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Shanghai Trip Planner: Discover the mega metropolis sprawl

Posted July 31, 2023 in Destination - Last updated November 2, 2023

Shanghai, China’s biggest city and financial hub, is renowned for its businesses and spectacular landmarks. A visit, even a business trip, can be an unforgettable travel experience in Shanghai, China.

The city has numerous must-visit top cultural spots like the Shanghai Natural History Museumthe Jade Buddha Templethe Longhua Temple and Pagoda, and the Jing’an Temple. The city also has several architectural wonders to offer travelers, like the People’s Square, Pearl Towerthe Shanghai Urban Planning Exhibition Center, the Shanghai Museumthe Grand Theatre, and the Shanghai City Hall. You can also explore beautiful cathedrals like the Sheshan Basilica and the Xujiahui Cathedral in Shanghai. The Asian Art Center and the China Art Museum are undeniable attractions for art lovers and cultural enthusiasts.

Take the chance to explore Shanghai with our fabulous itineraries. You can choose from our community itineraries or customize your own from a generated itinerary. Our trip planner will help you discover the best of this vibrant city. Check it out now and start planning your dream trip.

An Exploration of Shanghai’s Timeless Allure

You’re about to embark on an incredible journey through Shanghai that seamlessly blends the past and present. The city’s vibrant streets and iconic landmarks tell a story of its rich history, culture, and innovation that made it a global powerhouse. Shanghai’s unique blend of ancient temples, modern skyscrapers, and cultural treasures awaits your exploration. Join us as we unlock the secrets of this dynamic city, where every corner reveals a new facet of its timeless allure.

Shanghai Natural History Museum

Shanghai Natural History Museum. Shanghai China. Business trip

The Shanghai Natural History Museum, founded in 1956, has a rich history. It evolved into a vast tower of knowledge, relocated in 2015. With exhibits from China and beyond, it features diverse collections, including dinosaur fossils and geological marvels. The museum houses over 290,000 captivating artifacts. Embark on an enlightening journey into Shanghai’s past and the wonders of nature.

The Longhua Temple and Pagoda

the Longhua Temple and Pagoda. Shanghai, China. Business trip

For over 1,700 years, the Longhua Temple and Pagoda have stood as ancient bastions of religion in Shanghai. Rooted in history, the first temple was constructed in the distant past, though it endured tumultuous times, leading to numerous reconstructions. Dominating the skyline with its impressive stature, the Longhua Pagoda boasts seven remarkable floors, offering breathtaking vistas from its pinnacle. An alluring destination for knowledge seekers in matters of religion and culture, the temple beckons those in pursuit of enlightenment.

Jing’an Temple 

Jing'an Temple. Shanghai, China

Jing’an Temple, an ancient marvel, dates back to the 3rd century AD and was initially known as Hudu Chongyuan Temple before a royal name change. Throughout history, it has undergone numerous transformations, with the most recent significant renovation taking place in the 1990s, resulting in its unique blend of old and contemporary Chinese architectural styles. As a serene sanctuary amidst the bustling city, the temple draws devoted Buddhists seeking a place of prayer and contemplation. A living testament to Shanghai’s rich cultural heritage, Jing’an Temple stands as a harmonious convergence of past and present, beckoning visitors with its timeless allure.

People’s Square

People's Square. Shanghai, China

People’s Square holds immense historical importance dating back to the early 1900s when it underwent a transformative evolution. From its origins as a horse racing track, it has become a vibrant social gathering and entertainment hub. Over time, the area has undergone numerous developments, blossoming into a bustling and dynamic destination. Surrounding People’s Square, visitors can explore various captivating attractions, including museums, theaters, architecturally stunning buildings, and many shops, ensuring an enriching and enjoyable experience.

Shanghai Pearl Tower

Shanghai Pearl Tower. Shanghai China

The Pearl Radio & TV Tower stands tall and unique as a symbol of Shanghai’s modernity. Erected in 1990 and completed in 1994, it once held the title of China’s tallest building before being surpassed by others. Its futuristic appearance captivates visitors with round, elongated sections connected by glass bridges. Step inside the tower to behold breathtaking views of the city and the river from elevated vantage points, dine in a moving restaurant, and explore engaging halls filled with educational exhibits. It is a must-visit attraction that showcases the city’s progress and vibrant spirit.

