10 Reasons to Visit Shanghai

1. Shanghai Museum

Established in 1952, the museum underwent a major renovation and relocation in 1996, resulting in a world-class institution that attracts millions of visitors annually. The museum’s architecture itself is a work of art, designed in the shape of an ancient bronze cooking vessel called a ding. Its circular base and square top symbolize the harmony between heaven and earth in Chinese cosmology. Inside the museum, visitors are treated to an extensive collection of over 120,000 artifacts spanning 5,000 years of Chinese history. The exhibits are divided into various categories, including ceramics, calligraphy, painting, jade, furniture, coins, and minority nationalities’ art. Each section provides a glimpse into the unique artistic achievements of China’s past. The Ceramics Gallery boasts a stunning collection of exquisite pottery, porcelain, and ceramic wares, showcasing the artistic and technical advancements achieved during different dynastic periods. From delicate Song Dynasty celadon to vibrant Ming Dynasty blue-and-white porcelain, the collection highlights the craftsmanship and aesthetics of Chinese ceramics. The  Painting and Calligraphy Gallery showcases ancient scrolls, handscrolls, and hanging scrolls adorned with intricate ink brushwork and poetic inscriptions. The pieces reflect China’s diverse artistic styles and the mastery of renowned artists from different periods.

The Jade Gallery houses a remarkable collection of jade artifacts, from intricately carved figurines and jewelry to ceremonial objects symbolizing wealth and power. Jade has been revered in Chinese culture for millennia, and the museum’s collection beautifully illustrates its significance in the country’s history.

One of the most famous and prized artifacts in the museum is the “Shanghai Museum’s Collection of Ancient Chinese Bronze.” This impressive collection includes intricately cast vessels, ritual implements, and ancient bells, providing insights into the religious, social, and cultural aspects of ancient China. 

2. Jing’an Temple

Jing’an Temple, with its golden rooftops and crimson pillars, is a prominent Buddhist temple that dates back to the Three Kingdoms period (around 247 AD). The temple underwent several renovations, and its current structure reflects a harmonious blend of ancient and modern architectural styles. Inside the temple, visitors will find a tranquil atmosphere, adorned with intricate statues and Buddhist relics. The main highlight is the Jade Buddha Hall, which houses two exquisite white jade Buddha statues, brought from Myanmar in the late 19th century.

3. Shanghai Circus World

For an awe-inspiring performance, Shanghai Circus World is the place to be. The renowned Shanghai Acrobatics Troupe showcases a mesmerizing blend of acrobatics, aerial acts, contortion, and martial arts. The incredible feats of strength, flexibility, and coordination leave the audience amazed and thrilled. The state-of-the-art theater provides an immersive experience with its advanced audiovisual effects and captivating storytelling. Visitors are taken on a journey through Chinese culture, history, and mythology, making Shanghai Circus World a memorable and culturally enriching experience.

4. Shanghai Disney Resort

Shanghai Disney Resort is a magical world of entertainment and imagination. As Disney’s first resort in mainland China, it offers two main attractions: Shanghai Disneyland and Disneytown. Shanghai Disneyland boasts six themed lands, including Adventure Isle, Tomorrowland, and Fantasyland, all featuring beloved Disney characters and thrilling rides like TRON Lightcycle Power Run and Pirates of the Caribbean: Battle for the Sunken Treasure. Disneytown is a vibrant dining, shopping, and entertainment district with a variety of restaurants, retail stores, and live performances. The resort provides visitors of all ages with an enchanting experience filled with cherished memories and the spirit of Disney magic.

5. Zhujiajiao Water Town

Escape the urban environment and step into the charming world of Zhujiajiao, an ancient water town located just outside Shanghai. Known as the “Venice of the East,” Zhujiajiao is adorned with picturesque canals, stone bridges, and well-preserved Ming and Qing Dynasty architecture. Visitors can take a leisurely boat ride along the canals to admire the traditional buildings that line the waterways. The town is also home to quaint shops selling local crafts and delicious snacks. Exploring Zhujiajiao offers a glimpse into China’s rich history and cultural heritage.

