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Best Things to do in Shanghai
Welcome to the mesmerizing city of Shanghai, where tradition meets modernity in a dazzling display of sights, sounds, and flavors. Known as the “Pearl of the Orient,” Shanghai offers a plethora of activities and attractions that will leave you awe-inspired. So, put on your explorer’s hat and let’s dive into the top things to do in this captivating destination!
Wander along the Bund
Start your Shanghai adventure by taking a leisurely stroll along the Bund, a waterfront promenade that offers stunning views of the city’s iconic skyline. Admire the blend of architectural styles, from the grandeur of colonial-era buildings to the modern skyscrapers that dominate the Pudong district across the Huangpu River. The Bund is the perfect spot for a picturesque walk and a chance to soak in the city’s vibrant atmosphere.
Marvel at the Oriental Pearl Tower
No visit to Shanghai is complete without a visit to the Oriental Pearl Tower, one of the city’s most recognizable landmarks. Soaring high into the sky, this futuristic tower boasts an observation deck that offers panoramic views of Shanghai’s sprawling metropolis. Step into the transparent skywalk if you dare, or simply enjoy the breathtaking vistas and snap some memorable photos.
Explore the Yu Garden
Step into a tranquil oasis amidst the bustling city at the Yu Garden. This classical Chinese garden is a haven of peace and serenity, with its traditional pavilions, rockeries, and picturesque ponds. Take a leisurely stroll through the lush greenery, appreciate the artistry of the architecture, and get lost in the beauty of this ancient garden.
Go Shopping on Nanjing Road
Get ready to unleash your inner shopaholic on Nanjing Road, one of the world’s busiest shopping streets. This bustling thoroughfare is lined with a plethora of shops, boutiques, and department stores offering everything from high-end fashion to affordable souvenirs. Take your time to browse through the stores, indulge in some retail therapy, and experience the vibrant energy of Shanghai’s commercial hub.
Discover the French Concession
Take a step back in time and explore the historic French Concession, a charming neighborhood that still retains its European flair. Wander through the tree-lined streets, admire the beautiful villas and colonial architecture, and discover hidden cafes, boutiques, and art galleries. The French Concession offers a delightful blend of history, culture, and modernity.
Ascend the splendid Jin Mao Tower
For breathtaking views of Shanghai from dizzying heights, head to the Jin Mao Tower. This towering skyscraper boasts an observation deck on the 88th floor, offering panoramic vistas of the cityscape. As you marvel at the urban sprawl below, you’ll truly appreciate Shanghai’s impressive skyline and its transformation into a global metropolis.
Indulge in Shanghai Cuisine
No culinary journey in Shanghai is complete without sampling its mouth-watering cuisine. From the iconic soup dumplings (xiaolongbao) to the savory Shanghai-style noodles (la mian), the city offers a wide array of flavors and culinary delights. Be sure to visit local eateries and street stalls to savor the authentic tastes of Shanghai’s diverse food scene.
Visit the Jade Buddha Temple
Seek spiritual solace at the Jade Buddha Temple, a serene sanctuary in the heart of Shanghai. Marvel at the intricately carved jade Buddha statues that lend the temple its name and immerse yourself in the peaceful ambiance. Take a moment to reflect and appreciate the beauty of the temple’s architecture and the tranquility it offers.
Cruise along the Huangpu River
Hop aboard a river cruise and sail along the Huangpu River, admiring the mesmerizing views of Shanghai’s skyline. As you glide along the river, you’ll witness the juxtaposition of the city’s historic buildings with its modern architectural marvels. The cruise provides a unique perspective of Shanghai’s transformation and is particularly enchanting during the evening when the city lights up.
Explore the Shanghai World Financial Center
Reach for the skies at the Shanghai World Financial Center, a towering symbol of Shanghai’s economic prowess. Ascend to the observation deck on the 100th floor, known as the “Skywalk,” and enjoy panoramic views of the city below. The World Financial Center is an architectural marvel that showcases Shanghai’s ambition and innovation.
Step into History at Tianzifang
Delve into the bohemian atmosphere of Tianzifang, an artsy and eclectic district that was once a traditional residential area. Explore the labyrinthine alleyways filled with art studios, boutiques, and quirky shops. Get lost in the maze-like streets, discover hidden gems, and immerse yourself in the vibrant creative scene.
Experience the Maglev Train
Embark on an exhilarating ride on the Shanghai Maglev Train, the world’s fastest commercial train. Zooming at speeds of up to 430 kilometers per hour, the magnetic levitation train offers a thrilling and futuristic experience. Take a short journey from the city to Shanghai Pudong International Airport and marvel at the sheer speed and efficiency of this technological wonder.
Marvel at the Shanghai Circus World
Prepare to be mesmerized by a stunning display of acrobatics, dance, and theater at the Shanghai Circus World. Witness gravity-defying performances, contortionists, and breathtaking aerial acts that will leave you in awe. The Shanghai Circus World showcases the incredible talents of the performers and offers an unforgettable entertainment experience.
Visit the Longhua Temple
Experience the tranquility of the Longhua Temple, one of the oldest and most significant Buddhist temples in Shanghai. Marvel at the ornate pagoda, explore the peaceful gardens, and observe devotees engaged in prayer and meditation. The Longhua Temple provides a serene escape from the bustling city and offers insight into Chinese Buddhist traditions.
Attend a Chinese Opera Performance
Immerse yourself in the captivating world of Chinese opera by attending a performance at one of Shanghai’s theaters. From the elaborate costumes and makeup to the melodious singing and intricate choreography, Chinese opera is a mesmerizing art form that reflects China’s rich cultural heritage. Witness a traditional opera and be transported to a world of ancient tales and legends.
Discover the Shanghai Science and Technology Museum
For a fun and educational experience, visit the Shanghai Science and Technology Museum. This interactive museum features a wide range of exhibits that explore various fields of science, technology, and innovation. From hands-on experiments and virtual reality displays to captivating demonstrations, the museum offers an engaging learning experience for all ages.
Explore the Power Station of Art
Art enthusiasts shouldn’t miss a visit to the Power Station of Art, a contemporary art museum housed in a former power station. This cultural landmark showcases both domestic and international contemporary artworks, providing a platform for artistic expression and creative exploration. Take your time to appreciate the thought-provoking exhibits and immerse yourself in the world of contemporary art.
Take a Day Trip to Zhujiajiao Water Town
Escape the urban landscape of Shanghai and venture to Zhujiajiao Water Town, a picturesque ancient town known as the “Venice of Shanghai.” With its charming canals, stone bridges, and traditional architecture, Zhujiajiao offers a glimpse into China’s rich history and cultural heritage. Explore the narrow alleyways, take a boat ride along the canals, and savor the tranquil beauty of this enchanting water town.
To put it briefly, Shanghai is a city that truly captivates with its blend of tradition and modernity, vibrant energy, and diverse attractions. Whether you’re exploring the iconic waterfront, delving into the city’s rich history, or indulging in its culinary delights, Shanghai promises a memorable experience for every traveler. So, pack your bags, embrace the spirit of adventure, and get ready to uncover the charms of Shanghai, the Pearl of the Orient.