Ferry Ride

With their century old transport history in Shanghai, ferry boats remain a popular choice.

TravelCurious Tip

Keep your eyes open for the “three-colour waters” when the grey Huangpu converges with the yellow Yangtze and the green East Sea during high tide

Rivers are central to Shanghai. The Huangpu cuts through the city, diving it into two parts: Pudong New District to the east and Puxi Area to the west. Then the Yangtze separates the three islands of Chongming, Changxing and Hengsha from the mainland. Bridges obviously exist, but it is no surprise that ferries have come to assume some importance in the city’s transport system.

Road traffic and metro sardine-packing can be quite intense in Shanghai, so ferries can offer something a little more relaxed. Moreover, they are convenient and very cheap indeed. But the ferries aren’t just for getting around: there are sightseeing lines that run along stretches of the rivers, taking in the famous attractions along the banks.

The Puxi side of the river is the cultural and entertainment centre of Shanghai, with the Bund, Monument to People’s Heroes, Waibaidu bridge and Huangpu Park drifting into view along the river. The Pudong side has only really developed in the last twenty years, in a pretty explosive way, and has become a financial hub of China. Some of Shanghai’s most impressive steel and glass beasts live there: you will be transfixed by the Oriental Pearl TV Tower, the Jin Mao Tower and the 565.6 metre Shanghai Tower.

Nearby Attractions

See all attractions in Shanghai
Huangpu River
With Pudong to the East and Puxi to the west, the Huangpu river connects both sides of the city.
Xiao long bao
A type of steamed bun stuffed with meat and cooked in a bamboo steaming basket.
Sheng jian bao
Similar to the Xiao long bao, these dumplings are pan fried and dangerously delicious.
Xie ke huang
A pastry shaped like a crab shell. It is a speciality in the region and comes with a variety of fillings.
Flower and Bird Market
This is where locals go to buy turtles, fish and flowers and it is one of few traditional markets left.
Known as the 'Soho of Shanghai', this area was originally a lane factory but now an entertainment hotspot.

Related Tours

Highlights of Shanghai: Private full day tour including Tickets & Transport
Experience all the major highlights of Shanghai on this all-inclusive, full-day private tour. On your private full-day tour, you will:

  • Enjoy the personalised attention of your private guide.
  • Commence your tour at the iconic Jade Buddha Temple, with entrance tickets included
  • Take in the tranquil surroundings by People's Square
  • Venture through the atmospheric Shanghai Old Town.
  • Visit the beautiful Yuyuan Garden (tickets included).
  • Enter the revered Old City of God Temple (tickets included).
  • Learn about Shanghai in the 21st century, at Tianzifang.
  • Walk along the picturesque Bund.
  • Enjoy a ferry ride across the Huangpu River to the futuristic Pudong on the east.
  • End at the iconic Television Tower.
Known as the ‘Paris of the Orient, Shanghai is steeped in culture, history, and glamour in equal measure. Throughout the day, you’ll see the architectural marvels of the city, and learn all about its cultural heritage, its history, its religion, and its contemporary daily life. 

Your day begins at the famous Jade Buddha Temple, home to a priceless collection of jade statues. The temple is designed in the breathtaking architectural style of the Song Dynasty and is the headquarters of the Shanghai Buddhist Institute. Your guide will then continue on to People’s Square. This beautiful green space is a hub of activity and is surrounded by monuments and museums. 

Next, your private guide will take you to Shanghai Old Town and the enchanting Yuyuan Garden. You will see the old-style buildings of the Ming and Qing Dynasty and have the chance to stop and try delicious local delicacies recommended by your guide. You will also visit the revered Old City of God Temple and learn about its statues in Taoism.

Move on from the traditional and learn more about Shanghai’s present as you head down to the exciting Tianzifang - the ‘Soho of Shanghai’. Walk along with the most famous landmark, the Bund. From this beautiful waterfront, enjoy a perfect end to your day as you take a ferry ride across the Huangpu River to the futuristic Pudong on the east shore. There your guide will orient you around the area and take you to the distinctive Oriental Pearl Radio & Television Tower, where the tour ends, allowing you to enjoy free time in the Pudong area, with the glorious views over the river towards the Bund. 


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