Shanghai is known for many things; from its history as a colonial hub converted into the illustrious center of communist China, to the iconic skyscrapers of Pudong and ancient gardens of Yu Yuan. Shanghai has much to offer to any traveler, whether interested in history, fashion, business, shopping, culture or food. Here are the top ten things to do in Shanghai, and how to do them well.
For a fun glimpse into the Shanghai government’s plans for the city’s future, check out the Shanghai Urban Planning Exhibition Hall, which shows the past, present and future of Shanghai in pictures, video, architectural plans and even a model of Shanghai that takes up the entire fourth floor!
For a blast to the past, visit Yu Gardens, Shanghai’s best souvenir shopping location. This ancient-style area was once the central focal point of the city for shopping, public executions, political speeches, opera and more.
The Oriental Pearl TV Tower in Pudong is the most iconic building in the city, and its lights shoot into the sky nightly to awe pedestrians along the Bund. A visit to the tower offers the chance for food, entertainment, and even lodging.
The Disc Go-Karting Club is literally the most unsafe but crazily fun activity in the city, and daredevils flock from across the nation to try their hand at drinking an driving.
SuZhou is a beautiful city close to Shanghai known for its decadent gardens full of relaxing locals, pagodas, shaped shrubs and serene ponds. For a stunning way to relax and find fresh air outside Shanghai, SuZhou is the best destination.
If you are a shopaholic, then the Grand Gateway Mall is your utopia. From Prada to Dior and down the marble isle to Burberry, you’ll find only the best at this Shanghai shopping favorite.
For a relaxing stroll or cultural people watching, Renmin Park is a great place to go on weekends to soak in the Shanghai flavor. Every city in China has a Renmin Park, but only Shanghai’s has several renowned structures embedded in and around the park, making it a lovely place to loiter as well as a perfect place to see the city from the inside out.
A Huangpu River Cruise is another great way to see the city. From the Huangpu River you can see new Pudong, with its dizzy skyscrapers on one side, and old Shanghai on the other, with the historical buildings along the Bund.
To really experience China, you have to visit during some of the larger festivals. The Tomb Sweeping Festival is a festival of remembrance for lost ancestors. Family members migrate home to pray to their ancestors, sweep their tombs and visit cultural museums about past wars or other tragedies wherein their loved ones died. A visit to Shanghai during this event gives a lasting look into the Chinese religion of ancestor veneration as well as a glimpse of the warmhearted nature of Chinese family units.
A more uplifting festival, perhaps, is the Shanghai Tourism Festival to which highlights all the best things for a visitor to do in Shanghai. Information abounds, as well as food, entertainment, transportation help and more.
For a full experience of Shanghai, make sure you hit these highlights, if so then you’ll be able to walk away from the city saying you really understand the city and its world-renowned vibe.