Two Day Shanghai Itinerary
Anyone who’s spent time travelling in China will know just how different Shanghai is to the rest of the country. Wealth, riches and a mixture of numerous different cultures all contribute to why this stunning city is one of my favourite places on Earth. Shanghai has so much to offer but if you’ve only got a quick two days in the city, heres how you should spend it.
Day 1: Peoples Square, Museum of Shanghai, East Nanjing walking street and the bund.
Hour by hour guide:
10am: Tube to Peoples Square
11am: Walk around the peoples park and see the marriage fair
12pm: Shanghai History and Revolution Museum
1pm: museum of Shanghai
2pm Museum of Shanghai
3pm Museum of Shanghai
4pm: East Nanjing Walking Street
5pm East Nanjing Walking Street
6pm: The Bund
7pm: The Bund
8pm: Ferry to Riverside promenade
9pm Riverside Promnade viewpoint
Begin your day be taking the metro to Peoples Square (line 1). The complex is pretty big and is generally considered to be the centre of Shanghai. Spend your morning strolling in the peoples park. If you’re in Shanghai at a weekend, be sure to check out the marriage fair. This is where the locals line up in the park and basically advertise their sons/daughters/grandsons/grandaughters to passers by. I couldn’t quite believe it once i'd caught onto what was happening.
There are two main museums in Shanghai - both located in the Peoples Square area. The first, Shanghai history and Revolution Museum is open from 10am-5pm everyday. Inside you’ll find an extensive history of the past occupations and revolutions that have happened in the city since the 1700’s. The museum is split over four floors but each is pretty small so you’ll want to spend about 1-2 hours here.
After the history museum head towards the Museum of Shanghai. This is undoubtably the largest and most popular the two. Queues at weekends and during holidays can sometimes reach upto two hours so be sure to get here well before the 5pm closing time.
Once you’ve overloaded your mind with the history and culture of Shanghai, take the short ten minute walk to the start of East Nanjing Walking Street. This is the most popular shopping area in the city. You’ll find small street vendors as well as the large chain stores such as Apple. The street is about 2km long and the aim is to reach the end of it just before sunset where you’ll find the Bund.
This is the most historical part of the city. All the buildings here were built by the French in the late 1800’s/early 1900’s. Being here feels very different to the rest of the city, especially when you walk towards the river and look out towards Shanghai’s stunning skyline. If you’re looking for that perfect postcard picture, this is where you’ll find it.
Once the sun has set, and you’ve taken enough photos to clock up your phones memory…again, walk towards the ferry point, 5 minutes away from the Bund. Here you can take the ferry across the water for 2Yuan! (20p). Alternatively you can take a more expensive sightseeing cruise which lasts an hour for 150-200 Yuan. The ferry lasts 10 minutes and takes you just across to the opposite side of the water. You’ll get stunning panoramic views of the city as well as a great view of the bund lit up at night.
The ferry will drop you off at riverside promenade. Here you’ll find yourself looking at the Bund and the opposite side to the Oriental Pearl Tower. If you don’t mind splashing the cash, theres plenty of fancy restaurants lined up here for an evening meal with a view. Alternatively, theres a starbucks and Hagen-daz with arguably one of the most awesome views ever.
Day 2: Xintiandi, SuperBrand Mall/IFC Mall, Pearl Oriental Tower, Shanghai World Financial Centre (WSFC) Observation Deck.
Hour by Hour plan:
10am: Metro to Xintiandi
11am: explore/Shopping at Xintiandi
12pm: explore/Shopping at Xintiandi
1pm: Shopping at Xintiandi
2pm: Metro to Super Brand Mall/IFC Mall
3pm: Explore/Shoping in the mall
4pm : Explore/Shoping in the mall
5pm: Explore/Shoping in the mall
6pm: Pearl Oriental Tower
Begin day 2 by heading to Xintiandi (line 2) - one of the riches districts in Asia. Here you’ll find the unbelievable wealth that the west generally associates with Shanghai. The district consists of a park - Fu Xing park, old, pretty streets and LOTS of fancy shopping centres. You could easily spend a couple of hours walking around the neighbourhood gazing at all the fancy houses and cars - something you very rarely see in China. If shopping is your thing, you definitely won’t be disappointed by Xintiandi. Theres all your usual chain shops such as Chanel, Gucci etc. as well as lots of individual chinese style boutique stores. SOHO Fu Xing Plaza mall, where the metro station is located, is a great place to grab lunch. Theres lots of individual nice restaurants serving a mix of cuisines.
After seeing how the other half live, take the metro again to Lujiazui. The station is a very busy and popular one as it gives direct access to the IFC/super brand mall, oriental perl tower and the ‘big three’ skyscrapers.
First, head to the mall. here you’ll find all the largest and most expensive brands in the world. The mall is huge and can be best compared to the Dubai mall in the U.A.E. The mall is also home to one of the coolest Apple stores in the world. Its special curved glass gives it a spherical shape, with the store being located down some spiral steps. Its design was based on the glass cube design in New York.
Once you’ve shopped yourself to death, head outside to see the stunning view of the Oriental Perl tower - the building most associated with Shanghai’s skyline. From here you have two options.
Go to the top of the oriental pearl tower (200 Yuan).
Go to the top of the Shanghai World Financial Centre (180 Yuan)
I recommend doing the SWFC as the view is must better and gives a more ‘classic’ view of the skyline. There are viewing platforms on the 94th, 95th and 100th floors and a ticket will set you back 180 Yuan (aprox. 20GBP). Again, the best time to go is at sunset/night, however, queues at this time can be upto two hours so be sure to factor this into your plans. For example, if you want to get up there for sunset at 7pm, you’ll need to start queuing up at 5pm…