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Shanghai

Architecture Tours

Our most recommended Shanghai Architecture Tours

From Shanghai: Suzhou & Zhouzhuang Water Town with Boat Ride

1. From Shanghai: Suzhou & Zhouzhuang Water Town with Boat Ride

Discover two picturesque Chinese towns, Suzhou and Zhouzhuang, each with its own unique characteristics. Founded in around 600 BC, Suzhou is one of the oldest settlements in the Yangtze basin. Its neighborhoods and interconnected waterways are truly a masterpiece. Suzhou was one of the few cities in China to escape the ravages of the Cultural Revolution, its celebrated gardens miraculously surviving largely intact. Visit the Master of Nets Garden, the Silk Embroidery Research Institute, the Grand Canal and a silk factory while in Suzhou. After a traditional Chinese lunch, you'll travel to Zhouzhuang. Well known for its beautiful natural environment and simple architecture, this city has remained remarkably well-preserved for over 900 years. The majority of the town's residences were built during the Ming and Qing dynasties, with nearly 100 classic courtyards and 60 carved-brick archways from those periods still in use. Travel by boat through the city’s waterways and past classic Zhouzhuang dwellings before returning to Shanghai. Immerse yourself in the history of Shanghai with the assistance of your own personal guide.

Shanghai: Private and Personalized Guided Tour

2. Shanghai: Private and Personalized Guided Tour

Book a private tour for 4 or 8 hours and inform the local partner of your preferences so that you can be assigned a like-minded guide to take you around the city. With complete flexibility, follow this itinerary or create your own for a unique Shanghai experience. After meeting your guide at your downtown location, start this 8-hour private tour at the Yu Yuan Garden. Explore the Shanghai Old Street before taking a break in an ancient Chinese tea house. Following tea, head to the People Square to see the City Hall and its surrounding buildings. Stroll along the Xintiandi in the charming former French Concession before enjoying lunch on your own. In the afternoon, marvel at the sacred 19th-century Jade Buddha Temple. Then, head to Bund, which is Shanghai's picturesque waterfront. Admire its soaring skyline and views of the Huangpu River. The last stop is the Pudong Business and Financial Center where all of the main skyscrapers are located. See the tallest building, Shanghai Tower, as well as the Shanghai World Finacial Center, and Jinmao Tower before being helped transfer back to your hotel or chosen downtown location.

Zhouzhuang: Half Day Tour with Zhang Hall and Shen Hall

3. Zhouzhuang: Half Day Tour with Zhang Hall and Shen Hall

Experience the picturesque water town of Zhouzhuang on this delightful half-day tour. With its interconnected waterways and beautiful landscapes, it is often referred to as the number one water town in China. Well-preserved for over 900 years, it is renowned for its elegant and simple architecture. The majority of the town's residences were built during the Ming and Qing dynasties, with nearly 100 classic courtyards and 60 carved-brick archways from those periods still in use. Take in the exquisite ancient architecture of Zhang Hall and Shen Hall, then take a scenic cruise across the old town. After seeing all there is to see of this incredible ancient village, you will return to Shanghai.

Shanghai Day Tour: Yu Yuan Gardens and the Shanghai Museum

4. Shanghai Day Tour: Yu Yuan Gardens and the Shanghai Museum

Begin with a visit to the Yuyuan Garden, a classic creation of the Ming Dynasty, before exploring the old streets of Shanghai dating back to the Qing Dynasty. Immerse yourself in the Shanghai Museum of Ancient Chinese Art, where a collection of more than 120,000 precious and rare works dazzles visitors, making it the most remarkable cultural institution in the city. Before lunch, visit the famous Silk Museum. After sampling local cuisine at lunchtime, enter the hallowed Jade Buddha Temple and marvel at priceless jade statues from Burma. Next up, enjoy a tour of the famous Bund, also known as the International Architecture Exhibition. Pause at one of the world's best pearl stores on route to Xin Tian Di, a stylish nightlife district with many boutiques, pubs and restaurants. Please note that Yuyuan Garden is closed on Mondays, so you will visit Confucius Temple instead. You will still visit the surrounding area of Yuyuan Garden, such as Shanghai Old Street and the Nine-Zigzag Bridge. Shanghai Museum is also closed on Mondays, so you will visit Shikumen Wulixiang Museum instead.

Shanghai: Afternoon and Evening Highlights Tour

5. Shanghai: Afternoon and Evening Highlights Tour

After enjoying a morning of free time, your guide will meet you at 1:00PM at your hotel lobby in the Shanghai City area. From here you will start your tour with a visit to the Yuyuan Garden, which was finished in 1577 by a government officer of the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) named Pan Yunduan. The garden was specially built for Pan's parents as a place for them to enjoy a tranquil and happy time in their old age. Afterwards, you will progress to visit the famous Nanjing Road to get an idea of the prosperity of this metropolis. The Bund is one of the most famous landmarks in Shanghai, and both a prominent and recognizable figure on the skyline. In the evening, you will begin a cruise along the Huangpu River. You will pass by 26 various buildings of different architectural styles including Gothic, Baroque, Romanesque, Classicism and the Renaissance. These buildings are all symbols of Shanghai's diverse past, and you will have plenty of time to appreciate all of them as you cruise past. After disembarking your boat, you will be returned to your point of origin, marking the end of your tour.