Shanghai Urban Planning Exhibition Center

Shanghai Urban Planning Exhibition Center. Shanghai China

Shanghai Urban Planning Exhibition Center is a captivating showcase of the city’s remarkable transformation. Since its inauguration in 2000, this center has played a pivotal role in displaying the evolution of Shanghai, unfolding how this once modest town blossomed into a prominent metropolis. The center unveils the city’s visionary plans, architectural wonders, and innovative ideas, engaging visitors through various small-scale models, interactive displays, and captivating videos. Immerse yourself in the dynamic journey of Shanghai’s rapid and monumental metamorphosis, making this venue an exceptional platform for comprehending the city’s phenomenal growth. Explore, learn, and be inspired by Shanghai’s vibrant history and promising future!

Shanghai Museum

Shanghai Museum. Shanghai, China

The Shanghai Museum is a captivating historical institution boasting many artifacts that delve into the country’s extensive and fascinating history. On display are exquisite relics crafted from metal, clay, ink, paint, and stone, each a testimony to China’s rich cultural heritage. The museum, a unique blend of contemporary and traditional architecture, was established in 1996. Immerse yourself in China’s vibrant art and culture as you explore the myriad of captivating exhibits and immerse yourself in an enriching experience at the Shanghai Museum.

Grand Theatre and Shanghai City Hall

Grand Theatre and Shanghai City Hall. Shanghai, China

Shanghai City Hall and Shanghai Grand Theatre stand prominently near People’s Square. The impressive theatre, designed by a French architect in 1998, showcases a sleek and modern aesthetic. Its versatile offerings encompass various shows, including singing, dancing, acting, and music performances. On the other hand, the city hall, a historic gem built in 1934 and known as the Shanghai Municipal Government Building, exudes timeless beauty through its grand arches, majestic pillars, and captivating architectural features. Each element of this structure gracefully narrates the tale of the city’s rich past.

Planning your itinerary is tricky because there’s so much to see. Make sure you get everything you need. Pick out the spots you’ll stop at before you go if you’re short on time. You can also search the template itineraries that Travel-Wise community members made and find the best one that works for you. Additionally, you can generate an entire trip to Shanghai with AI.

Finding the Perfect Time for Your Shanghai Getaway


When visiting Shanghai, timing can make all the difference in your experience. Consider the city’s climate and peak tourist seasons to make the most of your trip.

Ideal Seasons: Spring and Autumn For a delightful visit, target spring (March to May) and autumn (September to November). Spring offers blooming flowers and temperatures ranging from 10°C to 20°C (50°F to 68°F). Autumn brings milder weather, around 15°C to 25°C (59°F to 77°F), along with cultural events and festivals.

Summer and Winter While summer (June to August) can be hot and humid, with temperatures exceeding 30°C (86°F), winters (December to February) are chilly, averaging 0°C to 10°C (32°F to 50°F). Both seasons have unique draws, but spring and autumn balance weather and attractions best.

Planning your visit during the optimal seasons will ensure a comfortable and enriching experience in Shanghai.

How to Get Around Shanghai Efficiently


Navigating Shanghai’s bustling streets requires a reliable transportation strategy. Here are the most effective ways to get around this vibrant metropolis:

Metro System

Shanghai boasts an extensive and efficient metro network. With numerous lines connecting key attractions and neighborhoods, the metro is a convenient and cost-effective way to travel. Signs and announcements are usually bilingual, easing communication between locals and tourists.

Didi (Ride-Hailing)

Similar to Uber, Didi is a popular ride-hailing app in China. It allows you to conveniently book rides, including taxis and private cars, through your smartphone. It’s available in English and is a great option for hassle-free transportation.

Maglev Train

If traveling to or from Pudong International Airport, consider experiencing the Maglev train. It’s the world’s fastest commercial train, reaching up to 431 km/h (268 mph) and offering a thrilling transportation experience.


With the Huangpu River running through Shanghai, ferries offer an alternative way to cross the river and enjoy picturesque skyline views.

Discover Shanghai’s nature attractions.

Shanghai, a bustling metropolis in China, stands as one of the world’s largest cities, boasting a population of over 24 million. Amidst its urban hustle, this vibrant city harbors a surprising oasis of natural beauty. The iconic Yu Garden, an ancient classical garden, spans five acres and features charming pavilions, meandering pathways, and picturesque ponds adorned with vibrant koi fish.

Beyond the gardens, Gongqing Forest Park offers a refreshing escape, encompassing an impressive 2.8 square kilometers of lush greenery, providing ample space for outdoor enthusiasts and families alike to partake in leisure activities and appreciate the city’s ecological diversity. With 150 parks and green spaces dotted throughout its expanse, Shanghai boasts an impressive 157 square meters of green area per capita, emphasizing its commitment to preserving nature amidst its urban sprawl.

