Itinerary for one day in Shanghai

Are you flying through Shanghai and have a long wait between flights and wondering how to spend one day in Shanghai? That was exactly my case. 

I had 12 hours between my flight and wondering what I am going to do in one day in Shanghai. I was asking myself what if I don’t get lost or how can I survive without internet as in Shanghai the internet is mostly blocked. 

Finally, I organized it and I will show you how can you spend your one day in Shanghai! 

Tips to do before you go

Download Google maps or any other maps to your phone as you will not have access to the internet (you can also take a screenshot of map with the place where are you planning to travel)

Exchange some Yuans beforehand as the card is mostly not accepted and then you will have to search for ATM which is a bit tricky to find one that will work for your card (think about how much can you spend for public transport, food expenses, souvenirs)

If you are from European union you don’t have to have any transit visa. Woohoo, easy 🙂

Currency – 1 CNY = 0.20 AUD

How to get to the city?

I recommend you to catch Maglev as it is fast rather than go by very slow train. Buy a return ticket + metro pass for 85 CNY. 

Maglev cost more than the slow train, however, as I said, saving your time is much worthy when you have just a one day in Shanghai. Also, if you purchase it with the metro pass, you will have unlimited rides by metro and don’t need to worry about purchasing a ticket for every single ride. 

The ride is very quick – it takes around 8min to the Longyang Road station and from there just continue where you wish to go.

Top places to visit in Shanghai in one day

The world financial center

Choose your first stop in World financial center, check the city, take pictures, have some lunch here and then continue to the Bund.

The Bund

The Bund has a lovely waterfront area with stunning view of the city skyline. The area is beautiful both in the afternoon or in the evening. However, Shanghai is usually foggy and if you are lucky you can see a clear sky. 

The Bund is located in the central Shanghai. When you walk in the Bund during the afternoon, you can take a stunning skyline picture. 

In the evening it reminds a sci-fi movie.:-) The lights are blinking and changing all the time. 

When I was visiting Shanghai I decided to see both afternoon and night view as I love night city and the afternoon view was awesome too.

Gucheng park

Before visiting the Yu Garden, check this park. Walking through the Gucheng park you will notice cats walking around. 

When I visited the Gucheng park, I saw people dancing in the park and exercising a martial art along with the traditional Chinese music. Truly authentic experience! 

Yu Garden (happiness garden)

The Yu Garden is a traditional Chinese Garden located near metro station Yuyuan Garden. The area has a beautiful illumination in the evening and offer plenty of traditional Shanghaian food such as Chinese dumplings and a lot of small dishes such as sticks with meat or octopus and other seafood. 

They accept cash only there so be ready to have enough to enjoy the Shanghai cuisine. There are also a lot of freshly squeezed juices for a drink. 

If you want to experience the taste of Shanghai don’t miss out this place. Really traditional and authentic. You can check the map of Yu Garden at the bottom of the page in the gallery. 😉 

City God Temple

The area is located near Yu Garden, the City God Temple offer a full range of local cuisine. You can taste all the Shanghaian specialities. Be ready to have your cash as most of the places doesn’t accept credit cards. 

I recommend you to visit The City God temple in the evening with all the lights on. 

Old Shanghai

The Old Shanghai is located near the City God temple and Yu Garden. Check some souvenirs there and experience the local culture.

To sum up, some parts of the Shanghai are poor and not very nice. You can notice a non-pleasant smell in some parts of the city. 

Also, be aware of people walking around. Especially, if you are wearing any jewelry or I would say rather don’t show it much there. Other parts of the city will immerse you in the Shanghais style and you can listen to traditional Chinese music, observe the traditional shapes of the roofs, shop Chinese souvenirs or observe people dancing in the park with their Chinese music which is cool.:-)

7 thoughts on “How to spend one day in Shanghai”

  1. Thanks, especially the local food was a great experience. If you go to Shanghai, definitely check it out. 😉

  2. Great read. We have been debating whether to go to Shanghai or notr – – Shanghai Disneyland. So gathering more info on this place. Sounds fascinating though

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