Best Places to Visit in Shanghai – China Travel Guide with Video

Shanghai, China, Top places to visit in shanghai
Posted by: Abdul Muqeet Waheed Comments: 2

Now, Shanghai is the largest metropolis in China, although Beijing holds the title of capital. With so many places in Shanghai spread out all across the city, it’s a fascinating destination to explore.
Almost everything you could want from a global city is there in Shanghai. Consider the incredible nightlife, delicious restaurants (always a plus in our opinion), magnificent architecture (a wonderful fusion of old and new), and the fastest transportation system.

Because of this, it’s really simple to fall in love with the city, especially if you enjoy city breaks. Shanghai has a variety of wonderful sights to explore, including art museums, temples, parks, and a circus. The temples and other ancient structures have beautiful architecture. Regional art, ancient art, sculptures, posters, installations, and other types of artworks are all included in the galleries and museums.

The Circus World, however, is among the most famous Shanghai attractions. The performers and special effects combine to provide a fantastic presentation that is both truly groundbreaking and deeply grounded in Chinese culture.

How to Travel to Shanghai?

Via Air

Two airports, Pudong and Hongqiao, cover Shanghai. Together, these airports relate the city to several international destinations, which include Moscow, Kuala Lumpur, Montreal, Toronto, Vancouver, Bangkok, Beijing, Frankfurt, Munich, London, Milan, Paris, Osaka, Tokyo, Delhi, Macau, Mauritius, Mumbai, Dallas, Seoul, Vienna, Hong Kong, Amsterdam, Bali, Dubai, Los Angeles, Madrid, Nagasaki, Saint Petersburg, Stockholm, Rome, Helsinki, Sydney, and numerous others.

High-speed railways link two airports to the downtown area. For transportation to Shanghai, the airport offers taxis, tour buses, shuttle buses, and buses.

Via Road

In the city, 4 train stations link to other Chinese cities. From several major cities, including Beijing, Hong Kong, Danyang, Nanjing, Xiamen, Changzhou, Wuhan, and others, you may travel by rail to Shanghai. By train, Shanghai and Lhasa in Tibet are also interconnected.

A lot of the country’s cities are connected by the bus network, which is extremely extensive. If you’re driving to Shanghai, you should use roads G40, G42, G50, or G60.

Via Water

From Japan’s Osaka and Kobe, you may take ferries to Shanghai.

Best time to Explore

Shanghai welcomes visitors and business travelers all year long, however, if you can pick your trip’s timing, I advise avoiding the summer months due to the extreme heat and humidity. Though rather chilly, winter is still tolerable compared to summer. The greatest time to visit Shanghai weather-wise is in the spring because autumn is humid and wet.

More info:

  • Shanghai is most enjoyable to explore during March, May, and September to November.
  • Due to the busy season, prices will be higher in April and May.
  • The rainy season, which lasts from June through September, is highlighted by the more gloomy sky and warmer weather.
  • Due to Shanghai’s popularity among both domestic and international tourists, crowds are to be expected all year round.
  • There are fewer smog pollutants and brighter skies from September through December. Previously, we went in December, and it was lovely. The air was at a pleasant temperature, and the sky was clear.
  • To avoid crowds, December is a smart month to travel to Shanghai.

So, these are the top activities in Shanghai to enjoy during those months!

Getting Around Shanghai

In comparison to prices in the United States, Shanghai is awash in taxis. Keep in mind that a lot of cab drivers do not speak English. Always have your accommodation and destinations printed on a card in Chinese if your Mandarin isn’t the finest. Additionally, there is the issue of traffic.

Didi, which operates similarly to Uber, is our favorite form of transportation. Install the app. You may use it to enter a foreign payment card and make English-language transportation requests. The software can translate for you even if the driver still cannot speak English.

Shanghai’s fast transportation system is the longest in the world, the trips are affordable, and chances are you’ll reach your place more quickly by train compared to by vehicle. It’s simple to utilize the metro.

