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View of Shanghai skyline from the Bund

Explore Shanghai

Example 5 Day Tour
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Add this 4-night extension to any China trip for an experience of urban life in the world's most populous city. Shanghai offers shopping, restaurants, and a variety of amusement that appeals to locals and visitors alike. Explore unique museums and art collections, wander the streets of the colonial buildings in the French concession district, or take a walk along the Bund for impressive views to the Pearl Tower and the Pudong district. Enjoy a good overview of what the city has to offer on this 5-day Shanghai tour.

Day-by-Day Summary

Day 1 : Explore Shanghai
Day 2 : Yu Garden & Shanghai History
Day 3 : Zhujiajiao Ancient Water Town
Day 4 : Shanghai City Sights
Day 5 : Return Home


  • Visit the French Concession, once the premier residential & retail district
  • Tour Yuyuan Garden, once the largest & most prestigious in Shanghai
  • Explore Jade Buddha Temple, the Art Center, and Tianzifang

Places Visited

  • Asia
  • China
  • Shanghai
  • Zhujiajiao Ancient Water Town


Trip Type

  • Independent

Activity Level


Trip Snapshots

View of Shanghai skyline from the Bund Three sitting buddhas at the Jade Buddha Temple in Shanghai Old Chinese Houses and High Rises in French Concession, Shanghai Tai chi in Shanghai Yuyuan garden in Shanghai Shanghai skyline at dusk Street vendor food including roasted duck

Day 1 Explore Shanghai

Start your day by meeting your guide at your centrally located hotel*. Visit the French Concession this morning, a foreign concession in Shanghai from 1849-1943 that was once the premier residential and retail district in Shanghai during the 1920s. Recent regulations on development in the area have helped preserve its distinct architecture style. Visit the old residence of the former People's Republic President, Dr. Sun Yat-sen, in this area.

Next visit the Shanghai Urban Planning Exhibition Center. This government exhibit reveals the planning and guidelines followed by local government in the calculated expansion and development of the most populous city in the world. Observe here a model of the city of Shanghai to grasp its size and better understand how it is being governed.

After lunch, visit the Shanghai museum, located in the People's Square in the center of Shanghai. The ancient Chinese art displayed includes paintings, calligraphy, metalwork, sculptures, coins and more. This large museum is arguably the best art collection in all of China currently on display.

This evening, go for a stroll along the Bund, the waterfront walkway stretching out along the riverbank and offering an amazing view to the Padong Financial District and its buildings on the other bank of the Pu River.

*Arrange to be met at the airport for an additional cost.

Day 2 Yu Garden & Shanghai History

This morning visit the Yuyuan Garden, located in Shanghai's old city center. This 400 year old garden sits on 5 acres and was originally created in 1577 by Pan Yaduan as a comfort to his aging father. It was considered the largest and most prestigious of Shanghai at that time and has been preserved throughout the centuries and survived many wars. Wander the pavilions, walls, and halls in the garden and learn about Ming and Qing Dynasty landscape design. Visit as well the surrounding marketplace full of traditional and modern shops as well as the Chenghuang Miao (Landlord Temple of Taoism) nearby.

After lunch visit the Shanghai History Museum, located at the base of the Oriental Pearl Tower. At 15,35 feet, it is one of the tallest structures in China, and a distinct landmark in the Shanghai skyline.

This evening witness a renowned Shanghai pastime - attend an acrobatics show and watch these flexible athletes perform a variety of stunts.

Day 3 Zhujiajiao Ancient Water Town

Depart this morning after breakfast for a one hour drive to Zhujiajiao, an ancient water town established about 1700 years ago. The ancient site along the Yangtze River allowed for easy access to transportation before vehicles were used. Town still contains many well-preserved examples of Ming and Qing Dynasty architecture, including numerous old stone bridges and ancient buildings that line the waterways. Wander this quaint town by boat and visit some areas of interest including the local Buddhist temple and the Kezhi Garden.

This afternoon return to Shanghai with time to visit the Moganshan Art District (known also as M50), a location where many contemporary artists come together and display their skills.

This evening explore the Xintiandi area in the center of Shanghai city. Its central location has made it a hub of opportunity for shopping, dining, and entertainment. Both locals and tourists alike flock here for nightlife and weekend entertainment, and it has become one of the most expensive places to live in China.

Day 4 Shanghai City Sights

Today drive 20 minutes and visit the small but charming Jade Buddha Temple, built between 1911 and 1918 in the style of the Song Dynasty. See here the white Jade Buddha encrusted with jewels said to weigh about 1,000 kg (or about 2,200 lbs).

Next visit the Shanghai Propaganda Poster Art Center, a remarkable and private one-of-a-kind museum dedicated to documenting the changes of modern China as depicted on posters between 1910 and 1990. The collection gives an inside look to the attitudes and political undertones of this era, particularly to the Cultural Revolution.

After lunch visit the art street of Tianzifang in the French Concession. Originally just a neighborhood in the district, it was redeveloped in 2000 to become a new art and commercial zone. With the rest of your time today you may opt to visit other well known Shanghai attractions, including the Wild Animal park, Riverside Promenade, Longshu Temple, Science & Technology Museum, or see another acrobat performance this evening.

Day 5 Return Home

  • 1 Breakfast
Take a taxi back to the airport today or add more time in the city of Shanghai.

Shanghai - Hotels

Per person starting at


Rates based on current exchange rate CNY/US dollars. Please contact us for exact quote in US dollars.


  • 4 Breakfasts
  • 4 Nights Accommodations
    • 4 Nights Hotel
  • 4 Days Private Guide Service


  • Both International Arrival and Departure Transfers are excluded.
  • International Flights
  • China Visa Fee
    • US citizens must obtain visa prior to arrival

Recommended Budgeting

  • $80 Meals not Included
    • Alcoholic Beverages ($3-$10 ea) are not included with meals
  • $80 Optional Excursions
    • $20-70 Ticket range for ERA acrobat show
Payment & Cancellation Policies
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Everything was amazing! The planning with Adventure Life went smoothly. The actual trip was fantastic! One of the best trips I have experienced. The cruise staff members were knowledgeable and attentive. I will be writing more about this on the blog!
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