8 places to visit
Lujiazui is the central business district of Shanghai and one of the financial powerhouses of China. Called the “Wall Street of China”, it’s the largest financial zone in mainland China, with more than 400 banks and financial institutions, including the Shanghai Stock Exchange, and thousands of giants companies from both home and abroad.
In Lujiazui, the charm of the city as an international metropolis is unfolded to the largest degree. One can admire the modern skyscrapers along Binjiang Avenue as well as various buildings of different architectural styles across the Huangpu River. When night comes, all the buildings are decorated with shining colorful lights, presenting a gorgeous scene. Lujiazui is also home to countless high-end restaurants and hotels.
Jin Mao Tower
With its oriental design influenced by the Western Gothic style, at 421 meters tall, Jin Mao Tower, was for years the tallest building in China, equipped with a no-stop elevator from ground level to the 88th floor, where there is a magnificent “belvedere” viewpoint. The spatial scansion of the entire building is based on the number 8, a traditionally lucky number for the Chinese.
Shanghai World Financial Center
The Shanghai World Financial Center, better known as “the corkscrew”, because of its shape, is 492 meters and 101 floors high, being the second tallest skyscraper in Shanghai; The tower features three separate observation decks which constitute the floors above and below the aperture opening. Breathtaking views can be had from the Sky Walk observatory on the hundredth floor.
Shanghai Tower embodies a new prototype for tall buildings. The new 632-metre and 128-story tower rises high above the skyline, its curved façade and spiraling form symbolizing the dynamic emergence of modern China. Opened in 2016, it is the second tallest skyscraper and one of the most eco-sustainable buildings in the world.
From the Top of Shanghai Observatory, on the 118th floor of the tower, you can enjoy a breathtaking 360-degree view of Shanghai. The world’s fastest elevator will take you up to 546 meters in just 55 seconds.
Oriental Pearl TV Tower
The iconic three-legged Oriental Pearl TV Tower, completed in 1994, is the symbol of the city. The futuristic-style tower, 468 meters high, has various observation levels. The lowest is it 263 meters, while the highest is at 351 meters. Inside the tower there is a revolving restaurant, at 267 meters, an exhibition area, a small shopping center and the Shanghai History Museum.
The original temple was built in 1216 during the Song Dynasty; converted into a plastic factory and emptied of all its statues during the Cultural revolution, it has now been completely restored and stands out in surprising contrast with the modern architecture
of West Nanjing Road; golden and shining, truly an enchanting sight in the evening. Inside, important statutes like the 15-ton silver Big Buddha, almost 9 meters tall, and the 5-ton statue of Guanyin carved from a thousand-year-old camphor tree.
Typified by low buildings, here you can breathe in the atmosphere of old Shanghai. It is a very extensive area, with many tree-lined avenues, lovely colonial villas, small shops, elegant galleries but also restaurants and cafes.
A must-do activity is a walk to Xin Tian Di, an example of urban reconstruction, testament to the traditional mud brick buildings. The 1st National Congress of the PCC was held here, and it is now a pedestrian area where you can stroll around, listen to music, drink, eat and go shopping in the wonderful shops, which are some of the most expensive in the city.
Similar to Xin Tian Di, more closely linked to local traditions and less artificial, Tianzifang is a district that is distinctive for its extremely narrow lanes and 1930s buildings, a place where you can stroll around or have something to eat in one of the many elegant small restaurants.
The Bund, which is the district lying along the Huangpu River, from the Puxi side looking onto the spectacular Pudong skyline. In perfect contrast with the ultramodern skyscrapers on the other bank of the river, here you can admire most of the art deco and neoclassical buildings, at one time considered the Wall Street of Shanghai, and which recount the last 100 years of the city. A sunset walk is something not-to-be-missed, without forgetting that the most attractive and glamourous bars and restaurants in Shanghai are located right inside these wonderful buildings.
Very long, approximately 6 km, of which just more than 1 km is pedestrian precinct, it cuts the Puxi area perfectly into two parts. Hypnotic, with its thousands of neon signs, always swarming with people, here you can really find anything and everything; shopping malls, restaurants, world famous brands, traditional Shanghai stylists and Chinese street food.
Yuyuan Gardens & Bazaar
These “Gardens of Happiness”, dating back to the second half of the 16th century, were created in 18 years by the Pan family, which belonged to the Ming Dynasty. They consist of reflecting pools of water and streams, large rocks, dragon-decorated walls, gates and zigzag bridges to confuse the spirits. Beside the gardens lies Yuyuan Old Street, an ancient and extremely well conserved lane, lined with more than 200 silk, tea and jade shops. Nearby is God’s Temple, a Taoist temple dedicated to the City God.
