How to Spend 2 Days in Shanghai
Two days in Shanghai gives you enough time to see its highlights, explore its diverse neighborhoods, and even take a deep dive into the local culture through a class or hands-on workshop. If you have 48 hours to spend in Shanghai, here are some ideas for how to make the most of your time.
Day 1: Essential Shanghai
**Morning:**Get an overview on a guided city sightseeing tour. Enjoy the value of a small-group tour, the intimacy of a private tour, or the ease of a hop-on hop-off sightseeing bus. Highlights include the Shanghai riverfront, including the skyscrapers of Pudong and the colonial buildings of the Bund and French Concession.
**Afternoon:**After lunch, plan a stop at Shanghai Confucian Temple, dedicated to the famous Chinese philosopher of the same name, before heading to Yuyuan Garden and the Yuyuan Bazaar for shopping. Don’t miss the Jade Buddha Temple, home to two jewel-encrusted statues brought from Singapore by a Burmese monk in the 19th century.
**Night:**End your first day in Shanghai with a dinner show. While Shanghai is best known for its talented troupes of Chinese acrobats, you can also catch Chinese opera, stand-up comedy, or musical theater.
Day 2: History and Hands-On
**Morning:**Dive deeper into Shanghai’s multicultural history with a visit to one of the city’s many museums. The Shanghai Museum displays artifacts dating back to the neolithic period, while the Shanghai History Museum tells the 100-year story of modern Shanghai. Other options include the Shanghai Urban Planning Exhibition Hall and Shanghai Jewish Refugees Museum.
**Afternoon:**Sign up for a cultural or culinary workshop and learn something new. Practice making Chinese dumplings, wontons, or dim sum with a local chef, or stoke your artistic side in a class on Chinese paper cutting, painting, or calligraphy. Alternately, get moving in a private Tai Chi workshop.
**Night:**Get to know Shanghai's famous nightlife scene like an insider. Join a local for a guided jaunt to top after-dark haunts. Many tours include hotel pickup and drop-off, as well as a complimentary beverage or two. For something low-key, opt for a dinner cruise along the Huangpu River.