If you want to come to the biggest city in China, you should head to Shanghai. The city never sleeps, which is quite logical considering that it is home to 24 million people. This city has everything for everyone. If you are looking for something noisy and crowded, you will find some of them in Shanghai. If you want a quieter setting, you can find it in Shanghai too. It is a city offering a lot of exciting exploration if you know where to look.

Tourists Destinations for Everyone

Whether you are travelling alone or with families, or whether you are travelling with a purpose (for historical research, for the spiritual journey, etc) or simply spending the holidays, rest assured that Shanghai has everything for everyone. You can explore the city and never be bored with its richness in culture, history, and entertainment.

1. The Bund

Shanghai - The Bund

This location is most popular among travellers, making it often visited by tourists and visitors. It is a paved public walk that goes along the Huangpujiang Riverbank, on the western side. It is popular because it has a unique European feel with the buildings and structures. You can find French and old English buildings that are currently used as galleries, offices, boutique stores, and restaurants. Feel free to stroll by night or day, enjoying the view. You will be surrounded by Renaissance, Baroque, Romanesque, Gothic, and Neoclassical influences.

2. Oriental Pearl Tower

Shanghai - Oriental Pearl Tower

This is basically a TV and radio tower located in Pudong Park. The park itself is located on the eastern bank of Huangpu River. What makes it special is the amazing view over the city and also the river. You can see The Bund promenade from this tower too. At night, this tower will lit up, creating a magnificent view on its own. In case you can’t make it to the top, you can still marvel its beauty.

3. Disney Resort

Shanghai - Disney Resort

After Hong Kong, you can find Disney resort in Shanghai. As you can guess, the place is always crowded with people, especially during the holiday season. The area covers 1,000 acres, consisting of a shopping district, Disneytown entertainment, and 2 themed hotels. If you are travelling with your family, especially with kids, this is a must-visit spot in your list.

4. Pudong Skyscrapers

Shanghai - Pudong Skyscrapers

The skyscrapers are situated across the area where the Bund is located. You can come to one of these constructions to get the bird’s eye view of the city. There is always a thrill when you go up the floors and see the city from above. Skyscrapers explorations can be included in your itinerary, but keep in mind that it is not for the weak heart.

5. Zhujiajiao Watertown

Shanghai - Zhujiajiao Watertown

Shanghai does have its own old water town where you can see architecture, bridges, and canals. If you take the ferry or boat, you will cruise down the main canal. If you prefer taking the long route, you can explore the town on foot. You will seriously have a fun and memorable experience when coming to this place.

Read also: 7 Places Must Visit in China

Religious and Spiritual Destinations

Shanghai still preserves its temples – many of them dated back to the old and ancient times. The Buddhist temples are offering spiritual rest and enlighten. You don’t have to be a Buddha to marvel the complexity of the construction or to enjoy the peaceful surrounding air.

1. Jade Buddha Temple

Shanghai - Jade Buddha Temple

In this temple, you should be able to see two Shakyamuni statues brought from Burma with Huigen monk. The current building is located in Anyuan Lu district and it has two courtyards and three halls, including Tian Wang Dian or Hall of the Kings of Heaven. It has the popular 4 heavenly kings and also 2 Shakyamuni sculptures. It has a thick atmosphere of religious air, which is perfect for a place for prayers.

2. Longhua Pagoda and Temple

Shanghai - Longhua Pagoda

Longhua Temple can be found in a park in the southwestern area of the city. The temple is claimed to be one of the oldest religious spots in China. The temple was believed to be built around 242 AD and it has undergone many destructions and also rebuilding throughout the year. The temple has 5 big halls and it is still used for Buddhist ceremonies.

3. Xujiahui Cathedral and Sheshan Basilica

Shanghai - Xujiahui Cathedral

This St. Ignatius Cathedral was built with Neo-Romanesque construction in 1911. It is located in the southern area of Xujiahui, which is the biggest area for the Roman Catholic community in the city. The Cathedral has a beautifully restored interior and twin bell tower of 50 meters high. The Cathedral isn’t the only religious place for Roman Catholic worshippers. You can also find Sheshan Basilica, a church that is located on the western peak area of the Sheshan Hill. In the past, the construction was badly damaged but it has been renovated. Up until now, it is an important religious site in this city.

Historical Destinations

Shanghai has undergone long years of the historical journey and everything has been marvellous. The history is pretty complex but if you like the appeal, then there are a lot of places to explore your historical search.

1. Shanghai Museum

Shanghai - Shanghai Museum

If you want to see the collections of classic Chinese arts, you should go to this building. Built in 1952, the modern building has different floors for different exhibitions. If you are into history and culture, you’d love this place because it allows you to explore further into its history. Feel free to see the collections of coins, calligraphy, furnishings, jade, and art crafts from the ethnic minorities. If you want to buy souvenirs to remind you of your trip, you can find a gift shop there.

2. Old City

Shanghai - Old City

This place was once the centre of activities and business in Shanghai. The area is known for the winding and narrow laneways that has the atmosphere from the past. If you want to see the combination of the past and the modern, you should come to this place. If you have the chance to visit Shanghai, you should visit it before it is gone.

