*The Bund is unmissable
It’s hard to imagine a more iconic image of Shanghai than the Bund, which stretches along the Huangpu River between Pudong and the old town. The Bund is a great place to start your tour of Shanghai. You’ll find many of the city’s top attractions here, including the Oriental Pearl Tower, Jinmao Tower, the Shanghai World Financial Center, and the Shanghai Museum. If you want to enjoy the view, ride cable car or hop on one of the famous Sightseeing Cruises. Another exciting thing about this place is that you can walk everywhere!
*Visit the magnificent Yu Yuan Garden
This is one of the oldest and largest Chinese gardens outside of China. Yu Yuan was built during the Ming Dynasty as a retreat for the emperors and their ladies-in-waiting. Today, it houses several halls and courtyards, such as the Hall of Union Meeting, the Hall of Benevolence, the Hall of Longevity, the Hall of Prayer For Rain, the Hall of Harmony, the Hall of Perfect Brightness, the Hall of Great Peace, the Hall of Magnificent Clouds, the Hall of Brilliance, and the Hall of Abiding Joy. There are also two big ponds here, perfect for a stroll.
*Take a cruise on the Yangtze River
If you want to look at how life used to be in Shanghai, then taking a cruise down the Yangtze River is a good idea. Take a trip upriver aboard a traditional wooden boat and see how people live, work, and play in small villages. Don’t forget to stop by the Three Gorges Dam, which produces 20% of all electricity generated in China.
*Go shopping at Nanjing Road
If you love shopping, Nanjing Road is the place to go. It’s so popular among tourists that they have unique shops just for them. Shops sell everything from clothes, jewelry, antiques, handicrafts, and fresh produce. There are also restaurants and street vendors selling snacks and drinks.
*See the Art Deco District
One of the least known but most fascinating districts in Shanghai is the French Concession. Located right next to the Bund, this area contains buildings dating back to the 1920s and 1930s. The French architect Paul Andreu designed many and featured beautiful Art Deco designs. Also, many embassies exist here, such as France, Italy, Japan, and Iran. So, this is the place to go if you’re looking for high culture.
*Eat delicious dumplings
Dumpling lovers, rejoice! Shanghai is home to hundreds of different kinds of dumplings. These bite-sized morsels are necessary when visiting Shanghai from Jiaozi to Xiao Long Bao. Popular places to eat dumplings include Jing An Dumpling Restaurant, Xiao Ye Xiaochi Dumplings, and Tangjiale LuMarket. No matter what kind you choose, make sure you try both steamed and boiled ones!
*Enjoy an authentic local experience
Shanghai may be a large city, but it still retains some authenticity. However, don’t expect every shop to accept credit cards. And while you can rent a bike and explore the city on your own, remember that this is China – things might not always run smoothly. Still, if you stick to busy main tourist areas such as People’s Square, East Nanjing Rd., The Bund, Pudong, and Hongkou shouldn’t be too hard to find your way around. Just use common sense and prepare for possible delays.
*Visit the Shanghai Nightlife
Yes, Shanghai is famous for its nightlife! If you’re looking for a lively night out, Shanghai is the place to go. Bars and lounges are spread throughout the city, and there are plenty of clubs and pubs where you can dance away into the early morning hours. You will notice that Shanghai’s nightlife is a bit more expensive than other cities in China, but it’s worth it.
*Learn about Shanghai Culture
China’s longest river flows through Shanghai, and it’s hard to ignore the enormous influence of water on Shanghai’s culture. Spanning over 783 kilometers, the Huangpu River runs from Hubei Province in central China to Shanghai. Although much of the river is industrial, the banks along the south side of the river are lined with skyscrapers on Asia’s busiest ports.
*Take a day trip to Hangzhou
Hangzhou is a great day trip from Shanghai. It provides a break from the hustle and bustle of Shanghai and offers a slower pace of life. The West Lake is surrounded by ancient architecture and museums, while the east shoreline has scenic views of paddy fields and mountains.
Just an hour north of Shanghai lies Suzhou, a gorgeous riverside city rich in history. The old town is UNESCO-listed and boasts narrow alleys, quaint two-story houses, Buddhist temples, Muslim mosques, Chinese pagodas, and artisan workshops. The “Venice of the East” was once prosperous but remains full of historical monuments and picturesque bridges today. This place will offer you a new sightseeing destination in China.
*Go hiking at Mt. Qingcheng
Mt. Qingcheng is one of the most popular attractions in Shanghai. At 2700 meters above sea level, this mountain offers stunning vistas of the surrounding area. In addition to hiking up the hill, you can take cable cars down to visit the villages near the mountain.
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