Get a taste for the many contrasts of Shanghai, a city that seamlessly blends new, old, European and Chinese influences into the bustling metropolis you see today. This walking trip is a perfect chance to sample a slice of the many faces of Shanghai that define the city today.
Start your day with a morning pickup from your Shanghai hotel, driving to the excursion’s first attraction, the lovely Yuyuan Gardens. This intricate outdoor space is considered one of the finest in all of China, thanks to its meticulous attention to detail and iconic imperial-style landscape architecture. Continue next to the bazaar of Old Shanghai, offering an opportunity to bargain for some hand-crafted goods. Negotiate a fair price with one of the merchants, as your guide shares details about Chinese cultural traditions.
Proceed next for a taste of ancient China at the Chenghuangmiao (Temple of the town God), the center point for China’s Taoist community. Explore the site’s main courtyard, dating to 1403, which remains a popular visiting spot for the religion’s followers.
Continue your day in the Xintiandi district, an area that exhibits the architectural charms of historic Shanghai while playing home to a variety of modern entertainment and retail venues, including boutiques, cafes, bars, galleries and eateries. The area offers a unique opportunity to explore the slick lifestyles of the city’s sophisticated restaurants, set among the striking atmosphere of 1920s Shanghai.
Leave Xintiandi behind as you make your way to the French Concession, an area created in 1862 as a result of the Treaty of Nanking. Stroll among the neighborhood’s charming tree-lined blocks and Western-style architecture, making sure to check out the Shikumen-style buildings (a Chinese style blending both eastern and Western details) with their handsome courtyards that dot the area.
Head next to the Shanghai Urban Planning Exhibition Center. The center chronicles the dramatic construction and building boom that has characterized the past several decades in China and in Shanghai, the scale and speed of which has been without parallel in the modern era. At the center you’ll hear informative commentary from an architecture expert on the future growth trends of this giant metropolis.
Finish your day by strolling along The Bund, offering incredible views of the towering city skyline nearby. You’ll also have the chance to enjoy some tasty street food (at your own expense) before heading to a local wine bar to sip on a cocktail (at your own expense) as you gaze at the glimmering skyscrapers beyond. Your tour ends here in the city center.