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. There are so many things to do in Shanghai China. Here we make it easy with these categories:
- Art and culture
- Food and drinks
- Music and nightlife
Shanghai is a prominent global city which has completely transformed into an ultra modern city with huge skyscrapers and world of art technology.
With well-organized infrastructure and various tourist spots like Shanghai Zoo, Baoyang Road Harbor, Museums, Temples, Gardens and Pearl Tower, Shanghai is 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 and 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 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 tweet louder and longer are sure to win.
Take a trip to the Bund Sightseeing Tunnel
This is one of Shanghai’s top five tourist attractions 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 say 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.
Food and drinks in Shanghai China
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.
Music and nightlife in Shanghai China
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.
Shopping Up a Storm in Shanghai ~ Quick Guide to the Best Shopping in Shanghai
If shopping is your thing and you can think of nothing better than spending your spare time stalking through street malls, you’ve picked the right place for a holiday.
Shanghai has some of the best markets, malls and shopping streets in the world.
Here is a guide to some of the best shopping in Shanghai, all in close proximity to the main tourist accommodation precincts.
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.
Whether it’s jewelry, clothes, technology or food that tickles your fancy, Shanghai will deliver.
All of these shopping areas are in close proximity to the main tourist accommodation precincts.
Nanjing Road is not only the main shopping street in Shanghai, it’s the biggest in China and one of the busiest in the world!
Located in the heart of the city, it stretches over one kilometer long.
From designer brands to knock-off goods, this shopping strip has it all!
When you get sick of shopping, saunter down to People’s Park, smack-bang in the middle of the street. You can have lunch in the fresh air, or take a stroll through the Shanghai Museum.
Being so central, Nanjing Road is filled with a wide range of accommodation options. You can easily find Shanghai hotels close by.
Shop here for: Everything!
If you are a lover of labels and luxury goods, you can’t beat the high-end designer stores of Huaihai Road.
The second most famous shopping street after Nanjing Road, Huaihai is the home of big-brand names including Cartier, Louis Vuitton, and Tiffany & Co. as well as the boutiques. Huaihai Road also boasts a number of large department stores.
You can make a night of it by sampling one of its many restaurants or by staying in one of the local hotels.
Shop here for: Designer brands
Dongtai Lu Antiques Market
Dongtai Lu Antiques Market is 200 metres long and made up of approximately 100 stalls.
It is packed full of vintage goodies, tasty trinkets, antique treasures and a fair bit of junk.
Patience is your friend here, and if you take the time to search through all of the clutter and knock-offs, you could be in for a pleasant surprise.”
Regardless of the quality, it’s a great place to pick up some gorgeous items for home décor purposes.
Take note to haggle hard!
Shop here for: Antiques and homewares
South Yunnan Snack Street
Food, food, glorious food … almost too many options to take in! Located a 10-minute trot from People’s Square, South Yunnan Snack Street is the perfect place to satisfy a busy shopper’s hungry tum.
A cluster of restaurants, street food stalls and other eateries, this historic dining destination offers the best in Chinese cuisine.
Sample dumplings, Beijing roast duck, stuffed buns, chop rice cake and other delicious local delicacies.
Shop here for: Food in all its forms!
For all things electronic, look no further than Shanghai’s famous Cybermart, stocked full of every gizmo, gadget and game imaginable.
Here you will find outlets for a range of Chinese and international technology brands, including Apple, IBM, NEC, Canon and Sony.
It’s enough to satisfy the palette of even the most discerning tech-enthusiast.
As well as being a great place to go computer crazy, Cybermart also hosts a range of phone/computer repair stalls.
Perhaps it’s time to get that cracked iPad screen fixed once and for all!
Shop here for: Technology and electronics
Shanghai Yatai Clothing and Gifts Market
An Asian shopping experience in its purest form, the Shanghai Yatai Clothing and Gift Market is the perfect place to pick up cheap goodies.
Located underground near the famed Science and Technology Museum, the Yatai Clothing and Gifts Market is awash with handbags, sunglasses, wallets and watches, making it the go-to place for presents.
Bring your best bargaining shoes and don’t ever pay more than 30% of the original asking price.
Shop here for: Souvenirs
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.