Are you planning a short stopover or a weekend in Shanghai? Although the city is massive and it is impossible to explore all it has to offer in just 48 hours, it is possible to hit a few of the highlights. This brief two-day itinerary will help you get the most from your short stay.
Shanghai is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world. The city is full of interesting sights, diverse cultures, and fun things to do.
If you’re looking for top things to do with 2 days in Shanghai, check out our sample itinerary.
This two days in Shanghai itinerary includes the following attractions:
- Pujiang Cruises
- Shanghai World Financial Center
- A Guided Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Tour
- & more!
Save on Attraction Admission
Many of these must-see attractions are available on the Go Shanghai Card.
Choose as you go from popular Shanghai attractions and save up to 30% off combined admission vs. paying at the gate.
See all available Shanghai passes, attractions, & prices – Learn more.
Please keep in mind that some of the attractions listed in this post may be separately ticketed and not be currently included with the Go Shanghai Card.
Stop 1: Hop On Hop Off Shanghai Sightseeing Bus Tour
A guided, comprehensive tour of Shanghai is one of the best ways to start your trip.
You’ll get an overview of the city’s layout, see a lot of the top sights right away (which will help you decide where you want to spend more time later on in your trip), learn some of the city’s most important history and customs, and get some insider info geared towards visitors to help you make the most of your time.
This tour is available in 8 different languages and offers visitors 3 different sightseeing routes to choose from. Stay on for the full loop or hop off at any of the stops along the way if you want to explore an area by foot or visit an attraction. Then, hop back on when you’re ready!
Getting in: Shanghai Hop-On Hop-Off Sightseeing Bus Tour tickets are included with the Go Shanghai Card.
Stop #2: Yu Garden
Escape the busy streets of downtown Shanghai and spend some time soaking up the glorious landscapes at Yu Garden, located near the City God Temple in Old City.
Walk along the paths and enjoy the classic Chinese architecture, indigenous plant life, precious stones, koi ponds, and scenic views.
Getting in: Yu Garden tickets are included with the Go Shanghai Card.
Stop #3: Pujiang Cruise
The Huangpu River is one of the best vantage points for views of the Shanghai skyline.
Enjoy a scenic cruise along the windy river and relax as you watch the landmarks in Pudong (East Bank) and in Puxi (West Bank) float by.
Getting in: Pujiang River Cruise tickets are included with the Go Shanghai Card.
Stop #1: The Shanghai World Financial Center
The Shanghai World Financial Center is located in Lujiazui, the financial hub of the city and is one of Shanghai’s most easily recognized landmarks. The building is commonly known as The Giant Bottle Opener due to its one-of-a-kind architecture.
Besides its impressive design, the Shanghai World Financial Center offers some of the best views of the area. The building has three separate observation levels at the 94th. 97th, and the 100th floors. The see-through floor of the Skywalk offers a stomach-dropping experience but is highly recommended for tourists who are not too scared of heights. After returning to the ground, don’t miss the shops and restaurants available at the lower levels.
The Shanghai World Financial Center is accessible by Line 2 of the Metro at the Lujiazui Station.
Getting in: Shanghai World Financial Center Observatory tickets are included with the Go Shanghai Card.
Stop #2: Shanghai Guanfu Museum
Hidden away on the 37th floor of the recently constructed Shanghai Tower (and currently the tallest skyscraper in China) is the city’s branch of the internationally known Beijing Guanfu Museum. Visitors to the Shanghai Guanfu Museum can explore a vast collection of cultural and historical art and artifacts stretching back more than a thousand years.
Among the more than 500 treasures on display is an impressive collection of Song Dynasty ceramics, Buddhist, and other religious relics as well as a selection of gold artworks, textiles, and antique furniture. After looking through the exhibits, many guests have a quick bite at the adjoining cafe or visit the Baoku Art Center in the same building to wander through the highest traditional Chinese garden in the world.
The Shanghai Guanfu Museum is located in Lujiazui. You can take Line 2 of the Metro and get off at the Lujiazui station.
Getting in: Guanfu Museum tickets are included with the Go Shanghai Card.
This is just one of the many 2 days in Shanghai itineraries you could do on your trip to the city. This itinerary includes some of the most popular things to do in Shanghai, especially for first-time visitors.
From observation decks, gardens, and museums to cruises and theme parks, there’s something for everyone to enjoy.
Consider visiting some of these attractions on your next trip to Shanghai, and we know you’ll come to love this city. Whether you’re traveling for a weekend in Shanghai, or have more time to explore, you’ll have a blast.
Don’t forget to pick up a Go Shanghai Card and save up to 30% on combined admission prices. Happy travels!