Shanghai China is known to be the most prosperous city in China since 1930 and continues to be so, it is the major financial hub and also the world’s largest container harbor.
Today it is a prominent global city which has completely transformed into an ultra modern city with huge skyscrapers and world of art technology.
The well organized infrastructure and various tourist spots like Shanghai Zoo, Baoyang Road Harbor, Museums, Temples, Gardens and Pearl Tower makes Shanghai a hot city among travelers.
A trip to Shanghai China, the largest city in China, offers a lot of excitement at every turn. The bristling high-rise buildings in the city transport you to the future; but you will face reality on the street level, where everyday drama unfolds with bewildering variety.
An old vendor is peddling veggies along a murky side-street that is a stark contrast to a Prada-clad head-turner leaving her sunny condo for a day in the salon. Check out our list of things to do in Shanghai China.
Things To Do In Shanghai China
Here are the most popular attractions in Shanghai:
Yu Yuan Garden
Assumed to have been built 400 years ago, the Yuyuan Garden is a very popular place to visit.
With its huge rock and tree gardens, ponds, crisscross bridges, antique furnishings and murals, sculptures and carvings, it’s easy to see why it has become so popular.
The downside is that it can get very crowded, so it’s best to avoid during the weekend!
Jing An Temple
The Temple in its modern form can be traced back to 19th century with a huge copper bell weighing about 3 tons, tracing its setting back to Ming Dynasty.
You’ll find a white Jade Buddha statue which is quite impressive, and the architecture of the temple is pretty unique.
Shanghai Municipal History Museum
This museum has a splendid collection of old trams, rickshaws, vintage cars, Jades of historical importance and coins. It truly represents the ancient Chinese art and is a symbol of ancient philosophy & culture.
And finally, one of the city’s best attractions – The Bund.
This place offers an amazing contrast and mixture of old and new: walking along the river you will see old colonial architecture on one side and modern skyscrapers on the other.
This is the best place to find yourself at night, as the views of the lighted skyline is very impressive.
Go in the afternoon so that you can experience the place both during day time with its awesome architecture, and after dark with the beautiful views.
Activities and Attractions in Shanghai China
- Watch a bird singing contest in Guilin Park – The birds’ competition in Guilin Park takes place amidst everything related to birds. Contest starts at 9am, with battle rounds taking place in hushed circles away from the busy market area. Five bird groups are rotated as judges score their performance according to: volume, change of tone and length of song. The birds that tweeted louder and longer are sure to win.
- Take a trip to the Bund Sightseeing Tunnel – This is one of Shanghai’s top five tourist atrractions and one of the strangest too. Experience the bizarre, trippy audio-visual effects being played as you travel in an automated car ‘into the core of the Earth’ under the Huangpu river.
- Experience the exhilarating Green Massage – They said that the traditional Chinese acupressure is not for the weak-hearted. Chinese acupressure is like China itself, hard and tough. Green Massage, located at the rear of Huaihai Park, will provide you a healing massage that is a level over many other massage services in Shanghai.
Arts and Culture in Shanghai China
- Absorb Shanghai’s culture by visiting museums – The Shanghai Museum, located on People’s Square, has much more than its calligraphy or jades or ceramics exhibits. In fact, the shape of the museum itself mimics an ancient bronze cauldron. China Tobacco Museum is the largest of its kind in the world. Look at the bewildering array of smoking paraphernalia that is spread over three floors. Shanghai Glasses Museum displays hundreds of different frames and lenses, some of which date all the way back to the Song dynasty.
- Spend time in Shanghai’s best art galleries – M50 at 50 Moganshan Lu is home to over 25 art galleries and spaces, including some of the city’s best. Eastlink, in Building No. 18, M50 along #50 Moganshan Lu, at the vicinity of Xi Suzhou Lu, owns some of the most spectacular collections of contemporary art in China. ShanghARTShanghART, located in Building 16, M50, 50 Moganshan Lu, near Xi Suzhou Lu, has over 40 artists on their roster, including China’s best artworks.
- Get a glimpse of Shanghai Film Park – During its heydays, this park was always crowded but it is now almost empty. Although, amateurish stunt shows are scheduled daily at 10.30am and 1.30pm; but otherwise, the sets are a ghost town. You can roam the area in peace, surrounded by dilapidated replicas of Hengshan Moller Villa, Nanking Lu and Waibaidu Bridge.
Shanghai China Food and Drinks
- Taste dumpling or xiaolong bao – Invented by a street vendor in the later part of the 19th century, this gustatory delight today has become so popular that they are a Chinese food icon in Asia and around the world. Authentic dumplings that have stood the test of time are found in these eateries in Shanghai.
- Savor seafood along Shanghai’s best food streets. – These are lively and friendly place where you can taste cheap seafood supper. Most popular outlet for crayfish is the Crayfish House (numbers 17 and 23) and is marked by the huge queues of young hungry customers outside. The best in seafood barbecue at number 38 is usually a safe bet.
- Traditional Shanghai food I served in a refurbish villa – A lovely vintage -filled villa, located in #375 Zhenning Lu, adjacent of Yuyuan Lu, in Jingan district, is serving delicious traditional Shanghainese cuisine. You have to make an advanced reservation.
Shanghai China Music and nightlife
Be part of Shanghai’s nightlife and enjoy its music. There are so many options to choose from. You can go club and bar-hopping among these places:
- For the view – The 58th floor of the new Ritz-Carlton Pudong has the terrace Flair where you have one of the best views in town.
- For the best in cocktails – Senator Saloon houses lead all other venues. The place boosts of a lovely interior of dark wood beneath a spectacular tin roof brought especially from Texas.
- For a secret Japanese ambiance – Mokkos is a hidden bar down a quiet alley on a quiet street where the friendly barmen will only serve you shochu and plum wine with quirky reggae music in the background.
- For old world elegance – The wood-panelled glory of Art Deco is the pride of Waldorf Astoria’s long bar where you can listen to classic jazz music while sipping your delectable cocktails complemented with oysters and nibbling sophisticated bar snacks.
- For rubbing-elbows with Shanghai’s jet-setters – Bar Rouge is always packed with a crowd of party posers, from slick European chino-and-loafer types to the local Chinese jet-set.
- For a glimpse of Shanghai’s Old Jazz Band – With members in their 80s, these young-at-heart players are performing at the Fairmont Peace Hotel.
- Buy the best products – Nanjing and Huaihai Roads are main shopping streets where you find an overabundance of international brand names. But if stylish shopping is not your interest, you will enjoy exploring several flea markets under the impressive boutiques, department stores and shopping malls of the city.
- Experience shopping in outdoor bazaars – At Yuyuan Garden, there are several outdoor bazaars selling souvenirs, arts and crafts; and a rare cache of souvenir items, arts and crafts are also found at the Cultural Street Market on Fuzhou Road and the Antique Street Market on Dongtai Road. The clothing street market on Shimen Road is a traditional open-air Chinese markets that offer troves of bargain.
Before visiting China, be sure to check out these apps which will help you with the language and with commuting. With so much more things to do in Shanghai, your bucket list is brimming over so another visit to this city might help you cover the entire list.
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