Located 29 miles west of downtown lies the Venice of Shanghai, Zhujiajiao. This ancient water town saw its heyday during the Ming Dynasty, when its success as a commercial hub resulted in the construction of its picturesque waterways. Unique old bridges across bubbling streams, small rivers shaded by willow trees, and houses with courtyards attached all transport people who have been living amidst the bustle and hustle of the modern big city to a brand-new world full of antiquity, leisure and tranquility.
8 things to do
Enjoy the 360° view from Top of Shanghai Observatory
From the Shanghai Tower 118th floor observation deck, which is the world's highest indoor observation deck, one can enjoy a unique panoramic view of the Huangpu River, the Bund on the west, and several other skyscrapers like the Jin Mao Tower and the World Financial Center on the east bank. After visiting the exhibition hall on floor B1, take the world’s fastest elevator to the 118th floor directly within only 55 seconds. At last, see the exhibition on the 125th and 126th floors of Shanghai Eye, a 1,000-ton damper that stabilizes the Tower.
Get the taste of Shanghai in the 1920s at Xintiandi
Xintiandi is a fashionable pedestrian street keeping the old Shikumen architecture style telling people beautiful stories about the history and culture of the city. There are fashionable shops and upscale restaurants offering cuisine from different countries. Xintiandi is one of the bar clusters in Shanghai, particularly popular among young guys and foreign visitors. The romantic open-air bars with European decoration style give you a chance to immerse in the loud music, cheerful atmosphere, and splendid lights.
Get lost in Tianzifang
Little known to Shanghai old timers, Tianzifang has transformed itself from legacy residential architectures and factories into an artsy area housing trendy café, crafts shops, design studios, galleries and boutiques. It is ardently supported by crowds of yuppies, trend setters, designers and expatriates, who fall for temptation of old stone-framed-door houses and lanes with infinite novelties.
Enjoy the best nightlife in Asia
Being a city that never sleeps, Shanghai’s liveliness goes well beyond daytime activity. At night when people come out to play, the city’s clubs and bars are its heartbeat. From the seediest watering holes to sophisticated lounge bars, Shanghai keeps the momentum going well into the night with some of the trendiest, most happening nightspots in Asia. When people think of partying in Shanghai, many of them immediately think of the Bund, a semi-defined stretch of riverbank flanking the Huangpu River on the Puxi side, that has gained quite a reputation for high end clubs and rooftop bars geared towards people who like great dance music and amazing views of the city.
Visit unmissable museums
Among the over 100 museums in Shanghai, there are some you should never miss when exploring the city. Among those, the Shanghai Urban Planning Exhibition Centre allows to look into the city’s development over the years and see its remarkable growth through the excellent displays. The Shanghai Museum is one of the most prestigious museums in the country and boasts 11 permanent exhibits with 120,000 pieces on display. The China Art Museum, that was transformed from the China Pavilion of the Expo 2010 Shanghai, an upside-down red pyramid, is dedicated to demonstrating the masterpieces of a number of China's modern and contemporary artists. In the Science and Technology Museum there are altogether 12 exhibition zones displaying rare wild animal specimens, geologic changes, robots, the Space, etc. and helping visitors to discover the secret of life and nature.
Enjoy the amazing variety of food
Food in Shanghai is so amazing and so various. Eclectic and vibrant as the city itself, the restaurant scene is booming and holds a lot of options for the gourmets and gourmands. Exhibiting its Chinese culinary roots and increasingly international identity, Shanghai’s dining scene brings together traditional and contemporary venues, from local specialties in a 1930s garden villa to avant-garde French cuisine, offering so many culinary options from roadside stalls to Michelin-starred restaurants.
Shanghai is hailed as the "Shopping Paradise". Shopping in Shanghai should not be missed any more than its other charming attractions. Providing the very best of shopping has become an indispensable part of the city's tourism industry.
To welcome more international visitors, Shanghai has adopted Tax refund policy. At present, there are 27 tax free stores in the city, mainly situated at the “4 streets”, Nanjing Road, Huaihai Road, North Sichuan Road and Middle Tibet Road, and at the “4 cities”, Yuyuan Bazaar, Xujiahui Shopping City, New Shanghai Shopping City and Jiali Sleepless City. Plenty of world class shopping malls are also worthy of a visit.
Discover the surroundings
In only 22 minutes by high-speed train you can visit Suzhou; historically it was synonymous with high culture and elegance. Generations of Chinese artists, scholars, writers and high society were drawn to its exquisite art forms and the delicate beauty of its gardens. Discover Suzhou’s famous canals, romantic water towns, thousand-year-old temples and world-class museums. Savor traditional tea and cuisine along Suzhou’s historic streets. Treat your eyes and ears to ancient architecture and music. Rest your head in a bed that’s authentically Suzhou. Explore Suzhou’s unique offerings for a once-in-a-lifetime experience.