1 Day in Shanghai Itinerary + Map

Author Carina Klein
· 4 min read · 0 comments

Share this post with others


See the highlights of Shanghai in one day!

We visited Shanghai on our 2-week backpacking trip through China. The biggest city in China is an ultra-modern metropolis. In our opinion, one day in Shanghai is enough to see the main sights and explore the old and the new parts of town – Shanghai is a liveable city rather than a sightseeing hub.

Here’s how to see the best of Shanghai in one day:

Shanghai in 1 Day

Shanghai 1 Day Itinerary Map

We stayed at Dayin International Youth Hostel East Nanjing Road & The Bund. The location right at People’s Square and Nanjing Road is perfect. The dorms and bathrooms were squeaky clean and the facilities like the gym and the bar were a great addition.

1 Day Shanghai Itinerary

Morning – French Concession

Start your day in the avenues and alleys of the former French Concession.

Stroll the bohemian Tianzifang area, an artsy enclave with many boutique shops, bars, and restaurants.

You should have no problem finding a delicious breakfast here.

Picture of Tianzifang, French Concession
Tianzifang, French Concession

Lunch – Old City of Shanghai

Take the train to the Old City of Shanghai. The houses along the alleys and squares are beautifully renovated. The downside is that the area is quite small and can get crowded quickly.

Two main sights in the old town are the City God Temple and Yuyuan Garden. If you only visit Shanghai in China both are worthwhile. If you also visit other places in China, we wouldn’t bother with the entrance fees.

Shanghai Old Town is the perfect place to grab lunch. Huxinting Tea House, the oldest tea house in Shanghai is in the area. If the line is too long, there are also a ton of dumpling places and other food spots.

Picture of castle

Afternoon – The Bund

From Shanghai Old City, it’s an easy walk through Gucheng Park to the Bund, the riverfront promenade of Shanghai.

Here, you can enjoy views of the Pudong skyline across the river including Shanghai Tower – the highest building in China – and the Oriental Pearl Tower, the former highest building in China.

If you want to, you can catch a ferry across the Huangpu River from the Bund to Pudong. You can also access the viewing platforms of Shanghai Tower or the Oriental Pearl Tower but we skipped this in favour of a rooftop bar (and saving money).

Picture of The Bund Shanghai
The Bund Shanghai

Evening – Nanjing Road and Marriage Market

From the Bund, take a stroll along Nanjing Road – one of the biggest shopping streets in the world.

You can either walk all the way to the People's Park or take one of the little tourist trains that run up and down Nanjing Road.

If you’re in Shanghai on a Saturday or Sunday, don’t miss the Shanghai Marriage Market in People's Park. Parents of unmarried adults gather in the park from noon to 5 p.m. to trade information on their children.

Picture of Shanghai Marriage Market
Shanghai Marriage Market

Night – Rooftop Bar

We love a good rooftop bar. We chose the Sky Dome Bar on top of the Radisson Blu Hotel Shanghai as it was super close to our hostel. There was no strict dress code and the beers were surprisingly affordable.

Picture of Sky Dome Bar Shanghai
Sky Dome Bar Shanghai

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. If you use these links to buy something we may earn a commission. You would help us a lot if you do so. Thanks.

Interested in personal updates and honest travel guides?
Sign up for our biweekly bucketlist2life newsletter for exclusive behind the scenes looks into our travel planning!


Want to support us?
Buy us a coffe, a tea – or a whisky.


Leave a comment

Do you have any thoughts on this article? – We would love to hear from you!

Do you want to follow us on our jouney? Check this box to also signup for our Newsletter and never miss an update!

You have a link you want to share with others? This is a good place for it!

Do you want to receive a Push-Notification when someone replies to your comment? – Check this box!

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.