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

12 to 24 hour layover in Shanghai is flexible for a day tour to downtown to explore the top sites. However, one thing to note is that, if the overnight layover in Shanghai is at night, even if the time is over 12 hours, you are advised to rest in a nearby hotel or an airport lounge to wait for your connecting flight.

Referable Itinerary for 12 Hour Layover in Shanghai in Day

During the day, the 12 or a few more hours, like 13-15 hours, layover in Shanghai provides you a good opportunity to tour in the city. Excluding 2-3 hours to go to the first attraction from the airport and go back after the tour, and the 2 hours for boarding procedure, you get 7 to 10 hours actually to visit these best-known attractions. Here is an itinerary for 12 - 15 hour layover in Shanghai in day for your reference:


8:00-9:30: Handle the Luggage and Travel from Airport to Xintiandi

Have breakfast before getting off the plane, to save time for your Shanghai layover day tour. After picking your luggage or checking it for a connecting transport, you may leave the airport and take the metro to Xintiandi.

At Hongqiao Airport, you can get on Metro Line 10 from the Terminal 1 or Terminal 2, and arrive at Xintiandi Station directly, which would take about 30 minutes.
Setting off from Pudong Airport, you can take metro Line 2 to East Nanjing Rd. Station, and then change to Line 10 to get off at Xintiandi Station. It takes 80 minutes or so.


9:30-10:30: Visit Xintiandi

Xintiandi, a historical quarter with top fashion brand shops, is full of the Shikumen houses, which is a Shanghai architecture style combined Chinese traditional dwellings and western houses in modern times. You can appreciate the old houses while hanging out in the shops.


Costing about 18 minutes and CNY 16, you may take a taxi to People’s Square. It’s the largest public square in Shanghai, and you can admire some landmarks of the city surrounding the square, including Shanghai Museum and Shanghai Grand Theater. Then, have a stroll on Nanjing Road, the must see during the overnight layover in shanghai, to the east of the square. It is a noted commercial street with shops and restaurants.


11:30-13:00: The Bund & Huangpu River

As you walk along the Nanjing Road all the way to its eastern end, the Bund and Huangpu River will come into your eyes. The Bund on the west riverbank is the landmark place of Shanghai, with various western style buildings of the early 20th century. Across the Huangpu River on the east riverbank, you will see a totally different cityscape, where many modern skyscrapers stand shoulder by shoulder.


13:00-14:30: Yuyuan Bazaar, Have Lunch

From the Bund, you may keep walking south for a few minutes to Yuyuan Bazaar, where you can find traditional crafts, souvenirs, and local food right outside Yu Garden. You may choose a restaurant on the foodie road to have lunch there, to taste the authentic Shanghai snacks.


14:30-16:30: Visit Yu Garden

After lunch, enter Yu Garden for a visit. Praised to be the best Chinese classical garden in Shanghai, Yuyuan Garden cannot be missed on your overnight layover in shanghai. It is centuries old with many historical halls, pavilions, rockeries and lush trees. It also houses many Chinese calligraphies and paintings.

16:30-18:00: Return to the Airport

Take Metro Line 10 from Yuyuan Garden Station, and transfer to Line 2 bound to Pudong Airport at East Nanjing Rd. Station. You would spend 80min or so before reaching Pudong Airport.

As to get back to Hongqiao Airport, get on the metro Line 10 at Yuyuan Garden Station, and get off at Terminal 1 or Terminal 2 later. The direct metro line would take you around 35 minutes to get to Hongqiao Airport.

To make sure the itinerary works smoothly, you are supposed to be familiar with the walking routes, and the traffic should be good. If the traffic jams happen, the visiting time in attractions should be cut down accordingly. Or if you would like to take the cruise on Huangpu River, one more hour needs to be reserved, and the time for lunch and Yuyuan Garden should be reduced.

Want to go through all these Shanghai landmarks in 12 hours successfully? Our guided Shanghai day tours are considerable choices for you.

24 Hour Shanghai Overnight Layover

For a 24 hour layover in Shanghai, you may refer to the itinerary above to visit Shanghai. And about the accommodation on your overnight layover in Shanghai, it is suggested to live in a hotel near Pudong/Hongqiao Airport if you arrive in Shanghai between 22:00 and 10:00 the next day. Because there is no public transport at night, staying in a hotel not far is a convenient option to connect your leaving flight 24 hours later. If you get to Shanghai during 10:00-22:00, living overnight in the downtown is also feasible.

Read More:
Layover in Shanghai: All about Stopover Ideas

How to Spend 3 to 12-Hour Layover in Shanghai

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

- Last updated on May. 05, 2023 by Catherine He -
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