Shanghai is the largest city in China, it's also considered the nation's most developed city, the city has numerous tourist destinations that worth to visit, and many interesting things for visitors to do, if you have never been to Shanghai before, check out the top 10 things to do in Shanghai listed below:
1. Walking along the Bund
The Bund is one of the most notable attractions in Shanghai, it is a mile-long stretch of waterfront area along the west side of Huangpu River.
There are dozens of historic buildings of western styles situated along the Bund, these buildings were built in the colonial period of Shanghai in 1800s, they were built with a variety of architectural styles, including Baroque, Gothic, Art Deco, and many other western styles. Walking along these buildings you will feel as if you are visiting a museum of architecture.
To the east you will have a close view of Huangpu River and also see the modern skyline of the city on the other side of the river.
2. Taking a Huangpu River cruise
Aside from walking along the Bund, you can consider taking a Huangpu River cruise, Huangpu River is the largest river in Shanghai, it's about 2 times wide of the River Thames in London.
The cruises can be found all day, the cruise will start at the port on the side of the Bund and will cruise along the most popular attractions along the river, you can choose from several different tour lengths, from half an hour to more than 3 hours, on the cruise, you will get the extraordinary views of the river and all the attractions on the two sides of the river, watching the historic buildings on the Bund and modern skyscrapers on the other side of the river in the same time.
Boarding on the cruise by night time is recommended, the views will be much more impressive as the city is lit up with colorful lights.
3. Visit Oriental Pearl Tower
The Oriental Pearl TV Tower is the symbol of modern Shanghai, it's a broadcasting & sightseeing tower in Pudong, before 2008 it had been the tallest structure in the city for nearly two decades, the tower stands right beside the east bank of the Huangpu River, it features a series of observation decks of different heights with the highest one at 350 meters off the ground.
Standing on those observation decks you can get aerial views of the Bund and the Huangpu River, as well as other modern skyscrapers in Pudong, it's worth to mention that the tower's observatory is the best place to see or take the pictures of panoramic view of the Bund.
Again, it's recommended to visit by night time, as the night views is more charming.
The one floor at 263 meters has glass floor, you can enjoy the thrill of walking on the glass and watch the things directly below from such a high altitude.
There is a Museum of Shanghai history in the basement of the Oriental Pearl Tower, from there you will learn about the history of this city.
4. Visit Yuyuan Garden
Above attractions are all of either modern or colonial period, For those interested in ancient China, try to have a look at the Yuyuan Garden, which also known as Happiness Garden, the garden is located not far from the Bund, it was built in the Ming Dynasty, having a history of 600 years.
Inside the garden, you will see many buildings or structures built with traditional Chinese style, including some Chinese pagodas, bridges, and dragon walls, which is a kind of wall that built to separate the enclaves with Chinese dragon decorated on top. The centerpiece of the garden is a bizarre-shaped rock that known as the Exquisite Jade Rock.
5. Visit Shanghai Tower Observatory
Oriental Pearl Tower is not the tallest structure in Shanghai now, hence its observatory is not highest accessible place in the city, if you want to enjoy the city view from higher altitude, you should go to the Shanghai Tower Observatory, the observatory is nicknamed Top of Shanghai, as it is truly the highest accessible place in Shanghai.
Shanghai Tower was built in 2015, after its completion it has become one of most significant building seen in the skyline of Pudong, the tower is now the second tallest building in the world.
6. Visit Shanghai World Financial Center Observatory
Shanghai is well known for its skyscrapers, Shanghai World Financial Center is another supertall skyscraper in Pudong, Shanghai, the tower is built adjacent to the Jin Mao Tower and Shanghai Tower, it is the building which mentioned above that surpassed the Oriental Pearl Tower to become the tallest structure in Shanghai in 2008. It also briefly held the title of tallest building in the world by roof height before 2010.
While Shanghai Tower Observatory is highest, the Shanghai World Financial Center Observatory has more floors of different heights and sizes opened for observation, the highest one is set inside the sky bridge which is hanging above its iconic large aperture on the top.
7. Take a bus tour
Want to get to see most attractions in Shanghai in a short time? Try taking a bus tour, aboard an open top bus then it will take you to see some most visited landmarks and attractions in the city.
There are 3 different routes, the best one is the route in Huangpu area as the area is seen as the city center, the bus will take you through Shanghai's old streets near the Bund to see those historic buildings.
Another route worth to mention is the route in Pudong, in contrast with the historic buildings in Huangpu area, Pudong is known for its numerous modern buildings, such as the Oriental Pearl Tower, Shanghai Tower, IFC towers, and many more, the open top bus will take you through the streets in Pudong to give you close views of all these modern buildings.
8. Shop Nanjing Road
Nanjing Road is the busiest shopping street in Shanghai, just like the 5th Avenue in New York City, one of the differences is that the Nanjing Road is pedestrianized, which means no cars is allowed to get into the street, so visitors can walk on the street more freely, even so the road is still always crowded with people.
Nanjing Road starts at People's Square and ends at The Bund, it's one of the longest pedestrian shopping street in the world, numerous shops of both local and international brands can be found along the street, some of largest malls in the city are also located at there. The street is also the place where the locals and visitors celebrate some events like New Year's Eve and Christmas, firework displays are occasionally hosted on the street.
9. Visit Shanghai Disneyland Park
Since the mid 2016, the tourists travel to Shanghai have a new destination, that is the Shanghai Disneyland Park, the park was just opened in June 2016 and is currently the biggest Disneyland park in Asia. There you can explore the magic world of Disney and see your favorite Disney characters come to life.
As a park in China, Shanghai Disneyland Park was designed with the idea of “authentically Disney and distinctly Chinese” in mind, somethings are different from other Disneyland Parks as the park is mixed with Chinese styles.
Like other Disney theme parks, the centerpiece of the park is a castle, which named Enchanted Storybook Castle that themed to Disney Princesses, this castle is 197 feet tall, it's the tallest and the largest castle in any Disney theme park in the world.
10. Visit Zhujiajiao water town
China has many ancient water towns in Jiangnan area, one of them is in Shanghai, it's called Zhujiajiao, the water town is located in a suburban area of Shanghai, it has been one of top tourist destinations in Shanghai.
Zhujiajiao has a history of more than 1700 years, this ancient town is well preserved, numerous ancient buildings can be found there, these buildings are built along the canals, there are many stone bridges above these canals, and boats are commonly seen on these canals, the town is just a Chinese version of Venice.
You can take a traditional Chinese style boat to explore the town, or walk along the canals and buildings to admire the architecture of ancient China.
Some buildings are open to tourists, you can get into these buildings to learn more about the history and culture of this water town.