Header Notice

Winter is here! Check out the winter wonderlands at these 5 amazing winter destinations in Montana

China: A Weekend In Shanghai


Modified: December 28, 2023

by Halimeda Clare



Welcome to the vibrant and bustling city of Shanghai, China. With its rich history, modern skyline, and dynamic atmosphere, Shanghai has become a must-visit destination for travelers from around the world. Whether you’re a history buff, a food enthusiast, a shopaholic, or simply looking for a weekend getaway, Shanghai has something to offer everyone.


Situated on the eastern coast of China, Shanghai is the country’s largest city and a global financial hub, blending traditional Chinese culture with a modern cosmopolitan vibe. The city’s impressive architecture, from the iconic Oriental Pearl Tower to the historic waterfront area known as the Bund, showcases the unique blend of old and new that defines Shanghai.


During a weekend trip to Shanghai, you can explore the city’s fascinating history, indulge in delectable Chinese cuisine, shop till you drop, and experience the vibrant nightlife. From strolling along the riverside promenade to discovering ancient temples and art galleries, Shanghai has a wealth of attractions waiting to be explored.


Get ready to immerse yourself in the captivating energy of Shanghai as we take you on a memorable weekend journey through this incredible city. Let’s dive into the first day of our itinerary: exploring the world-famous Bund.


Day 1: Exploring the Bund

Start your first day in Shanghai with a visit to one of the city’s most iconic landmarks, the Bund. This historic waterfront area along the Huangpu River offers breathtaking views of Shanghai’s modern skyline and is a testament to the city’s colonial past.


Begin your exploration by taking a leisurely stroll along the Bund promenade. Admire the architectural marvels that line the waterfront, including the neoclassical buildings of European banks and trading houses like the HSBC Building and the Customs House. These structures, built during the 19th and early 20th centuries, showcase the influence of British, French, and other European architectural styles.


As you walk along the Bund, take some time to marvel at the futuristic skyscrapers on the opposite side of the river in the Pudong district. The towering Shanghai Tower, the Oriental Pearl Tower, and the Shanghai World Financial Center are just a few of the impressive structures that dominate the skyline.


Continue your exploration by crossing the river via the famous Bund Sightseeing Tunnel. This unique tunnel offers a one-of-a-kind experience as you travel through a series of immersive light and sound displays that take you from the Bund to Pudong.


Once you arrive in Pudong, head to the observation deck of the Shanghai World Financial Center. From its lofty heights, you can enjoy panoramic views of the entire city. Don’t forget to snap some photos of the iconic Lujiazui skyline, with its gleaming skyscrapers and the twisting Pearl Tower.


After enjoying the views, take a stroll along Lujiazui Ring Road, which offers a scenic path along the riverfront. You’ll pass by beautiful gardens, sculptures, and the famous Lupu Bridge, allowing you to fully immerse yourself in the modernity and energy of this vibrant district.


As the sun sets, make your way back to the Bund to witness the transformation of the cityscape into a dazzling display of lights. The illuminated buildings and bridges create a magical atmosphere, reflecting off the shimmering waters of the Huangpu River.


End your day by indulging in a delicious meal at one of the many high-end restaurants along the Bund. Whether you prefer traditional Chinese cuisine or international flavors, Shanghai offers a wide range of dining options to satisfy every palate.


After a day of exploring the Bund, you’ll have gained a deeper appreciation for Shanghai’s rich history, architectural wonders, and vibrant cityscape. Get ready for another exciting day of discovering the charm of old Shanghai tomorrow.


Day 2: Discovering Old Shanghai

On the second day of your weekend trip to Shanghai, immerse yourself in the charm of Old Shanghai and explore the city’s rich cultural heritage. From ancient temples to traditional neighborhoods, this day will take you on a journey back in time.


Start your day with a visit to the Yu Garden, a tranquil oasis amidst the bustling city. This classical Chinese garden dates back to the Ming Dynasty and is known for its exquisite pavilions, winding pathways, and beautiful rockery. Take your time to wander through the lush greenery, admire the delicate landscaping, and find moments of serenity.


Next, head towards the nearby Old Town, a vibrant neighborhood that has retained its traditional charm. Discover the narrow alleyways, known as hutongs, that are lined with small shops selling everything from souvenirs to traditional snacks. Take a break and try some delicious street food like xiaolongbao (steamed soup dumplings) or jianbing (savory crepes).


As you walk through the Old Town, you’ll come across the iconic City God Temple. This historic temple, dedicated to the guardian deity of the city, is a fascinating blend of Buddhist, Taoist, and Confucian influences. Explore the temple grounds, admire the intricate architecture, and soak in the spiritual ambiance.


Afterwards, make your way to the former French Concession, a district known for its tree-lined streets, European-style architecture, and charming cafes. Take a leisurely stroll down the lively Huaihai Road, lined with upscale shops and boutiques, and enjoy the blend of Eastern and Western influences.


Don’t miss the opportunity to visit Tianzifang, a maze-like arts and crafts enclave in the French Concession. This hip neighborhood is filled with small studios, galleries, boutiques, and cozy cafes housed in the narrow alleyways. Take your time to explore the unique shops, find one-of-a-kind souvenirs, and enjoy the bohemian atmosphere.


As evening approaches, head to Xintiandi, a trendy entertainment district that seamlessly combines traditional Shikumen architecture with modern restaurants, bars, and boutiques. Take a walk down the pedestrian-only streets, and soak in the vibrant nightlife of this fashionable area.


