Shanghai is China's economic powerhouse, but there are also historic districts and traces of European grandeur.

Situated on the Huangpu River, roughly equidistant from Beijing and Hong Kong, Shanghai is the powerhouse of the Chinese economy. Bold, futuristic and in a continual state of development, it is the country's biggest metropolis, with a collection of skyscrapers in the Pudong district that combine to create one of the world's most recognisable skylines. Nowhere are they better appreciated than from The Bund waterfront, lined with grand historic banks, hotels and offices on one side and with sweeping views across the river to the gleaming forest of towers on the other. It is most spectacular after dark when the dramatic neon lights set the scene ablaze with colour.

Standing in the immense People's Square, it is difficult to visualize how this huge public space was once a thriving oval-shaped racetrack, a social focal point in early 20th century Shanghai. The square today encompasses the immaculately manicured People's Park, the sleek Grand theatre and a collection of world-class museums. In the square alone you can chart the urban development of this mega-city, survey modern and traditional art and journey through over 5,000 years of cultural development.

In its heyday Shanghai enjoyed the nickname "Paris of the East", traces of which remain in the French Concession, a charming area of tree-lined streets filled with pretty European-style villas, fashionable boutiques, antique street markets and local cafes. The wonderful Yu Gardens are equally impressive, with a large rockery, magnificent tea house, temple and traditional bazaar. 

From Shanghai you can also easily reach a number of ancient water towns, as well as the classical Chinese gardens of Suzhou on day trips. See below for more.

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Suggested Itineraries

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The Emperor Tour - Holidays to China

China

Emperor Tour

17 Nights from £6,170 €6,504 $7,021

Contrast China's imperial and communist past in Beijing to its booming present in Shanghai, via the Great Wall, the Terracotta Army, historic Xi'an, storyb…

The Emperor Tour
Tours in China

17 Nights from £6,170 €6,504 $7,021

Full Itinerary Contact Specialist

Itinerary Summary

  1. Day 1 - Fly to Beijing

    Day 2 - Welcome to Beijing

    Day 3 - Special tour - Beijing's past & present

    Day 4 - At leisure or optional tours

  2. Day 5 - Hike the Great Wall of China

  3. Day 6 - Fly to Xi'an

    Day 7 - See the 8,000 strong Terracotta Army

    Day 8 - Xi'an at leisure or optional tours

  4. Day 9 - Bullet Train to Chengdu & time at leisure

    Day 10 - Baby & Giant Pandas up close

  5. Day 11 - Come face-to-face with the 71m Giant Buddha

  6. Day 12 - Spectacular caves & drive to Rice Terraces

    Day 13 - Magnificent views of Longji Rice Terraces

  7. Day 14 - Cruise past the karst peaks along the Li River

    Day 15 - Hike or cycle through the wonderful landscapes

  8. Day 16 - Welcome to Shanghai

    Day 17 - Highlights of Shanghai

    Day 18 - Free time or optional tours

    Day 19 - Return flight to the UK

The Ming Tour - Holidays to China

China

Ming Tour

13 Nights from £4,013 €3,915 $4,216

Explore eastern China by Bullet Train, with no internal flights. Visit historic Beijing and modern Shanghai and enjoy classic gardens, ancient canals and s…

The Ming Tour
Tours in China

13 Nights from £4,013 €3,915 $4,216

Full Itinerary Contact Specialist

Itinerary Summary

  1. Day 1 - Fly to Shanghai

    Day 2 - Welcome to Shanghai

    Day 3 - Highlights of Shanghai

    Day 4 - At leisure in Shanghai

  2. Day 5 - Suzhou's Classical Gardens

  3. Day 6 - Bullet Train to Hangzhou

    Day 7-8 - Hangzhou & West Lake

  4. Day 9 - Transfer to Huangshan City

    Day 10 - Spectacular mountain landscapes

  5. Day 11 - Bullet Train to Beijing

    Day 12 - Special tour - Beijing's past & present

    Day 13 - At leisure or optional tours

  6. Day 14 - Hike the Great Wall of China

    Day 15 - Return flight to the UK

The Yangtze Tour - Holidays to China

China

Yangtze Tour

12 Nights from £3,996 €3,895 $4,194

Cruise down the Yangtze River in style and see China's most iconic sights: the Forbidden City, the Great Wall, the Terracotta Army and Shanghai's skyline.…

The Yangtze Tour
Tours in China

12 Nights from £3,996 €3,895 $4,194

Full Itinerary Contact Specialist

Itinerary Summary

  1. Day 1 - Fly to Beijing

    Day 2 - Welcome to Beijing

    Day 3 - Special tour - Beijing's past & present

    Day 4 - At leisure or optional tours

  2. Day 5 - Hike the Great Wall of China

  3. Day 6 - Fly to Xi'an

    Day 7 - See the 8,000 strong Terracotta Army

  4. Day 8 - Fly to Chongqing & board cruise ship

    Day 9 - Shore Excursion to Shibao Pagoda

    Day 10 - Dramatic Three Gorges scenery

    Day 11 - Three Gorges Dam & fly to Shanghai

  5. Day 12 - Skyscrapers, local life & European heritage

    Day 13 - At leisure or optional tours

    Day 14 - Return flight to the UK

Shanghai
Excursions & Attractions

Shanghai
Accommodation

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