Shanghai Top Attractions Map

The best sights in Shanghai are shown on the following map.

places to Visit in Shanghai

If you enjoy history, and art, or are simply in Shanghai for dim sum, Shanghai has enough to offer to satisfy several travel plans.

Shanghai gives a vast variety of spectacular visitor sites due to its reputation as a business and cultural hub.

Here are the top 8 sights and attractions you must see in Shanghai, according to my most recent visit there.

1. Walk along The Bund

The Bund, which is curled alongside the Huangpu River, gives the greatest breathtaking scenery of Shanghai’s cityscape. The hotels, restaurants, and structures from the colonial era along this seaside promenade. The Bund is therefore a fantastic location for both photographers and tourists. Suggest getting a Huangpu river boat for the greatest views of the metropolis after a stroll.

The Bund, Best places to visit in Shanghai
The Bund

This neighborhood, in my opinion, has a decidedly European vibe and is filled with several English and French constructions (which, when you find out more about the history of Shanghai starts to make sense).

Why it’s so Fantastic: The Bund, officially named Zhongshan Lu in Chinese, is a wide promenade that runs along the Huangpujiang River’s western bank. This region has a significant European influence, and many of the structures would not be out of place in some of Europe’s most well-known capital cities! This street is inspired by Gothic, Baroque, Neoclassical, Romanesque, Art Deco, and Renaissance styles. Additionally, some of the city’s top eateries are located there.

What you should do: While in Shanghai, you must surely stroll around the Bund. When the buildings throughout the river are lighted up in a brilliant display of colors at night, it is one of the greatest times for this to happen. Spend some time while strolling and stop in any of the numerous shops and galleries you come across. When you’re hungry, choose a place that seems to be busy and slip inside for a snack! Shanghai is a global metropolis, so you should be able to find an English menu or at least one with photos anywhere you go.

The Bund, Best places to visit in Shanghai
The Bund

The Bund’s must-see attractions

  • The Valentine Wall or Lovers’ Wall.
  • Stunning mosaic ceiling of Pudong Development Bank.
  • The museum is at the Astor House Hotel.
  • The movie poster exhibit.

Numerous city sculptures may be found on The Bund.

  • At the junction of Nanjing Road and the Bund, a bronze monument of Chen Yi, the city’s first Communist mayor, is prominent.
  • Similar to New York City, The Bund operates its own Wall Street bull, bragging that it is the industry leader in the worldwide financial sector.
  • The Huangpu Park, where the Monuments to the People’s Heroes is located, is at the riverfront’s northern end. It stands as a monument to those who sacrificed their lives fighting for Shanghai during the revolution and is made of a towering, ethereal concrete tower.

2. Yuyuan Garden – A peaceful area to visit in Shanghai

Since the sixteenth century, the Yuyuan Garden has been one of Shanghai’s greener areas. Additionally, it is referred to as the “Forest and Mountains inside the City.” This garden exhibits the classical Ming Dynasty style. Elegant structures, lakes, sculptures, bridges, pagodas, and other attractions may be found in the garden. It is among the most incredible most fabulous tourist destinations in Shanghai. To start exploring this garden, allow an hour.

We advise arriving early to beat the tour buses because it is really busy. Even if I enjoy busy, hectic cities I may welcome a little escape from the chaos in a large metropolis like Shanghai this is especially true.
On our first day in Shanghai, we purchased tickets for the Hop on Hop off Bus and used them to see the city. After it dropped us off at the Yu Garden Shopping Street, we boarded again to go on to our next stop.

Yuyuan Garden
Yuyuan Garden

Why it’s so Fantastic: This garden, which covers more than 20,000 square meters, was initially designed in 1559. It has both an interior and an outside garden, as well as several historically significant and aesthetically pleasing structures. These gardens provide more than simply flora to view. There are also wonderful pavilions scattered around the grounds, and the structures are very gorgeous to look at and embellished with dragons and other intriguing reliefs.