3. Yu Garden

Shanghai - Yu Garden

Its another name is Garden of Happiness and it is designed in 1559. The garden is pretty wide and big, covering 20,000 square meters of area. You will find the outer as well as the inner garden. You will never get bored exploring this garden, with interesting buildings too. The Outer Garden is popular for the dragon-themed walls decoration, unique roof ornaments, and so much more. If you explore to the Inner Garden, you will find decorative stones, little and adorable pavilions, small ponds, a theatrical stage, and dividing walls. Go to 218 Anren Street Huangpu if you want to explore the garden.

Read also: Beijing, the Central City of China

Shopping Experience and the Popular Destinations

Coming to Shanghai won’t be enough without the shopping experience. There are so many things you can find here, including local crafts or products that you won’t find elsewhere. Whether you want to have an inexpensive shop or buy branded items, there are some places in Shanghai that can accommodate it all.

1. Nanjing Road

Shanghai - Nanjing Road

This is one of the most popular street shopping areas in Shanghai. Nanjing Road is considered convenient and pedestrian friendly with its big street and nice atmosphere. You can find expensive boutiques along the road and yet there are also many street vendor stalls selling traditional crafts and arts. As a busy district, it is home to many street performances and also street foods. The area is lively and whimsical – it is nice to simply stroll along the way.

2. Huaihai Road

Shanghai - Huaihai Road

This is also a popular shopping area in Shanghai – known for its elegance. If you are looking for designer brands and exclusive shops, you should head to this place. You can also find Parkson Shopping Center with its special offers and affordable prices – and yes, even the branded names will be sold cheaper here than elsewhere.

3. North Sichuan Road

Shanghai - North Sichuan Road

If you are looking for inexpensive items, this is the place to go to. You will find an abundance of items here and the price is less than the standard rate. If you are looking for local food products and snacks, you should go to Middle Tibet Road – they are usually filled with tourists eager to try the local delicacies.

Cultural and Art Destinations

Shanghai has a unique combination of modern technology and its ancient influence. It affects its culture and art sectors, which can be unique on its own.

1. People’s Square

Shanghai - PeopleGÇÖs Square

This place was originally built as the racecourse for the city but it was then transformed to the premier public space. You can find the Shanghai Museum, Grand Theater, and Shanghai City Hall there. If you come to the place, you should visit the Urban Planning Exhibition Center. The place is great for learning, relaxing, and exploring around.

2. Tianzifang, the French Connection

Shanghai - Tianzifang, the French Connection

Originally known as the French Concession of Shanghai, the place has changed into the centre of fascinating crafts and arts. This area has its own old European characteristic that remains preserved well in the layout and architecture, including the many small alleys and laneways. Besides allowing you to explore the area around, you can also buy art products. You can find many craft shops and small galleries along the lane. What about workshops and studios? You can find them here too. If you do the exploration at night, it is relaxing and somewhat artistic, but it doesn’t mean that you can’t do it during the day.

3. China Art Museum

Shanghai - China Art Museum

A lot of people call it the China Art Palace because of its existence as the biggest art gallery all over Asia. You can find modern art collections, including the China Pavilion. If you come to the place, you will see a vast number of Chinese modern art collections, many works that are related to cultural development in Shanghai, and many exhibitions of Chinese prominent artists.

If you are into classic entertainment, there are other places to visit, including the Oriental Art Center that is dedicated to opera, theatres, and classical music. Another place, Shanghai Grand Theater, has regular schedules for ballet performances, operas, traditional theatres, and concerts.

4. Shanghai Technology and Science Museum

Shanghai - Shanghai Technology

Besides having a historical museum with collections from the past, Shanghai also has a technology museum with collections for the future. The museum was officially opened to the public in 2001 and offers many things. You can find permanent displays, interactive multimedia exhibits, as well as high-class science theatres. You can also find animals that are native to certain regions as well as exhibitions of space travel, robotics exhibitions, and scientific achievements. You can say that this museum has a combination of exciting and interesting collections. This museum must be visited by families because your children will be happy to come to this place!

Transportation to Shanghai

Shanghai - Transportation to Shanghai

Because of its location in Yangtze River, Shanghai is considered important for business and financial activities. It is a good thing that transportation to Shanghai is also easy and accessible. If you prefer flying, Shanghai has 2 international airports – Hongqiao and also Pudong International Airport. You can simply arrive at Shanghai from any location in the world – London, Jakarta, Singapore, Beijing, and so much more. Be sure that most flights have Shanghai as the destination.

Read also: Transportation in China; Guide for Tourists

If you prefer land transportation, the train is quite comfy and inexpensive. With the High-Speed Railway, you can go to Shanghai from Beijing, Nanjing, or Hangzhou. If you want to travel around, there is a holiday train that will take you to other areas with the scenic spots. You can also make use of the tourist trains. If you prefer the bus, this type of transportation is also comfy. The buses have their own routes through 4 expressways pass and also 4 national highways. You can be sure that they will pass Shanghai on their way.

If you like the ship and cruise, Shanghai has two international ports: Shanghai Port International Cruise Terminal and also Wusongkou International Terminal. International ships cover destinations like Singapore, Hong Kong, South Korea, and Japan. If you choose domestic ships, you will depart from Wusong Transport Passenger Center to Chongming District. If you want to explore around Yangtze River, ships and cruises can be a perfect option.

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