10 Things To Do In Shanghai, China

10 Things To Do In Shanghai, China

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If one word could sum up the ancient city of Shanghai, that word would be culture. One of the most well-known Chinese destinations in the world, Shanghai continues to grow almost daily. The bustling city centre consists of two primary locations: the Pu Dong District and the Pu Xi District. While the Pu Dong district is still mostly under construction, there is one major attraction which every tourist of Shanghai must experience.

Things To Do In Shanghai

Atop Asia’s highest building, the Oriental Pearl TV Tower, one is afforded a view of the magnificent city that will literally make the knees buckle. Make this stop the first destination, and then enjoy the splendours of the city itself in the busy Pu Xi district.

Things To Do In Shanghai

Pearl Tower

The illustrious Pearl Tower is only one of many feasts for the eye in Shanghai. In the federation, take a step back into the past as sweeping colonial buildings line the streets and stand guard over a sparkling river. The river also provides a relaxing guide for the city, as riverboats are a fixture for tourists. Travel along the Bund, and bask in the eclectic mix of Gothic, Baroque, Romanesque, Classical and Renaissance architecture which has served as a living symbol of Shanghai for hundreds of years.

Yang Pu bridge

While admiring the one-of-a-kind architecture and scenery, discover why the 1172-meter Yang Pu bridge is affectionately known as “the harp of the wind.” (Yang Pu also has a sister bridge, Nan Pu, which is equally spectacular).

Yu Gardens

When one is weary from the river excursion, the 400-year-old Yu Gardens provide a perfect place to exercise the muscles while enjoying a walk amidst some of the most gorgeous and unique plant life in the world. More than forty spots (each with its own unique flavour) decorate this once-privately owned garden, including the Ten Thousand Flower Pavilion, the Dragon Wall, and the Grand Rockery.

The Yu Gardens are part of one of the only remaining areas in town with an authentic Ming dynasty feel, Yu Yuan. Find traditional Chinese clothes and customs in this tucked-away area. If one desires a more modern spin on Chinese culture, then the Pu Dong airport offers a glimpse into the sheer mass and mayhem of progress. After this glimpse into the future, take refuge at the Peace Hotel (located in the federation), Shanghai’s most endearing relic of colonial charm.

Things To Do In Shanghai

People’s Square

As a region of the world steeped in rich cultural history, Shanghai pays tribute to its heritage with a fascinating array of museums, art galleries, cinema and theatre shows, dance programs, and much more. In the heart of People’s Square (of the Jing at District), both the Shanghai Museum and the Shanghai Grand Theatre embody the restless spirit of cultural change. Five floors of traditional and modern art (120,000 pieces in all) call the Shanghai Museum home, while the Grand Theatre has birthed the careers of many international artists, dancers, classical musicians, and actors. The Theatre is truly a potpourri of artistic achievement.

Natural History Museum

Several other artistic centres populate Shanghai. The Shanghai Urban Planning Exhibition Resound boasts five floors that afford a peek into the city’s hopeful future. For the outdoors lovers, the Natural History Museum offers a chance to spend the day with dinosaurs, whales, and other fantastic creatures of the wild. For art lovers, Shanghai is a dream site. ShangART, a mecca for modern art, holds international recognition, while other artistic wonders await in the lesser-known J. Gallery (located in Shanghai Center), New Sight Gallery, and Elegantly kind (no exaggeration with the friendly employees) Gallery.


For bibliophiles, Shanghai claims one of the ten largest libraries in the world. One can easily lose a whole day lounging amidst the vast columns of knowledge and exploration. Finally, for the drama enthusiasts, the Shanghai Indoor Stage brings all of the drama of the sports and music world, while the Shanghai Stage brings all of the fun outdoors. Of course, the animal world is also adequately represented in the city, with a massive zoo and a modern aquarium with all the traditional trappings.

Portman Acrobatic Show

One cannot leave an examination of Shanghai’s rich entertainment centres without first mentioning a few local traditions. For a true appreciation of this ancient country’s heritage, a few special attractions are must-see. First, pay tribute to one of the oldest performing arts alive today, Chinese acrobatics, at the Portman Acrobatic Show.

Things To Do In Shanghai
Exterior of the Expo Axis at the EXPO 2010 Shanghai, China.

Songjiang County

Marvel at fanciful feats of balance, juggling, aerial artistry, and even some yo-yo tricks. Next, take a breather and rest your mind and spirit at the Jade Buddha Temple, the centre of Shanghai’s religious activities. In Songjiang County, a bit off the traditional tourist track, China even houses its own “leaning tower” in the Huzhou Pagoda. If your travels happen to take you to Shanghai in the excitement of springtime, then be sure to take a peek at the Spring Festival, which kicks off the Chinese New Year. The locals promise quite a celebration.


This is the word likely to get the ladies, and many of the gentlemen, excited. One of Shanghai’s biggest draws is its wonderful and unique mixture of shopping centres. On Nan Jing Road, shopping centres dot every inch. Likewise, fashion shops and department stores galore attract thousands of visitors a day in the Old French Concession, particularly on Xiang Yang Road.

Trade businesses are prominent on Huai Shark Road, as well as the historical residences of some noteworthy Chinese figures. In addition, plenty of fun for the kids (and the adults, too) awaits in Jin Jiang Country, home to such attractions as Rock ‘n’ Roll Ski, the UFO simulator, and Laser Search. Do not leave your commercial ventures behind without stopping by the infamously affordable (ie cheap) Blank Mart, home to every bargain imaginable.

Night Life

If you are single, great. If you have kids, get a babysitter for the night. Shanghai is the Chinese capital for late-night fun. Description could never do the lively club scenes justice, so try out a few of these recommended hot spots and experience the sights and sounds for yourself.

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