Long Layover in Shanghai: How to plan 1 to 6 days in Shanghai

Having a long layover in Shanghai for more than 24 hours, you may visit the megacity based on the number of days you stay. It is sufficient to visit Shanghai downtown within 3 or 4 days. If getting 4-6 days, you can also go to the surrounding attractions, like the old water towns in suburbs, Suzhou, Hangzhou or nearby cities else.

One Day Layover in Shanghai

One day layover permits you visit a few top sites in Shanghai. Here are three popular day tour plans for your Shanghai airport long layover:


Go to visit Shanghai Museum, and then you can stroll on Nanjing Road eastwards to the Bund. After walking along the Bund on the west bank of the Huangpu River, you may go on walking southwards to see Yuyuan Garden.

Plan B: Yu Garden, The Bund, Shanghai World Financial Center, Tianzifang

You may visit Yuyuan Garden at first. Then go northwards to the Bund. After, go across the Huangpu River to ascend the observation deck on Shanghai World Financial Center, to overlook Shanghai city. Finally get to Tianzifang old block for an art safari in the afternoon.

Plan C: Zhujiajiao Water Town & the Bund

Go for a morning tour to ancient Zhujiajiao Water Town in the western suburb, and go back to the downtown for see western style buildings at the Bund and modern skyscrapers opposite it.

 Recommended Tour: Shanghai Day Tours

 Shanghai Mini Group Day Tour to Zhujiajiao Water Town, Yu Garden & the Bund

 One Day Shanghai Highlights Tour with Huangpu River Cruise from $101


2 Days Layover in Shanghai

Day 1: Shnghai Museum, Yu Garden, Nanjing Road, The Bund, Huangpu River Night Cruise

It’s suggested to visit Shanghai Museum and then Yuyuan Garden in the morning. Getting out of Yuyuan Garden, you may have lunch at Yuyuan Bazaar. After, get to Nanjing Road, and stroll on the old shopping street towards east all the way to the Bund in the afternoon. After sightseeing at the Bund, you can also take a night cruise on Huangpu River.


Day 2: Zhujiajiao, Jade Buddha Temple, Tianzifang

Go out the downtown for Zhujiajiao Water Town in the west in the early morning. After lunch, you can return to the downtown to visit Jade Buddha Temple and Tianzifang. Time allowing, you may kill the night time in a bar at Tianzifang block.

 Recommended Tour: Shanghai 2-Day Tours

 2-Day Shanghai Private Tour without Hotel


3 Days Layover in Shanghai

Day 1: People’s Square, Shanghai Museum, Urban Planning Exhibition Hall, the Bund, Huangpu River, A Skyscraper

At the beginning of 3 days long layover in Shanghai, you may get to Shanghai People's Square in the morning, and visit Shanghai Museum and Urban Planning Exhibition Hall surrounding the square. After, reach Nanjing Road and have lunch. Then, hang out on this shopping street and walk to its east end at the Bund. After, cross the Huangpu River to ascend Oriental Pearl Tower or Shanghai World Financial Center, where you can overlook the city.


Day 2: Yu Garden, Xintiandi, Tianzifang

As Yu Garden is a must see in Shanghai, you can go there at first today. After going out of the big classical garden, you can eat lunch and taste snacks at the Yuyuan Bazaar just outside it. Up to the afternoon, go to Xintiandi block to see old Shikumen buildings and fashion brand shops. At last, you may reach Tianzifang block that is in the art vibe. If interested, you can stay there till night to enjoy the colorful nightlife there.

Day 3: Zhujiajiao, Jade Buddha Temple

Zhujiajiao Water Town is another highlight in Shanghai. You may go to Zhujiajiao and stroll around the old water town, to see traditional dwellings, bridges, and try the local food in the morning. After having lunch at Zhujiajiao, get back to the downtown, and then visit Jade Buddha Temple.

 Recommended Tour:  3 Days Shanghai Private City Tour from $449


4 Days Long Layover in Shanghai

For the four days Shanghai long layover, you may follow the above 3 days itinerary, and choose some other attractions to visit on the last day. The attractions recommended for the 4th day include:

Shanghai Disneyland Park is a hot spot for amusement in Shanghai, making you feel in the Disney movies’ world. Happy Valley is the best native amusement park to relax and to seek for thrill.

b. Qibao / Fengjing / Wuzhen / Zhouzhuang Ancient Water Town

All these are time-honored water towns around Shanghai with traditional folk residences, stone bridges, crisscross rivers, etc. Qibao and Fengjing are relatively close and it takes shorter time to reach there. Wuzhen and Zhouzhuang are larger and more famous, but further, taking a little longer time to be reached.

 Recommended Tour:  4 Days Private Shanghai Tour with Tongli Ancient Town from $319


5 or 6 Days Long Layover in Shanghai

You may visit Shanghai city on the first 3-4 days following the above itineraries. On the last 2-3 days, paying a visit to remote suburbs or an adjacent city is considerable. Several optional cities and the attractions for the long layover in Shanghai are:

About 100km (62 miles) away from Shanghai, you may take a high speed train from Shanghai Hongqiao/Shanghai Railway Station to Suzhou/ Suzhou North Railway Station, to get to the historical city famous for classical gardens within 23-50 minutes. The gardens, including Humble Administrator's Garden, The Master of Nets Garden, Lingering Garden, etc., Tiger Hill, Shantang Street, Tongli and Zhouzhuang water towns are the most popular sites drawing tourists.


Hangzhou enjoys equal popularity of the heaven on the earth with Suzhou. You can go from Shanghai Hongqiao Railway Station to Hangzhou East Railway Station by high speed train, taking 50-90 minutes for the single trip. You may visit West Lake, Lingyin Temple, Wuzhen, Nanxun and other ancient water towns in Hangzhou and the surrounding area.

c. Wuxi

Wuxi can be reached by high speed train from Shanghai Hongqiao Railway Station in 30 minutes to 80 minutes. You may see Taihu Lake, Turtle Head Isle, Three Kingdoms City, Lingshan Grand Buddha, etc. in this city during your long layover in Shanghai.

Nanjing used to be a capital city in ancient times, therefore there are many historical heritages to visit. You can take a high speed train departing from Shanghai Hongqiao Railway Station, and reach Nanjing South Railway Station in 1h30min to 2h30min. Qinhuai River, Nanjing Confucius Temple, Presidential Palace, Dr. Sun Yat-sen's Mausoleum, Xiaoling Mausoleum of Ming Dynasty, etc. are all visit-worthy.

 Recommended Tour:
 Private Shanghai Tour with Suzhou in 5 Days from $599

 5 Days Shanghai, Suzhou & Hangzhou Tour by High Speed Train

Further Reading:
Layover in Shanghai: All about Stopover Ideas

How to Spend 3 to 12-Hour Layover in Shanghai

What to Do on an Overnight Layover in Shanghai: 12 to 24 Hours

- Last modified on Nov. 26, 2020 -
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