Shanghai is the home to so many different and interesting attractions, here are some of our favourite things to do in Shanghai.
We loved living in China and enjoyed exploring the best places to visit in China, with Shanghai being very near the top of that list! The city is bustling and busy, but if you look closely, you can see a glimpse of what ‘Old China’ once looked like.
Things to do in Shanghai
Oriental Pearl Tower
Tickets for the upper and lower sphere as well as the Shanghai Municipal History Museum (in the pedestrian of the tower) costs 160 CNY with other combo ticket types available. The tower is open from 8.30am to 9.30pm. The city sightseeing bus line 2 takes you right to the steps of the tower or you can get the subway line 2 and get off at Lujiazui station. For a more unusual route you can take the Bund sightseeing tunnel that travels under the river.
Located in the Pudong Park, the Oriental Pearl Tower is an iconic structure of the Shanghai skyline. Climb to the top for amazing views across Shanghai and marvel at the tiny people through the see-through glass floor.
In the heart of Shanghai, People’s Square is the home to the Government Mansion, Shanghai Museum, Shanghai Grand Theatre and the Exhibition hall, as well as some top restaurants, fast food stops and fashion brands. It is worth having a stroll around the Square, taking in the odd shaped buildings and trying some street food.
Take the subway line 1, 2 or 8 to People’s Square Station.
Stroll along the Bund
Open all day, every day and of course, completely free, the Bund is a top choice for most tourists.
For the best view of Shanghai’s incredible skyline, head to the Bund. In the Early morning you’ll catch locals practising tai chi whilst a nighttime stroll illuminates the city and makes for some great photos.
Open all day, every day and of course, completely free, the Bund is a top choice for most tourists. Catch subway line 2 or 10 to East Nanjing Road Station then walk 10 minutes towards the Huangpu River.
Nanjing Road is known as one of the busiest shopping streets in the world. Split into two sections, Nanjing Road East, and Nanjing Road West, this street is the perfect place to see how busy Shanghai can truly be, and shop for both modern delights and traditional Chinese treasures.
Take a stroll through Yuyuan garden and check out the Sansui Hall and Wanhua Chamber. Get some shots of this traditionally styled Chinese garden and relax in nature.
Entrance costs 40 CNY, with the garden open from 8.30am to 4.45pm. Take subway line 10 to Yuyuan Station and take exit 1.
Perhaps the most famous temple in Shanghai, the Jing’an temple is over 780 years old. This reconstruction holds the Mahavira hall – with the biggest pure jade portrait of Sakyamuni in China, the Hall of Heavenly Kinds and The ThreeSage Hall.
At 50 CNY for entrance, the temple is open 7.30am – 5pm. Take subway line 2 or 7 to Jing’an Temple Station, exit 1.
Jade Buddha temple
These precious Jade Buddhist statues are rare and culturally significant to China. The temple itself it fairly new, rebuilt in 1928 after the previous temple was destroyed during the revolution of the Qing Dynasty.
Entrance costs 30 CNY with the temple open from 8.30am to 5pm. Take subway line 7 to Changshou Road station, taking exit 5. Walk down Xinhui road and take a right at Huangning road, walking down until Anyuan Road and the temple will be to the right. Or catch the 19, 206, 316 or 738 bus to Jiangning Road Anyuan Road Station.
Home to an abundance of Chinese art, the Shanghai Museum walks you through a history of the Chinese lifestyle through its textiles, pottery, sculptures, calligraphy and coinage.
The museum entrance is free however some special exhibitions may cost you 20 CNY. The museum is open from 9am to 5pm – take subway line 1,2 or 8 to People’s Square Station.
Here you will find buildings from the Ming and Qing dynasty, with an array of shops selling everything from calligraphies to jewellery, teahouses to glass shops.
Take subway line 9 or Bus 930 to Laoximen Station or subway line 10 to Yuyuan Station.
Shanghai Disneyland is AMAZING! Yes I am a super Disneyland fan but it is great fun and perfect for all travellers! This is the biggest Disney park in the world and has some of the mose forward-thinking, innovative rides; make sure you ride the Pirates of the Carribbean and Tron! This is just one of the best things to do in Shanghai with kids.
Unusual things to do in Shanghai
Eat! China and especially Shanghai has some of the best food we have ever eaten. We can’t wait to head back this summer and share some of regions local delicacies. When in China, eat the local food – it may sound weird and it may use weird meat at times and it may be super spicy and it may just look like porridge, but try it, you will be surprised!
Things to know before you go to Shanghai
- We LOVE this camera for our travel photography.
- For a cheap, easy and compact camera, we use this to vlog and take photographs.
- We use this travel drone (but make sure to check drone laws in your chosen destination first).
- This is our favourite travel Insurance because it covers so many activities and travel situations that could arise on longer trips but also offers year coverage.
What to pack
- No matter where we travel to, I always take these trusty hand sanitizer’s and a mini first aid kit.
- We love these toiletry bags (especially great for smaller bathrooms) and choose a laptop bag like this as our hand luggage.
- We keep our devices charged on long travel days with these lightweight battery packs and bring these worldwide travel adaptors on all our trips.
- I still struggle not to overpack so stick to using an expandable suitcase like these, over backpack and always take my trusty luggage scales to avoid being charged at the airport.