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5 Days Shanghai Hangzhou Tour with West Lake

Shanghai / Hangzhou / Shanghai


Shanghai Urban Planning Exhibition Center
Yu Garden & Bazaar
Shanghai Museum
The Bund
Shanghai World Financial Center
West Lake
Linyin Temple
Dragon Well Tea Plantation
Wuzhen Water Town
Jade Buddha Temple
Have a bird's eye view of the metropolis Shanghai;
Walk along the Bund to explore the west-meet-east culture;
Take a boat on West Lake and enjoy some leisure time;
Explore the traditional life in a water town with 2000 years' history.

Sampling Itinerary Day by Day

Day 1 Shanghai Arrival

Ni Hao! Welcome to Shanghai, the largest and the most developed metropolis in the Chinese mainland! You’ll be met by our local guide at the arrival hall of Shanghai airport / train station and escorted to your hotel in downtown area by a private, comfortable and non-smoking vehicle. The rest of today is on your own to explore the “Pearl of the Orient”.

Arrival Ideas: Shanghai has airlines connecting with 282 cities and regions, linking almost every part of the world and China. Also, travelers can take high speed trains to Shanghai from Beijing (about 5~5.5hrs), Xian (about 6~7.5hrs), Suzhou (about 0.5hr), Hangzhou (about 1hr), Huangshan (about 4hrs), etc.

Tall Buildings in Pudong New District

Day 2 Shanghai (B, L)

After breakfast, you’ll take a full day to explore the west-meet-east, modern-blend-tradition culture of Shanghai. First, take an educational trip to Shanghai Museum, one of the Four Greatest Museums in China. From outside, you’ll appreciate the beautiful appearance in the style of “Ding” which symbolizes “a round heaven and a square earth”. While entering into the exhibition rooms, you’ll treat your eyes with large number of collections of historic relics from Bronze, ceramics, painting and calligraphic works to jades, coins, furniture, seals, sculptures, etc.

Then, head to Yu Garden, a typical ancient Chinese garden in Jiangnan area similar to the classical Suzhou Gardens! This garden fully embodies the traditional design of Chinese architecture with jagged pavilions with elegant decorations, glittering pools with roving fish, and pine trees sprouting to the sky, all designed to refresh your mood and spirit. Adjacent to the garden is the Yuyuan Bazaar where you can savor tasteful local snacks and explore elaborate traditional Chinese handicrafts and art works.

Next, drive to Pudong New District to the third tallest building in China - Shanghai World Financial Center. Stand on the 100th floor (474 meters) to have panoramic view of Shanghai downtown, Huangpu River as well as nearby towering buildings. Later, take a wonderful stroll along the Bund with a rich collection of buildings and structures of various architectural styles. Feel the perfect fusion of Chinese and Western cultures while at the same time take in the stunning Shanghai skyline with your own eyes! (Note: If time and energy permits, you can have a nice walk along Nanjing Road to experience the modern atmosphere of Shanghai.)

Optional activities: 1) Take a relaxing Huangpu River night cruise to see the city’s most significant edifices and streets sparkling under the atmospheric cover of darkness (about 50 minutes);  2) Enjoy an entertaining and breathtaking Acrobatic Show at Shanghai Circus World or other acrobatic theatres (usually performs during 19:30~21:00).

Have Panoramic View on the Top of Shanghai World Financial Center

Shanghai Museum on the People's Square

The Bund - An Exhibition of International Buildings

Day 3 Shanghai - Hangzhou (B, L)

In this morning, you’ll be escorted to Shanghai Hongqiao Railway Station for a high speed train to Hangzhou (about 1hr). Upon arrival, the local guide will meet you at Hangzhou East Railway Station and take you for today’s sightseeing. Firstly, enjoy the merry time at the iconic and World Heritage Site - West Lake. You can choose to take a 45-minute leisure cruise on the tranquil lake, cycle around the famous Bai Causeway and Su Causeway, or take a relaxing walk to enjoy the lake views as well as the ancient pagodas, traditional arched bridges, tree-lined walkways, beautiful hills, green islands and lush gardens.

Later, move to Lingyin Temple which is about 3km from the West Lake. Getting into this 1700-year-old temple, you’ll see cloud-wrapped mountains, massive trees, ancient temples, religious grottoes, delicate rock carvings. Visit Lingyin Temple and its halls like Hall of Heavenly Kings, Grand Hall of Great Sage, Palace of Medicine Buddha, Jigong Hall, etc. If your energy permits, climb up to the nearby Feilai Peak which features in uncountable Buddhist carvings.

Next will be a trip to explore the tea culture at Meijiawu Dragon Well Tea Village. Wander among the green tea plantations with the refreshing fragrance of the wide range of tea, and sit down in a local villager’s house and sip a cup of Longjing tea to smooth your mood.

After the tour, drive to your hotel in Hangzhou downtown.

West Lake in Hangzhou

Lingyin Temple

Day 4 Hangzhou - Wuzhen Water Town - Shanghai (B, L)

After breakfast, your guide and driver will pick you up at your hotel. Today, you’ll drive 80km (50miles) to Wuzhen Water Town, one of the top six ancient towns in South China. Little rivers, houses on the two banks, little bridges connecting streets, stone paved alleys, all these compose the most typical Jiangnan style water town.

You’ll first take a trip to the Eastern Scenic Zone to enjoy all kinds of traditional folk customs, including Ancient Bed Museum, Folk Customs Museum, Shadow Play Theater and Former Residence of Mao Dun, etc. Later, move to the West Scenic Zone which is more tranquil, spacious and beautifully-decorated. You’ll explore Chinese Foot-binding Culture Museum, Yadi Silk Workshop and Water Market. Of course, you can enjoy the leisure time on a traditionally-decorated boat to appreciate the beautiful scenery passing by either at Eastern Scenic Zone or Western Scenic Zone.

