10 Things to Do in Shanghai

The cityscape of Shanghai.
The cityscape of Shanghai.

Very few cities in the world evoke the amount of history, glamour, mystique and exotic promise as does Shanghai. Shanghai is one of the world’s few cities with rich cultural and commercial history that is worth taking note of. It is the largest city in China and the main financial hub not only in the country but also in Asia. Shanghai’s multicultural flair endows it with glamour. There, one can find the perfect mix of cultures, modern, traditional, western, and eastern. From the architectural landmarks lining the Old Town to the leafy backstreet of the former French Concession, Shanghai is a city that is begging for your wandering. Here are some of the things you can do in Shanghai.

10. Huangpu River Cruise

When visiting Shanghai, you should never miss a cruise tour on the Huangpu River. It is the perfect way to have a view of the city’s classical skyline of colonial architecture and modern skyscrapers along the river. The Huangpu River is the largest river passing through the city and is honored as the mother river of Shanghai. It snakes its way through the city and divides Pudong and Puxi to the east and west respectively. There are many cruise options to choose from depending on the capacity, size, and amenities. The cruise starts at the wharf of the Bund and heads towards either the Yangpu Bridge or the Wusongkou International Cruise Terminal. You can enjoy the cruise at any time of the day or night.

9. Happy Valley of Shanghai

If you are traveling to Shanghai with children, then Happy Valley will be the perfect destination for you. The amusement park is notable for its rides and boasts of the biggest one of its kind in China. The landscaping of the park makes it feel more natural with gardens, trees, and ponds. Happy Valley is composed of seven major areas including Sunshine Harbor, Happy Times, Gold Mine Town, Happy Ocean, and the Shanghai Bund. There are over 100 attractions and 12 recreational distractions at the park. As the children enjoy the rides you can spend time among the garden, enjoy a water ride, or treat yourself to a movie at the OCT Grand Theater.

8. Food tour

Shanghai is the best place to treat your appetite to some of the best Chinese delicacies. A food tour is one of the most exciting activities you can enjoy while in Shanghai. If you want to enjoy the traditional Chinese food during a culinary tour then make your way down the Yunnan Road. There are several restaurants that are local favorites. These local restaurants offer Shanghainese dishes such as steamed buns and parched chicken. If you only have an evening to spare, you can enjoy Shanghai street food night tour of the city by strolling around the Shouning Lu and the classic Shanghainese neighborhood. The food streets specialize in different delectable dishes such as stewed crawfish and late night wontons.

7. Yu Garden

Yuyuan Garden is the only existing Ming Dynasty garden in Shanghai today. The revered garden displays a rich history not only of the Bund but also Shanghai at large spanning over 400 years. The garden offers a wide range of attractions that suits people of all age groups. You will enjoy the six beautiful areas of the garden including Sansui Hall, Wanhua Chamber, Huijig Hall, and the Inner Garden among others. The highlights of the garden that are likely to leave you wanting more are the classical Chinese architecture, exquisite sculpture, and the busy Yuyuan Bazaar. When visiting Yu Garden, ensure you carry your camera because the ancient architecture is worth capturing.

6. Shanghai Propaganda Poster Art Centre

Shanghai Propaganda Poster Art Centre is a must visit for new Shanghai residents or out-of-towners. The center has a vast collection of over 5,000 posters most of which were rescued from the recycling centers and rubbish bins. Some of the collections span from the early days of the founding of the People’s Republic of China in the late 1940s to the end of Cultural Revolution in the late 1970s. Shanghai Propaganda Poster Art Centre gives insight into the country’s history and is absolutely fascinating and worth more than the entrance fee. Visitors can also acquire some of the original posters on display for a fee.

5. Day trip to Huangzhou

Hangzhou is often lauded as a paradise on earth and is now also famous for its West Lake Landscape that has been listed as world cultural heritage. The landscape is rich in cultural and historical sites making Hangzhou one of the liveliest backyard gardens for Shanghai. If you are a leisure or business traveler, a day trip to Hangzhou should be top of your to-do list. There are several convenient ways to make your trip to Hangzhou memorable. An hour speed train from Shanghai and a 15-minutes subway ride will take you through the scenic West Lake Landscape. There are over 50 daily high-speed trains that serve the route throughout the day. Be sure to sit next to the window to enjoy your trip.

4. French Concession

The French Concession is an area that was once designated for the French. Today, it is a busy shopping and dining spot for locals and tourists. The area consists of Luwan and Xuhui Districts. Xuhui is the home to Shanghai Stadium. The Old French Concession Streets is lined with pleasant trees and local Shanghainese bustle and are also the perfect place to find designer clothing. If you want to experience the European style park then you need to visit the Fuxing Park. The park has open space, garden, and restaurants. Other places of attraction at the French Concession include Longhua Temple and Longhua Martyrs’ Cemetery.

3. The Bund

The Bund is Shanghai’s picturesque waterfront where you will find the famous skyline photos. Although the Bund is a gateway to other destinations, the views from it are the only thing in the minds of most visitors. From the Bund, you can enjoy several magnificent skyscrapers in Shanghai including Oriental Pearl TV Tower, and World Financial Center across the Huangpu River, and other gorgeous European-style buildings and restaurants just behind you. The best time to visit the Bund is at night when the buildings are illuminated in different colors.

2. Shopping on Nanjing Road

If you want to experience the bustling Chinese commerce where traders from all walks of life display their products then Shopping on Nanjing Road is the best way. Nanjing Road can be compared to the New York’s Fifth Avenue. Nanjing is about six miles long and boasts of hundreds of retailers from all over the world in addition to the local shops. You will have to power your way through thousands of shoppers who clog the street on a regular basis. During the day, you will admire the magnificent architecture rich in Shanghai’s history while at night you will marvel at the illuminated logos and brand names that line the street.

1. Shanghai Acrobatic Troupe

Shanghai Center is a popular venue for tourists because it offers professional and varied performance. If you want to enjoy the famous Shanghai Acrobatic troupe then the center should be your next stop. The troupe offers live performance including acrobatics, dances, and music that makes an evening in Shanghai one to look forward to. The troupe offers art-tight choreographed movements that have been endlessly rehearsed. Shanghai acrobatic troupe has a daily. The troupe is the most experienced acrobatic group in China and has managed to retain the traditional flavor through captivating stories while presenting some of the modern and extreme acrobatic feats. The acrobatic shows by the group last about one hour.


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