Things to do in Shanghai

Shanghai is the home to so many different and interesting attractions, here are some of our favourite things to do in Shanghai.

1. 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.

If you are here during the evening, avoid taking a taxi back to your hotel. Although they should charge by the meter in China, we found taxis would over charge you with a set price because they know it’s a busy and wealthy area. Take your time and use the easy and fast subway lines.

2. People’s Square

Take the subway line 1, 2 or 8 to People’s Square Station.

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.

3. Shanghai Times Square

Subway line 1 takes you to South Huang Pi Road Station, take exit 3.

One of my favourite places in Shanghai and where we spent most of our evenings; Shanghai Times Square. Check out the huge shopping centre and impressive apple store, try the traditional eateries or head straight to a western chain. After 3 months around Asia I must admit, I made a beeline for Pizza Hut. Our hotel was just a ten-minute walk from here; ideal for late night dinners and for those who like evening strolls.

4. Stroll along the Bund

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.

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.

5. Yu Gardens

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.

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.

6. Jing’an temple

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.

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.

7. Jade Buddha temple

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.

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.

8. Shanghai Museum

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.

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.

9. Old Street

Take subway line 9 or Bus 930 to Laoximen Station or subway line 10 to Yuyuan 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.

The Yuyuan garden is nearby, making Old Street an ideal stop for lunch.

10. Shanghai Disneyland

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. 

Check out our video below!

Extra thing to do!

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!

So that is our favourite things to do in Shanghai! Let us know what your favourite Shanghai attraction is in the comments below.

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Things to do in Shanghai
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Things to do in Shanghai
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  1. I loved Yu Gardens a lot!! 🙂 Such great atmosphere – like a classical China!

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