Our top 10 Shanghai attractions
1. Yu Garden:
Yu means ‘pleasing’ in Chinese and with traditional pavilions, halls, rockeries, carp ponds and cloisters to explore, this classical garden is sure to delight visitors. Built during the Ming Dynasty, it is home to the unique Exquisite Jade Rock and the Huxinting Teahouse - said to be one of the most famous in China.
2. The Bund:
Flanked by ornate Art Deco and Neoclassical buildings, Shanghai’s iconic waterfront promenade is the place to flash some cash with no shortage of designer boutiques, exclusive restaurants and luxury hotels. It also offers the best vantage point to take in the stunning views of Pudong’s dazzling skyline.
3. Shanghai Museum:
With a round top and square base, this unique building was designed to reflect the ancient notion that ‘heaven is round, earth is square’. Inside, the museum is a collection of 11 state-of-the-art galleries, which house an exhaustive array of ancient Chinese treasures, including art, sculpture, ceramics, bronze and calligraphy.
4. Oriental Pearl Tower:
Standing 468 metres high, this futuristic tower dominates the city skyline, and is arguably the most recognisable structure in Shanghai. A multi-entertainment venue, visitors can dine in the revolving restaurant, enjoy the thrill of an indoor rollercoaster, or take a mid-air stroll on the world’s only 360-degree glass floor observation deck.
5. Jade Buddha Temple:
Built in the style of the Song Dynasty, this working Buddhist monastery is famous for housing two ornate Buddha statues, each carved from a single piece of white jade. The temple is also home to around 70 resident monks and features a collection of precious Buddhist scriptures.
6. Jin Mao Tower:
Resembling a traditional Buddhist pagoda, this magnificent steel and glass structure soars 420 metres above Pudong district. Those with a head for heights can take the 45-second high-speed elevator ride to the 88th floor and enjoy wonderful city views from the observation deck.
7. Shanghai French Concession:
Known as the Paris of the East, this enclave was reserved for foreigners during the colonial era and still retains a European feel, thanks to tree-lined avenues, grand mansions and historic buildings. A delightful place to spend a few hours, it is also considered very fashionable with an abundance of restaurants, bars, boutiques and galleries.
8. People's Park:
Sitting serenely in the centre of Shanghai’s urban sprawl, this impressive green space features manicured garden beds, a tranquil lotus pond and the very unusual marriage market - a weekly event where desperate parents of unmarried adults display their children’s romantic credentials in the hope of finding them a suitable partner.
Designed as ‘the city’s living room’ this upmarket car-free district boasts some of China’s most expensive real estate and is made up of a series of alleyways that straddle Shanghai’s old and new with exclusive restaurants, bars and boutiques found among beautifully restored heritage Shikumen housing.
10. Power Station of Art:
Housed in a former power station on the banks of the Huangpu River, this is China’s first state-run museum dedicated to contemporary art. This imposing space does not house a permanent collection but instead plays host to some of the city’s major art events, including the Shanghai Biennale and touring exhibitions.