Destinations Shanghai

How To Spend One Day in Shanghai

Itinerary for one day in Shanghai

Are you flying through Shanghai and have a long waiting time between the flights?Shanghai is a city where can you have a stopover if you fly to and from Europe. It is a good opportunity to use your time and explore the city. 

I had 12 hours between my flight and wondering what I am going to do in one day in Shanghai. I was questioning 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 organised it all and didn’t regret.

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. You will not have access to the internet (you can also take a screenshot of the map with the place where are you planning to travel)

Exchange some Yuans for souvenirs, public transport and food beforehand. The credit cards are mostly not accepted. Apart from that, to search for ATM that will work for your card can be tricky. 

If you are from the 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 worth it when you have just one day in Shanghai. 

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 anywhere you wish to go.

Top places to visit in Shanghai in one day

The World Financial Centre

Choose your first stop in the World Financial Centre, check the city, take pictures. You can have some lunch here because there are nice places to eat and then continue to the Bund.

The Bund

The Bund has a lovely waterfront area with a 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 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. It is a nice Chinese park.

When I visited the Gucheng park, I saw people dancing in the park and exercising martial art along with 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.

In addition, it offers 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 offers a full range of local cuisine. You can taste all the Shanghaian specialities. 

Be ready to have your cash as most places don’t accept credit cards.  Visit The City God temple in the evening with all the lights on. It looks beautiful.

Old Shanghai

Old Shanghai is located near the City God Temple and Yu Garden. Check some souvenirs and other shops there and experience the local culture.



To sum up, there are poor and rich parts of Shanghai. Some parts of the city have a non-pleasant smell and people might look at you not much friendly.

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 for Chinese souvenirs or observe people dancing in the park with their Chinese music which is cool.:-)

Shanghai is worth visiting for your stopover. Don’t forget to have cash ready and download offline maps. 

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  1. You have done a great study… Keep up the good work 🙂

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

  3. Anonymous says:

    Visitor Rating: 5 Stars

  4. Interesting how you show that even though 1 day is not enought but, you can also do so much!
    Thanks for sharing!

  5. Yes, it is! 🙂 One day sounds short but it can be very well spent when you know where to go. 😉

  6. Anonymous says:

    Visitor Rating: 5 Stars

  7. 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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