What you should do: You’ll need a location to stay and refuel when visiting Shanghai. And this is a fantastic location for it. Spend some time there and take in the quiet and lovely surroundings of the gardens. Be sure to see the Hall of Spring, which served as the Company of the Little Swords’ headquarters during their 1853–1855 control of Shanghai. Only the fake rocks in this area of the garden are left behind by the famous landscape designer Zhang Nanyang’s creations.

Yuyuan Garden

Take Line 10 to the Yuyuan Gardens stop to get there. The distance to People’s Square is only two stations. the primary Shanghai metro hub.

Getting There

3. Longhua Temple and Pagoda – One of the most

religious places to see in Shanghai

Longhua Temple is the older and grandest temple in Shanghai, having been established in 242 AD. The stunning red pagoda is seven stories tall but is not open to the public. However, you may tour the temple’s five principal halls, each of which is lined with sculptures. These are packed with exquisite sculptures, 500 of which are golden statues that glitter in the sunshine, and several Buddhas.

A 14,000-pound bell within the Bell and Drum Tower is rung 108 times to signal the beginning of a new year. You may hit it three times for a modest fee.

Longhua Temple, places to visit in shanghai
Longhua Temple

Why it’s so fantastic: The present-day temple and pagoda were created sometime in the eleventh century. Be polite when visiting since it is still a working temple that is utilized for Buddhist rituals and devotion. The Temple has five major halls, each of which is devoted to a different significant religious figure and features unique décor.

What you should do: Keep in mind that this is a functional temple; when you tour it, be calm and polite. Spend some time at the Grand Hall of the Great Sage, which has beautiful statues and a 16th-century bell, as well as the Maitreya Hall, which has a massive Buddha statue. Check to see the Belltower as well, which houses a five-ton bell from 1382, if you have the physical capacity. If you prefer reading, the Library is also a striking sight. It has ancient texts, ritual objects, and over 500 gold-painted Luohan Buddhas.

4. Nanjing Road – A great place in Shanghai if you love to shop!

Among the busiest commercial avenues in the globe, Nanjing Road is Shanghai’s primary pedestrian thoroughfare. Between the Jing’an District and the Bund, Nanjing Road stretches for three miles (5 km) and is home to hundreds of upscale stores, lodgings, and dining establishments. Several old stores dating back to the Qing Dynasty are also located on this street, including boutiques for jewelry, clocks, and medicines.

At People’s Square, Nanjing Road is split into two parts.

The iconic portion of East Nanjing Road that connects People’s Square with the Bund is pedestrianized. We adore using it to purchase everything from calligraphy paper to fresh fruit. Take the vintage Dangdang tour tram for a 10-minute journey for a fascinating way to explore East Nanjing Road from the street’s viewpoint. The new Hello Kitty Shanghai Times theme park is also situated nearby.

Nanjing Road
Nanjing Road

Large contemporary malls like New World City and upscale retailers like Tiffany & Co. and Isetan, a well-known Japanese clothing retailer, can be found on West Nanjing Nanjing Road (which we love).

Why it’s so fantastic: This street has been the main hub for significant events in Shanghai since the second half of the nineteenth century. Small stores, boutiques, eateries, movie theatres, shopping centers, and street sellers abound there. In other words, whatever you’re searching for when visiting Shanghai, you’ll probably find it here!

What you should do: Grab your wallet, credit card, and cash, and get ready to spend some money there. You must be prepared to cope with crowds because this area is constantly crowded, but it’s also a terrific place to window shop and people watch. When your credit cards are tired from shopping, sneak into a neighboring eatery for refreshments. Also, check out the movies if you want to relax for a while. Additionally, keep a look out for any street entertainment, which may liven up the already crowded street.

Be aware that this street may get very busy, especially on holidays and weekends. I advise going during lunch if you want to avoid the crowds (noon to 1 pm).