6. Cruise on Huangpu River

A cruise on the Huangpu River is a must-do experience when visiting Shanghai. The river divides the city into two parts: Puxi (west of the river) and Pudong (east of the river). As you glide along the river, you’ll witness the stunning contrast between the historic architecture of Puxi and the futuristic skyline of Pudong. The cruise offers breathtaking views of iconic landmarks such as the Oriental Pearl Tower, Jin Mao Tower, and Shanghai Tower, all beautifully illuminated at night. The journey provides a unique perspective of Shanghai’s evolution from a traditional Chinese city to a global metropolis.

7. Longhua Temple and Pagoda

Longhua Temple, with a history spanning over 1,700 years, is one of the most significant Buddhist sites in Shanghai. The temple complex includes the towering Longhua Pagoda, an architectural marvel with seven stories. Climbing to the top rewards visitors with panoramic views of the temple grounds and surrounding area. The temple’s serene ambiance, ancient statues, and beautiful gardens offer a peaceful escape from the city’s hustle and bustle. Visitors can also experience traditional Buddhist rituals, such as lighting incense and participating in prayer ceremonies.

8. Yu Garden

Yu Garden, also known as Yuyuan Garden, is a classical Chinese garden that transports visitors to the elegance of ancient China. Built during the Ming Dynasty in the 16th century, the garden features meticulously designed pavilions, rockeries, bridges, and ponds, representing traditional Chinese landscaping principles. The Grand Rockery, a centerpiece of the garden, offers an excellent vantage point to admire the surrounding beauty. Adjacent to the garden is the bustling Yuyuan Bazaar, where visitors can shop for souvenirs, handicrafts, and enjoy traditional snacks. Yu Garden provides a serene and picturesque retreat amidst the vibrant city of Shanghai.

9. The Bund

The Bund is the most iconic and symbolic landmark of Shanghai, drawing millions of visitors each year. This historic waterfront area is lined with majestic colonial-era buildings, including the Peace Hotel and the Customs House. A leisurely walk along the promenade offers a glimpse into Shanghai’s past as a major international trading port. At night, the buildings on the Bund light up, creating a dazzling display of colors and reflections on the Huangpu River. Across the river, the futuristic skyline of Lujiazui provides a stark contrast, symbolizing the city’s rapid modernization.

10. French Concession

The French Concession is a captivating neighborhood in Shanghai that exudes a nostalgic charm. During the colonial era, it was a designated French settlement, and today, its tree-lined streets, art deco buildings, and charming cafes reflect its historical significance. The area is a paradise for leisurely strolls, boutique shopping, and culinary exploration. Huaihai Road and Tianzifang are popular spots, offering a delightful mix of boutiques, galleries, and trendy eateries. The French Concession is a perfect blend of past and present, creating an enchanting atmosphere for locals and visitors alike.

About Shanghai

Shanghai has always played an important part in global history. Its strategic position as a port location made Shanghai a magnet for conquering foreign armies and it has seen its fair share of international treaties.
The Shanghai Tower, the tallest in the entire country at 623 m, and with its dramatic twisty shape, is a symbol of this newfound wealth. Its 118th floor observation deck is not for the faint-hearted. Shanghai, however, doesn’t hide its traditional roots. The Jade Buddha Temple, built at the beginning of the 20th century, is home to the pure jade Buddha and several stunning temples.
The neoclassical and art deco styles of Shanghai’s concession area can best be appreciated at the Bund. Visit the Bund in the evening for some of the most spectacular views of the city. Those seeking authentic Chinese wares and bargains not usually found in the city’s mega-malls, should head to Tianzi’fang. Its burrows of stalls and studios are perfect for treasure-hunting. The Yuyuan Gardens, with shaded areas, pools of fish-inhabited water and China’s most famous teahouse, the Mid Lake Pavilion, attract visitors and locals.

Shanghai Airport to City Center

The journey from Shanghai Airport to the city center is a convenient and efficient experience, offering travelers various transportation options to suit their preferences and budgets.

