Shanghai, China’s biggest city, has many amazing sightseeing opportunities. Although Shanghai is home to more than 24,000,000 people, it also has many quieter historical districts and tourist spots. The city is one of the most important container ports globally, thanks to its location at the mouth Yangtze River. It also offers opportunities for exploring the Chinese coast and its inland waters by water.
You can visit the city’s top-rated museums and galleries, such as the Shanghai Museum or the China Art Museum. There are also beautiful parks and gardens to explore. Shopping is possible in the New World pedestrian area, which has many luxury boutiques and galleries. It’s also fun to explore the many beautiful old temples and traditional Pagodas in the city.
To help you plan your visit to China’s most exciting city, be sure to read through our list of the top attractions and things to do in Shanghai.
1. Take a Stroll along Shanghai’s Promenade: The Bund
The Zhongshan Lu, also known as Bund (Waitan) in Anglo-Indian, is a beautiful promenade that runs along the Huangpujiang River’s west bank. Tourists love it because the area was once home to the International Settlement. It is evident in the old English and French buildings now used as offices, shops, restaurants, and galleries.
It’s always bustling and a great place to take a walk day or night. Take in 52 of the Bund’s unique buildings. They are all constructed in different styles, including Gothic, Romanesque, Baroque, Neoclassical, and Renaissance. It is home to some of the most important collections of Art Deco architecture in the world.
From south to north, you will see the prominent buildings: the former headquarters of the Hong Kong & Shanghai Banking Corporation, with its magnificent dome, and the harbor customs office with the bell tower and the Bank of China.
Huangpu ParkThe Bund’s north end is home to the renowned, which was established in 1886. It is the oldest park in the country. It is a pleasant spot to visit and houses an informative museum about The Bund’s past. You can also take a boat tour around the Bund and the confluences of the Yangtze and Huangpujiang rivers from the Bund.
2. Visit Shanghai’s Oldest Green Space: Yu Garden
The magnificent Yu Garden (Yu Yuan) is located northeast of the old city and was established in 1559. This vast green space, also known as the Garden of Happiness or the Garden of Happiness, covers more than 20,000 square meters and comprises an outer and inner garden.
The oldest section is located at outer GardenThe park’s main hall Sansui Tang was built in 1820. The impressive structure is noted for its beautiful roof ornaments, bas-reliefs, and window openings. It also has dragon-adorned walls.
The most well-known building is the all of SpringThis is where the Company of the Little Swords (Xiaodao Hui) had its headquarters from 1853 to 1855 when Shanghai was under its control. The artificial rocks found in this garden area are of great historical significance, and they are the only works of Zhang Nanyang, the master garden designer.
The smaller, newer version is more affordableInner garden is worth visiting. It dates back to 1709. It features many characteristics of a classic Chinese writer’s garden, including small pavilions, ornamental stones, and miniature mountain ranges. There are also dividing walls and small lakes.
3. See the Priceless Statues of the Jade Buddha Temple
The beautiful Jade Buddha Temple is located in Shanghai’s Anyuan Lu District. It houses two Shakyamuni statues that Huigen, a monk from Burma, brought with him. This building was built to replace an 1882 temple. It is divided into two courtyards and three halls.
The magnificent Hall of Kings of Heaven (Tian Wang Dian) is the most striking structure. It’s notable for its four statues of the heavenly kings as well as two Shakyamuni statues. One of these statues, made from white jade, is nearly two meters tall. It is located in the Wentang Main Hall, where a Buddhist manuscript can also be found. The smaller statue is in the west courtyard.
The charming Hall of the Great Hero, also known as Daxiong Baodian, is worth a visit. It houses 18 Luohan figures and the Buddhas of the Three Ages. The stunning Jing’an Temple is another important Buddhist site in Shanghai. It’s located on Nanjing West Road.
4. Learn about Chinese Culture at the Shanghai Museum
The Shanghai Museum was established in 1952 and is China’s foremost museum for classical Chinese art. The museum is housed in a modern building, which is a work of architecture. Its unique square top and base reflect traditional Chinese ideas of the Earth. Four floors display impressive bronzes and ceramics from prehistoric cultures through the 19th century.
The collection also includes large collections of art by ethnic minorities, ink drawings and calligraphy, seals, and large stamps supplies. You will also find large groups of jade and coins, as well as furnishings from the Ming-Qing period (1368-1912), and a well-stocked gift store.
5. Shop ‘Til You Drop on Nanjing Road
Nanjing Road (Nanjing Lu) is Shanghai’s principal shopping street. It was built in the second half 19th century and ran several miles west from the Zhongshan Lu. You’ll find almost every type of consumer product along this pedestrian-friendly street. There are street vendors selling souvenirs with Chinese themes and expensive boutiques selling traditional crafts and arts. You will also find large department stores and shopping malls like the famous Yibai or Jubail.
It is also home to many restaurants, cinemas, and a hub of street performers. It is a great place to visit on major holidays like Chinese New Year when the street becomes the focal point of festivities and fireworks.
Another area for shopping for checking out is Xintiandi. This pedestrian zone retains some aspects of the old city’s atmosphere.