Join one of our Shanghai tours
Come with us on a Shanghai tour for the opportunity to experience the style, excitement and flavors of Asia’s much-loved Paris of the East. With options to travel on one of our best China tours, or simply visit on a Shanghai day tour, we’re certain you’ll find the perfect way to immerse yourself in this dazzling capital of chic.
Shanghai really is unlike any other destination in China. Of course, you’ll find the rich history that is ubiquitous throughout all China, however, Shanghai’s unique appeal is found in the way the ancient entwines with the contemporary, a reflection of colonial conquest, commerce, and international influences. As far back as history is recorded, the magnificent Huangpu River has been the city’s life force, moving the vital goods of the day. Formerly opium, tea and silk, trade out of Shanghai is now more likely to reflect the pace and power of China’s ever advancing development in technology.
A thriving cosmopolitan city, Shanghai is not just a playground for Asia’s financial elite; it’s home to 24 million residents too. Humming and hustling every hour of the day, a Shanghai day tour – or three or four days in Shanghai – is the ideal way to start or wrap up one of our best China tour experiences. Skyscrapers, city precincts and culture abound, but in every way that’s different to elsewhere across the country. While the English and European populations in the city were always relatively small by comparison to the resident Shanghainese, their influence is still evident in architecture, lifestyle, and the way modern Shanghai continues to embrace influences from around the globe, while also casting its own unique cultural authority too.
Ready for an altogether enlightening experience of China? Why not join us on a Shanghai tour and create beautiful travel memories to love for a lifetime.
With many of our best China tours incorporating one or a number of days in Shanghai, we offer ChinaTours.com travelers the opportunity to see, do, and experience more in this fabulous city. Here is just a sample of the highlights included among our offerings.
- Ascend Shanghai Tower – Rise straight to the top with a visit to Shanghai Tower, China’s tallest building. At 121 stories and 632 meters tall, the tower offers an unparalleled birds’ eye view from the observation deck. Or visit the Oriental Pearl Tower and dine in sky-high style looking out over the vast city. Spectacular experienced by day or night.
- Eat out and savor Shanghai’s diverse cuisine – Both international and traditional choices are plentiful, arguably making Shanghai the cuisine capital of China. To experience truly authentic food, try local Benbang food or traditional Shanghai street food. Ask your guide for dine-like-a-local insider tips.
- Explore ancient history – China is steeped in history that extends back millennia and on a Shanghai day tour, you’ll have the chance to peek inside a small window of it with a visit to the Shanghai Museum. A massive museum housing over 140,000 artifacts, the full history and culture of this cosmopolitan city is presented creatively, along with the background to the surrounding cities of Suzhou and Hangzhou.
- Promenade on The Bund – A Shanghai tour wouldn’t be complete without a leisurely walk along The Bund, one of the city’s most recognizable landmarks. Iconic and prestigious both now and in the past, The Bund is one of the most well-preserved examples of old Shanghai glamour.
- Shop like a local in Shanghai – Even if shopping is not your thing, our Shanghai days tours can accommodate a walk along Nanjing Road, the busiest shopping precinct in China. Prefer a more boutique experience? We can organize that too. Shanghai is home to some of the finest porcelain, silk, and traditional handcrafts in China and our local guides can personalize your visit with a visit to anyone or a number of boutique stores for a completely bespoke experience.
- Appreciate cultivated beauty – For a more contemplative experience on your Shanghai tour, change tempo and visit Yuyuan Garden, where you can marvel at the stunning gardens and art precinct located close by. The thoughtfulness and care taken by the original owner of the garden are found in every corner.
- Dive into old world glamor – Nowhere in China does the old and new blend so effortlessly as it does in Shanghai. Stroll around Chenghuangmiao bazaars and make a worthwhile detour to visit the Shikumen Museum in New Spot (XinTianDi) for a true taste of old world Shanghai. A delightful step back in time.
- Discover international influences – Wander the quieter streets of Dongping Road or Sinan Road in the Former French Concession, where you will find the essence of classic Shanghai still evident in the streets, architecture, and stores.
