The Top 9 Boat Tours in Shanghai

boat tour Shanghai - boats in a canal for boat trips, night time.

Want to see Shanghai from an off-shore perspective? Explore the waterways of the Bund and beyond with Radisson Blu’s guide to the best boat tours in and around Shanghai.

The Bund

It may be best known as Shanghai’s most famed thoroughfare, but this inner-city promenade isn’t just for pedestrians. Embark on a Huangpu River Cruise and appreciate both sides of The Bund’s trademark architecture at once, with authentic colonial buildings on one side and towering modern skyscrapers on the other.

boat tour Shanghai - Shanghai city view, buildings with the boat in the water in front.


Rather take a boat tour further afield? Make the 50-kilometre journey to Zhouzhuang, where Shanghai’s most popular water village awaits. The quintessential destination for travellers who only have time for one Shanghai day trip, this ‘Venice of the East’ boasts plenty of historic bridges and scenic canals – all easily explored from the comfort of a gondola.

boat tour Shanghai - water street with houses from both sides, Zhouzhaung, Shanghai.


If Zhouzhang’s tourist-oriented boat tours are too busy for your liking, head two hours west to reach Nanxung. The least commercial of Shanghai’s water villages, this residential retreat still has plenty of beautiful sights to see by boat, from historic bridges and buildings to picturesque canals.

boat tour Shanghai - Nanxun village in Shanghai, water streets with houses from both sides.


Another of Shanghai’s hidden gems, this oft-overlooked village’s best kept secret is the singing boatwomen that accompany its local tours. Ideal for travelers who want to be serenaded while they take in the scenery, a boat tour in Luzhi is a truly one-of-a-kind experience.

boat tour Shanghai - a Shanghai village Luzhi, streets with water, buildings and orange tree.


Easily accessed from Suzhou and Shanghai alike, this tranquil water town is the perfect place to spend a lazy afternoon on the water. Home to more than 40 historic bridges and lush, tropical landscapes, a boat tour in Tongli offers travellers an excellent retreat from the hustle and bustle of the big cities.

boat tour Shanghai - the city of Tongli in Shanghai, several boats in a canal.


Better known for its bazaars than its boat tours, this pint-sized water town is still worth a stop for travellers who want to sneak in a bit of shopping before they disembark. Grab a snack and a souvenir on Qibao Old Street before boarding your boat tour, which takes travellers along the only two canals in the village.

boat tour Shanghai - Shanghai city Qibao, bridge over water.


A must-visit village for architecture enthusiasts and movie buffs alike, the unique waterways of this unassuming town were once a set for Mission Impossible III. Also home to unique canal-side streets only found in Xitang, this humble town has something for everyone.

boat tour Shanghai - Xitang, Shanghai. houses in water.


Conveniently located just an hour outside Shanghai, this busy water town is great for travellers who want to embark on a boat tour in a short amount of time. Easily explored in half a day, this one-size-fits-all water village has a lake and canals, so travellers can enjoy all sorts of aquatic experiences without straying too far from Shanghai’s city limits.

boat tour Shanghai - a boat traveling on a canal in the Shanghai city Zhujiajiao.


An excellent option for travellers who have time to spare, the picturesque canals of this historic water town are best enjoyed once the sun goes down. Wander the 1000-year-old streets by day before embarking on a boat cruise by night, when the village’s lights and architecture reflect on the river’s surface.

boat tour Shanghai- the city of Wuzhen in Shanghai during the night, water and houses from both sides.

Ready to embark on a Shanghai river cruise? Plan your stay at Radisson Blu Shanghai New World and discover this iconic city one waterway at a time.

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