Shanghai is a beautiful city in China, and its beauty comes from a mixture of old and historic buildings to new jaw-dropping modern structures.
This city has been drawing tourists over the years just like the North Pole cruise, leaving even returning tourists in awe because you can never get enough of Shanghai China.
Are you curious about what are the top places to visit in Shanghai? The following lines summarize some of the many attractions that dot the streets of Shanghai.
17 best places to visit in Shanghai China
Bund is the area that housed the city’s financial center during the colonial period. While the British presence was hegemonic at the time (as reflected in some 24 historic buildings), the area was also controlled by Russians, Americans, and Japanese. Bund remained isolated from the rest of Shanghai’s urban fabric during those years.
2. Nanjing Street
This busy road, more than 5.5 km in length, has become one of the most important commercial streets in the world, hobnobbing with Fifth Avenue (New York), Oxford Street (London), and the Ginza district (Tokyo). It brings together the top names in fashion and accessories on the planet.
3. Chenghuang Miao (Temple of the Gods of the City)
This Taoist temple, located next to the Yuyuan Gardens in the historic heart of Shanghai, is dedicated to the protective deities of the city. At first, however, this shrine worshipped the mountain spirit Dorada (Jinshan), located in the vicinity. The building acquired its current name in 1403 during the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644).
4. Fake Market
Located in the Pudong district, this large commercial area lives up to its name. It has many shops, and visitors can buy all kinds of imitated products from leading brands at bargain prices.
5. Shanghai Grand Theater
Located on Central Boulevard (Huangpu district), it was designed by French architect Jean-Marie Charpentier and opened in 1998. Its programming consists of several shows, among which there are many chamber music concerts and operas known internationally but also Chinese ones. Its rooms can accommodate 1,800 spectators.
6. Yuyuan Gardens
This garden complex, located north of the city, is one of the most famous in China. Its authorship is attributed to the official Pan Yunduan, who designed it between 1559 and 1577, inspired by the gardens of the Ming emperors. The complex was renovated in 1760 and 1957; after several decades, it functioned as a bazaar. In 1982, the enclave was declared a National Monument.
7. Jin Mao Tower
Designed by U.S. company Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, and Thomas Boada and located in the Pudong district, the Jin Mao Tower was built between 1994 and 1998 and inaugurated in 1999.
With its 420.5 m height and 88 floors (the latter is a viewpoint), it’s the fifth tallest building in China and one of the highest in the world. Between levels 50 and 79, the tower accommodates a luxury hotel.
8. Jing An Temple
This temple is located in the district of Jing An. Originally from the year 247, it was built during the period known as the Three Kingdoms. In 1216, under the Song dynasty (960-1279), it was moved to its present location.
Renovated in the Qing times (1644-1911), the shrine was used as a factory during the Cultural Revolution by Mao Zedong. It continued until 1983 when the building became a religious site. Inside, they erected the image of a seated Buddha of 3.8 m in height.
9. Longhua Temple
It’s a spectacular shrine to Buddha Maitreya. Although it has undergone many transformations throughout its history (beginning in 242 AD), the temple still retains some of the strongest features of the architecture. Its most striking feature is its slender pagoda.
10. Shanghai Malecon
Located along the Huangpu River, from where you can admire the stunning Pudong district. This district is home to some of the most striking skyscrapers in the city.
Among the tall structures are the Development Bank, the Pearl of the Orient, the Jin Mao Hotel Dongfeng, and the Peace Hotel (easily recognizable by its pyramidal roof and the green color of its facade), without forgetting the Nanpu Bridge.
11. Maglev train
Shanghai has the privilege of having the only Maglev train in the world: the Transrapid Maglev, capable of reaching a top speed of 430 km/h.
12. Fuyou Antiques Market
Located on Dongtai Street, west of the Huangpu River is one of the city’s most famous places. Despite its name, the products marketed are not real antiques but are perfect replicas of old items. Sunday is usually the busiest day; visitors can find many establishments open.
13. Shanghai Museum
Located in People’s Square in Huangpu District, the museum’s current building opened in 1996. Without ignoring its spectacular architectural design, it’s noteworthy that the main attraction lies in its extensive collection of paintings, sculptures, and ceramics, consisting of about 120,000 pieces.
In addition, this institution is the repository of the world’s most extensive collection of Chinese bronzes. Through the exhibits, visitors can familiarize themselves with the artistic evolution that the country has experienced over the past 4,000 years.
14. Museum of the City Planning
Situated in the Town Square, its facilities offer visitors an exhibition on the intense urban transformation in the city since its birth. It also wows visitors with multiple photographs of various times.
15. Shanghai World Financial Center
Opened in 2008, it holds the record for the highest height in mainland China (492 m) and is among the world’s tallest structures. Its original design is crowned with a square opening, giving it a distinctive look.
16. Tower of Oriental Pearl
Considered the main icon of the city and opened in 1995, its 468-meter height makes it the third-highest TV antenna in the world. It’s only surpassed by the CN Tower in Toronto and the Ostankino Tower in Moscow (and shortly, The Tokyo Sky Tree). The highest of the three viewpoints is located 350 m high. The building receives about three million visitors yearly.
17. Yufo Si Temple (Jade Buddha Temple)
Built in 1882, this sanctuary is the repository of two superb Burmese Buddhas made with jade. The monk Hui Gen was responsible for bringing them to China. The most venerable of the two images is a representation seated nearly 2 m high and 3 tons. At the same time, the second structure consists of a reclining Buddha.
Who recommends these places to visit in Shanghai China
Karla Lopez lives in Miami. She started freelance writing as her full-time job when the COVID pandemic closed her office. She lives with her mother and younger brother, and their parrot, Sinbad. When she isn’t writing, she loves to read and chill, watching Netflix. She also enjoys traveling.
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