15 Top-Rated Tourist Attractions & Things to Do in Shanghai | PlanetWare

Shanghai, the most populous city in China, offers an array of tourist attractions. From captivating museums and beautiful parks to towering sky scrapers and picturesque streets, Shanghai has something for everyone in this bustling urban center.

Shanghai World Financial Center is one of the city’s top attractions, standing 632 meters tall with an observation deck at its 100th floor and skywalk with glass floors. You can spend an hour here enjoying stunning views of Shanghai from above. So the next time you think about visiting Shanghai with Cathay Pacific, here are the attractions  you should see.

Zhujiajiao Watertown

Zhujiajiao Watertown in Qingpu District is a picturesque town known as “Shanghai’s Venice” due to its sparkling streams. This picturesque settlement contains canals, ancient streets paved with stone, and more than 10,000 houses from the Ming and Qing dynasties.

Zhujiajiao offers a wealth of activities for visitors. Take a leisurely walk along its ancient street, explore historic buildings and shops, or take a boat tour around town. Don’t forget to also stop by one of many stunning scenic spots for some breathtaking views!

One of the main attractions in Zhujiajiao is Fangsheng Bridge, commonly referred to as “the Rainbow of Zhujiajiao.” Constructed out of limestone and sandstone, this 70 meter long structure is a beloved landmark in the town.

This bridge is a popular tourist destination in the town, and visitors can take a boat ride to get an up-close view. Prices for sightseeing boats start from 80 yuan ($8 USD).

Another must-visit place in Zhujiajiao is the Zhujiajiao Culture and Art Museum, which boasts stunning paintings and statues as well as providing insight into the town’s history.

Zhujiajiao Post Office is a must-visit destination, boasting thousands of stamps and envelopes. Plus, four paintings on the second floor depict how postmen delivered letters in ancient times.

Zhujiajiao Water Town is a must-visit for travelers to Shanghai. This picturesque little fan-shaped town stands as a bright pearl amidst lakes and mountains.

Yu Garden

Yu Garden (known as Yuyuan) is a beloved Shanghai attraction that dates back to the Ming Dynasty. It boasts pavilions, rockeries, arched bridges, goldfish ponds and an undulating dragon wall for added visual interest.

Constructed between 1559 and 1577 by local official Pan Yunduan, the garden was originally intended for his parents to enjoy in their later years. He took great pride in his design, with each pavilion or courtyard named after a piece of poetry.

Yu Garden boasts a number of architectural wonders, such as the Great Rockery and Cuixiu Hall. It’s an idyllic spot to spend some time relaxing.

When visiting the garden, it’s wise to book a tour. A guide can provide more insight into its history and highlight some of its cultural significance.

Yu Garden is best enjoyed during spring or summer when the flowers are in full bloom and there are fewer crowds. Additionally, you can visit during the Lantern Festival to witness an enchanting lantern show.

The garden is lined with shops selling everything from tea to souvenirs. Captain’s Hostel, one of the few restaurants and bars nearby, provides a more budget-friendly option than its neighboring bars along The Bund.

Jing’an Temple

Jing’an Temple is one of Shanghai’s oldest Buddhist temples, having been established in 1216 and situated in one of the city’s wealthiest neighborhoods.

Not only is the temple a stunning sight with its historic architecture, but it also hosts several festivals throughout the year – one being April 8th which marks both Chinese Lunar Calendar Day and Buddha’s birthday. At this time, the temple becomes packed with devout worshipers as peddlers set up stalls selling goods and handcrafts.

Concurrent to renovations at the complex, a new pagoda is being constructed. Despite its modern appearance, it adheres to Buddhist architectural principles and will house sacred relics and texts.

This pagoda has an unusual number of levels and is shaped like a lotus flower – an iconic motif in Buddhist teachings and imagery. When finished later this year, visitors can climb to the top and enjoy stunning views over Shanghai’s skyline.