From Shanghai: Zhujiajiao Canal Sunset Cruise with Tea

6. From Shanghai: Zhujiajiao Canal Sunset Cruise with Tea

Explore over 1,700 years of rich culture and history on a canal boat cruise in Zhujiajiao, also known as the "Pearl Stream." On the Caogang River's banks, stop to taste a set menu of traditional Chinese tea and snacks at Jiangnan No.1 Tea House with the bright colors of the sunset as your backdrop. Discover this charming water village in true local style: On a boat cruise along its tranquil waters. Marvel at the ancient houses along the river banks, historic bridges, and weeping willow trees. Enjoy a delicious, traditional tea and snack stop at the Jiangnan No.1 Tea House, overlooking the calm river waters shimmering under the sunset's vibrant colors.

Shanghai: Herb Market, Taoist Temple and Tai Chi Bike Tour

7. Shanghai: Herb Market, Taoist Temple and Tai Chi Bike Tour

Explore traditional sites of Chinese medicine and religion on a 4-hour bike tour in Shanghai. Pass by many scenic spots, and practice Tai Chi in a famous park. Begin your tour at the meeting point with your local, English-speaking guide. Visit a centuries-old Taoist Temple that has been in existence since the time of the Ming Dynasty, and gain insight into ancient Chinese philosophy and native religion. Then, follow your guide to the largest traditional Chinese herbal medicine market in the country. Explore the theory and application of Chinese medicine, discover how the herbs are prescribed, and come to understand that the goal of treatment is to bring the body back into balance. Finally, take the chance to practice Tai Chi in an ancient park with a master of this martial art. Work on developing your inner power and harmony through the concentration, coordination, and relaxation of your mind, energy, and body. Throughout your tour, your guide will point out well-known, scenic sites, such as antique markets and the White Cloud Temple, as well as a street popular with foodies.

From Shanghai: Full-Day Private Hangzhou Tour

8. From Shanghai: Full-Day Private Hangzhou Tour

At approximately 08:00, your English-speaking guide will arrive at your Shanghai hotel lobby to pick you up. Climb into a comfortable air-conditioned vehicle and begin your 2.5-hour journey to Hangzhou. Upon arrival, start your first activity, a cruise on the West Lake. From the cruise, you will have the best view of the West Lake and town of Hangzhou. After your cruise tour, head to the famed Lingyin Temple, also known as the Temple of the Soul's Retreat. There, your guide will tell you the history of the temple. Afterwards, make a brief stop at a local Chinese restaurant for a traditional Chinese lunch. Next, head to Meijiawu Tea Village located on a hill in the western part of Hangzhou. Inhabited by more than 500 households, Meijiawu Tea Culture Village is picturesque surrounded by mountains and waters. It is a main production base and protected area of the fragrant West Lake Dragon Well Tea. As a leisure tourist spot, it features tea culture in a farm style. This is truly the best way to get an insider look into China's tea culture. After your tour of the Meijiawu Tea Village, board the vehicle and make your way back to your Shanghai accommodation.

Shanghai: Craft Beer Tasting in Former French Concession

9. Shanghai: Craft Beer Tasting in Former French Concession

Take a 3-hour craft beer tasting tour around the former French Concession area in Shanghai. Discover 3 of the best breweries Shanghai has to offer and savor 6 glasses of beer. Greet your local guide at the front gate of Langham hotel. Start off your evening by sampling local wheat beer, pale ale, or dark stout at The Brewer, a gastropub in the Xintiandi area. Next, stroll through Shanghai’s Old City and get an intimate glimpse of the residences and alleyways in this most traditional of neighborhoods. Enjoy a delicious treat of Shanghai-style dumplings, such as potstickers or wontons, and receive an introduction to local rice wine in a traditional liquor store with your guide. A 15-minute walk through other historic neighborhoods brings you to Sinan Mansions, a set of private villas dating back to the 1920s that have been renovated into an upscale lifestyle destination. Here, find the award-winning Boxing Cat Brewery, and try unique craft pilsners, lagers, stouts, and rotating specials on tap. The tour ends at Shanghai Brewery near Fuxing Park to taste even more craft beers. At the end of the night, your tour guide will help you hail a taxi back to your hotel.

Shanghai: Guided Bicycle Tour

10. Shanghai: Guided Bicycle Tour

Pedal your way to a new perspective in Shanghai. Explore the Shikumen architectural style that blends design characteristics of eastern and western cultures reflecting — the history of this great Chinese metropolis. Ride through Shanghai's narrow alleyways surrounded by stone houses and buildings on both sides, and catch a glimpse of the unique local lifestyle. Cycle along the picturesque Lu Xun Park and continue towards Yu Garden, an extensive Chinese garden located beside the City God Temple. Make stops at bustling street food stalls and antique stores along your journey, and listen to fascinating stories behind the building and sites you pass from your local guide.

Frequently asked questions about Shanghai Architecture Tours

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Other Sightseeing Options in Shanghai

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What people are saying about Shanghai

Overall rating

4.7 / 5

based on 82 reviews

I had one of the best sightseeing tours. I left all the planning to Tom and he came up trumps. During these Covid times he had planned ahead to ensure we could enter all the attractions I wanted to see. He was knowledgeable, relaxed and easy to talk to. I look forward to my next trip to Shanghai when I will book Tom again. I will also recommend him to friends and colleagues who visit Shanghai too.

Tom was an amazing tour guide who was flexible and wonderfully knowledgeable. He communicates so well both before and during the tour I learned so much from him about the local history and even the plans for the city in the future. Would definitely recommend you book his tour! (I travel extensively and he is one of the best most knowledgeable guides I’ve ever had!)

The guide, Grace, its been very much well informed and gave us all the stories about the Suzhou and Watertown and the history about the silk factory. The 3 places we visit is very nice. Although we are walking a little bit far, but its fun though.

Tom is a great guide. Vast knowledge about history, but also gives interesting facts about Chinese lifestyle. I enjoyed every moment. Definitely will recommend.

Tom was an amazing guide and he incredibly informative!