Pudong International Airport (PVG) is located about 30 kilometers east of Shanghai’s city center, while Hongqiao International Airport (SHA) is closer, approximately 13 kilometers west of the city center. Both airports provide excellent transportation connections to the city center.

Maglev Train: For a unique and rapid transit experience, travelers arriving at Pudong International Airport can take the Maglev Train. This high-speed magnetic levitation train reaches speeds of up to 430 km/h (267 mph) and connects the airport to Longyang Road Metro Station in about 7 minutes. From there, passengers can transfer to the metro system to reach various parts of the city.

Airport Express Metro Line 2: Both Pudong and Hongqiao airports are connected to Shanghai’s metro system. Passengers can take the Airport Express Line 2 directly from the airport to the city center. The journey from Pudong Airport to the city center takes approximately 40-50 minutes, while from Hongqiao Airport, it takes about 30 minutes.

Taxi: Taxis are readily available at both airports, providing a convenient door-to-door service to the city center. The taxi journey from Pudong Airport to the city center typically takes around 45-60 minutes, depending on traffic conditions. From Hongqiao Airport, the taxi ride takes about 20-30 minutes.

Airport Shuttle Bus: Shuttle buses operate between both airports and various locations in the city center. They are a more economical option for travelers who don’t mind a slightly longer travel time, as the buses may make multiple stops along their routes.

Private Transfers: For a more personalized and comfortable experience, travelers can opt for private transfer services. These services offer door-to-door transportation in private cars or vans, allowing for a hassle-free journey from the airport to hotels or specific destinations within the city center.

As China’s most prominent international gateway, Shanghai’s airports are well-connected, ensuring a smooth and seamless journey for visitors to the city. Whether you choose the futuristic Maglev Train, the efficient metro system, a convenient taxi, an economical shuttle bus, or a private transfer, arriving in the vibrant city center of Shanghai is just the beginning of an exciting and memorable experience in this dynamic metropolis.

    Public Transport in Shanghai

    Public transport in Shanghai is highly developed, efficient, and extensive, providing convenient options for locals and visitors alike. The city boasts an extensive metro network, with multiple lines covering most areas, making it easy to navigate and explore. Additionally, buses and taxis offer further accessibility, with comprehensive routes reaching even the most remote locations. Shanghai’s public transport is known for its punctuality and cleanliness, offering an affordable and eco-friendly means of transportation. The combination of metro, buses, and taxis makes it effortless for travelers to move around the city, experience its diverse attractions, and immerse themselves in the local culture.

    Shopping in Shanghai

    Shanghai’s shopping landscape caters to every taste, budget, and preference, making it a haven for shopaholics and souvenir hunters. Whether you’re seeking luxury brands in upscale malls, hunting for bargains in vibrant markets, or exploring unique local crafts in ancient towns, Shanghai’s shopping experiences are sure to leave you with fond memories and delightful treasures. Places where you can go shopping but not limited to are:

    1. Nanjing Road

    Nanjing Road is one of the most iconic shopping streets in Shanghai, attracting millions of visitors each year. Divided into two sections – Nanjing Road East and Nanjing Road West – it offers a mix of high-end shopping malls, department stores, specialty shops, and international brands. Nanjing Road East is a bustling pedestrian street, ideal for leisurely strolls and shopping sprees. On the other hand, Nanjing Road West caters to luxury shoppers, featuring upscale boutiques and designer stores. Aside from shopping, Nanjing Road also offers an array of dining options, making it a vibrant and dynamic area for both locals and tourists to indulge in retail therapy and culinary delights.

    2. Shanghai AP Xinyang Fashion & Gifts Market

    Located near Shanghai Railway Station, the AP Xinyang Fashion & Gifts Market is a treasure trove for budget shoppers. It comprises several floors with shops offering a wide range of products, including fashion accessories, clothing, jewelry, souvenirs, and gifts. Bargaining is expected, and the market is a haven for finding trendy and affordable fashion items, making it popular among young locals and tourists alike. With its lively atmosphere and diverse selection, this market is an excellent spot to shop for souvenirs, unique accessories, and stylish clothing without breaking the bank.

