Shanghai Bucket List: Top 15 Best Things to do in Shanghai, China

Streets of Shanghai photo by Christie Kim via Unsplash
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Tourist Attractions and Best Things to do in Shanghai, China

As a Filipino who has a deep love for travels, I always find traveling to Asia the most memorable ones, and that includes my recent trip in Shanghai.

Best Things to do in Shanghai
Best Things to do in Shanghai

Aside from being China’s biggest city and a global financial hub, do you know what else can you see and do in the bustling Shanghai? Surprisingly, it continues to flourish and certainly is booming with new destinations waiting to unfold.

Streets of Shanghai photo by Christie Kim via Unsplash
Streets of Shanghai photo by Christie Kim via Unsplash

We rounded up amazing activities and places to visit in Shanghai, so read along!

Take a Huangpu River Cruise

Huangpu River Cruise
Huangpu River Cruise

Treat yourself with a cruise along the Huangpu River which stretches 70  miles long and get a breathtaking view of the Bund and its surrounding areas such as the Oriental Pearl TV Tower, the Shanghai International Convention Center, and Jin Mao Tower to name a few. Whichever time you decide to board, this activity will definitely be worth it, as you get to see another side of Shanghai you don’t usually see on the internet. Just a tip, if you want to see the towering building glow and illuminates, try booking a Huangpu River Cruise at night!

Available Tours: Huangpu River Cruise

Huangpu River Cruise Shanghai
Huangpu River Cruise Shanghai

Go on a cruise along the Huangpu River and get an extraordinary view of the Bund and the surrounding areas. With a fully flexible ticket, turn up at a time that’s most convenient for you, go to the port and just present your voucher to get on board. The cruise starts from the Bund and will cruise along to view the most popular sights along the Huangpu River such as the Oriental Pearl TV Tower, the Shanghai International Convention Center, Jin Mao Tower, International Finance Center, the Shanghai Center, and more (there are way too many to mention!) You can go any time of day and get to treated to different sights of Shanghai in the morning, afternoon or evening! This tour is a great introduction to the beautiful city, perfect for first-timers in Shanghai!

Huangpu River CruiseBOOK THIS TOUR

Have Fun at Disneyland Park

Shanghai Disneyland
Shanghai Disneyland

Make your childhood dreams come true and revel into non-stop wandering at Disneyland Park! No one is too old for Disney, agree? Located in Pudong, Shanghai, this theme park offers an array of recreational activities and attractions including Camp Discovery, Happy Circle, Roaring Rapids, Rex’s Racer, Skating Rink, Alice in Wonderland Maze, Peter Pan’s Flight, Marvel Universe and more!

Available Tours: Shanghai Disneyland (1 Day Admission) – Same Day Booking

Shanghai Disneyland Tickets
Shanghai Disneyland Tickets

Shanghai Disneyland, the first theme park of its kind in Mainland China, is a world of boundless possibilities and a place to create cherished memories that last a lifetime. Lush gardens, live stage productions, and thrilling attractions will appeal to guests of all generations who visit its six lands. Guests also will encounter Disney characters in each land, including Mickey Mouse, Mulan, Baymax, Disney princesses, Captain Jack Sparrow, and Winnie the Pooh.

Shanghai Tour PackagesBOOK THIS TOUR

See the Jade Buddha Temple

Jade Buddha Temple
Jade Buddha Temple

Contrary to the lively and bustling Shanghai, here at Jade Buddha Temple, everything is different where you can simply feel the peace and tranquility. It’s one of the most popular stops in Shanghai, and one of the most famous Buddha religious temples in the country. Inside, you’ll discover the Devajara Hall, Mahavira Hall, and the Jade Buddha Tower. Here, you’ll find a 1.9m-high pale-green jade Buddha, which is said to be the centerpiece of the temple. At the Reclining Buddha Hall, there’s a small reclining white jade Buddha from Burma that’s displayed in a glass cabinet. It is usually crowded especially during the Chinese New Year.

Enjoy exhibits at Shanghai Museum

Shanghai Museum
Shanghai Museum

Immerse into the rich culture of China and its most timeless tradition by discovering some exhibits at Shanghai Museum, situated at People’s Square in the Huangpu District of Shanghai. This modern museum designed by local architect Xing Tonghe is 4-storey building divided into three exhibitions and is housing high-quality collection of ancient collections from hundreds of Chinese bronze pieces, ceramics, seals, sculptures, and paintings dating back in the Yuan Dynasty in the 13th century.

Visit Yuyuan Garden

Yu Garden Shanghai
Yu Garden Shanghai

Be the envy of your social feed when you get to upload some pictures taken here at Yuyuan Garden or Happiness Garden. One of the reasons why it’s a must-see attraction in Shanghai is because of its peaceful ambiance, garden architecture, pavilions, archways, and rich history. If you get to watch old Chinese movies and you want to feel what it looks like in the old times, then this is the place to be. According to history, visiting here brings good luck especially when you walk across the Jiu Qu Bridge. The garden is divided into six areas which are the Sansui Hall, Wanhua Chamber, Dianchun Hall, Huijing Hall, Yuhua Hall, and the Inner Garden.

