Shanghai, China is an ever-evolving city with so much to offer visitors. From its bustling nightlife, spectacular skyline, and vibrant arts and culture to its fascinating historical sites and delicious local cuisine, there’s no shortage of things to do in the amazing city. Read on for our top 10 list of the best things to do in Shanghai that you simply can’t miss!
Introduction to Shanghai, China
Shanghai, China is a bustling metropolis full of life and energy. It is a city that has something for everyone, whether you’re looking for a busy nightlife scene or peaceful days exploring historical landmarks.
As one of the most populous cities in the world, Shanghai is unsurprisingly multicultural and cosmopolitan. You’ll find yourself rubbing shoulders with people from all walks of life, giving the city an electric atmosphere.
There’s no shortage of things to do in Shanghai – in fact, you may find it hard to fit everything into one trip! To help you make the most of your time in this incredible city, we’ve put together a list of the best things to do in Shanghai that you can’t miss.
10 Best Things to Do in Shanghai
As one of the largest and most populous cities in the world, Shanghai is unsurprisingly packed with things to do. From historical sites and museums to shopping, dining, and nightlife, there’s something for everyone in this bustling metropolis.
To help you make the most of your time in Shanghai, we’ve compiled a list of the best things to do in the city. Whether you’re interested in exploring its rich history or experiencing its modern vibrancy, be sure to add these activities to your itinerary.
#1 Visit The Bund
One of the most iconic landmarks in Shanghai, The Bund is a must-visit for any first-time visitor. This popular promenade offers stunning views of the city skyline and Huangpu River, making it the perfect spot for a photo op or a leisurely stroll. Don’t miss out on checking out some of The Bund’s historic buildings, including the Shanghai Exchange Bank and Union Building.
#2 Stroll Through Yuyuan Garden
If you’re looking for a taste of traditional China, head to Yuyuan Garden. This classic Ming Dynasty garden is a serene oasis in the heart of Shanghai’s Old City district and features beautiful pavilions, ponds, bridges, and rockeries. Spend an afternoon meandering through its peaceful pathways and admiring its intricate landscaping.
#3 Oriental Pearl Tower
The Oriental Pearl Tower is one of Shanghai’s most iconic landmarks. Standing at 468 meters tall, it’s the second-tallest TV tower in the world. The tower features 15 observatory decks, with the highest deck sitting at 350 meters. From here, you’ll get stunning panoramic views of the cityscape. The tower also houses a hotel, a shopping mall, and a nightclub.
#4 Shanghai Museum
Of all the wonderful things to see and do in Shanghai, a visit to the Shanghai Museum should definitely be on your list! Housed in a beautifully designed building, the museum showcases an impressive collection of ancient Chinese art, ceramics, jade, bronzes, coins, calligraphy and much more. With so many incredible artifacts to see, you could easily spend a whole day exploring this fascinating museum.
#5 Nanjing Road Pedestrian Street
Nanjing Road Pedestrian Street is one of the most popular shopping areas in Shanghai. It is a long, historic street that is lined with shops and restaurants. There are also many street performers and vendors selling their wares. Nanjing Road is a great place to find souvenirs and gifts for friends and family back home.
#6 Disneyland Shanghai
Shanghai Disneyland is a theme park located in Pudong, Shanghai, China. The park opened on June 16, 2016. It is the first Disney park designed specifically for the Chinese market and the second international Disneyland after Tokyo Disneyland.
The park features six themed lands: Adventure Isle, Gardens of Imagination, Mickey Avenue, Tomorrowland, Treasure Cove and Fantasyland. Each land has its own unique attractions and experiences. For example, Adventure Isle is home to Roaring Rapids, a river rafting ride; Gardens of Imagination has the Fantasia Carousel; while Tomorrowland has an interactive Buzz Lightyear attraction where guests can blast at targets to help defeat Emperor Zurg.
Shanghai Disneyland also has two hotels on site – the Toy Story Hotel and the Shanghai Disneyland Hotel – as well as a shopping district called Disneytown. There are also a number of dining options available in the park, from quick-service restaurants to table-service dining experiences.
#7 Jade Buddha Temple
Shanghai is a renowned city for its landmarks and attractions. The Jade Buddha Temple is one of these places and is definitely worth a visit. The temple was built in 1882 and houses two precious jade Buddhas, which were brought over from Burma. The temple complex also contains several halls with intricate architecture and artwork.
A popular activity at the Jade Buddha Temple is to join in on the morning or evening chanting sessions led by the monks. These chants are incredibly peaceful and provide a moment of calm in the hustle and bustle of Shanghai. Even if you’re not religious, it’s still worth checking out this unique aspect of Chinese culture.
#8 City God Temple
Shanghai is home to a plethora of temples, but the City God Temple is definitely one of the most popular and well-known. Originally built in 1403 during the Ming Dynasty, the temple was destroyed and rebuilt several times before its current incarnation in 2014. The temple is dedicated to Chen Huacheng, the city god of Shanghai, and is a popular place for locals to pray for good luck or give thanks for blessings.
The City God Temple complex is massive and filled with numerous halls and courtyards. Visitors can explore the different halls, each of which houses different deities, or watch as locals burn incense and pray at the altar. The temple is also home to a popular night market, which sells everything from souvenirs to street food. Whether you’re looking to learn more about local religious beliefs or simply want to soak up some of Shanghai’s history, a visit to the City God Temple is a must-do!
#9 Xintiandi Old Town
Xintiandi Old Town is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Shanghai, China. The area is well known for its traditional Chinese architecture and its many boutique shops, restaurants, and cafes. Visitors to Xintiandi Old Town can stroll through the narrow streets, visit the various shops, and enjoy the unique atmosphere of this historic district.
#10 Huangpu River Cruise
The Huangpu River runs through the heart of Shanghai and is one of the best ways to get a feel for the city. There are many different ways to cruise the river, from traditional rickshaws to modern tour boats. No matter how you do it, a cruise down the Huangpu River is a must-do when visiting Shanghai.
As you can see, no matter what kind of traveler you are, Shanghai has something special waiting for you. Whether it is exploring the fascinating architecture of the Bund or strolling down Nanjing Road for some shopping, there’s plenty to be done in Shanghai. So why not plan a trip and start ticking off your favorites from this list? Start planning today and embark on an exciting adventure through one of China’s most dynamic cities.