    3. Jing’an Kerry Centre

    Situated in the upscale Jing’an District, Jing’an Kerry Centre is a modern and luxurious shopping complex that caters to affluent shoppers. The mall features a curated selection of international and domestic luxury brands, premium lifestyle stores, and trendy boutiques. Alongside high-end fashion, visitors can explore gourmet dining options, entertainment facilities, and a chic rooftop garden offering stunning city views. Jing’an Kerry Centre creates a sophisticated shopping experience, providing an ideal setting for fashion enthusiasts and those seeking upscale products and services.

    4. Wujiang Road Food Street

    Wujiang Road Food Street is a gastronomic delight nestled in the heart of Shanghai. This vibrant street is a paradise for food lovers, offering a wide array of mouthwatering street food and local delicacies. From steamed buns and dumplings to Sichuan hotpot and bubble tea, there’s a myriad of flavors to explore. Amidst the culinary treats, visitors will find stalls selling fashion items, accessories, and souvenirs, making it a perfect place to indulge in delicious snacks and shop for unique trinkets.

    5. Qibao Ancient Town

    For a taste of traditional China, Qibao Ancient Town provides a charming setting with ancient architecture, picturesque canals, and lively markets. Strolling through the narrow alleys, visitors can shop for antiques, handicrafts, and traditional Chinese items. The town is famous for its Qibao Temple Fair, held in October, where visitors can witness traditional performances, sample local snacks, and immerse themselves in Chinese culture. Qibao Ancient Town is a delightful escape from the bustling city, offering a glimpse into China’s rich history and a chance to shop for unique souvenirs and mementos.

    6. Global Harbor

    As one of the largest shopping malls in Shanghai, Global Harbor is a shopping haven that caters to all tastes and preferences. The mall boasts a vast selection of shops, including international fashion brands, electronics stores, home decor outlets, and entertainment facilities. Global Harbor also houses a rooftop amusement park, offering thrilling rides and attractions for families and thrill-seekers. With its extensive array of shopping, dining, and entertainment options, Global Harbor promises a full day of fun and excitement for visitors of all ages.

    7. Hongqiao International Pearl City

    For those in search of exquisite jewelry and pearls, Hongqiao International Pearl City is a must-visit shopping destination. Located near Hongqiao Airport, this multi-level market offers an impressive variety of pearls, gemstones, and jewelry at competitive prices. Shoppers can browse through a wide range of designs and styles, from classic pearl necklaces to modern gemstone creations. The market also provides customization services, allowing customers to create unique and personalized jewelry pieces. Whether you’re looking for a special gift or a statement accessory, Hongqiao International Pearl City is the place to find elegant and timeless treasures.

    8. Xintiandi

    Xintiandi is a trendy and upscale district in Shanghai that blends history with contemporary culture. The area features a pedestrianized section with renovated traditional Shikumen houses that now house upscale boutiques, designer stores, art galleries, and trendy restaurants. It is a popular spot for young urbanites and tourists seeking a mix of shopping, dining, and cultural experiences. Xintiandi’s unique blend of old and new creates a stylish and vibrant atmosphere, attracting both locals and visitors looking for a chic and cosmopolitan ambiance.

    9. Huaihai Road

    Huaihai Road is another premier shopping destination in Shanghai, renowned for its upscale shopping scene. The street is lined with luxury boutiques, department stores, and flagship stores of international brands, making it a favorite among fashion-conscious shoppers. Huaihai Road is also home to modern shopping complexes, such as IAPM Mall and K11, offering an array of high-end fashion, lifestyle products, and dining options. The area’s elegant atmosphere, coupled with its wealth of fashion choices, ensures an enjoyable shopping experience for those seeking luxury and high-quality products.

    10. Shanghai Science and Technology Museum Metro Mall

    Located underground at the Shanghai Science and Technology Museum metro station, this shopping corridor is a paradise for tech enthusiasts. It houses a variety of electronics, gadgets, and tech-related products. The mall offers a wide selection of items, from smartphones and accessories to electronic appliances and computer gadgets. Tech-savvy shoppers can explore the latest trends and innovations in the world of electronics while conveniently accessing the metro system for transportation.

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