Top 10 Things to Do in Shanghai

Shanghai, China’s bustling metropolis, is a potpourri of the oriental eastern and the modern western cultures and a hub for its financial and sea trade activities. If you happen to be in China, take some time off to explore the country’s financial, economic, and trade capital with a taste of its history and culture blended flawlessly into its landscape. Here is a short list of things to do in Shanghai guide for you.

The Bund

A trip to Shanghai is incomplete without a stroll along its world-famous promenade. From the Shanghai Pacific Insurance Building in the North to the Oriental Pearl TV Tower in the South, one can explore 52 buildings styled in Gothic, Baroque, Renaissance, Classicism and Romanesque architectures. Modern-day trade and business centers punctuate the Bund’s skyline. Sip wine and dine in one of its finest restaurants with a view of its sprawling acropolis shining above the Huangpu River. Visit one of its many exhibitions, shop your heart out, tour the Huangpu River, or simply bask in the serenity of the evening skies as you watch the world pass by.


Shanghai Disneyland

The Shanghai Disneyland Park strengthened Asia’s hold on the amusement park chain, adding two more to its list in Hong Kong and Tokyo. Sprawling over 116 hectares, Shanghai’s Shendi Group and the Walt Disney Company have come together to create a Disney themed amusement park, exclusively bearing the Chinese cultural elements in mind. Tour the world’s newest Disneyland theme park as you step through the welcoming Mickey Avenue, the Chinese Zodiac representation at the Gardens of Imagination, the Fantasyland castles, the Treasure Cove harbor, the mysterious Adventure Isle, and the futuristic Tomorrowland.


Shanghai Maglev Train

Shanghai is known for its fast-paced lifestyle, and nothing represents it better than its Magnetic Levitation train or simply the Shanghai Maglev, waiting to carry you to the city as you land at the Pudong International Airport. The world’s fastest commercially operating train spans a distance of 430 km or 267 miles from the Shanghai International Airport to the Shanghai Metro located in the central Pudong in a matter of 8 minutes. From here, tourists’ can further interchange to the Shanghai metro to explore the city ahead. This train was exclusively designed keeping tourist convenience in mind, and so it is a must visit on everyone’s list of what to do in Shanghai.

Fuxing Park

Experience a beautiful matrimony between the French and the Chinese design at the Fuxing Park. Dating back to the French Concession period of the early 1900s, the Fuxing Park offers a perfect respite from the fast-paced city rush. Stroll through the park as you marvel at the 140 different species of trees scattered in and about. Take in the whiff of many flowers at the Lotus Pond, the China Rose Garden, or the Mattress Flower Bed. Dine at the popular Park 97 bar. Go bubble romping at the pond. Or simply, sit in the company of someone or on your own, as you peacefully watch the locals engrossed going about their de-stressing activities.

Shanghai Circus World

It doesn’t matter if you get the tickets to the first row or the last. If you happen to be in Shanghai, China’s No.1 Circus World invites you to be its guest in its 1500 seated indoor circus arena. The Shanghai Circus World is shaped like an enchanting golden dome from the outside. The inside of it is completely equipped with modern functionalities and advanced controlling devices stages – a show so marvelous that it is bound to leave you mesmerized. Although the world-famous ERA – Intersection of Time acrobatic show is its main attraction, the lesser known Happy Circus is also an enthralling watch and both the shows call for some spectacular attractions.


Shanghai holds many awe-inspiring wonders in its 1.56-acre sprawling expanse, and the ancient water-town of Zujiajiao is one of them. This town with a legacy of more than 1700 years located in Shanghai’s Qingpu District is connected by a network of 36 ancient bridges built in stone, wood, and marble. Needless to say, winding through its water alleys requires you to step into a boat or a gondola. Marvel at its picturesque beauty as you glide through the pearl stream. Shop for souvenirs, bask in the town’s daily activities, enjoy the company of the locals. Go for a walk in one of its many gardens built during the Qing and the Ming dynasties, and eat your heart out in one of its finest restaurants in China’s very own Venice.


Shanghai Museum

The sheer number of things to do in Shanghai can overwhelm you. Thankfully, you need to look no further than the Shanghai Museum in the People’s Square to absorb almost all of China’s centuries-old legacy. The Shanghai Museum houses eleven galleries and three exhibition halls spanning over four floors with over 120,000 symbols of Chinese history and art in ceramics, bronze, sculptures, coins, paintings, calligraphy, furniture, jade, seals, minority art, and foreign art. The only complaint that you’ll have is that you were not able to see all of it so make sure you set out early and have a lot of time on your hands or you pick your sections and explore the lot.


Gongquing Forest Park

The colorfully green Gongquing Forest Park is a place that has something for people of all ages. Divided into two halves, the western half of the park a theme park with rides and activities such as go-karting, the electronic toboggan ride, paintball, rock climbing, and the loop-the-loop roller coaster ride. The eastern half of the park is a more serene expanse meant to relish the forests’ flora and fauna, complete with a reflection pond, a cedar grove, and flower beds and gardens. For the more adventurous, specific areas are leased out for family activities, and you can also book an overnight stay in one of its many bungalows.

Longhua Temple

The Longhua Temple is a perfectly preserved landmark of Chinese history and one of the most prominent Shanghai attractions. Built in the ancient architectural Sangharama Five-Hall Style of the Chan School’s Song Dynasty Monastery, the Longhua temple begins with the Maitreya Hall, followed by the Heavenly King Hall with statues of the four kings, the Grand Hall of the Great Sage, the Three Sages Hall, and the Abbott’s Hall. Each of these halls contains Buddhist Statues, treasures, and samples of Buddhist scriptures. Also, there is the Bell Tower flanking it, with a 2 meters tall copper bell. This bell is the popular subject of a world-famous Evening Bell-Striking Ceremony on the New Year’s Eve. The Library houses artifacts of Buddhist ceremonial significance.

Nanjing Road

The Nanjing road is the shopper’s paradise of Shanghai. Located in the stark center of the city, it is one of the longest and the busiest shopping streets in the world. You can begin with the East Nanjing Road with the Central Market for electronics and digital media followed by a visit to the pedestrian mall featuring some of Shanghai’s oldest stores. It also has some good old cafes and restaurants for you to dine after you’ve satiated your heart with all the shopping. The West Nanjing Road begins from the People’s Park, and you can see the modern Shanghai rising here with a number of upmarket malls, shops, office buildings, and several five-star hotels. As we said, Shanghai has something for everyone.


If you’re coming with a lot of time to spare, be sure to check out all the above activities and some more. Try taking a biking tour around the city if possible, since it could help you traverse the town and also tick off places faster. If you happen to be one of the busier lots visiting only for business, you can cross them one-by-one off your list during your many visits. With the sheer number and variety of places to visit in Shanghai, just once is not enough to savor all of its offerings.

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