Walking Tours and Specialty Activities in Shanghai

In the last couple of years especially since the World Expo, a new generation of day tours and walking tours have cropped up in Shanghai.  For independent travelers who don’t want to tie up all their time with a fixed schedule and group, picking a quality short tour can add depth and understanding to their whole Shanghai experience.

Quintet staff has scoured through the tour offerings and recommends the following ones:

1.  Shanghai Insiders (formerly Shanghai Sideways) - Take an incredible cruise through the city in the sidecar of a WWII-style motor bike.  You’ll enjoy the company of a foreign guide/driver who is a long-time Shanghai resident and will take you places off the beaten tracks.

2. Shopping Tours Shanghai - This American-operated shopping service is perfect for people who are looking for unique items to impress folks back home or have little time to get all the shopping done.  Their tour includes van transportation as well as a Shanghainese lunch.  Unlike most of the local tours, they do not take commissions from the shops and can give you guidance on price haggling.

3. UnTour - If you are a runner, one of their guides will jog with you through the various neighborhoods of Shanghai.  If you are a foodie, go on one of their culinary tours to check out local street food scene and wet market, even bizarre meats.

4. Newman Tours - Offers various walking tours for the French Concession, Bund, Old City, as well as excursions out to Suzhou, Hangzhou, and nearby watertown Zhujiajiao.

5. Shanghai Pathways - Offers customized private tours that are best for family or group of friends.  In addition to a Best of Shanghai highlight day tour, they have some interesting tours such as visiting a Chinese Opera school, a tofu factory, or home cooking in a watertown.

6. Tea Thing - Hidden in a quiet alleyway in the JingAn Villa, this little tea studio is hosted by the soft-spoken tea master Ada.  She offers a series of tea tasting classes where you can learn to brew the tea yourself, rather than just watching someone does it.  If you have a favorite tea type, such as oolong, dragonwell, or pu’er, etc. she can focus on it in the class.  She doesn’t really have an English webisite but you can email her at liulingling526@163.com

7. RuWa Folk Toy & Crafts - Located in the same JingAn Villa as Tea Thing, this quaint workshop offers  classes on making Chinese lanterns, rattle drums, kites, and other traditional toys.  Our Christmas toy rabbits were made by their old craft masters ;-)