72-hour (3-day) Visitor itinerary for Shanghai

Shanghai Living

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Day 1: Classic Shanghai

The Bund:

The Bund is Shanghai’s historic waterfront, showcasing architectural styles from the city’s colonial past. With historic buildings lining one side and the futuristic skyline of Pudong on the other, it’s a visual representation of Shanghai’s rich history and modern development. Morning strolls here are serene, with the soft light giving the city a golden hue. You can take in views, enjoy the riverside, and capture great photographs.

Yu Garden:

Yu Garden, dating back to the Ming Dynasty, offers visitors a taste of classical Chinese architecture and design. Winding pathways, beautifully manicured landscapes, koi-filled ponds, and traditional pavilions come together in this peaceful oasis. The intricate stone carvings and historic buildings tell tales of a bygone era.

Shanghai Old Street:

Adjacent to Yu Garden is the Shanghai Old Street, a lively area replicating old Shanghai. Wander the winding streets, admire old-style architecture, and visit traditional shops and tea houses. It’s a wonderful place to purchase souvenirs or simply soak in the historic ambiance.

Lunch at a local eatery:

Delve into the flavors of Shanghai with dishes like “xiaolongbao” (soup dumplings). Numerous local eateries serve these delicate dumplings filled with flavorful broth and tender meat. Enjoying them in their hometown is an experience unto itself.

Nanjing Road Pedestrian Street:

This bustling street is China’s premier shopping destination. From international luxury brands to local boutiques, there’s something for every shopper. Even if shopping isn’t on your agenda, the lively atmosphere and the throngs of locals and tourists make it a spectacle worth experiencing.

Shanghai Tower Observation Deck:

Elevate your perspective at China’s tallest building, the Shanghai Tower. The observation deck offers panoramic views of the sprawling metropolis. By evening, the city lights up, turning the view into a glittering sea of skyscrapers and roads.

Dinner in Pudong:

Pudong is home to some of Shanghai’s most upscale dining experiences. From Chinese to international cuisine, the choices are vast. Enjoy a meal while taking in the futuristic skyline.

Night River Cruise:

As the sun sets, embark on a Huangpu River night cruise. The city’s landmarks light up, casting their reflections on the water. It’s a mesmerizing end to your first day in Shanghai.

Day 2: Modern and Artistic Shanghai

Shanghai Museum:

Dive into Chinese culture at the Shanghai Museum. This world-class institution boasts vast collections of ancient Chinese art, artifacts, and antiquities. Each exhibit narrates a different chapter of China’s illustrious history, from dynastic reigns to artistic revolutions.


Nestled in the French Concession area, Tianzifang is a labyrinth of narrow alleyways brimming with art studios, boutiques, galleries, and quaint cafes. The area has maintained its original Shikumen architecture, making it a charming blend of the old and new.

Lunch in Tianzifang:

Amidst the artistic atmosphere of Tianzifang, find a cozy cafe or eatery. The area offers a mix of local and international foods, often with a creative twist fitting the neighborhood’s vibe.

Power Station of Art:

Housed in a repurposed power station, this contemporary art museum displays thought-provoking exhibitions from both domestic and international artists. The industrial setting juxtaposed with avant-garde art makes for a unique cultural experience.

Shanghai Disneyland (optional):

For those seeking some enchantment, Shanghai Disneyland is the place to be. Dive into familiar tales, thrilling rides, and magical parades. The park carries the classic Disney charm with a touch of Chinese culture.

Dinner in Xintiandi:

Xintiandi is a chic and car-free district, renowned for its rejuvenated “Shikumen” buildings and Western-style eateries. Here, you can relish a blend of Shanghai’s culinary heritage and international flavors.

Day 3: Futuristic and Traditional Fusion

Shanghai Urban Planning Exhibition Center:

This institution offers a deep dive into the city’s developmental trajectory. From past architectural models to future city planning proposals, visitors get a comprehensive look into Shanghai’s evolving urbanscape.

Jing’an Temple:

Amidst the city’s hustle and bustle stands the serene Jing’an Temple. This historic Buddhist temple, with its golden statues and intricate carvings, provides a peaceful retreat and a glimpse into China’s spiritual traditions.

Lunch at a local restaurant:

Sample authentic Shanghainese flavors, like hand-pulled noodles or braised pork belly. Shanghai’s culinary scene is diverse, ensuring there’s always something new and delectable to try.

Longhua Temple and Pagoda:

This is one of Shanghai’s oldest and most authentic religious sites. The temple grounds exude tranquility, and the historic pagoda stands as a testament to the city’s enduring traditions.

Shanghai Science and Technology Museum:

Perfect for families and the curious-at-heart, this museum offers interactive exhibits on diverse topics, from space exploration to robotics. It’s a celebration of human ingenuity and scientific advancements.

Dinner in the French Concession:

The tree-lined streets of the French Concession house numerous restaurants offering a fusion of Chinese and Western cuisines. Enjoy your meal in this atmospheric part of the city.

Nightlife in Shanghai:

End your journey with a splash of Shanghai’s nightlife. Choose a jazz club, a rooftop bar, or a dance club, and immerse yourself in the city’s vibrant after-hours scene.

Remember, this itinerary is flexible. You can adjust it based on your interests and preferences. Enjoy your time in Shanghai!

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