Shanghai
Local Food

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Our most recommended Shanghai Local Food

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.

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From Shanghai: Hangzhou, West Lake Cruise and Tea Plantation

2. From Shanghai: Hangzhou, West Lake Cruise and Tea Plantation

With its inviting views and outstanding scenery, Hangzhou is one of the leading tourist destinations in all of China. It is a city rich with history and was once the capital of China in the 12th Century. After a 3-hour drive, you will first cruise across the West Lake to view unforgettable scenery such as the Three Pools Mirroring the Moon, the Bai Causeway and Solitary Hill. After a traditional Chinese lunch, you will visit Guo’s Villa, one of the best traditional private gardens in the city. Hangzhou is also famous for its Dragon Well tea and you can discover the history of Chinese tea and the traditional tea ceremony on a visit to the Meijiawu Tea Village. Before returning to Shanghai, you will enjoy a drive along the Qiantang River where you can view the Liuhe Pagoda, also known as the Six Harmonies Pagoda. On this tour, you can immerse yourself in the history of Shanghai with the assistance of your own personal guide.

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Shanghai Day Tour: Yu Yuan Gardens and the Shanghai Museum

3. 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.

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Shanghai: 3-Hour Local Food Tasting Tour

4. Shanghai: 3-Hour Local Food Tasting Tour

Explore the local restaurant scene of Shanghai on a 3-hour food tasting tour of the city center. Start in the Xintiandi area to taste one of the best dumpling soups in the city. Then, go to the Yunnan Road to sit down at 3 different restaurants and a dessert shop. Marvel at the change in architecture as you move from the French Concession to the shikumen-style buildings that combine western and Chinese elements. Sample authentic dishes such as parched chicken, red-braised pork, scallion oil noodles, candied lotus rice and moon cakes. Try a cup of Longjing green tea or Fujian black tea and get a local insight into life in Shanghai.

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Shanghai Eat Like A Local Night Food Tour

5. Shanghai Eat Like A Local Night Food Tour

Greet your English-speaking guide in central Shanghai, and set off on foot to explore the city’s evening food scene. Learn about how Shanghai attracts millions of migrants from all over China who bring their local culinary traditions and ingredients. Stroll through alleyways to find family-owned restaurants that offer the best dishes from their hometowns. Visit 4 seated food stops, plus the city’s best street food stall. Learn about the neighborhood's shocking history set amongst art deco era villas. Taste spicy rabbit head or roasted meats which are a feast for the eyes and the mouth. Start the night by sampling the world's oldest sandwich, a pork belly and freshly-baked pita combination that has been perfected by chefs in Xi'an for over 2,000 years. Taste southern China’s impressive roast meats and fried noodle dishes. Sample specialty seafood and bamboo dishes from the Shanghai’s surrounding region, paired with a Shanghainese dessert that was poached from the French. Get your taste buds tingling with Sichuan's famous mouth-numbing peppercorn, before finishing the tour with some of Shanghai's best soup dumplings. Wash it all down with locals beers and the spirits huangjiu, and baijiu.

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Private Day Tour to Wuxi Lingshan Grand Buddha and Tai Lake

6. Private Day Tour to Wuxi Lingshan Grand Buddha and Tai Lake

In the morning, your private tour guide and driver will pick you up from your hotel lobby at 8:00am. After a 3-hour drive, you will arrive at the Lingshan Grand Buddha, which is the number one attraction in Wuxi. It stands 88 meters tall and is the tallest bronze Buddha in the world. You will develop a comprehensive understanding about Buddhism and you can admire the Nine Dragons Bathing Shakyamuni and Ode to Auspice in Brahma Palace. Visit the Five Mudra Mandala and touch the largest Buddha's hand, which is said to bring you good fortune and longevity. Then you will have a vegetarian buffet lunch in the temple. After the spiritual tour, it is time to relax your body and mind with breathtaking natural scenery. You will have a walk along the northern bank of Taihu Lake. Taihu Lake is another of Wuxi’s Icons and is the third largest freshwater lake in China. You will then return to your hotel after the walk.

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Shanghai Highlights and Zhujiajiao Water Town Private Tour

7. Shanghai Highlights and Zhujiajiao Water Town Private Tour

Benefit from pick-up at your hotel or the cruise port, and then explore Shanghai with a private guide and driver. Marvel at the historic buildings of The Bund along the banks of the Huangpu River. Get sweeping views of both sides of the river before making your way to Yu Yuan Garden. Located by the City God Temple in the Old City, the traditional garden was built during the Ming Dynasty and features dozens of monuments, pagoda temples and water features. See an old Shanghai street from the Qing Dynasty and more. Continue to the former French Concession and explore the charming neighborhood established when the city was a French settlement. Next, visit the 400-year-old Zhujiajiao Water Town to see why its' often referred to as the Venice of the Orient. Enjoy lunch in a famous Chinese restaurant, and then take a boat ride to get a sense of traditional life in southern China. Stroll the old alleyways to see more buildings and bridges, and get some time to shop before the drive back to Shanghai.

