Marvel at the architectural brilliance of the historic buildings on one side and the modern skyscrapers on the other.

Next, take a leisurely stroll along Nanjing Road, one of China’s busiest shopping streets. This vibrant pedestrian street is lined with an array of international brands, department stores, boutiques, and traditional shops, offering a shopping experience like no other.

In the evening, immerse yourself in the vibrant nightlife of the Xintiandi district. This trendy neighborhood is characterized by its beautifully restored traditional Shikumen buildings that now house an array of trendy bars, restaurants, and boutiques. Enjoy a delicious dinner at one of the many dining options and mingle with both locals and tourists.

Highlights of Day 1

  • Admire the stunning skyline views from The Bund.
  • Experience the hustle and bustle of Nanjing Road, one of China’s busiest shopping streets.
  • Explore the vibrant nightlife and trendy establishments of Xintiandi district.

Day 2: Historical and Cultural Exploration

Immerse yourself in Shanghai’s rich history and culture on your second day. This itinerary will take you through some of the city’s most significant historical and cultural landmarks, allowing you to gain a deeper understanding of Shanghai’s heritage.

1. Shanghai Museum

Start your day by visiting the Shanghai Museum, which houses a vast collection of Chinese art and artifacts. With over 120,000 pieces spanning 5,000 years of history, the museum offers a fascinating glimpse into China’s ancient civilization. Explore the various galleries and admire artifacts such as ceramics, calligraphy, paintings, jade sculptures, and more.

2. People’s Square

After immersing yourself in history at the museum, take a walk to People’s Square. This expansive public space serves as the city’s central hub and is surrounded by important landmarks. Admire the modern architecture and lush greenery as you relax in the square. You may also want to visit the Shanghai Urban Planning Exhibition Center located here, which provides insight into the city’s future development and urban planning.

3. Yuyuan Garden

Next, make your way to the Yuyuan Garden, a traditional Chinese garden dating back to the Ming Dynasty. Wander through its picturesque courtyards, scenic pavilions, and beautiful rockeries. Take a moment of tranquility by the peaceful ponds and admire the intricate designs of the traditional architecture. Don’t forget to explore the bustling Yuyuan Bazaar located nearby, where you can find local snacks, crafts, and souvenirs.

4. Old Town area and traditional Chinese cuisine

Conclude your day with a visit to Shanghai’s Old Town area, also known as Shanghai’s Ancient City. Stroll through the narrow alleys, lined with traditional architecture and charming shops. Immerse yourself in the atmosphere of old Shanghai as you discover hidden temples, souvenir markets, and tea houses.

To complete your cultural experience, indulge in authentic Chinese cuisine at one of the local restaurants in the Old Town area. Savor traditional dishes like xiaolongbao (soup dumplings), Shanghai-style noodles, crispy duck, and more. Let your taste buds explore the flavors of this vibrant city.

Day 3: Modern Shanghai

Experience the modern side of Shanghai on day three. Explore the futuristic Pudong district, home to iconic landmarks like the Oriental Pearl Tower and the Shanghai Tower, the second-tallest building in the world.

Start your day by visiting the Shanghai Tower, an architectural marvel that offers breathtaking views of the city from its observation deck. Marvel at the skyline of Shanghai from above and capture stunning photos of the cityscape.

Afterward, take a stroll through the Pudong district, where you’ll be surrounded by towering skyscrapers and innovative architecture. Admire the unique design of the Oriental Pearl Tower, a TV tower that has become a symbol of Shanghai’s modernity.

For a truly remarkable experience, embark on a Huangpu River cruise in the evening. Sail along the Huangpu River, taking in the spectacular sight of Shanghai’s illuminated skyline. Admire the city’s impressive landmarks, including the Shanghai Tower and the Oriental Pearl Tower, as they light up the night.

End your day by immersing yourself in the vibrant atmosphere of the Pudong district, where you can indulge in world-class dining, luxury shopping, and exciting entertainment options.

Enjoy breathtaking views of Shanghai from the observation deck of the Shanghai Tower.

Immerse yourself in the modernity and innovation of Shanghai’s Pudong district, where iconic landmarks like the Oriental Pearl Tower and the Shanghai Tower stand tall. Admire the futuristic architecture, take a Huangpu River cruise, and revel in the stunning nighttime views of the cityscape.

Day 4: Day Trip to Suzhou

If you’re looking to escape the hustle and bustle of Shanghai for a day, a trip to Suzhou is the perfect antidote. Located just a short train ride away, Suzhou is known for its picturesque classical Chinese gardens and its rich history of silk production.