Do your research and plan your itinerary, and you’ll have a wonderful time exploring Shanghai’s natural wonders with our trip planner.

Shanghai Zoo

Shanghai Zoo. Shanghai, China

For a delightful family experience centered around animals, a visit to the Shanghai Zoo is an absolute must during your trip to Shanghai. Being one of China’s oldest and most esteemed zoos, it boasts an impressive collection of over 600 animal species, ranging from adorable pandas to majestic lions, elephants, and giraffes.

Ample, well-designed enclosures ensure that the animals thrive in comfortable habitats, and the zoo’s focus on education allows visitors to deepen their understanding of wildlife and conservation efforts. Moreover, the captivating landscape, adorned with beautiful plants, provides the perfect backdrop for a serene and enriching day amidst nature’s wonders.

Shanghai Ocean Aquarium

Shanghai Ocean Aquarium. Shanghai, China

Discover the Shanghai Ocean Aquarium, home to diverse aquatic life. Experience an immersive, educational underwater tunnel with creatures from around the world. Delight in the vibrant marine ecosystems while learning about aquatic habitats.

Yu Garden

Yu Garden. Shanghai, China

Discover the enchanting allure of Shanghai’s ancient gem, Yu Garden. Established during the illustrious Ming Dynasty, this timeless masterpiece boasts a rich history and extraordinary charm. Amidst its serene waters, you’ll find an array of ancient buildings, quaint abodes, and a diverse botanical wonderland.

Nestled amidst the city’s bustling heart, Yu Garden offers a tranquil sanctuary for unwinding and rejuvenation. Adjacent to this splendid oasis, many shopping venues and teahouses beckon, inviting you to immerse yourself in the vibrant local culture. Explore, engage, and be captivated by the living legacy of Yu Garden!

Huangpu Park

Huangpu Park. Shanghai-China

Located near the picturesque Huangpu River, Huangpu Park offers captivating vistas of Shanghai’s modern skyline, showcasing the city’s impressive array of new and towering structures. As the oldest park in Shanghai, it provides a serene oasis amid the bustling urban landscape. Visitors can relish peaceful strolls along the riverfront, relax on lush green lawns, and explore fascinating historical artifacts throughout the park. Whether you’re a resident seeking respite or a curious traveler, Huangpu Park is an idyllic destination to unwind while embracing the vibrant essence of the city.

What is the cost of visiting Shanghai?

What is the cost of visiting shanghai

While Shanghai boasts an array of luxurious experiences, the city’s affordability can surprise many travelers. Accommodation options span a wide range, from budget hostels to upscale hotels, catering to various budget preferences. Public transportation, including the efficient metro system, offers a cost-effective way to get around. Dining is another area where Shanghai accommodates diverse budgets – from street food stalls offering delicious local treats to high-end restaurants serving global cuisines.

Expenses for a Week in Shanghai

Planning a week-long trip to Shanghai involves considering various expenses, from accommodation to food, transportation, and attractions. While individual preferences and spending habits can vary, here’s a general budget range to help you plan your trip:


Budget travelers can find affordable hostels or budget hotels starting at around $25-$50 per night. Mid-range options might range from $60-$150 per night, while luxury accommodations can start at $200 and increase significantly.


Street food and local eateries offer budget-friendly meals for as low as $5-$10 per meal. Dining at mid-range restaurants could cost around $20-$40 per person, and upscale dining can range from $50 to several hundred dollars.


The Shanghai Metro is affordable, with single rides costing around $0.50 to $1. Taxis start at about $2, with additional charges per kilometer. If you plan to use ride-hailing services like Didi, expect similar taxi costs.

Total Estimated Budget Range

Considering a budget-conscious approach, a rough estimate for a week-long trip to Shanghai could be:

  • Accommodation (7 nights, mid-range): $420 – $1,050
  • Food (3 meals per day, mid-range): $420 – $840
  • Transportation (including metro, taxis): $50 – $100
  • Attractions and Miscellaneous: $100 – $210

Total Estimated Budget Range: $990 – $2,200

Remember that these figures are approximate and vary based on travel style, preferences, and exchange rates. It’s wise to allocate extra funds for unexpected expenses and tailor your budget based on your specific plans and priorities.

5 Captivating Fun Facts About Shanghai


Shanghai, often dubbed the “Paris of the East,” is a city that weaves history, culture, and modernity into an intricate tapestry. Beyond its nickname and allure, let’s uncover some captivating fun facts that make Shanghai an irresistible destination.

