How to Plan a Trip to Shanghai: 6 Steps
For first-time international travelers, it may be a little hard to plan a trip to Shanghai — a remote Chinese city. By following these 6 steps, you can save a lot of time and have a smooth Shanghai tour.
Step 1: Decide on the Travel Time
See More about: Shanghai Weather and Best Time to Visit.
How long to stay in Shanghai:
3 to 5 days are necessary to explore the city for most travelers.
Times to avoid:
Try to avoid public holidays such as the National Day Holiday from Oct. 1 to 7 and the Chinese Lunar New Year in January or February.
See More about Public Holidays in China.
Step 2: Book Flights & Hotels
China Flights: Schedule & Booking
Where to Stay:
Most travelers will choose to stay near the city center which is around the Bund, People’s Square and Nanjing Road. The neighborhood around the Disney Resort is also very popular.
Step 3: Make a List of What to See
If you plan to explore Shanghai on your own, making a detailed travel plan day by day is necessary. Traffic information should also be collected in advance.
Best Attractions to Visit in Shanghai:
1. The Bund & Huangpu River: The Bund features scores of Western art deco style buildings and cruising on the Huangpu River is one of the best ways to appreciate the city.
2. Shanghai Disneyland Park: This is the largest Disneyland Park in Asia. You can have a great time and re-live your childhood dreams.
3. Yu Garden & Old City God Temple: The Yu Garden is a classic-style garden of South China, which boasts intricate layout and exquisite buildings. The bazaar around the garden and the temple is filled with local snacks and interesting accessories.
4. Zhujiajiao Water Town: This is the nearest water town to Shanghai. The old buildings along the river and several ancient bridges over the water are impressive.
5. Nanjing Road: As one of the busiest pedestrian streets in Shanghai, you can not only go shopping in Nanjing Road but also appreciate the ancient buildings in the Western style.
Top 10 Things to Do in Shanghai
What and Where to Eat: Best restaurants and famous local food you should try
Recommended Shanghai Guided Tours with Low Prices:
1 Day Shanghai Mini Group Tour from $126 to Zhujiajiao, World Financial Center & the Bund
Shanghai 3 Days Tour from $289 to Yu Garden, the Bund & Huangpu River Cruise
Step 4: Estimate Travel Expenses
Most credit cards can be used in the large malls and restaurants of Shanghai. However, in some small shops, Chinese cash is needed. You can also try mobile payments systems such as Apple Pay, Ali Pay, and WeChat Pay. The latter two are more widely used in China.
Step 5: Get Your Visa Ready
Step 6: Pack the Baggage
1. Travel documents: passport, visa, health certificates, tickets & maps.
2. Necessary electronics: smart phone, camera, charger, power bank, local SIM card, laptop or table.
3. Check the weather forecast in advance and take proper clothing. Don’t forget an umbrella and a raincoat.
4. Some medicine for emergency use, like aspirin, vitamins and anti-inflammatory remedies.
See More about China Travel Checklist.