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How to Spend 2 Days in Shanghai

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.

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8 Tours and Activities

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Shanghai Circus World: ERA Intersection of Time Acrobatics Show

Shanghai Circus World: ERA Intersection of Time Acrobatics Show

star-4.5
197
During your Shanghai sojourn, immerse yourself in the cultural extravagance of an 'ERA Intersection of Time' show at Shanghai Circus World. See a captivating combination of Chinese history, mesmerizing martial arts and incredible special effects throughout the unique spectacle. Watch China evolve from humble beginnings to the global superpower it is today, and enjoy entertaining live music and elaborate costumes as you experience the family-friendly show.
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  • 2 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$48.00
From
$48.00

Private Full-Day Tour: Shanghai Old and New Highlights

Private Full-Day Tour: Shanghai Old and New Highlights

star-5
399
Discover old and modern Shanghai as you wish on a full-day private tour. With a personal guide, explore attractions like The Bund, Ming-Dynasty Yu Garden, Jade Buddha Temple, and visit the observation deck of one of Shanghai’s highest skyscrapers. Customize your itinerary to suit you and opt to explore by private vehicle with lunch and select entrance fees included, or by private vehicle or public transit with lunch and entrance fees at own expense.
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  • 7 to 8 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$121.50
Price varies by group size
From
$121.50
Price varies by group size

Best of Shanghai Day Tour, including Jade Buddha Temple & Bund & Yuyuan Garden

Best of Shanghai Day Tour, including Jade Buddha Temple & Bund & Yuyuan Garden

star-4
291
Enhance your sightseeing experience of Shanghai on an enriching full-day excursion around the city. See all of the city’s spectacular sights with a knowledgeable guide as you tour a selection of historical highlights; absorb the sacred majesty of the Jade Buddha Temple; immerse yourself in the city’s rich heritage at the Shanghai Museum; and stroll amid the botanical beauty of the Yuyuan Garden. Walk along the Bund and the former French Concession and enjoy a traditional Chinese lunch.
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  • 8 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$79.00
From
$79.00

Huangpu River Cruise and Bund City Lights Evening Tour of Shanghai

Huangpu River Cruise and Bund City Lights Evening Tour of Shanghai

star-4
102
Experience the incandescent beauty of The Bund, Shanghai’s cosmopolitan cultural district, on an evening tour of the waterfront. Accompanied by an expert guide, see the city’s most significant landmarks under the atmospheric cover of darkness; board an evening cruise boat to watch the city sparkle from the shimmering Huangpu River, then stroll the area to admire the historical Peace Hotel. Hop into a trolley to enjoy spectacular views of Nanjing Road and enjoy the convenience of round-trip transportation from your Shanghai hotel.
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  • 2 hours 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
From
$84.27
From
$84.27

Experience Shanghai: Dumpling Cooking Class and Tasting Tour

Experience Shanghai: Dumpling Cooking Class and Tasting Tour

star-5
153
Immerse yourself in the rich culinary culture of Shanghai on a tour that includes a comprehensive cookery class. Pleasure your palate with local specialties like wontons, fried pot stickers and the city’s renowned ‘xiaolongbao’ (soup dumplings) as you discover enticing food stands with a knowledgeable guide. Uncover the secrets of Chinese cookery in a cooking class after your tour and learn to make delicious 'har gow’ (steamed dim sum shrimp dumplings), feasting on the fruits of your labor on completion. Receive personalized attention from your guide on this small-group tour, where numbers are limited to just 10 people.
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  • 3 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$85.00
From
$85.00

Best of Shanghai Full Day Coach Tour

Best of Shanghai Full Day Coach Tour

star-4.5
18
Enjoy Shanghai’s star attractions, including Yu Garden and Shanghai Museum, in one day on a comprehensive, guided tour.  As you travel from sight to sight, listen as your well-informed guide shares the secrets and history of the city. Admire the exquisite ponds and pagodas of ornamental Yu Garden; stroll along historical Old Street; and admire the views from the stately Bund waterfront. Visit the Shanghai Museum to witness its stunning Chinese art; and after a delicious lunch, explore the Jade Buddha Temple before sampling the restaurant-filled Xin Tian Di quarter.
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  • 8 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$80.00
From
$80.00

4-Hour Shanghai Jewish History and China Art Museum Private Tour

4-Hour Shanghai Jewish History and China Art Museum Private Tour

star-5
2
Discover Shanghai’s Jewish history and heritage on this 4-hour prviate tour. Explore the former Jewish Ghetto in Shanghai’s Hongkou district, visit landmarks such as Ohel Moishe Synagogue and Sassoon House, and see the famous painting ‘Along the River During the Qingming Festival’ at the China Art Museum.
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  • 4 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$115.00
Price varies by group size
From
$115.00
Price varies by group size

Chinese paper cutting class

Chinese paper cutting class

Paper-cutting has been a traditional decorative craft since the Chinese invented paper in AD 105, with designs commonly displayed on windows and doors around the country. Learn the techniques, methods, and tricks that are used by professional paper cutters during this class in Shanghai. Plus, you’ll be able to create your own souvenir.
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  • 2 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$76.93
From
$76.93