The hot spot of the 21st century, the place everyone is talking about… China’s youngest, fastest-growing, most dynamic mega-city, boasts more than 300 skyscrapers already, and the only thing certain about that last stat is it’s already hopelessly out of date.

To witness the fast-changing global economic marvel of our age that is modern China, there’s simply no better place than standing on the handsome colonial waterfront of the Bund and gazing across the river at the Lujiazui skyline on the Yangzi’s eastern bank. This has become one of the world’s most celebrated skyscapes, featuring three of its tallest skyscrapers amidst a vertiginous forest of architectural statements. The sudden influx of commercial development on both banks of the river has triggered a revival of vibrant art and fashion traditions. Together with a burgeoning hospitality industry, this most western of China’s mainland cities, promises to be the rage for many years to come.

No improvement needed! We were so pleased with all the services and gifts. The host, guides and drivers were very competent and kind. Imperial Tours is the only way to savor Shanghai!

Mr. & Mrs. H., Australia

Custom Itineraries

Explore shanghai through the eyes of a local

Spend a day exploring the trendy international legacy of the city by touring the leafy French Concession or visiting the city’s newly restored synagogue. Round off your day with a Chinese acrobatics show in an evening of double-jointed fun.

We customize each of our itineraries based on your interests and traveling style. The itinerary below forms a base to start the conversation.

After arriving and settling into your luxury hotel we will take you out to get a taste of Shanghai’s contemporary art scene with visits to a selection of the city’s best galleries.
Begin the day with a tour of colonial Shanghai, exploring the Bund and the former French Concession. After lunch you will visit the Yu Gardens and explore Shanghai’s Old Quarter.
Spend the morning visiting one of the best museums in the world for classical Chinese art. Then after lunch discover some of Shanghai’s great shopping secrets. This might include a contemporary ceramics shop or the private studio of a renowned fashion designer.

Luxury Accommodations

Since the Peninsula, Waldorf Astoria and Fairmont Hotels all opened on the Bund, the older, west side of the Yangzi River has been favored for leisure visitors.

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Bvlgari introduce their elegant Roman styling to Shanghai, combining Antonio Citterio's comfortable Italian furniture with large bay windows and restful colors. Enjoy a cocktail on the rooftop terrace bar with views onto the Yangzi river and the French concession.

Peninsula Shanghai

With stunning facilities, world-class services and two Michelin star-rated restaurants, The Peninsula Shanghai also blends effortlessly the exquisite retro-style interior with contemporary comforts.

Capella Shanghai

Centrally located within the Jian Ye Li estate, the Capella was originally built by French real estate company Fonciére et Immobilié de Chine in the 1930s to house the upper-class.

Puli Hotel & Spa

In the heart of one of Shanghai’s most trendy districts, the Puli Hotel and Spa combines the convenience of urban living with the tranquility of a resort spa.

Middle House

Middle House is an individualistic small luxury hotel in the Jing An area on the border of the French concession. The strong focus on contemporary design, a fusion of East and West, is immediately evident in the lobby and extended to the rooms. The extensive dining and bar options are suited to this dynamic area.

Your Personal Traveling Concierge

Our China Hosts

Our China Hosts are part of what makes us unique; they help explain our success for over twenty years. Our China Hosts have been hand selected and expertly trained to provide you with the most unforgettable journey. From seamlessly ensuring flawless logistics, to deepening your cultural immersion, to effecting last minute adjustments, in the words of a guest, they take a trip "from excellence to perfection". Before you travel with us, it's hard to imagine what a China Host brings to the party. After, it's hard to imagine traveling without one.

suggested guide: lily

Typhoon Lily, as she is known, prides herself on being one of the best guides in Shanghai. As a native of Shanghai, Lily has introduced people from around the world to her beloved and ever evolving Shanghai. With her vast knowledge of Chinese culture and history, she is often a crowd favorite for travelers interested in getting first-hand knowledge of the city. Lily credits her success as a guide to her untamed inquisitiveness, zest for adventure, sense of humor, and also her love of food.

Fine Dining & Authentic Cuisine

Experience the finest in Chinese and Western cuisine

Shanghai's heavenly soup-filled dumplings, or Xiao Long Bao, with a thicker wall than its Nanjing cousin, are one of the city's favorite snacks. The city is known for its lighter, sweeter tones and a predilection for enhancing foods' original flavors with condiments. The boiled shrimps below are served with a sauce that combines vinegar, soy sauce, garlic and a speck of chili oil. Kaofu, unique to Shanghai, is a sweet cold dish made from gluten.


  • The world’s largest city proper
  • Population: 24,256,800 (2014)
  • Literal Meaning of Shanghai: Upon-the-Sea

Brief History

  • 5th – 7th Century CE – A fishing village develops where Suzhou Creek enters the Huangpu River
  • 12th Century – A market town develops
  • 1216 – Jing’an Temple is built
  • 1554 – City Walls are built around what is now the Old Town of Shanghai
  • 1780 – Yu Garden opens
  • 1842 – Shanghai is occupied by British forces and opened to foreign trade per the Treaty of Nanking
  • 1849 – The French Concession is created
  • 1862 – The first American settlement in Shanghai is established
  • 1912 – The city walls surrounding the old city are dismantled
  • 1937 – Japanese occupation begins
  • 1943 – The British and American concessions end
  • 1945 – Japanese occupation of Shanghai ends
  • 1946 – The French concession ends
  • 1994 – Oriental Pearl Tower is constructed
  • 2015 – Shanghai Tower is completed


  • Located on the east coast of China where the Yangtze River Delta meets the East China Sea.  The old city and downtown are located between the Yangtze River Delta and Hangzhou Bay. 
  • Altitude: 4m (13ft)
  • Main River: Yangtze River Delta
  • Total area coverage: 6,341 km2 (2,448 m2)