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.
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
Start your day by meeting your guide at your centrally located hotel*. 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 the surrounding marketplace full of traditional and modern shops as well as the Chenghuang Miao (Landlord Temple of Taoism) nearby.
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 Pudong 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: French Concession, Xintiandi & Shanghai History
This morning, visit the French Concession, 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 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.
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.
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 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.
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 Moganshan Art District (known also as M50), a location where many contemporary artists come together and display their skills.
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
Take a taxi back to the airport today or add more time in the city of Shanghai.
Beyond expectations! Then again we weren't sure what to expect. Lovely stay at the lodge, met other like-minded travelers (many had their trips planned by Adventure Life) and the owner was a gracious hostess. It felt like you were one happy family, visiting with a favorite aunt.