Walk and Shop along Nanjing Road

Nightlife in Shanghai
Nightlife in Shanghai

Shop til you drop at one of the world’s busiest shopping streets – in Nanjing Road. This area which stretches over 3.4-mile-long is certainly crowded whatever the season or occasion is! Here, you can explore traditional department stores, numerous modern shopping malls, shop souvenirs at specialty stores, visit theaters, or perhaps stay at international hotels. It’s a shopping haven and something you really can’t miss when you’re in Shanghai! Aside from that, you can stop by for some street foods such as traditional cakes and smoked fish.

Walk the Bund

the Bund Shanghai
the Bund Shanghai

Bund is considered to be of Shanghai’s popular attraction. It’s located at the waterfront on the west bank of Huangpu River and regarded as one of the symbols of Shanghai they take pride of. Aside from mesmerizing at its sight, you can also fly a kite and even jog! It’s one of the places where locals used to go. Wait until the sunset, and this area turns into a romantic one! No wonder most Chinese dramas are shot here.

Visit Zhujlajiao Water Town

Zhujlajiao Water Town
Zhujlajiao Water Town

Travel back in time and see this ancient water town ASAP! Recreational activities which can be enjoyed at the 1,700 years-old town includes a Gondola ride, and sightseeing historic bridges, ancient homes, and tasting some local delicacies as well! Just like in Japan, you can also dress in traditional Chinese clothes and have your pictures taken. You can also visit the Qing Dynasty Post Office where you can see some old letters written in bamboo and antique postcards of old Shanghai.

Eat at Xian Qiang Fang Restaurant

Xian Qiang Fang Restaurant in Shanghai
Xian Qiang Fang Restaurant in Shanghai

Skip the fries and other western foods and try dining her at Xian Qiang Fang Restaurant. Its interior speaks of elegance and nobility which can’t be found elsewhere in the world. Although renovated, this restaurant has this oriental interior and architecture which adds a plus point on the dining experience. They are known to serve traditional yet great tasting Chinese cuisine which would definitely delight even those with the most discerning palates.

Visit Longhua Temple

Longhua Pagoda
Longhua Pagoda

This temple is also one of the oldest, largest, and most authentic attractions in Shanghai. Built in 242 AD, the Longhua Temple should be included on your itinerary if you happen to visit the city. Things to see here includes the bell tower, drum tower, the Grand Hall of the Great Sage, a 40.4 meters high Longhua Pagoda, which lauded this as one of the eight great attractions of Shanghai.

Oriental Pearl TV Tower

Oriental Pear TV Tower Shanghai
Oriental Pear TV Tower Shanghai

You’ve probably seen it a hundred times on TV or even in postcards. Included in Shanghai’s most famous towering building is the Oriental Pearl TV Tower. It consists of three main full-scope sightseeing spheres, each of these offering an observation deck. So, if you’re an Instagrammer who likes to take buildings and skyscrapers, then this is the place to be. In case you get hungry, you can drop by at the Revolving Restaurant, billed as the highest revolving restaurant in Asia, with a height of 263 meters.

Available Tours: Oriental Pearl Tower Tickets

Oriental Pearl Tower
Oriental Pearl Tower

Spend a few lofty hours at Shanghai’s Oriental Pearl TV Tower, the third tallest TV Tower in the world, and the tallest in Asia at 468 meters tall. This enormous construction is arguably the most iconic building in Shanghai and incidentally one of the must-visit destinations in the country.

Shanghai Tour PackagesBOOK THIS TOUR

Visit Tian Zi Fang

Tian Zi Fang photo via Wikipedia CC
Tian Zi Fang photo via Wikipedia CC

See the artistic side of the locals of Shanghai when you visit Tian Zi Fang. Named as the SOHO in Shanghai, this area has turned into an artsy area where you can see plenty of small restaurants, bars, cafes, crafts shops, antique shops, galleries, and boutiques. Expect to see artists and trendsetters in this area in Shanghai!

Eat Xiao Long Bao at Din Tai Fung

Pork Xiao Long Bao at Din Tai Fung
Pork Xiao Long Bao at Din Tai Fung

Dumplings, anyone? More than a delicious bowl of noodle soup, one of the few snacks to try include the famed Xiao Long Bao at Din Tai Fung. For an afternoon delight, you can order the Chinese-style traditional layer cakes which has a very smooth and slightly sticky texture, and is one of the favorites of most tourists! Every foodies out there, we suggest you don’t miss this famous Chinese steamed bun! The taste is definitely rewarding!

Xintiandi

Xintiandi photo by Lingling via Flickr CC
Xintiandi photo by Lingling via Flickr CC

Located at the heart of the city lies Xintiandi where you can see the colliding of Shanghai’s rich history and culture. Such activities you can do here includes strolling at Shikumen Residences, photography, dining at upscale restaurants, and chill at bars which can be best visited at night. If you want to shop, you can head over at the northern block of Xintiandi. Entertainment is endless here!

Visit Shanghai World Financial Center

Shanghai World Financial Center Observation Deck photo by Alan Levine via Wikipedia CC
Shanghai World Financial Center Observation Deck photo by Alan Levine via Wikipedia CC

Wonder why the Pudong district of Shanghai is one of the favorite places in the city? It’s because they want to marvel at the majestic Shanghai World Financial Center building; symbol of commerce and culture, but most importantly, see the city in a different perspective. It has a total of 101 floors above the ground and 3 floors under the ground. Still holding its title of being the second tallest skyscraper in the city, it also continues to be a hub of cultural and art exhibitions and information from all over the world.

Shanghai Travel and Tour PackagesShanghai Travel and Tour Packages

Find Best Hotels in Shanghai according to your budget via Agoda.

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