This temple is a popular tourist destination that draws thousands of visitors annually. It boasts several attractions such as the Exhibition Hall of Buddhist Relics and Hall of Heavenly Kings – featuring statues and other Buddhist artifacts from around the world.

People’s Square

People’s Square is one of Shanghai’s most beloved landmarks. A garden-style square, it houses many museums, cultural attractions and restaurants for visitors to enjoy.

The square is home to several historic buildings and structures, such as Jinjiang Tower, Park Hotel Shanghai and Municipal Government Mansion.

Another popular landmark in the square is the Shanghai Grand Theater. Designed by renowned French architect Jean-Marie Charpentier, this 10-storey structure stands out with its glass facade and extravagantly upturned eaves that glow in the dark.

In addition to classical music, ballet and opera performances, the theatre also boasts several VIP halls, an underground garage, cafes and restaurants. Furthermore, there is an urban planning exhibition center on-site that displays a scale model of Shanghai’s evolution.

Aside from these attractions, the square is also a great destination for shopping. It boasts numerous Western stores and other shops where you can purchase clothing, shoes and accessories.

The area around the square is filled with restaurants and bars, making it a great destination for people to hang out. Here you’ll find traditional Chinese foods as well as international dishes – try Italian at one nearby restaurant! For those who want to party, there are plenty of clubs and nightclubs close by.

Nanjing Road

Nanjing Road is one of Shanghai’s major shopping districts, boasting multi-level mega malls, historic stores, specialty shops and world-class hotels. This vibrant street draws over 1 million visitors daily to its pedestrian-friendly atmosphere.

Experience the world’s longest and busiest pedestrian street! There’s something for everyone on this renowned shopping destination, from time-honored brands to luxurious fashion boutiques.

Nanjing Road, measuring 5.5km (3.4 miles), is a must-see for any visitor to Shanghai. Here you’ll find some of the city’s most popular attractions and entertainment spots as well as several iconic Chinese landmarks.

At night, take a stroll down this pedestrianized street and you’ll be mesmerized by its neon-lit lights and captivating window displays. Additionally, there are numerous street performers dotted along the pedestrian walkways.

At some point during your shopping expedition, you’re sure to spot local amateurs performing traditional Chinese folk dances. What an enjoyable way to break up the monotony of shopper’s paradise and make your visit even more memorable!

Additionally, the century-old traditional food stores provide delicious treats like sesame ice cream, smoked fish, moon cakes and other snacks. You can even enjoy a ride on the Dangdang sightseeing tram – like an exact replica of old trolley cars zipping back and forth! A single trip costs CNY 5.

Shanghai Museum

The Shanghai Museum (, ) is one of China’s premier cultural landmarks and offers an enthralling insight into Chinese life. Open since 1952, its ten permanent and three international exhibitions cover over 5,000 years of Chinese history.

The Shanghai Museum’s striking architectural design draws inspiration from traditional Chinese cosmogony. Its square base symbolizes earth, while its round roof symbolizes heaven. A must-visit for anyone interested in ancient Chinese art, from bronzes and ceramics to paintings and calligraphy, this museum must not be missed!

Experience awe-inspiring Chinese bronzes collection at Shanghai Museum – widely regarded as one of the best collections worldwide. Highlights include an exquisite square lei from Shang dynasty and an enormous jian wine vessel with four mythical creatures gripping its rim.

In addition to its impressive collection of historical artifacts, the Shanghai Museum also provides visitors with a range of activities and exhibitions to enjoy. For instance, the Seal Showroom showcases 500 Chinese seals.

Another attraction worth visiting is the Zande Tower ceramic gallery, which showcases an exquisite selection of Chinese porcelains. Highlighting Tang dynasty Sancai ceramics and Qing imperial wares, other galleries display Chinese paintings, jade carvings, Ming and Qing furniture pieces, coins and ethnic costumes; plus visitors can purchase souvenirs as well.

By Rehan

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