Words of caution

5. The Shanghai Museum – A great place to visit in Shanghai if you are alone/traveling solo

China’s top museum for classical Chinese art is the Shanghai Museum. Viewers may get a taste of China’s rich culture and old civilization at this free museum in People’s Square. The Shanghai Museum, which houses more than 120,000 priceless historical items, is arranged into 12 galleries that represent the bulk of the important subcategories of Chinese art.

The divisions include Minority Nationalities, Calligraphy, Paintings, Ming and Qing Furniture, Ancient Sculpture, Coins, Seals, Historical Ceramics, and Old Bronze. Additional objects on show span the Xia Dynasty in 2000 BC to the Warring States Era in 221 BC and feature wine, water containers, musical equipment, and weaponry. To discover more about Chinese heritage and culture, explore the Shanghai Museum.

At this location, you can also examine old photos of the city’s past and watch movies that give you a birds-eye perspective tour of the area. To go to this exposition hall from Shanghai, it will take you around an hour.

Why it’s so Fantastic: One of China’s most significant displays of ancient Chinese art exists in the Shanghai Museum. It is housed in a structure that reflects older earthly ideas and has four stories filled with bronzes, seals, works of ethnic minority artists, calligraphy, and ink drawings.

What you should do: Because this museum isn’t particularly big, you should be able to view everything in just a few hours. Spend some time looking over the exhibitions of furniture, coins, and jade from the Ming and Qing dynasties. Also, make a stop at the gift store afterward to purchase a memorable memento.

6. The Jade Buddha Temple

Two Buddhas that were imported from Myanmar are housed at the renowned Jade Buddha Temple. Both a standing and a reclining jade Buddha are present. A Singaporean donation of a third Buddha is presently housed there. It is renowned for its structure and the magnificent golden sculptures that line the walls.

When seen from the outside, the façade features classic patterns and a tremendous quantity of minute detail. In all honesty, you’ll enjoy it if you love culture (as I do)!

The Jade Buddha
The Jade Buddha

Despite all of this, the enormous statue of a lying Buddha that is covered with elaborate jewels and fruits is the temple’s major draw.

Why it’s so Fantastic: This temple was built in 1928 to replace the earlier temple from 1882 and is situated in the Anyuan Lu neighborhood. This significant Chinese holy site is devoted to Buddhism and has ties to the monk Huigen. The many sculptures and structures in this region are breathtakingly gorgeous, and after taking a stroll around it, you’ll begin to appreciate the significance of spirituality in modern-day China.

The Jade Buddha Temple. Top places to visit in shanghai
The Jade Buddha

What you should do: Be ready to spend some time thoroughly exploring the many areas of this Temple. The Tian Wang Dian, or Hall of the Kings of Heaven, is especially magnificent. It has statues of the four celestial monarchs and two almost two-meter-tall white jade sculptures of Shakyamuni. Don’t forget to spend a few minutes at the Hall of the Great Hero, which has 18 Luohan figures and Buddhas from the 3 Eras.

7. The Oriental Pearl Tower – An absolute must-see destination in Shanghai on the weekend

One of the greatest recognizable skyscrapers in Shanghai’s skyline is the Oriental Pearl Radio & Television Tower. This skyscraper, which is 1,535 feet (468 meters) tall, doubles as a transmitting facility, an observation deck, and a hotel. The sixth-tallest building in the rest of the globe is this skyscraper. Its viewing decks and rotating eateries make it one of Shanghai’s top visitor spots. For this tower, allow 30 to 45 minutes.

The Oriental Pearl Tower
The Oriental Pearl Tower
The Oriental Pearl Tower, top places to visit in Shanghai

Why it’s so fantastic: Established in 1991, the Oriental Pearl Radio and TV Tower is now a must-see in Shanghai. Along with some excellent entertainment alternatives, it provides views of the Bund and the river. The structure has a rotating restaurant, a retail center, the Space Hotel, and a virtual reality roller coaster. So, even if you’re terrified of heights, this structure has much to offer.

