Being the largest city in China and one of the biggest financial hubs in Asia, the city sometimes called the Paris of the East, Shanghai, has a lot of things to offer. Shanghai is a city where the traditional and the modern exists in perfect harmony with one another, working together to give Shanghai its life and buzz. In a city as lively as Shanghai, there is so much variety and history, and there are so many things one can do. Here is a list of 5 activities to try while vacationing in Shanghai.
Visit The Bund
One of the best things that one can do in Shanghai is to take time to explore and stroll around the famous Huangpu riverside area called the Bund (外滩). To be on the Bund waterfront is to be at the heart of Shanghai. The Bund has become the symbol of the city’s gist. It is a picturesque view of the city’s most important buildings and establishments that has become a part of Shanghai’s continuing history.
Often recognized as the Gallery of Worldwide Architecture, architectural styles such as Gothic, Baroque, Romanesque, Classical, and Renaissance can be seen in some of the many buildings that stand tall along the Zhongshan East Road. Some of these buildings go way back from the 1920s and the 1930s- a period of time when Shanghai was building itself up as a major financial hub not just in China, but in all of Asia.
The Bund has also been Shanghai’s Wall Street ever since the 1920s. One can see along the Bund some of the most important financial establishments in the city. The Oriental Pearl TV Tower and the Shanghai World Financial Center are only two among the many skyscrapers that draw the picture of the nighttime Shanghai skyline that makes the Bund look so spectacular.
Take the Huangpu River Cruise
With the Huangpu River being situated near where Shanghai is, a ride on the Huangpu River Cruise (黄浦江游览) is a good way to explore the city and see the best things it has to offer. The view of the Bund, Jin Mao Tower, the Oriental Pearl TV Tower, the Huangpu Park, and other establishments are seen from the cruise. By taking an evening cruise, one can see the beauty of Shanghai while also having the experience of eating delicious dinner under the night sky and the bright skyscraper lights that bring the city to life.
There are two different options being offered by the cruise for tourists to choose from. The Highlight Cruise lasts for an hour and costs 100 RMB. It operates from 10 AM to 9 PM. The other option is the Classic Cruise, which is 3 hours long, and opens at 2PM to around 5:30 PM. It costs 150 RMB.
Explore the Yu Yuan Garden
Despite Shanghai’s modernity, a trip to the city still would not be complete without a visit to its historical sites. The city still has a lot of its cultural wonders preserved, and they continue to serve as a window to the ancient times that made Shanghai into the city that it is now. The largest of all of Shanghai’s ancient gardens, the Yuyuan Garden (豫园) or Garden of Contentment- found in the center of Old Town- is a rest from the fast-paced life that the urbanity of the modern city has.
Yu Yuan Garden is a 16th Century garden whose temples and halls still show the architectural designs that originated from the periods of the Ming and Qing dynasties. With around 30 pavilions and 5 acres, the garden is a nice and historical place to explore and get to know. Strolling around it is a journey to a different world and time. To do so is an experience of the richness of Shanghai’s history and deep cultural past that still gives the city its characteristic and beauty.
Near the Yu Yuan Garden is the City God Temple (城隍庙)- a Taoist monument that has been around for 600 years. Its temple building exhibits the craftsmanship of ancient sculpturing, woodcarving, and painting. The area has also now become a popular shopping district for local products and goods where visitors can buy souvenirs from.
Address: No.137 Anren Street, Huangpu District, Shanghai 200010, China
Phone number: 021-63260830
Shop at Nan Jing Road
Shanghai is a busy city that is full of life and activity. Nan Jing Lu (南京路) is the center of Shanghai’s commercial world. It is the equivalent of New York City’s Fifth Avenue. The place is lively and full of buzz. Restaurants, shops, and other commercial establishments are all over the place, making is the best site for shopping trips. It is home to the Shanghai branches of different international retail brands. At night, bright lights make the place more awake and highlight the fact that Chinese commerce is so alive. There is a sightseeing train available that goes around the place to give visitors a chance to explore the streets with ease and comfort.
Address: Nanjing East Road, Huangpu District, Shanghai 200000, China
Try the best of what Chinese Cuisine has to offer.
There is so much that can be said about a place’s culture through its cuisine. A trip to a city like Shanghai is not going to be complete unless one has tasted the best of what Chinese cuisine has to offer.
One of the best restaurants that serve local Chinese cuisine in Shanghai is the Hao Di Lao Hotspot located on the Lujiazu area. Hao Di Lao originated in the Sichuan Province, but its success brought branches of it to Beijing and Shanghai. Being a hotspot, the food on Hao Di Lao depends upon the customer’s preferences. One can choose his or her own ingredients and the style he or she wants the food to be cooked.
Another must-try restaurant is the Din Tai Fung. The Din Tai Fung originated from Taiwan, but has become one of the highlights of Shanghai’s culinary world. The restaurant’s specialty is its famous soup dumpling or xiao long pao. Locals and tourists alike crave for this Chinese specialty once they have tasted it.