End your day with a visit to the iconic Shanghai Circus World, where you can witness a captivating acrobatics performance. Be mesmerized by the acrobats’ incredible skills, daring stunts, and stunning choreography that showcases the grace and precision of traditional Chinese circus arts.


As you reflect on your day spent exploring Old Shanghai, you’ll have gained a deeper understanding of the city’s cultural heritage, witnessed its architectural beauty, and experienced the unique blend of old and new that defines Shanghai.


Get ready for the final day of your weekend trip as we venture into the stylish French Concession for shopping and dining experiences tomorrow.


Day 3: Shopping and Dining in French Concession

On the third and final day of your weekend in Shanghai, immerse yourself in the stylish and cosmopolitan atmosphere of the French Concession. This district is known for its tree-lined streets, charming cafes, and boutique shopping experiences.


Start your day with breakfast at one of the many quaint cafes in the French Concession. Enjoy a cup of freshly brewed coffee and indulge in a flaky croissant or a traditional Chinese breakfast. The relaxed ambiance and European-inspired settings will set the tone for the day ahead.


After breakfast, explore the charming streets of Xujiahui, known as the shopping district of the French Concession. Here, you’ll find a mix of local and international brands, from luxury boutiques to independent stores selling unique fashion items and accessories. Take your time to browse through the shops, discover hidden gems, and update your wardrobe with the latest fashion trends.


As you continue wandering through the French Concession, make your way to the Shanghai Arts and Crafts Museum, located in the historic ex-residence of a Qing official. This museum showcases a diverse collection of traditional Chinese arts and crafts, including ceramics, jade, calligraphy, and paintings. Take a guided tour to learn about the history and cultural significance of these exquisite art forms.


Adjacent to the museum is the famous Fuxing Park, a peaceful oasis in the heart of the bustling city. Take a leisurely stroll through the park’s lush gardens, admire the beautiful flowers, and find a bench to sit and people-watch. This is a great opportunity to take a break, relax, and soak up the atmosphere of the French Concession.


As lunchtime approaches, explore the diverse culinary scene of the French Concession. From charming cafes serving artisanal coffee to hidden gems offering authentic Chinese dishes, this district is a paradise for food lovers. Indulge in a delicious dim sum feast, savor some local Shanghainese specialties, or try fusion cuisine that blends Eastern and Western flavors.


After a satisfying meal, take a walk along the famous tree-lined streets of Huaihai Road and Julu Road, where you’ll find a plethora of independent boutiques, designer stores, and specialty shops. From fashion and accessories to home décor and unique gifts, there’s something for everyone. Don’t forget to bargain and hunt for great deals!


As the sun sets, head to the Tianzifang area once again, this time for a different experience. The narrow alleys of Tianzifang come alive in the evening, with vibrant street art, live music performances, and bustling nightlife. Explore the maze-like streets, browse through art galleries and boutique stores, and unwind with a drink at one of the trendy bars or cozy rooftop lounges.


End your weekend in Shanghai with a memorable dinner at one of the many chic restaurants in the French Concession. From elegant fine dining establishments to trendy fusion eateries, you’ll find an array of culinary delights to please your taste buds. Indulge in a gourmet feast while reflecting on the wonderful memories and experiences you’ve had during your time in Shanghai.


As you bid farewell to the French Concession and Shanghai, you’ll carry with you the vibrant spirit of the city, the memories of its historic landmarks, and the flavors of its diverse cuisine. Until next time, Shanghai!



As our weekend in Shanghai comes to an end, we reflect on the incredible experiences and memories made exploring this dynamic city. Shanghai, with its seamless blend of history, modernity, and vibrant culture, offers a truly unique destination for travelers.


From the iconic Bund, where we witnessed the juxtaposition of old and new architectural marvels, to the enchanting streets of the French Concession, where we indulged in shopping and culinary delights, our three-day itinerary allowed us to uncover the diverse facets that make Shanghai so captivating.


Throughout our journey, we immersed ourselves in the rich history of Shanghai, visiting landmarks like the Yu Garden and the City God Temple, and wandering the narrow alleyways of the Old Town. We marveled at the stunning skyline from the Shanghai World Financial Center and witnessed the city come alive at night along the Bund.


In the French Concession, we reveled in the charm of tree-lined streets, sipped coffee in cozy cafes, and discovered unique fashion finds in boutique shops. We experienced culinary delights, from traditional Chinese street food to international fusion cuisine, satisfying our taste buds at every turn.


Our exploration of Shanghai provided us with an appreciation for its cultural heritage, architectural beauty, and vibrant atmosphere. Whether it was admiring the elegant designs of European banks on the Bund or savoring the delicate flavors of xiaolongbao in the Old Town, Shanghai captured our hearts and left us wanting more.


As we say goodbye to this captivating city, we carry with us unforgettable memories, a deeper understanding of its history and culture, and a desire to return and explore further. Shanghai, with its ever-evolving skyline and bustling streets, is a destination that never fails to amaze and inspire.


As you plan your own weekend trip to Shanghai, we hope that this itinerary serves as a guide to help you make the most of your time in this remarkable city. Embrace the energy, immerse yourself in the culture, and allow Shanghai to leave a lasting impression on your travel journey.


Until we meet again in Shanghai. Safe travels!