Make truly special travel memories by extending your Shanghai tour with a visit to nearby Suzhou, Hangzhou, or by booking a unique cultural, cooking or craft experience in the heart of the city itself. There are many ways to extend your tour and regardless of your interests, we can tailor it all to your travel time and budget when you visit Paris of the East. Here’s just a taste of what we can organize:
- Learn the intricacies of Chinese gardens – Discover the complexity and care applied to ancient Chinese gardens, which retain their beauty and order even amidst the fast-paced environment of today’s world. Chinese gardens abound in Hangzhou and Suzhou, where they were created as places of contemplation and reverence. Take a totally garden-focused tour and delight in a tradition where plants, architecture, and water balance in perfect harmony. A total contrast to the pace of China’s vast and growing cities.
- Wander through water towns – Western travelers will know water towns as villages built along canals. These water towns are found in many locations throughout China, however, few are more picturesque than Zhouzhuang, Wuzhen, and Tongli, renowned for the way in which traditional architecture – and a way of life – have been preserved by locals. Tongli particularly is a delight with its numerous ancient bridges that span the sprawling network of canals. Marvel at how Tongli has survived in almost original condition despite the unabated development of China.
- Venture out to Huangshan Mountain – Located just a high-speed train ride from Shanghai, stunning Huangshan Mountain provides a real glimpse into the graceful charm of China. Combine it with a visit to beautiful Hongcun village, where you’ll discover the unique Hui-style buildings, which provided the backdrop to scenes from Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. Together, utterly beautiful and inspiration enough for enduring travel memories.
Make the most of the time between travel destinations and business commitments by booking a Shanghai layover tour.
How does it work? Simple! Travelers can tour in specific destinations in China, including in Shanghai, spending either 72 or 144 hours taking in the local sights, cuisine, and culture – all without a visa. Our layover tours in Shanghai can be arranged as private tours following one of our set itineraries. We can also custom design a layover tour incorporating everything on your Shanghai bucket list, so if you can’t see what you’re looking for in our Shanghai day or multi-day tour options, just ask us. No request is too big or small that our team of dedicated travel consultants can’t create a custom tour solution for you.
We understand time is at a premium especially on layover tours, so we do everything possible to keep your travel arrangements as simple as possible. Here’s what’s included in our layover tours, both in Shanghai and other destinations throughout China.
- Convenient transfers – Forget the hassle of arranging transfers between the airport, train station, hotel, and sights. We’ve taken care of it! Every Shanghai layover tour includes pickups, drop offs, and transfers between each destination on the tour. We only use late-model vehicles and experienced drivers. And if it’s a little of luxury you’re after, we can arrange that too. Just ask us.
- Local guides – Extracting the most from every minute of your time in Shanghai is possible with a knowledgeable guide who loves sharing the very best of their city with you. Enjoy forming a genuine connection with a local and discover real Shanghai – it’s food, culture, history, and color. You’ll leave with deeper insights and appreciation of this city’s wonderful heritage.
- Smart itineraries – As travelers like you, we understand the need to make every minute count while visiting a new destination. Relax with the confidence we’ve done the thinking for you with our thoughtfully designed Shanghai day tours. However, if there’s a special ‘must see’ on your list, let us organize it for you. Or stay a little longer and explore more by enjoying one of our best China tours.
The ChinaTours.com team has to admit being just a little fascinated with the way beautiful art and design flourishes in Shanghai and in surrounding Suzhou and Hangzhou. Few places can compare with the flourishing of craftsmanship found in this corner of China. Here are just some of the reasons why we love the region:
- Exquisite porcelain – Whether it’s a collectible you’re after or the opportunity to learn more about the history and masterful craftsmanship of Chinese porcelain, while in Shanghai, a visit to the Jingdezhen Porcelain Artware Co is a must. Expect to be amazed and delighted by the finest examples of traditional Chinese porcelain, from the easily recognized blue and white treasures to the many other styles of porcelain which have been preserved in their traditional form for centuries.
