The sights of Shanghai in a day

The wow factor for nature - does it show nature at its best? Doesn't need to be the wilder-beast migration or diving with hundreds of hammerheads. Rather make you pause as you realise just how awesome the natural world can be
How much does this experience showcase some of the better and finer things that us humans can offer? Sure, it can be ancient ruins and renaissance churches, but it can also be festivals or soaking up some of the great modern cities of the world
Fun factor/activity
Very simple - was it fun? This is usually linked in with doing some kind of activity - i mean, walking along some cliffs is nice, but paragliding from them, now that is fun. Its a vastly underrated factor in a truly great experience
Avoid the crowds
Big tour groups and being surrounded by loud fellow tourists can sap the life out of even the greatest of travel experiences. This score is to reflect just how much you can avoid this. But. . . The score also takes into account if the crowds actually add to the experience, such as with a party town or a bustling food market
World famous
How world famous is the experience?
How hard is it to have a similar experience in other places round the world?
Overall Score
The highest score of nature or culture, + fun factor, + avoid the crowds, + the highest score of world famous or unique. Then turned into a score out of 100. More details at the bottom of the page
52 *What the scores mean and where do they come from
Length of time
1 day or less
Rough cost
Obviously people have different tastes, so this will depend on those tastes, but this is a rough idea of price of the whole experience based on 2 people able to split the accommodation costs and excluding travel there and back
$ 125
Time of year visited
Primary Tags
Click on any of the tags to see all travel experiences with the same tag
How this travel experience ranks compared to all the other experiences on this site
283rd/372 This travel experience's ranking compared to all the other experiences on this site
Top 80% SUMMARY RATING: Worth doing


It was such a long time ago that I last visited Shanghai, that I won’t write a full entry for the city.  Only to say that its a must if visiting China – not only because it is often a transport hub you pass through, but as a destination on its own.  It won’t be the classical China you were expecting – it will be far more than that as this city typifies the modern day China – brash, modern and full of energy.  It’s not an exaggeration to say that Shanghai at times feels like New York City on steroids as it rapidly catches up on just about every metric you can think of


Obviously its always better to have more time, but I reckon you could blast the highlights of Shanghai in a day (leaving yourself with some appetite for seeing the rest Shanghai has to offer when you return).  The things I really recommend focusing on are:

  1. The classical walk along The Bund to see the magnificent skyscrapers looking across the river
  2. Wandering through East Nanjing Road in amongst the neon signs and sheer commercialism of it all
  3. Having dinner and drinks in uber stylish and pretty French Concession
  4. Taking in the views from the observation deck of the Shanghai Tower (the world’s second tallest building) or Shanghai Word Financial Centre
  5. Eating some of the wonderful Shanghai dumplings filled with scrumptious soups


#1 The classical and sensational walk along The Bund to see the skyscrapers looking across the Yangzi River

#2 The sheer mayhem and commercialism of it all in East Nanjing Road

3. Having lunch or dinner in the beautifully leafy and uber cool French Concession District

4. The incredible views from the top of the Shanghai Word Financial Centre

5. Shanghai Dumplings - amazing!

Experiences nearby

The below map shows experiences nearby with a colour that reflect the Overall Score of those experiences

Score Detail

Background - how many times have you asked someone what a travel experience was like and the response was "amazing" or "awesome"?  That response is nice to know, but it makes it hard to differentiate that experience compared to others.  That is exactly what these scores are trying to do - differentiate the experience by giving a score out of 10 based on 6 categories and then giving an overall experience score

This overall experience score is calculated by:  take the highest of the "Culture" or "Nature" score (1-10) + "Fun factor" (1-10) + "Avoiding the crowds" (1-10) + highest of the "Unique" or "World Famous score" (1-10).  Then convert into a score out of 100

Extra detail - the logic being that I find all of the 6 individual scores important, but I don't want to mark an experience down just because it doesn't cover both "Culture" and "Nature", or because it isn't both "World Famous" and "Unique".  Take the examples of Safari in The Serengeti and walking through Rome - they both appeal at opposite ends of the nature / culture spectrum, and you can have a fantastic time without needing to appeal to both sides.  So, their overall scores aren't penalized for their lack of one or the other, and I've done the same for "World Famous" vs "Unique".  But . . . I do think that the "Fun factor" of an experience is important, irrelevant of other factors, and so is "Avoiding the Crowds" (or where there are crowds that add to the experience).  So, both of these scores are standalone