If you’re willing to brave the traffic and fumes of Shanghai, cycling can be a nifty way of getting around. If you enjoy cycling, exploring by bike is one of the best ways – it is cheap, healthy, and fun. These are four suggested cycling routes in Shanghai complete with directions and information on things you can’t miss on the way!
Bear in mind that bikes are banned from major roads, which is why cyclists will often go onto the pavement. Do not expect cars to be very accommodating or give you much room, and keep your eyes peeled for bicycle repairmen dotted around the city who will fill your tires for a couple of RMB. Make sure you have a decent bike lock and try to use bike parks when they are available; they can be found at most shopping areas and metro stations.
1) The Pudong Canals
Distance: 14.5 km
Starting Point: Begin at Century Park Metro Station
This route is a great chance to see the remnants the canal towns that used to be dotted around the eastern side of the Huangpu River. Huangpu River ferries will take you and your bicycle from Puxi to Pudong and back. The Dongdong Line, Taigong Line, and Jinding Line run from 7:00-19:00 daily and cost 1-3 RMB. There are no shops on this route so you should prepare any food beforehand.
Zhaojiabang Canal is a beautiful waterway and surely a welcome break from the dirt and grime of the city. It’s surrounded by weeping willows and the cycle path is flat and makes for easy riding. Although it may be getting a bit chilly now, it’s a great spot for picnics and fishing. The canal continues for around four miles until Jinqiao Lu. When you’re finished, simply turn around and retrace your steps pedals.
- Begin at Century Park Metro Station
- Head north on Haitong Lu
- At Century Park, turn right on Huamu Lu
- Turn left on Fangdian Lu
- Turn right onto the cycle track before the bridge
- At the end of the cycle track, turn left on Liushan Lu
- Turn right on Jinxiu Lu
- Turn right on Heisong Lu
- Turn left and reach the Zhaojiabang Canal
2) Nanjing Road to the Former French Concession
Distance: 20 km
Starting Point: Begin on the Bund, Nanjing Road ride West
This route is perfect for seeing the most elegant and cool part of Shanghai so bringing a camera is a must. While you’re at People’s Square, you can visit the Shanghai Museum or the Shanghai Urban Planning Exhibition Hall, both of which are very informative and have interesting exhibitions.
Xintiandi is modeled on the traditional alleyway architecture and is a car-free zone with great shopping options. It also has some great examples of the traditional Shikumen houses and narrow alleys. You should definitely stop to check out Tianzifang, a series of alleys and a hub of creative activity with art shops, cafes and interesting places.
The French Concession was once home to Shanghai’s gangsters, revolutionaries and adventurers and much of this spirit remains in the district today. It’s a gorgeous neighborhood with tree-lined streets and Tudor mansions. But, the real attraction is the area’s non-stop search for sophistication and hedonism and has a constantly evolving restaurant and bar scene.
- Begin on the Bund, Nanjing Road, riding West
- At People’s Square, go south on Xizang Middle Road
- Turn right at Fuxing East Road and Fuxing Middle Road, which are connected by Xizang South Road
- Head south on Madang Road
- Turn right on Jianguo Road
3) Hongkou’s Jewish Quarter
Distance: 21 km
Difficulty: Hard – watch out for traffic
Starting Point: Begin at the Suzhou Creek Bridge
Look out for the Shanghai Seaman's Hospital on Changzhi East Road; it’s an impressive building that resembles a gothic castle. Hongkou has a rich vein of Jewish history which goes back to when the district was home to thousands of Jewish refugees who changed ‘Little Tokyo’ into ‘Little Vienna’. You can visit the fascinating Shanghai Jewish Refugee Museum on Changyang Road. Here, you will also find the China Tobacco Museum which is free to enter but you need to bring your passport.
As you go along Changyang road, you’ll pass Zhoushan Road, which includes a former Jewish settlement that was built during the war. The Tilanqiao Prison there, was at one time, the world’s largest prison. This area is also a great spot for Shikumen architecture so be sure to bring a camera.
- Begin at the Suzhou Creek Bridge
- Head north and turn right on Changzhi East Road
- Continue as Changzhi Road becomes Changyang Road
- Continue forward and fork right around the diversion, continuing on Changyang Road
- Turn Left on Shuangyang Road
- Turn left onto Kongjiang Road.
- Turn right at Heiping Park onto Dalian Road
- Turn right onto Miyun Road
- Turn left onto Yutian Road
- Turn Left onto Tiyuhui East Road
- Turn left onto Baoshan Road
- Continue heading south on Baoshan Road as it turns into Henan South Road
- Turn left at Suzhou Creek onto Suzhou North Road and arrive where you began
Distance: 20 km
Starting Point: Begin at Sheshan Metro Station
You don’t need to go far to cycle through green hills and by calming rivers. Sheshan has plenty of public bicycles and rental agencies so you needn’t even bring your own bike. The best sites are located near West Hill and include the Chenshan Arboretum and Moon-lake Sculpture Park which has some beautiful work and a very international inventory.
The Chenshan Arboretum has become a popular spot in the last few years and has over 207 hectares of green space which include themed areas and an impressive greenhouse.
You should definitely take some time to visit the fantastic Basilica of Notre Dame cathedral and take in the surrounding views. You might also visit the Happy Valley amusement park which is said to have the best roller coasters in Shanghai.
- Begin at Sheshan Metro Station
- Ride along Park Avenue to Sheshan National Forest Park
- Turn right off Park Avenue to get to Waiqingsong Highway and then you will arrive at Sheshan National Forest Park.
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Keywords: exploring Shanghai Cycling routes in Shanghai Shanghai Cycle Routes
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