Things To Do In Shanghai

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Taking a look at Shanghai's ultra-advanced horizon, it’s not difficult to overlook how rich the city's past is. Get a taste of the customary Chinese culture at an enterprising bazaar brimming with extraordinary, teas, walk around the old hutongs or simply stuff yourself with the Oriental-style soup dumplings more commonly known as xiao long bao.

Things To Do in Shanghai

Shanghai has a mix of modern technology loaded with shops, eateries, temples, gardens, towers, and beautiful restaurants tucked neatly in one area. Some might be difficult to discover but are all worth the effort.


When To Go:

The best time to see Shanghai is during the Chinese New Year celebration when the streets get decorated with moving dragons throughout the road like fireflies with lit lanterns. Shang hai is usually full of festive and colorful activities during Chinese New Yer which happens within the first week of February. The Spring Season from March to May is also an ideal time to visit Shanghai because during these months when the flowers are in full bloom, the weather is good and makes the city more charming and attractive.

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Things To Do in Shanghai

Here are the top things to do when in the city of Shanghai.


The Bund (Wai Tan)

The Bund (Wai Tan) is a nice promenade overlooking the Pudong district which can be crossed by a ferry boat ride. It is the most historic and fascinating part of Shanghai.  It also has a number of historic buildings designed in the European-style. You need to observe them in their majesty as it is very beautiful, both day and night, when the lights give the play of shadows making it even more striking. The Bund is the Shanghai anchored in the past and it's easy to cast a glance beyond the river to see the modern part of the city, where the neon lights of the skyscrapers of Pudong seem aliens landed on the grounds of Shanghai.

Wai Tan

The sight of the skyscrapers that can be seen is amazing. At night, the spectacle of the illuminated skyscrapers is reminiscent of the film Blade Runner, and it is certainly more impressive than by day. At 22.00, the sound of the bell signifies that the lights must go down and the marvelous show ends. The most notable building is undoubtedly the modern TV Tower (490 m, the second tallest tower in Asia), oddly shaped, which houses a revolving restaurant on the top floor where you can enjoy a wonderful view.


Shanghai World Financial Center

In Shanghai, the skyline is filled with many skyscrapers that are all interesting, but the Shanghai World Financial Center is a special attraction. Apparently, the magic number is set to 100. Yes, it is the one hundredth floor that offers the highest observation deck in the building.  In good weather, the visibility and the views are great. All the photos turn gorgeous. The equipment and services are commendable and really captures the qualities of a top tourist attraction of the capital city. When buying tickets, be sure to take to the top at the view from the same 97 floors. Tickets are not cheap though (150 Yuan, seniors over 60, students and children under 23 are on sale), but it's worth it.

Shanghai World Financial Center

You can walk toward the elevator, stop and look at the model of Shanghai at different times of the day and night with very colorful and visual picture. Then check out the brief information about Shanghai and armed with this knowledge, take a mini-trip into space on a super-high-speed elevator. View from 101 floors (450 meters) is wonderful and glorious. Downstairs you can see so many small houses, cars, and small people that you cannot almost recognize. Its high-speed lift in seconds and takes you to the unprecedented heights and in front of you is the great view of the city and the TV tower called the "Oriental Pearl". On bad weather conditions this attraction is kept closed.


Shanghai Circus World            

Chinese circus bears no resemblance to other amusement groups as there are no animals, clowns and magicians used. But in the art of Chinese, acrobatics made impressive heights. Artists, age 12-23 years, amaze the audience with their extraordinary human dexterity skills and tricks. A lack of insurance makes you watch the entire show with bated breath.

Shanghai Circus World

That is why the Chinese circus is considered the most dangerous act in the world. At the Shanghai Circus World, one of the interesting highlights of the show is the acrobats segment about the antique vase, which weighs about 5 kgs and highly valued. The artists throw her, roll, twist, and throw this precious vase without letting it fall from their bare hands. Generally, follow all their movements without taking your eyes off them. Another act that is worth watching is the traditional performance of the girls with the rotating platter. The other breathtaking performance is the risky stunt of the motorcyclist in a bowl. It’s almost unbelievable, but in the end they turned out to be as much as 11 motorcycles in one bowl.

Shanghai Circus World

Scary looking but one really exciting show that will have your eyes focused on what they are performing onstage.  Seeing everlasting fabric stories, artists appear on stage as members of one big play, houses, streets, forests unfold before your eyes is palpable and impalpable the same time. It is a fascinating spectacle that never fails to impress everyone, children, teenagers and adults.


Shanghai Museum (Shanghai Bowuguan)

If you do not know which museum to visit in Shanghai (since there are plenty of them), highly recommended and the most deserving of all is the Shanghai Bowuguan. It is located in the central Renmin Square without any admission fees. It is advisable to go from early morning to avoid queues and have time to assimilate the sight of all the treasures. Ming vases, furniture and furnishings of the Qing Dynasty, the traditional clothes of ethnic minorities, it is impossible not to be enchanted by the splendor of the millennial Chinese culture. After an overdose of skyscrapers and shopping malls, you will feel the need to see he little history of this great nation that you can find only here in Shanghai.

Shanghai Bowuguan

The museum concentrates on the history of Chinese civilization and the need to educate every guest how important their ancient culture and ethnicity is. The entire complex, as well as the unique architecture, deserves a thorough visit. They have collected here extraordinary treasures of Chinese art. From ancient bronzes to ceramics, jades from the manuscripts, from large sculptures of Buddhism to the thumbnail page valuable, calligraphy and national costumes. It is a combination of Chinese ancient civilization on four exhibition levels. For lovers of Chinese culture, this place is a must.


