Three-Day Itinerary in Shanghai – Your Ultimate Travel Guide


Are you planning to visit Shanghai and wondering what to do in this vibrant city for three days? Look no further! This comprehensive guide will give you all the travel tips you need to make the most of your trip to Shanghai. From where to stay, what to see, where to eat, and free tours, we have got you covered.


Day 1: Explore the Highlights of Shanghai

On your first day in Shanghai, we recommend starting with a visit to the Shanghai Tower, one of the tallest buildings in the world. From the observation deck on the 118th floor, you can enjoy a breathtaking view of the city skyline.

Next, head to the Bund, a waterfront area on the Huangpu River. This area is famous for its stunning colonial architecture and offers great photo opportunities. Take a walk along the Bund and admire the city’s iconic landmarks such as the Oriental Pearl Tower and Shanghai World Financial Center.

In the afternoon, visit the Yu Garden, a classical Chinese garden that dates back to the Ming Dynasty. The garden is beautifully landscaped and features traditional Chinese architecture, rock gardens, and waterfalls.

In the evening, head to Xintiandi, a trendy pedestrian area that combines traditional Shikumen architecture with modern design. Here, you can find many restaurants, cafes, and shops. We recommend trying the famous Shanghai dish, xiaolongbao, at Din Tai Fung, a popular restaurant chain.

Day 2: Discover the Hidden Gems of Shanghai

On your second day, explore some of Shanghai’s lesser-known attractions. Start your day with a visit to the Tianzifang neighborhood, a labyrinth of narrow alleyways filled with boutique shops, cafes, and art galleries.

Next, head to the Jing’an Temple, a Buddhist temple that dates back to the 3rd century. The temple is famous for its giant bronze Buddha statue and peaceful atmosphere.

In the afternoon, visit the Fuxing Park, a green oasis in the heart of the city. The park is beautifully landscaped and offers a tranquil escape from the hustle and bustle of the city.

In the evening, take a stroll along Tongren Road, a street that is famous for its street art. The street is lined with colorful murals and graffiti, and it’s a great spot for photos.

Day 3: Explore the Surrounding Area of Shanghai

On your final day in Shanghai, take a day trip to one of the nearby towns. We recommend visiting the Water Town of Zhujiajiao, a picturesque town that dates back to the Ming Dynasty. The town is known for its narrow canals, stone bridges, and traditional architecture.

If you have time, you can also visit the Suzhou, a city that is famous for its classical gardens and canals. The city is located about 100 kilometers west of Shanghai and can be reached by train.

Travel Tips in Shanghai

Here are some general travel tips to help you make the most of your trip to Shanghai:

  • Carry cash with you as some small restaurants and shops do not accept credit cards.
  • Download a map of Shanghai on your phone as it can be helpful for navigation.
  • Be prepared for the crowds, especially during peak tourist season.
  • Learn some basic Chinese phrases as English is not widely spoken in Shanghai.
  • Try to avoid visiting during national holidays as attractions can be very crowded.

What to See in Shanghai

Shanghai is a vibrant city that offers a wide range of attractions. Here are some of the most important places you should visit:

  • The Bund: A waterfront area that features stunning colonial architecture.
  • Yu Garden: A classical Chinese garden that dates back to the Ming Dynasty.
  • Shanghai Tower: One of the tallest buildings in the world with an observation deck on the 118th floor.
  • Oriental Pearl Tower: A famous landmark in Shanghai that features an observation deck and a glass bottom skywalk.
  • Jing’an Temple: A Buddhist temple that dates back to the 3rd century and is famous for its giant bronze Buddha statue.

Most Important Places Highlighted in Shanghai

Here are some of the most important places in Shanghai that are highlighted:

  • The Bund
  • Yu Garden
  • Shanghai Tower
  • Oriental Pearl Tower
  • Jing’an Temple

Routes in Shanghai

Getting around Shanghai can be overwhelming, especially if it’s your first time in the city. Here are some recommended routes:

  • Route 1: The Bund → Yu Garden → Xintiandi
  • Route 2: Shanghai Tower → Oriental Pearl Tower → Nanjing Road
  • Route 3: Tianzifang → Jing’an Temple → Fuxing Park
  • Day Trip: Shanghai → Water Town of Zhujiajiao → Shanghai

Where to Sleep in Shanghai

Shanghai offers a wide range of accommodation options, from luxury hotels to budget hostels. Here are some recommended places to stay:

  • The Peninsula Shanghai: A luxury hotel located on the Bund with stunning views of the city.
  • URBN Boutique Shanghai: A trendy boutique hotel located in the Jing’an district.
  • Captain Hostel: A budget hostel located in the Huangpu district.

Where to Eat in Shanghai

Shanghai is known for its delicious food, and there are many great restaurants and street food vendors to choose from. Here are some recommended places to eat:

  • Din Tai Fung: A popular restaurant chain that specializes in xiaolongbao.
  • Nanxiang Steamed Bun Restaurant: A historic restaurant that is famous for its soup dumplings.
  • Xiao Yang Sheng Jian: A street food vendor that sells delicious fried dumplings.

Free Tours in Shanghai

If you’re on a budget or simply want to learn more about the city from a local perspective, consider taking one of these free tours:

  • Free Walking Tours Shanghai: This company offers free walking tours of Shanghai’s most famous attractions, including the Bund and Yu Garden.
  • Shanghai Greeters: A volunteer organization that offers free tours of Shanghai with local volunteers.
  • UnTour Food Tours: While not free, these food tours are a great way to sample some of Shanghai’s best street food with a local guide.

Frequently Asked Questions

When is the best time to visit Shanghai?

The best time to visit Shanghai is during the spring (March to May) or fall (September to November) when the weather is mild and comfortable. However, be prepared for crowds during peak tourist season.

Do I need a visa to visit Shanghai?

Yes, most visitors to Shanghai will need a visa. Check with your local Chinese embassy or consulate for more information.

What is the currency used in Shanghai?

The currency used in Shanghai is the Chinese yuan (CNY).

Is it safe to travel to Shanghai?

Yes, Shanghai is a safe city for travelers. However, like any big city, be aware of your surroundings and take precautions against pickpocketing and theft.

What should I pack for a trip to Shanghai?

Pack comfortable walking shoes, lightweight clothing for warm weather, and a jacket or sweater for cool evenings. It’s also a good idea to bring a reusable water bottle as tap water is not drinkable.

Shanghai is a vibrant city that offers a mix of traditional Chinese culture and modern design. With this three-day itinerary, you can explore the city’s most famous attractions as well as some lesser-known gems. Whether you’re a foodie, a history buff, or simply looking for an adventure, Shanghai has something for everyone.

For more information about Shanghai, visit the official tourism website of the city of Shanghai at

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