- Savor stunning silk and Suzhou slippers – For lovers of beautiful things, join us on a journey to understand the heritage, beauty, and artisans behind Shanghai’s silk enduring trade. While industry dynamics have changed with advances in technology, there is a growing desire for many to know the traditional ways of silk production and to preserve the skills and techniques of these centuries old crafts. Silk production and silk embroidery are well and truly alive today, and both are showcased beautifully in and around Shanghai. Visit the China National Silk Museum in Hangzhou for a deep dive into all things silk related. Here you can enjoy learning how silk has been intricately woven into the fabric of life and commerce in China and beyond. Admire and delight in quirky, but beautiful ‘art on silk’ evident in the delicate shoes, slippers, and accessories crafted by hand at Suzhou Cobblers. Featured in Vogue, Elle, and The Asian Wall Street Journal, Suzhou Cobblers provides a taste of old world class with exquisite handmade silk slippers that feature the finest Chinese silk and embroidery. And for a silk experience beyond compare, acquaint yourself with Xiuniang Silk. Literally translated as ‘embroidery craftswomen’, you’ll learn the story behind the brand – one woman, who with her son has created a silk empire while still holding true to traditional materials and techniques. Fancy a pair of Suzhou silk slippers or silk scarf art piece? Let us organize that for you on your visit to Shanghai.
- All things blue and white – Handmade blue and white nankeen cotton fabric, which originated in Jiangsu, Zhejiang and Guizhou (not far from Shanghai), is yet another beautiful example of traditional handcrafts being preserved by contemporary artisans. There is nowhere in China where this is done with more care and authenticity than Chinese Hand Printed Blue Nankeen Gallery, a tiny shop located off a small courtyard on Changle Road Lane 637. Founded in the 1950s by Kubo Mase, a Japanese artist, this delightful boutique houses an authentic collection of hand printed blue nankeen collectibles. Gather up a print, wall hanging, or item of clothing to add to your China tour treasure trove.
- Pop art Chinese style – Gain insights into the way popular contemporary art has gained a place in the heart and minds of local and international collectors with a visit to the Propaganda Post Art Center in Shanghai. Featuring various styles of people’s art, including woodcut, Dazibao (posters from the period of the Cultural Revolution), and fabric, as well as images of Shanghai women and fashion during its reign as Asia’s glamour capital, the gallery is doing a wonderful job at preserving China’s artistic modern history.
- Ink+Moon = InkMoon – Ever wondered how calligraphy masters created such beautiful works of written art with ink and brush? While in Shanghai, you can learn how. Slow down and spend time learning the ancient craft of calligraphy when you attend a workshop at InkMoon, a business operated with a vision to impart the skills and love of calligraphy and silk fan painting to Chinese culture lovers all over the world.
- Dine in old world Shanghai glamour – Food is so much a part of beautiful travel memories, we couldn’t help but include a private dining experience at one of Shanghai’s most iconic dining establishments among our selection of ‘must do’ activities. While bookings are difficult to make at this restaurant, which has impressed diners the world over, we do our best to bring this special Shanghai experience to life for our customers. Ready to dine back in time? Let’s book you in.
Indulge in the newest addition to ChinaTours.com with a luxury tour that includes divine days in Shanghai. Our tour designers have curated a trove of exquisite activities to elevate your time in Shanghai to what it should be – utterly memorable at every turn. For our luxury tour guests, we offer our 24/7 Luxury Tour Advantage service which means you are escorted every step of your time on tour, including from the moment you arrive in Shanghai. Luxury tour accommodation is designed to relax and restore. Enjoy the sumptuous surrounds of a suite at the Shanghai Fairmont Peace Hotel. A perfect sanctuary after a day’s exploration. More relaxed itinerary schedules on our luxury tours allow ample time for visiting city highlights that profile Shanghai’s very best in design, culture, and craftsmanship, as well as time for unique, once in a lifetime experiences. A chance to experience real China in understated style, our luxury tours are the perfect way to create beautiful travel memories with a difference.