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Su Zhou and Zhou Zhuang Water Village Day Tour

8. Su Zhou and Zhou Zhuang Water Village Day Tour

Depart from your downtown Shanghai hotel in a comfortable, air-conditioned minivan and begin the scenic journey to Suzhou, an ancient town famed for the beauty of its verdant gardens. Listen as your guide offers informative narration on the town hailed as the Venice of the east, and then disembark your coach to explore the Master of Nets Garden. Marvel at the town’s exquisite example of Ming Dynasty landscaping, and admire the harmonious style of Chinese garden construction. Continue to the town’s ancient city wall, reputed to date back to 600 BC, and stroll parallel to the picturesque Grand Canal. Conclude your tour of Suzhou with a visit to its 14th century silk factory, then revitalize with a delicious Chinese lunch in a local restaurant.  Afterwards, return to your vehicle to travel to Zhouzhuang, a quaint town thronged with winding waterways and charming structures. Admire the simple, perfectly preserved houses, and hear of how the town’s history dates back to the 11th century as you sail the canals in a Chinese sampan.  Relax during the journey back to your Shanghai hotel and bid farewell to your guide and group upon your return. 

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From Shanghai: Suzhou Private Full-Day Trip by Fast Train

9. From Shanghai: Suzhou Private Full-Day Trip by Fast Train

Early In the morning, please go to Shanghai Railway Station by your own to catch bullet train G7006 departing at 9.00 am to Suzhou (25-minute journey), arrival at 9:25 am. The train ticket will be transferred to your accommodation before the trip. Suzhou was the capital of Wu culture 800 years ago and is one of China's leading historic cities. Developing around the Grand Canal that forged much of China's traditional north-south commerce Suzhou is built around a series of canals inspiring Chinese to consider it the "Venice of the East". Now a modern thriving city Suzhou maintains a traditional core surrounded by a moat and world famous as a UNESCO world heritage site for its traditional Chinese gardens. Upon arrival, you will be met by your local guide in Suzhou and transferred to visit one of China's most exquisite gardens, The Humble Administrator's Garden, a Cultural Heritage site including both a residential quarter and a delicately landscaped garden. You will learn the beauty of the well-known Suzhou Garden while wandering around the pavilions, bridges, houses, etc. in the garden. After lunch at a local restaurant, you will be transferred to Shantang Street that is the good example of the water town in Southern China with well-preserved the traditional architecture. You can wander around the old street to view the Opera Stage, Boat Museum etc. Then you will take a boat on the Grand Canal for about 40 minutes to view the scenery. Then you will be moved to the Suzhou Silk Museum that exhibit the history of Chinese Silk from ancient time to modern time. Afterwards you will be transferred to Suzhou Railway Station to catch bullet train back to Shanghai.

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Wuzhen Private Full-Day Tour from Shanghai

10. Wuzhen Private Full-Day Tour from Shanghai

Take this full-day private tour from Shanghai to discover the ancient town of Wuzhen. Built more than 1,300 years ago, and located 11 miles (17 kilometers) north of the modern industrial city of Tongxiang, Wuzhen is also known as the former home of the Chinese novelist Mao Dun. Your guide will pick you up in the morning from your hotel, for a 2-hour transfer to Wuzhen in northern Zhejiang Province. Upon arrival, explore the town’s main sights, divided into 6 districts, including a traditional workshop district, traditional food district, and water town customs area. Wander the well-preserved canals, crossing over bridges, and past canal houses, some of which are 4 centuries old and boast beautiful carved doors and windows. Visit an ancient indigo fabric workshop, and go to the water market to savor the scents of authentic foods. You will also visit a Wedding Museum, and learn about Chinese foot binding at the Culture Museum. Discover old schools and a performance stage, and try the local cuisine in a traditional restaurant.

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Other Sightseeing Options in Shanghai

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What people are saying about Shanghai

Overall rating

4.8 / 5

based on 38 reviews

What a great evening. Between jet lag and all day sightseeing, it can be a little hard to stay motivated for evening tours. Jim made us completely forget about our tiredness as we were completely absorbed in his descriptions and stories of local neighborhood food, culture, and history. The amount of food and portions were great for us, so we didn’t feel guilty for not eating all that was presented, and we didn’t leave feeling hungry. Everything was so tasty and fresh. Highly recommended!!!!

We were really lucky because we had a private tour with our amazing guide Grace to Hangzhou. Although the weather wasn't that good Grace made our tour a great experience for us. The West Lake where we had a 45 minute boat ride was beautiful. The lunch at a local restaurant was the best we had in and around Shanghai. It is a long drive to Hangzhou but totally worth it!

We had a great day with our guide Bruce and 2 other people. Being such a small group was very convenient. We had lots of free time to explore Zhouzhuang also on our own which was great. Bruce knows a lot about Chinese history, it was fun to spend the day with him. Definitely recommend doing this tour!

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 was an amazing guide and he incredibly informative!