China Travel Guide I – Shanghai 3 Days Itinerary

Spending 3 days in one of the most famous capitals of the world is probably one of the best things you can do on a vacation to China. Be it the tourist attractions, the food, the shopping or even the culture, there’s definitely something for everyone. A bund with majestic views of rising skylines, a pedestrian shopping street that extends to more than 2KMs, a myriad of 16 interconnected subway routes and luxurious five start hotels that can put most foreign destinations to shame, Shanghai can thrill you in more ways than you can imagine. So this Shanghai 3 days Itinerary lets you explore the city in the best possible way with more reliance on public transport.

Map courtesy of Wanderlog, the best travel planner app

Be sure to read up on the must needed apps in China

Shanghai, being in the eastern end of the country gets dark pretty early (like even by 5.15 PM, esp in Winter season). So you’d find most establishments close early , as early as 7PM and crowds dwindle down quickly. However there are plenty of things this vibrant city has to offer which you shouldn’t miss.

Where did I stay : 

Seventh Heaven Hotel, East Nanjing Road, Shanghai

After weeks of research, I zeroed in on Seventh Heaven Hotel, right in the center of East Nanjing Road Pedestrian road. With an enviable location (600 metres from nearest metro), this hands down one of the best area & hotel to stay in Shanghai. Plus for breakfast, I got myself Veg Noodles, Potato fry, Corn, roasted peanuts, juice, bread toast and coffee and that was more than enough for a Pure Vegetarian like me.

Where to Shop in Shanghai

Please refer to my post on the best places to shop in China

Shanghai 3 Days Itinerary

Day 1 : East Nanjing Road

Once you arrive in the city , check in to your hotel and ensure you are setup on the tech front . Mobile VPN’s , subway maps , translate apps and familiar with your hotel route. This is very important because if you are unsure of your hotel route or do not have your address in Chinese, you can find it tough.

Shopping at East Nanjing Road

How to get there : East Nanjing Road station (Exit 1) near Metrobrowne store.

Towards evening, head to the most famous shopping street of Shanghai, East Nanjing Road. From Gucci’s to Starbucks to local supermarkets, you can find almost everything here in this spectacular shopping street. Mind you , things are pretty expensive here, as these designer labels and brands can set you back by a fortune , thanks to the high import cost in China.

Things to Buy : Variety of food items at Shanghai bakeries, accessories at MiniSo, fashion apparels (branded ones) and Chinese Green Tea at Shanghai #1 Supermarket.

Day 2 in Shanghai

Jade Buddha temple : Begin the day by heading early to the Jade Buddha temple, much before the tour buses starts coming in. A huge temple dedicated to Lord Buddha, you can find various qualities of Jade and statues representing Buddhism You can also get to try the pure vegetarian restaurant inside this temple (A huge relief for me).

How to get there : Subway station Jiangning Road (Line 13) or Changshou Road (Line 7 or 13).

Shanghai Museum : Another important landmark of Shanghai is the famous museum. With 5 floors of historical artefacts, you can learn everything about the Chinese history and its various dynasties that ruled the country. Entry is free and you can easily spend 3-4 hours here.

How to get there : Right opposite to People’s Square .

The Bund & Oriental Pearl Tower

Towards evening , head to the other side of the Bund ( Though you have a boat or a subway metro to get to the other side, an interesting way is the Bund Sightseeing Tunnel. Taking just 5 mins or so, this can be a great way to go in a mini cable car built under the river.

Do take time to visit the top of the Oriental Pearl Tower for some spectacular views of Shanghai , esp towards evening. Advisable to book tickets online to get a confirmed slot, else they might allow only till the second level.

Shopping at AP Plaza near the Science & Technology Museum is also a great idea if you want to buy some knockoffs.

Party @ Xintandi : The famous French concession quarters in Shanghai comes alive at night time and a great place to party with the young crowd . If you’re in the mood for a late night drink and party, this is the place to be in Shanghai for sure.

Day 3 : Yuyuan Garden & Shopping

Yuyuan is a beautiful garden/temple/shopping market . This is a great place to explore, enjoy some peace at the Chinese garden and head out to shop at the bazaar. Do know how to bargain though.

How to get there : Yuyuan Garden Subway (Line 10)

From here you can head to Middle Huaihai road for some luxury shopping or Xintandi to explore the French concession architecture (if you haven’t been there the previous night) and finally end it with one of the biggest malls in  Shanghai ( Joy City Shopping Mall).

How to go to Joy City Shopping Mall : Qufu Road Subway Station (Line 8) directly takes you inside the mall.

If Shanghai is your starting city, head to Beijing through the famous Chinese bullet train

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