A 4-Days Trip to Shanghai for a Family of 3

Shanghai, a vibrant metropolis in China, offers a perfect blend of modernity and tradition. With its stunning skyline, rich history, and family-friendly attractions, it is an ideal destination for a memorable vacation. In this article, we will provide you with a detailed itinerary, local cuisine recommendations, accommodation options, transportation suggestions, packing list, budget considerations, language and cultural etiquette tips, off-the-beaten-path experiences, and frequently asked questions for your 4-days trip to Shanghai with your family of 3.

Destination Highlights 🌍

Suggested Itinerary πŸ—“οΈ

1The BundYu GardenShanghai Disneyland
2Oriental Pearl TowerPeople's SquareNanjing Road
3Shanghai MuseumXintiandiTianzifang
4Zhujiajiao Water TownShanghai Circus WorldHuangpu River Cruise

Day 1


  • Explore the iconic waterfront promenade, The Bund
  • Enjoy a leisurely stroll along the Huangpu River
  • Admire the architectural marvels of the Bund buildings


  • Visit the enchanting Yu Garden
  • Explore the traditional bazaars and shops in the surrounding area
  • Indulge in a traditional Chinese tea ceremony


  • Experience the magic of Shanghai Disneyland
  • Enjoy thrilling rides, live shows, and parades
  • Immerse yourself in the enchanting world of Disney characters

Day 2


  • Visit the Oriental Pearl Tower
  • Take in panoramic views of Shanghai from the observation deck
  • Explore the Shanghai History Museum located within the tower


  • Discover the vibrant People's Square
  • Visit the Shanghai Urban Planning Exhibition Center
  • Explore the Shanghai Museum and admire its extensive collection


  • Take a leisurely stroll along Nanjing Road
  • Shop for souvenirs, fashion, and electronics
  • Indulge in delicious street food along the bustling pedestrian street

Day 3


  • Immerse yourself in the charm of Xintiandi
  • Explore the trendy shops, cafes, and art galleries
  • Visit the Shikumen Open House Museum to learn about Shanghai's unique architecture


  • Discover the artistic enclave of Tianzifang
  • Explore the narrow alleyways filled with boutiques and art studios
  • Enjoy a traditional Chinese lunch at a local restaurant


  • Experience the vibrant nightlife of Tianzifang
  • Enjoy live music, street performances, and cultural events
  • Savor a delicious dinner at a local restaurant

Day 4


  • Embark on a day trip to Zhujiajiao Water Town
  • Explore the ancient canals, stone bridges, and traditional houses
  • Take a boat ride along the picturesque waterways


  • Witness the breathtaking acrobatic performances at Shanghai Circus World
  • Be amazed by the skills and agility of the performers
  • Enjoy a late lunch at a local restaurant


  • Cruise along the Huangpu River
  • Admire the illuminated skyline of Shanghai
  • Capture stunning photos of the city's landmarks

Realistic Time Management ⏰

Here is a detailed hourly schedule per activity with estimated travel time based on the location proximity:

  • Day 1:

  • Day 2:

    • Morning (Oriental Pearl Tower): 9:00 AM - 11:00 AM
    • Afternoon (People's Square): 12:00 PM - 2:00 PM
    • Evening (Nanjing Road): 3:00 PM - 7:00 PM
  • Day 3:

    • Morning (Shanghai Museum): 9:00 AM - 11:00 AM
    • Afternoon (Xintiandi): 12:00 PM - 2:00 PM
    • Evening (Tianzifang): 3:00 PM - 7:00 PM
  • Day 4:

    • Morning (Zhujiajiao Water Town): 9:00 AM - 12:00 PM
    • Afternoon (Shanghai Circus World): 1:00 PM - 3:00 PM
    • Evening (Huangpu River Cruise): 4:00 PM - 7:00 PM

Local Cuisine 🍽️

While in Shanghai, make sure to try these famous local dishes:

  • Xiaolongbao (soup dumplings)
  • Shengjianbao (pan-fried pork buns)
  • Shanghai-style hairy crab

Here are some highly-rated restaurants in Shanghai:

  • Din Tai Fung
  • Jia Jia Tang Bao
  • Fu 1088

Accommodation Recommendations 🏨

For budget travelers, consider these options:

For mid-range travelers, these hotels are recommended:

Luxury travelers can enjoy their stay at:

How To Get There And Away πŸš†

  • By Air: Shanghai has two international airports, Pudong International Airport and Hongqiao International Airport. You can fly directly to Shanghai from major cities around the world.
  • By Train: Shanghai is well-connected by high-speed trains. You can reach Shanghai by train from other major cities in China.
  • By Metro: Shanghai has an extensive metro system, making it convenient to travel within the city. The metro is a cost-effective and efficient mode of transportation.

Comprehensive Packing List πŸŽ’

  • Clothing: Comfortable walking shoes, lightweight clothing, a jacket or sweater for cooler evenings, and swimwear if visiting water parks or swimming pools.
  • Electronics: Camera, portable charger, universal adapter, and a smartphone with translation apps.
  • Miscellaneous: Sunscreen, insect repellent, umbrella, reusable water bottle, and a backpack for day trips.

Budget Consideration πŸ’°

a. The standard cost of living per person per day in Shanghai is approximately $50-$100, depending on your lifestyle and accommodation choices.

b. Relevant costs from the suggested itinerary (excluding accommodation) include entrance fees to attractions, meals, transportation, and optional activities. On average, you can expect to spend around $30-$50 per person per day.

c. Tips for saving money:

  • Opt for local street food and eateries instead of upscale restaurants.
  • Use public transportation or walk whenever possible to save on transportation costs.
  • Take advantage of free attractions and activities, such as exploring parks and gardens.

Language and Cultural Etiquette πŸ—£οΈ

  • Learn a few basic Mandarin phrases to communicate with locals.
  • Respect local customs and traditions, such as removing your shoes when entering someone's home or a temple.
  • Avoid discussing sensitive topics like politics or religion.
  • Always ask for permission before taking someone's photo.

Some Off-the-Beaten-Path Experiences 🌿

  • Explore the hidden alleyways of Tianzifang and discover unique boutiques and art studios.
  • Take a day trip to the ancient water town of Zhujiajiao and experience the charm of traditional Chinese architecture.
  • Visit the Longhua Martyrs Cemetery and pay tribute to the fallen soldiers of China.

Frequently Asked Questions ❓

Q: When is the best time to visit Shanghai? A: The best time to visit Shanghai is during spring (March to May) and autumn (September to November) when the weather is pleasant.

Q: Is it safe to drink tap water in Shanghai? A: It is recommended to drink bottled or filtered water in Shanghai to avoid any potential health issues.

Q: Are credit cards widely accepted in Shanghai? A: Credit cards are widely accepted in major establishments, but it is advisable to carry some cash for smaller shops and street vendors.

Conclusion πŸŽ‰

Fun Fact: Shanghai is home to the world's fastest commercial high-speed train, the Shanghai Maglev Train, which reaches speeds of up to 431 km/h (268 mph).

In conclusion, a 4-days trip to Shanghai with your family of 3 promises an unforgettable experience filled with cultural immersion, exciting attractions, and delicious cuisine. Follow our suggested itinerary, explore off-the-beaten-path locations, and embrace the vibrant energy of this cosmopolitan city. Start planning your Shanghai adventure today!

πŸ“Ί For more inspiration, check out these videos of Shanghai: