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Insider's Shanghai Tour

Leave the touristy behind, enjoy incredible interiors, stories of intriguing colonial excesses, Imperial Gardens, local bazaars, the French Concession, an insider perspectives of Asia's new, super stylish & futuristic 'it' city. #7

Tour Overview.

Shanghai is a city known for style, elegance and decadence, this is a tour to an Insider's perspective of each of these facets of Asia's new superstar city! We'll take you on a local's stroll through Shanghai's imperial opulence and architecture, meet the irreverent and colourful resident characters and explore its bazaars as well as the stunning and futuristic hub of this Global metropolis. Shanghai is a mix of Oriental and Occidental, past, present and future, it oozes excitement and what's happening.The commercial hub was developed by far-sighted European traders 160 years ago and it remains the destination for people who can’t wait to experience tomorrow today.


Historical backdrop ... find out about the cause of the Opium Wars, the motivation of the British East India Company, the 'concessions' to the colonial powers & setting of China's 'century of humiliation'

We'll begin the tour by taking in the delightful Yuyuan Garden, one of the finest imperial gardens in China, known for its attention to minute detail and classic landscape architecture. Then browse through the various crafted goods at the bazaar of Old Shanghai for a charming insight into tradition and a chance to chat and bargain with the local merchants.


Struggles for power ... find out about the Taiping Rebellion, the first instance of Total War in China which saw the death of 20 million over the course of its campaign, and the cost to the Qing Dynasty with French and British support in bringing the 'Heavenly Armies' to heal and the inspiration Mao took from the uprising.  

Continue on to the Shanghai Urban Planning Exhibition Center, whose scale and speed of construction are unprecedented in modern history. Listen to an architecture expert’s commentary on China’s approach to future development in the global metropolis.


Then, a different gear, with the famous French Concession. Founded in 1862 in southwest Shanghai as a result of the Treaty of Nanking, the Concession is a pleasant mix of wide tree lined streets and European styled architecture. Enjoy a walk about the Old Shikumen area; "Shikumen", meaning "stone gate”, is a special 'old form' of courtyard residence in Shanghai. In many ways, it is indeed a gateway to the past amidst the strikingly modern of this fascinating coastal city. 


Next on our discovery of Shanghai is a unique approach to the Xintiandi Area. It is a place retaining the antique charms of the Shikumen area of old Shanghai and has been gentrified to international levels of chic with an impressive number of galleries, bars and cafes, boutiques and restaurants. It's an area that is reminiscent of a decadent Shanghai of the 1920's and the 'sonic' present lifestyle of its resident local urbanites.


To balance the bustle of the modern city we'll seek quiet in the Chenghuangmiao, the central shrine for Daoist worship in China. Dating from 1403 the temple's main courtyard is still active with worshippers. Lastly our stroll along the Bund provides an awe inspiring view of China's commercial prosperity with Shanghai lending it's own brand of character to every aspect  its architecture and character.  


Finally, stroll along The Bund for an awe-inspiring view of China's commercial prosperity and then sample culinary delights with some delectable street food (own expense). Enjoy a touch of style as you soak up Shanghai’s up-and-coming wine and bar scene from one of the city’s best vantage points (cocktail at own expense), completing your tour in the city center.

Find your way back to your hotel on your own.


Our 'Insider Experience' Shanghai Tour takes you through intricate gardens and alleyways, amidst bustling bazaars and noodle bars through to unique urbam sights of this sophisticated modern metropolis. Expert guides deliver a narrative of history and modern day life in the commercial centre of Communist China - fascinating! 


Insider Experiences & Highlights:

The Imperial Yuyuan Gardens & Old Shanghai Bazaar, the French Concession and Xitiandi, the back alleys of the residential Shikumen area, the Chenghuangmiao Temple and the strikingly futuristic Bund. 


Culinary + Cocktails & Wine:

As you walk, it will be hard to miss the smell of charcoal grills and hot plates turning out a vast variety of street food. Encounter the best dumplings you'll ever likely have eaten, the most ferocious of Sichuan dishes, suckling pig that dreams are made of, and some of the strangest street food on the planet.


  • Hotel pickup

  • Main entrance tickets to the tour sites as per the itinerary

  • Professional & friendly English-speaking tour guide


You are free to choose from the street stalls and beverages accordingly - we take you to some brilliant insider hubs in town - the selections are yours - we're here to guide you!


Duration: A half day tour
Meeting Point:

Pick up directly from your hotel.

Beautiful gardens, bustling bazaars, old town alleyways you wouldn't find alone ...
architecture insights, historical temples, local Shanghaiese guides, completely unique ....

Client feedback on the Shanghai Experience Tour and Guide...

"... a very insightful, educational and memorable day. We have experienced many tour guides during our years of travels but this was outstanding and will always be remembered as one of our highlights in our China travels. The complicated history of Shanghai was brought alive, our guide was passionate, gregarious, energetic and entertaining. Exceptional guide - KUDOS to her!"

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