After the tour, drive 128km to Shanghai and stay overnight there.

Wuzhen Water Town

Day 5 Shanghai Departure (B)

Want to deeply know the past, today and future of Shanghai? This morning’s visit to Shanghai Urban Planning Exhibition Center will show you everything about Shanghai. You will see the amazing transformation of Shanghai that was originally a small fishing village and now surprisingly a super modern world metropolis. Different usages of photography, models and interactive multimedia displays make your visit enjoyable and entertaining. The best features are the old rare photos of landmarks, such as the Bund, Nanjing Road, Yu Garden, during the international settlement, and the large scale model showing the detailed layout of Shanghai.

Then you will be followed a trip to Jade Buddha Temple, a famous Buddhist Temple peacefully situated in the bustling Shanghai downtown. It is famous for the two pieces of Jade Buddha - one is the sitting Jade Buddha of 1.95 meters tall and the other is the smaller reclining Jade Buddha of 0.96 meters tall. Besides appreciating the Jade Buddha, you can have a basic understanding about Chinese Buddhism by visiting the Buddhist halls.

After the tour, your guide will escort you the airport / train station for your flight to next destination or home.

See the Future of Shanghai in Urban Planning Exhibition Center

Jade Buddha Temple

Recommended Add-on Options

+ 1 more day to appreciate classical gardens & exquisite water town - Suzhou

With over 2,500 years’ history, Suzhou is super famous for its typical elegant Suzhou gardens most of which are listed as World Heritage Site, like the Administrator's Garden, Lingering Garden, etc. Besides, the poetic, quiet and picturesque water towns like Zhouzhuang and Tongli are the best places to appreciate Jiangnan feature and enjoy some leisure moments.

Humble Administrator’s Garden

+ 4~5 more days to cruise on the magnificent Yangtze River

Taking a relaxing cruise sailing on the Yangtze River is a popular way to get a short break during your China tour. You’ll not only enjoy many colorful cultural activities and entertainment programs onboard, but also enjoy three to four shore excursions to deeply know the authentic life along Three Gorges and witness the world-famous Three Gorges Dam.

You can take: 1) 4 Days & 3 Night Downstream Cruise from Chongqing to Yichang; 2) 5 Days & 4 Nights Upstream Cruise from Yichang to Chongqing.

Magnificent Qutang Gorge

Quotation Includes:

  • Entrance fees of the scenic spots as listed in the itinerary.
  • Meals as specified in the itinerary.(Exceptions: If the western breakfast is not available in some of the hotels, breakfast would be either Chinese breakfast or Chinese and western breakfast.)
  • Hotels: Hotel Based on two persons sharing one room with twin beds or a king size bed; All hotels as listed in the above itinerary serve daily western or Chinese breakfast; Please note double bed room is on request basis which is subject to Hotel's availability and re-confirmation upon check-in.
    Service, room facilities and breakfast might be not up to standard in some remote areas.
  • Transportation: Flights or train as listed in the itinerary.
  • Sightseeing As listed in the Itinerary will be escorted with English-speaking guide;
  • Service of local guide and van is for a maximum of 8 hours during the full day individual tour packages.

    * Please note that our English-speaking guide and driver provided for you in each city or area will not fly with you from one city to another.

  • Private Transfers between airports, hotels and scenic spots while sightseeing in each city or area by private air-conditioned vehicle with driver and English-speaking guide as listed in the itinerary.
  • Service Charge (the planning, handling, operational and communication charges) & Government Taxes.
  • Luggage Transfers between airports, trains and hotels.

Price excludes:

  • Flights (Economy class) not as listed in the itinerary.
  • Accommodation not as listed in the itinerary.
  • Visa Fees: Please make sure that you have got your valid passport and visa before your entry to China. We can send you a free official invitation letter to assist you in obtaining your visa after the reservation deposit is received.
  • Sightseeing not listed in the itinerary.
  • Meals not listed in the itinerary.
  • Personal expenses such as room service, internet charge, laundry, drink, fax, telephone call, optional activities, etc.
  • Gratuities, tips to guides, drivers, bellboys, etc.
  • Excess Baggage Charges.
  • Life Tourist insurance. Please kindly note that the full coverage travel insurance from your country of origin should be purchased in advance on your own.
  • Optional activities.

Read what other travelers think about this China trip / Yangtze cruise trip. We only accept reviews from actual, confirmed travelers who purchased the tour / activity from us, so you can be sure the reviews are unbiased and authentic.

Dear Jack, good morning!

Glad to see you! Thank you for your mail!

The trip was great! Really well organised!

Additional THANK YOU to the manager of the boat called Alina who took the special care about us.

Best regards,


Svetlana - August 14, 2023‚ , 


The cruise was great... Flight is delayed though (5:45pm now delayed until midnight), but the cruise was good. Great weather and wonderful staff


Hannah - August 5, 2023‚ , 

Here are recent candid photos of this China trip / Yangtze cruise trip. If you want to share your own tour photos, simply email your photos to info@yangtze-river-cruises.com with your Booking ID Number. Thanks in advance for sharing!

Tall Buildings in Pudong New District
Have Panoramic View on the Top of Shanghai World Financial Center
Shanghai Museum on the People's Square
The Bund - An Exhibition of International Buildings
West Lake in Hangzhou
Lingyin Temple
Wuzhen Water Town
See the Future of Shanghai in Urban Planning Exhibition Center
Jade Buddha Temple

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