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Updated: Feb 26, 2020

Are you heading overseas and have a stopover in Shanghai? Well don't miss out on the 'Must Do" cool things to do during your stopover! Of course it will depend on how long you are stopping for but Shanghai is a fantastic gateway to the rest of the world and has loads to offer everyone.

If shopping is your thing then you will be in absolute heaven! You will be able to find pretty much everything you could possibly want or need in Shanghai. There are markets galore offering everything from tailor-made garments, jewellery, art, ceramics, electronics, optometry, toys, sports wear, luggage and everything in between!

***HOT TIP 1***

Buy a suitcase over there (they are super cheap!) and use that for your purchases.

***HOT TIP 2***

Take your favourite outfits with you and get them recreated in a different materials by some very skillful tailors.

***HOT TIP 3***

You can use either USD or RMB (Chinese Yuan) at most of the markets but you will need to be careful as it is easier to get ripped off with the USD. Local currency is preferred in all other retail outlets.

***HOT TIP 4***

Use a specialised shopping guide to make the most of your time - especially if your time is limited.

It can be quite overwhelming when you first arrive and a specialised shopper will often guarantee the quality of their preferred vendors. Some personalised shoppers will get a commission back on what you spend so try to find one that does not do this. The staff at helloworld Travel Rolleston have some great contacts over in Shanghai for a reputable Personal Shopper. Ask to speak to Melanie Peacock! The lowest prices are already negotiated for you with their preferred vendors which again saves time and money plus they will negotiate on your behalf with other vendors.

***HOT TIP 5***


There are loads of options for sightseeing in Shanghai. If you have the services of a personal guide (recommended) then use their local knowledge to take advantage of the lesser known sightseeing options.

I would recommend booking in advance for most tours/attractions as they can sell out. Make sure you find a tour that operates in English! Don't just assume that your tour guide speaks English - you may find yourself on a tour full of Chinese who don't speak English! If in doubt see your travel agent.

The Urban Planning Exhibition Centre has the most amazing 3D model of the whole of Shanghai! Just note that it is located on one of the upper floors not the ground floor. There are escalators and lifts so easy to access. It is actually a museum and has a lot of interesting exhibits which change from time to time.

Of course a must do is a cruise down the river in the evening to see the light shows but pays to book ahead or do this with a local guide as it is super popular and sells out. A guide will make sure you get onto the correct boat!

The Yu gardens are also an essential sightseeing must do!

These ancient gardens have such a lovely story behind it so make sure you have a good local guide to tell you the story as you meander through these intriguing and lovely gardens. Afterwards you can do a traditional tea ceremony and indulge in a bit of shopping and bargain hunting in the markets around the gardens.

***HOT TIP 6 *** Don't forget to barter!

Helloworld Travel Rolleston offers some fantastic day trips, sightseeing and activities and can recommend accommodation options and some sharp flight deals.


If shopping isn’t your thing then maybe food is! There are a plethora of amazing restaurants in Shanghai. The local flavours are incredible but if you are hankering for something a little more global then you will be spoilt for choice. One of my favourites is the Lost Heaven Restaurant. Fantastic food and they serve the different styles of cuisine found throughout China. From Shanghainese to Cantonese, Mongolian and more.

You may also want to put a visit to one of the roof top bars dotted along the Bund. These offer spectacular views of the amazing light shows from all the high rises along the river bank. Safe to say you would almost think there was some sort of competition to see who can come up with the most spectacular display! Oh and the cocktails are pretty good too!

***HOT TIP 7***

Try The Rook @ Waterhouse for a great view, great music and excellent service!


Shanghai is famous for its Circus Acrobatic Shows. These are amazing and definitely a must do if you have the time. Again these are best to be pre-booked as they do sell out. There are options to see a show including dinner or just the show on its own. There are several different ones so check with your travel agent for the different options.


Shanghai is well set up for public transport with it's very efficient Metro service. You can also use the popular Uber services and taxis are plentiful. The aqua coloured Dazhong taxis are the most highly recommended.

***HOT TIP 8***

Of course the fun way to get around is the Hop On Hop Off bus. This gives you excellent coverage and you can get a pass that also includes attractions. See the team at Helloworld Travel Rolleston if you want to grab your ticket before you go.

A trip up the top of JIN MAO Tower is one of the inclusions on the Hop on Hop off bus!

So - as you can see there is plenty to do in this melting pot of culture, entertainment, shopping city - fondly referred to as the "Paris of the Orient". Amazing architecture, Fabulous food, Sensational Shopping - what more do you need for a stopover?

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