Start your day by exploring the stunning classical Chinese gardens that are scattered throughout the city. These meticulously designed gardens are a true testament to Chinese gardening artistry and offer a tranquil escape from the urban chaos. Be sure to visit the famous Humble Administrator’s Garden, known for its harmonious blend of pavilions, halls, and beautiful landscapes.

While in Suzhou, don’t miss the opportunity to learn about the ancient silk-making process. After all, Suzhou has been a center of silk production for centuries. Visit the Suzhou Silk Museum to discover the fascinating history and techniques behind silk production. Learn about each step of the process, from cultivating silkworms to weaving the luxurious fabric.

Immerse yourself in the cultural heritage and serenity of Suzhou as you explore its classical gardens and learn about its silk production legacy. It’s a day trip you won’t want to miss during your stay in Shanghai.

Day 5: Art and Shopping

On your fifth day in Shanghai, take the opportunity to immerse yourself in the vibrant art scene and indulge in some retail therapy. This day is dedicated to exploring the rich cultural offerings and shopping destinations the city has to offer.

Power Station of Art

Start your day by visiting the renowned Power Station of Art. Located on the banks of the Huangpu River, this contemporary art museum is housed in a former power station, adding a unique industrial charm to its exhibitions. The museum showcases both local and international artists, providing a diverse range of artistic experiences.


After exploring the Power Station of Art, take a stroll through the charming district of Tianzifang. This arts and crafts enclave is known for its narrow alleyways filled with boutiques, galleries, and studios. Explore the unique shops and find one-of-a-kind souvenirs, handmade crafts, and artwork. Don’t forget to stop for a cup of traditional Chinese tea at one of the quaint tea houses.

Nanjing Road Pedestrian Street

End your day with a visit to the iconic Nanjing Road pedestrian street. This bustling shopping district is a must-visit for any shopaholic. With a wide range of department stores, luxury boutiques, and international brands, Nanjing Road offers an extensive selection of shopping options. Take your time to browse through the shops, indulge in some retail therapy, and grab a bite to eat at one of the many restaurants along the street.

Power Station of Art Tianzifang Nanjing Road Pedestrian Street
Contemporary art museum Arts and crafts enclave Bustling shopping district
Exhibitions by local and international artists Narrow alleyways filled with boutiques and galleries Wide range of department stores and luxury boutiques
Industrial charm in a former power station Unique shops with one-of-a-kind souvenirs International brands and diverse dining options

Day 6: Day Trip to Hangzhou

On the sixth day, I invite you to embark on a full-day excursion to Hangzhou, a city renowned for its natural beauty and cultural landmarks. One of the must-visit destinations in Hangzhou is the famous West Lake, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Here, you can indulge in a scenic boat ride, surrounded by breathtaking views of the lake and its picturesque landscapes.

While in Hangzhou, take the time to explore the serene and enchanting Lingyin Temple. This ancient Buddhist temple is nestled within lush greenery and boasts a peaceful atmosphere that allows for a truly immersive experience. As you wander through its intricate halls and marvel at the majestic statues, you’ll find solace and tranquility amidst the hustle and bustle of everyday life.

Hangzhou’s scenic beauty knows no bounds. From the tranquil West Lake to the spiritual aura of Lingyin Temple, this city is a haven for nature lovers and cultural enthusiasts alike. Immerse yourself in the captivating landscapes, take in the awe-inspiring views, and let the harmonious ambiance of Hangzhou leave an indelible mark on your memory.


What are the must-visit attractions in Shanghai?

Some of the top attractions in Shanghai include The Bund, Nanjing Road, Shanghai Tower, Yuyuan Garden, and West Lake in Hangzhou.

Where can I experience Shanghai’s vibrant nightlife?

The Xintiandi district offers a mix of trendy bars, restaurants, and boutiques, making it a great place to experience Shanghai’s vibrant nightlife.

Are there any day trips I can take from Shanghai?

Yes, you can take a day trip to Suzhou, known for its classical Chinese gardens and traditional silk production.

Where can I find authentic Chinese cuisine in Shanghai?

The Old Town area of Shanghai is a great place to find authentic Chinese cuisine. Yuyuan Garden is a popular attraction in this area and has many restaurants nearby.

What are some famous landmarks in Shanghai’s Pudong district?

The Oriental Pearl Tower and the Shanghai Tower are iconic landmarks in Shanghai’s Pudong district.

What are some cultural experiences I can have in Shanghai?

You can visit the Shanghai Museum to explore Chinese art and artifacts, and you can also visit the Lingyin Temple in Hangzhou for a spiritual experience.

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