What you should do: The 11 interconnected spheres of a variety of sizes that were used to build this tower gave it its name. Make sure to visit the Space Module, the tallest sphere, which has an observation deck with a glass floor. Once you’ve had your fill of photos there, visit the rotating restaurant for more breathtaking vistas and delectable cuisine before shopping on the lower floors.

8. Shanghai Tower – Enjoy the Tallest Building

The Shanghai Tower, Shanghai’s highest structure, boasts among the world’s highest observation decks and the quickest elevators, rounding up the city’s triad of enormous buildings. It should be obvious saying that it’s a national treasure.
632 meters (2,073 feet) tall and housing 128 stories, Shanghai may be seen from above by climbing this tower. The 121st story is home to the previously stated tallest observation deck in the world, which gives 360-degree views of Shanghai. Undoubtedly, it ranks among Shanghai’s top activities.

Then, stop by Ultraviolet by Paul Pairet for a special treat. This Michelin Star restaurant is amazing, despite being a touch costly.

Before entering the tower, on Level B1, there is an exhibition hall where you may analyze the tallest towers in the world before taking a high-speed elevator to the 118th and 119th levels.

  • There are short distances between each of these viewing platforms. Simply pick the one that appeals to you the most after you’ve reached Pudong and enter.
Shanghai Tower, places to visit in Shanghai
View from Shanghai tower
View from Shanghai tower

Where To Stay In Shanghai

Yangtze Boutique Hotel

We recently stayed at this hotel and believe it is great for individuals looking for a more conventional lodging option in the City Center. The 1930s are the beginning of the hotel’s long history. Its art deco decor makes you feel as though you’ve traveled back in time.

The Bund and Nanjing Street may both be reached on foot. Both the facilities and the internet were quite quick.

Westin Bund Centre

Near Nanjing Walking Street, which is the next street over, and People’s Square, where you can quickly access the metro, is where it is located.
The Hotel Westin Bund Center was a convenient place for us to stay. We found it simple to reach many of Shanghai’s top attractions due to its location in the city’s center.

Ritz Carlton Pudong

The Ritz Carlton is a sure bet if you’re seeking luxury in Shanghai. This opulent 5-star hotel is surrounded by highrise apartments. It is situated right in the middle of the financial area of Pudong.

Shanghai Travel Tips

Shanghai is a city where change is the only constant. The futuristic skyline is constantly changing, there’s always something new to discover, and the city has a vibrant energy.

This is another reason why it’s essential to confirm the addresses of every site and store you read about before visiting.

Because of the hectic traffic, a large number of people, and the often confusing layout of the streets, some people find it a little stressful. Additionally, it has a wonderful atmosphere and is inviting and diverse.

When friends and relatives ask about visiting Shanghai, I usually give them the following advice:

Try street food

Eating is one of the nicest activities to do in Shanghai. While the city is home to many top-notch, upscale eateries, there is also a vibrant local street food scene where you should taste the noodles, dumplings, and other classic dishes. (Of course, if you don’t have a strong stomach, be cautious about where you eat.)

A cuisine tour is an ideal way to sample the best foods Shanghai has to offer.

Use The GO Shanghai Card

Use the Go Shanghai Card to receive discounts of up to 30% on entry if visiting Shanghai’s top sites is part of your vacation plan. You may also carry less cash because it is a prepaid attractions pass (helpful because the ATM fees in the city are usually high). There are two methods to pass.

Choose between the popular Explorer Pass and the Everything-Inclusive Pass (all you can do for 1, 2, or 3 days) (choose 3, 4, or 5 attractions).

Picking Up a Few Key Phrases:

It’s necessary to arrive at least a basic command of the language, just like in any other foreign nation. Five fundamental greetings, questions, and, of course, bargaining phrases are included below:

  • Nǐ hǎo – Hello
  • Xiè xiè – Thank you
  • Nǐ huì shuō yīng yǔ ma? – Do you speak English?
  • Duō Shao qián? – How much is this?
  • Tài guile – Too expensive

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