Top 10 Places in Shanghai
Shanghai is an area of China that holds many exciting opportunities for visitors; whether you're seeking history, culture, a shopping frenzy or gorgeous gardens, coming to Shanghai means you've come to the right place.
This district is comprised of 18 municipalities, and borders on two provinces, Zhejiang and Jiangsu. But that's just the geography...let's get to the wonderful, and wondrous, places you should put at the top of your list when planning a trip to Shanghai.
The Jade Buddha Temple: China is famous for its jade, of course, but these two statues have to be seen to be believed. They were brought to China by a Buddhist monk, and the temple also houses a collection of rare, antique Buddhist manuscripts. Although not as old as some of China's buildings, (it was built in 1928) the temple is an amazing place, with three large halls and two courtyards -- something the Chinese excel at designing.
The Promenade: Called more frequently The Bund, its English name, this stretch of walk along the west side of the Huangpujiang River lets you see a number of buildings in Shanghai, all in different architectural styles -- more than 50, to be precise. There is Roman, Neoclassical, Gothic, Roman, and many more. The area has a very European vibe, and a stroll here gives you the chance to become familiar with your new surroundings.
Yu Garden: Also known as the Garden of Happiness, this was first developed in 1559. The area offers an astonishing glimpse of 20,000 metres of lush flowers and vegetation. The inner garden reflects the classic garden of a Chinese writer; it houses ponds, small stones and even a mini mountain range. Beautiful!
Shanghai Museum: This museum is the single most significant museum in China, in the context of traditional Chinese art. It houses displays of bronze and ceramics from ancient times to the 19th century, and even offers furniture for display. If you're interested in China's cultural and artistic history, this stop is not to be missed!
Oriental Pearl Tower: This network of 11, linked spheres lets you ride up high to get a good view of Shanghai. It's in Pudong Park, on the east bank of the Huangpu River, and you can ride 350 metres up inside a glass booth, if you're brave. If not, stay on a lower level and check out the big shopping mall, the perfect place to begin stocking up on presents for the poor folks back home who couldn't make the trip!
Longhu Temple & Pagoda: Built around 242 A.D., this is one of the most awe-inspiring religious sites in all of China, we think. It has been built, then ruined, then built again many times over the centuries, but always seems to rise in importance and as a cherished place to many. It's home to five large halls, including the Heavenly King Hall and the Hall of the Great Sage. It also houses a five-tonne bell from 1382, and is built alongside an area of woods, just the spot for a little reflection and relaxation before you move on to your next destination.
Nanjing Road: If you're ready to cruise some shops and buy, buy, buy, Nanjing Road is the place to go! Built in the second half of the 29th century, this district is home to dozens of shops that line several miles of "pedestrians only" roads. There is everything from exclusive boutiques to street vendors offering traditional Chinese souvenirs, so if you can't find that special "something" on Nanjing Road, you're just not looking hard enough!
Tianzifang: Still known to some as "the French Connection," this area still has a lot of European flavour to it. It's filled to the brim with galleries and shops where you'll find plenty of fine arts and crafts, then be able to stop for a coffee or tea at a small cafe.
Shanghai Science & Technology Museum: This is a great place to take the kids, who are so at home with the latest developments in tech. It offers a peek into what's coming in science and tech, and also a number of interactive displays that will keep the kids busy for ages while you sit down and take a breather. Don't miss this look into what's coming in a few years, and a few decades!
Fuxing Park: You'll likely need an afternoon of just relaxing, strolling, and maybe getting a bite to eat from a street vendor or at a casual spot that offers yummy Chinese cuisine, and Fuxing Park is the place to do it. It's filled to the brim with fountains, gardens -- glorious gardens! -- and pavilions, and makes for a perfect spot to unwind, catch your breath and take in the natural beauty the Chinese are famous for designing. It's a "must do" on your itinerary when you need a few hours of blissful, "do as little as possible" relaxation time!
These are some of Shanghai's most interesting and exciting places to visit, but there are plenty of others, too, like the Shanghai Ocean Aquarium with its 120-metre tunnel that lends a bird's eye view of all the creatures great and small. Or the China Art Palace, the largest art gallery in all of Asia. The Oriental Arts Centre offers opera and music, while the Shanghai Grand Theatre serves up ballet and traditional theatre. There's even a Shanghai Disney Resort! This ultra modern city that retains an old world feel has truly got something for everyone lucky enough to visit.