18 Hours in Shanghai – What to do on a Huge Layover

If you want a cheap ass flight to Bali, keep an eye on Chinese airlines flights. The last two times I flew to the island, I only paid 450 euros from Amsterdam to Denpasar. A cheap flight, plus you will get a free city trip to Chinese biggest cities. Deal.

I recently spent 18 hours in Shanghai. Let’s go through some ideas what to do on a huge layover in this city.

Take public transfer to Waitan

There are two ways to get from the airport into the city center by public transfer: the underground and the maglev. First option is low-cost, second option is pricey but more adventurous and efficient. The train can speed up to 430 km/u.

The Huangpu river separates the city into two parts of which Pudong district has the skyscrapers that you will see nicely from the Waitan area (also called The Bund). You know, that famous picture of Shanghai showing off modern architecture that shines all colors thinkable at nights. It’s really cool to see, although I imagined it to be way more impressive. The skyscrapers weren’t as big as I thought they would be.

Yuyuan Gardens

The Yuyuan Gardens consist of several scenic gardens and classic Chinese architecure. If you want to experience the beauty of China, you should definitely pay a visit during your layover or city trip in Shanghai.

Yuyuan Shopping Market

After your visit to the Yuyuan Gardens, do some shopping next door. The market is super touristy but oh-so-beautiful. The historic architecture is so interesting to see. Have a hot tea and try local snacks.  Also the place for some souvenir shopping.

Walk around and find a place to eat dumplings

What is a better way to experience a city by just strolling around and find places to try local food? That’s exactly what I did in Shanghai. Dumplings are steamed pieces of filled dough (if I say it correctly). Let’s call it Asian comfort food.