Paris of the East

Shanghai’s alternative name, the “Paris of the East,” pays homage to its blend of elegance and cosmopolitan charm. This moniker reflects the city’s ability to harmonize historical landmarks, like the Bund’s colonial architecture, with its futuristic skyline of towering skyscrapers.

The Maglev Marvel

Shanghai boasts the world’s fastest commercial train, the Maglev (magnetic levitation). It reaches speeds of up to 431 km/h (268 mph), providing a thrilling and efficient way to travel between the city and Pudong International Airport.

Sky-High Observatories

 With towering observatories, Shanghai takes the “view from the top” to a new level. The Shanghai Tower’s observation deck, one of the highest in the world, offers breathtaking views of the sprawling cityscape and beyond.

Culinary Paradise

Shanghai’s culinary scene is an adventure in itself. Beyond the renowned xiaolongbao (soup dumplings), you’ll find a treasure trove of diverse dishes from various Chinese regions, making it a paradise for food enthusiasts.

Ancient Water Towns

While Shanghai is known for its modernity, it’s also home to ancient water towns like Zhujiajiao and Zhouzhuang. These historic gems offer a glimpse into China’s traditional past, with their charming canals, stone bridges, and old-world architecture.

A Day of Childhood Dreams

Welcome to Shanghai Disneyland Resort, the epitome of magical adventures in China! Boasting over 963 acres of enchanting landscapes, this world-class theme park is the largest Disney resort in Asia and the sixth-largest globally. With an impressive annual attendance of more than 11 million visitors, you’ll join a joyful community of thrill-seekers and Disney enthusiasts worldwide.


Fantasyland. Shanghai, China

Fantasyland at Shanghai Disneyland Resort, where enchantment and magic come to life! With an impressive area of 46 acres, Fantasyland stands as the largest “land” within the park. Featuring seven captivating attractions, this wonderland caters to visitors of all ages. Glide through the skies with Dumbo the Flying Elephant or have tea with the Mad Hatter in Alice in Wonderland.

With an average of 5 million visitors annually, Fantasyland ranks as one of the most beloved and frequented sections of the entire resort, making it a must-visit destination for any Disney enthusiast. So, immerse yourself in fairytales and imagination, and experience the joy and excitement that only Fantasyland can deliver!

Dumbo carousel. Shanghai, China

Pirates of the Caribbean Treasure Cove

Pirates of the Caribbean Treasure Cove. Shanghai, China

Pirates of the Caribbean Treasure Cove gets 10,000+ daily visitors. 20 attractions include roller coasters and interactive adventures, offering a movie-like experience with mock pirates—a must-visit for a fun day in Shanghai.

Gardens of the Imagination

Gardens of the Imagination. Shanghai, China

Another place you should visit during your trip to Shanghai is Gardens of Imagination, a land in Disneyland Resort that celebrates Disney magic. You’ll be amazed by the beautiful plants, fun statues, and shows featuring Mickey Mouse and his friends. You can watch a parade or a water show or find a quiet garden spot to relax and dream. Gardens of Imagination are where you can unleash your imagination and feel happy and young.

Disneyland Resort is where you can forget about real life and have fun. You can see Disney stories, go on exciting rides, and visit different lands there.


Planning a trip to Shanghai requires careful consideration of factors such as the ideal seasons to visit, efficient transportation options, and budget estimates. Shanghai offers diverse attractions, from historical sites like temples and museums to modern wonders like skyscrapers and theme parks, making it a city that appeals to a wide range of interests.

Moreover, Shanghai’s commitment to preserving natural beauty amid its urban sprawl is evident in its numerous parks and green spaces, offering a refreshing escape for nature enthusiasts.

Lastly, visiting Shanghai Disneyland Resort promises a magical experience for Disney enthusiasts and thrill-seekers, making it a perfect addition to any itinerary.

Overall, Shanghai’s timeless allure lies in its ability to seamlessly blend history, culture, and modernity, providing travelers with a rich and captivating experience in this dynamic metropolis.

Get the most out of Shanghai with Travel-Wise

Get the most out of Shanghai with Travel-Wise

If you go to Shanghai for work and have $400-1,000 (USD) to spend, Travel-Wise can help you plan a great trip to Shanghai. You can see the best things in the city and save money with their unique plans.

Plan your trip fast

You can save time planning your trip to Shanghai with Travel-Wise. We’ll help you plan your trip with premade template itineraries that can be found on our itinerary search engine. From there, you can customize the trip in your Shanghai trip planner and lock in your travel arrangements!

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