Pudong Complex, Shanghai, China

Shanghai, Hangzhou and Suzhou

A city of contrasts, Shanghai has two distinctly different faces, one old and one new, and is evolving at a rapid pace. It is a dynamic place with an extremely exhilarating pace and lifestyle.

Appearing to have leapt straight from its 19th-century splendour of merchant’s offices, banks and hotels that were built along the famous Bund, to the glass skyscrapers now appearing on the newly reclaimed land of Pudong on the opposite river bank.

Yuyuan Garden, Shanghai, China
Shanghai, China

Old Shanghai

The old parts of the city are worth a visit where beautifully designed hidden gardens such as the Yu garden, a typical Chinese courtyard style garden, are tucked away down the many side alleys and traditional street markets still occur where locals trade fresh produce and handicrafts among other more tourist orientated items.

Old and new seem to blend effortlessly in Shanghai, and a day’s travel can include sampling traditional Chinese dumplings from a small street stall to gazing at one of the many magnificent skyscrapers from an opulent restaurant.

Maglev Train Shanghai
Maglev Train, Shanghai, China

What's nearby?

Shanghai is a vibrant city with a fabulous museum, ancient temples and gardens, good nightlife and international cuisine including Shanghai’s own famed seafood making the city a firm favourite for all who visit. Shanghai is a city that never sleeps.

Close by and easily visited for the day are numerous pretty water towns, crisscrossed with intricate canals and attractive stone bridges. Suzhou is famed for its silk weaving trade and is also home to a number of beautiful traditional gardens. Other water towns include Hangzhou with its tranquil west lake and lavish temples, Zhouzhuang, one of the oldest in the country and Luzhi, often less visited and home to around 41 well preserved ancient stone bridges of different style and size.

The newly introduced Shanghai – Kumming High-Speed railway has been newly introduced since 2017. A total journey time of 12 hours, passing through four provincial capitals.

Buddha in the Bamboo Forest, Hangzhou Park, China
Hangzhou, China

Take a side trip to Huang Shan

Reached by air and rail from Shanghai or overland from Hangzhou, Huang Shan or Yellow Mountain is well worth a visit. The Huang Shan mountain range is made up of 72 peaks and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Pine trees jut from unusually shaped granite rocks and towering mountains rise above seas of cloud giving the whole area a truly ethereal feel. There are some wonderful walking trails or cable cars ascending the mountains. Hot springs are also abundant in the region and nearby traditional villages give a taste of rural Chinese life.


What do you really love doing? We curate your itinerary especially for you.

Shanghai Museum, Shanghai, China

Shanghai Museum

Stroll through the fabulous exhibits at the Shanghai museum.

Suggested Holiday Idea

Aerial View of Lujiazui Financial District in Shanghai, Shanghai, China

Shanghai Sunset River Cruise

Cruise Shanghai’s Huangpu River at sunset and see the neon lights of the city skyline.

Suggested Holiday Idea

Huangshan in Fog, Huangshan, China

Huang Shan Mountains

Take a side trip to the mountains, hot springs and rural scenery of Huang Shan; explore on foot or by cable car.

Shanghai Xintiandi and Shikumen building

Explore Xintiandi

Visit the Xintiandi district of Shanghai, an area of converted residential blocks, now home to restaurants, boutiques, cafes and bars.

Suggested Holiday Idea

Bund, Shanghai, China

Stay on The Bund

Stay in one of the historic Bund hotels, whose waterfront locations have welcomed guests such as Charlie Chaplin.

Suggested Holiday Idea

Maglev Train Shanghai

Board the Maglev Train

Travel from the airport on board the Maglev train; the journey on a high speed magnetic levitation line takes just over seven minutes to travel 30 kilometres.

Suggested Holiday Idea

Zhujiajiao Water Town, Shangai, China

Visit a Water Town

Take a day trip from Shanghai to one of the nearby water towns; known for the ancient art of silk weaving and peppered with pretty canals, stone bridges, traditional gardens and temples.

Suggested Holiday Idea

Alleys of Shanghai, China

Shanghai by Bike

Join the locals on two wheels and take a bicycle tour through the hidden alleys of Shanghai.

Suggested Holiday Idea

Where to Stay

Every captivating tailor-made itinerary needs a perfect base. Our team has handpicked this collection of properties to give you luxury options in styles to suit any adventure.

More luxury accommodation

Need Inspiration?
Browse our China holiday ideas.

Our China experts have created and curated these holiday ideas to get you started. Take the time to search through them and find something to spark ideas for a unique adventure.

Meet our experts

A passion for travel runs right through every one of our experts - meaning they're always ready with first-hand insight about their specialist countries.

Paul Craven

Paul is the Conde Nast Traveller chosen Specialist for Central Asia and the Silk Route.

Being from a family with Army connections I can from an early age remember travelling. From camping in Europe and then later being sent to boarding school when we lived in Germany at the age of eight, complete with shorts, long socks, a cap and my suitcase. In appearance not too dissimilar to the children evacuated to the countryside during the blitz.

Talk with our experts
  • 01285 880 980

Clare Higginson

It was my passion for languages that first encouraged me to leave the UK behind and grab my rucksack. Since then, it’s been a mixture of intriguing cultures, jaw-dropping landscapes and the wonder of seeing animals in their natural habitat that sees me continuously extending my travel wish list.

Talk with our experts
  • 01285 880 980

Start planning your trip

Send us an enquiry

Complete our enquiry form and start your next journey.

Review Contact Form


Why Choose Steppes?

Our knowledge, curiosity and expertise set us apart, driving us to create remarkable holidays and Beautiful Adventures tailored perfectly to you, carefully curated to help protect and conserve our planet.

Are you ready to Discover Extraordinary?

More about Steppes