We had lots of fun in Shanghai. It was the most western city we visited in China. We saw graffiti artists working on the streets, models walking around taking photos with people, and major corporations buildings. It is also the biggest city in China. The sky scrapers and views are incredible. We took a plane from Beijing to Shanghai. Honestly, I wish we had more time in Shanghai. While what we did was awesome, I felt like we didn't fully experience the city because we went through it so quickly. Hopefully I will be able to go back and spend more time there at some point.
We went to Shanghai in the middle of our trip between Beijing and Suzhou. See how we spent our full eight days in my itinerary post here.
Flight from Beijing $92
High speed train back to Beijing $77
Big Bus Tour $30
We flew in from Beijing at 6:00 am and were in Shanghai by 9. We went straight to our Airbnb and then on to our bus tour. Our Airbnb was located in the French Consession (near West Nanjing Road) which was a very cool area of Shanghai. We were able to walk right to a stop on the bus tour which was handy.
This bus tour was fine once we could find it. Directions to getting onto the bus were confusing, the bus schedule was confusing, and it was hard to find a worker to help us join the tour. The whole thing felt very disorganized. Plus, it was very difficult to find anyone or know how to find anyone who worked with Big Bus Tours so we could get on a bus. We just happened to see someone (thank goodness) or we may have never figured out how to join this tour.
If you only have a day, I highly recommend this type of touristy bus. We saw a lot in a short amount of time. If you are in Shanghai longer, use public transit and spend more time in different places! I honestly don't usually like them and wouldn't normally tell you to do it, but if you only have a day and want to see a lot, it does the job!
We stopped at two temples (Jing'an Temple and another one I cannot find the name of), in gardens (wish we had made it to the botanical gardens!), and at Jin Mao Tower. If time had not held us back, we would have stopped at more places. However, the things we did do I recommend.
Online it said that buses came every 30 minutes. We waited about 40 minutes without seeing anyone else at a stop near our Airbnb. When we found a worker (finally) they told us buses come every 45 minutes on this line. We didn't have tickets just a confirmation so they were able to help us get the actual tickets. Then we waited for another 45 minutes before a bus came because we had apparently just missed the last one. Also, online it says buses stop running at 5, but a worker told us different stops had different last times (which makes sense) but it would be helpful if the info online matched what we were told in person. It would have saved us a couple hours of time trying to figure out where to go, how to pick up our tickets, etc.
It was annoying because we lost a lot of time. Once we were on the bus and talked with someone in person, the stops are clearly marked and had a fine day. It includes tickets to Jin Mao Tower (which was AWESOME), entrance to two temples, and a river cruise. We didn’t make it on the river cruise, but loved going up in the tower.
Pro-trip: China in general feels very disorganized. Sticking to a schedule is hard. Even our gestures for numbers and things are different so communication can be difficult.
Shanghai Acrobatic Show $30
That night we had tickets to an acrobatic show that was really great. We fell asleep while watching the show because we were just so tired. We felt terrible about this because it really was very awesome! I would recommend it. We went back to our Airbnb and crashed.
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If you want to know more about traveling in China, I have a whole section of my blog dedicated to it. Check it out here!
If I went to Shanghai again, I would want to spend another day here. While we saw a lot on our bus, but another day would have been great. What was your favorite part of Shanghai? I would love to know your ideas!