Riverside Promenade (Bingjiang Da Dao)

One of the main things to do in Shanghai is precisely this beautiful Riverside Promenade (Bingjiang Da Dao) which runs through the city. The best time to visit is in the evening to see a landscape that is more characterized with illuminated skyscrapers. The walk along the river with scenic views, such as the television tower and local prestige gives an impression that the city is still growing, not to mention the typical "Pagodas" that stood firm on authentic water gardens. The most beautiful part of the walk is to the North, where you can admire in a row the colossal statue of Mao Tse-Tung, a wonderful memorial that emerges from a forest of flowering plants.

Bingjiang Da Dao

The shrine is also dedicated to the heroes of the people surrounded by vast carpets of flowers, and finally the huge terrace overlooking the confluence of Suzhou Creek with the Huangpu River, with the view of the marina and with the best possible view of Pudong. If there is a place that deserves the name of the viewpoint, this is it. Indeed, on this terrace it is easy to find film crews busy preparing reportage on fashion, newlyweds who are doing the photo shoot remember the background of skyscrapers and hordes of visitors who click frantically with their cell phone and their digital camera.


Shanghai Hongqiao Railway Station

Hongqiao is both a railway station and airport. Both these buildings are a single entity. From the Shanghai Hongqiao Railway Station you can go by train or fly to any destination in China. High-speed trains arrive directly to the closed top of the station building. Everything here is very modern and comfortable. You will be impressed by its size and its clean and well maintained surroundings. The new train speed runs up to350 kilometers per hour. Generally, since Shanghai is hugely populated, it is advisable to always do everything with a margin as big enough space for your gear and a lot of queues. This transport system is very informative and everything is done to ensure that people quickly get on the train and leave the station.

Shanghai Hongqiao Railway Station

It is located on the edge of town with a couple of subway stops at the zoo. If you have not bought a ticket in advance, then it is necessary to arrive at least half an hour before departure. Selling is done in only one place in the order of 10 banks, but it is not so fast. After that, (or better yet queue) search your way to the waiting room, where further examination of baggage and body frisking occurs and be guided by your way - right-to-left in a huge hall towards the overhanging platforms. The gates usually open in 10 minutes before the train leaves, so do not relax too much. In the waiting room, you can eat buffets or shop in the stores.


Old French Concession

The Old French Concession is a city within a city and the only European area in Shanghai, China. The restaurants and cafes completely Europeanized with lots of cosmopolitan crowd in the street that makes you feel you are not in China. It is one of the old places dating back its inception from the 19th – 20th century and showing  one of the best foreign communities of Shanghai. The whole place is designated for merchants from France. It is a fun place to walk, hike, explore the houses and appreciate the old architecture.

Old French Concession

Here you can find anything, as there is a wide variety of bars, cafes, restaurants, vintage shops and houses with a long history. Prepare for a walk through the old town, carefully read the brochure and learn the routes, so you will not miss something interesting to see what you have planned to see on this trip. The calm atmosphere is all cozy like home and very different form the row of the modern buildings and maple trees on the road. In the evening, the small alleys of the old houses of the French legation premises are filled with lights and people who attend them. These small houses two / three-storey high-rise buildings gets surrounded by a thousand lights that seem a haven of peace away from the hustle of modernity.


Garden of Contentment (Yugarden)


The Garden of Contentment is located in the Old City of Nanshi that includes two or three dozen halls and pavilions many of which are on the water. By area, the garden is not very big, but you can wander around and an hour or two and discover more interesting features (rocky cliffs, flowers, plants, old trees, paved pathways and family areas). You will see lots of greenery, and compelling architectural solutions. Despite the huge crowd turnout on weekends, the place remains a quiet and peaceful place. Delight in the spectacle of nature where you can rest your eye on such beauty. All the more surprising is the walk in the garden, knowing that beyond it stands the concrete jungle and skyscrapers. The garden is stunningly beautiful.


Oriental Pearl Tower (Dongfang Mingzhu)

One of the top things to do in Shanghai is to climb all the way up to the Oriental Pearl Tower (Dongfang Mingzhu). The upper levels deliver high-speed lift, which shows how high you are.

Dongfang Mingzhu

It can rise to different levels (ticket price depends on the level - the lower, upper and cabin space). There is a revolving restaurant on top of the field. The ideal time to visit is late in the afternoon, when it starts to get dark, to have a chance to look at the city even in daylight and as the sun sets making the visit to this imposing tower an unforgettable experience.


Tian Zi Fang

The Tian Zi Fang is a nice place to spend an evening to enjoy an interesting walk and fine dining.  In addition to numerous shops there are many exquisite Chinese restaurants and cafes that can be found with good ambience and acceptable prices. But the most valuable thing here - it's the atmosphere; very nice walkways and despite the large number of people, it does not appear like a tourist spot.

Tian Zi Fang

Separately recommended is a shop with souvenirs of leather (notebooks, belts and purses) - qualitatively and for every taste, that you can buy as gift for friends back home. In winter, the shops here prepare fragrant mulled wine, and in summer entertaining magicians can be found in every corner. It is not very cheap, but it is the best place for those seeking souvenirs and crafts from Shanghai.


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