Shanghai is the largest city in China and is a great destination for people who want to learn about Chinese culture. It is a vibrant place with plenty of entertainment, shopping and dining options.
The city is known for its towering skyscrapers and crowded streets. These things make it seem intimidating, but there are ways to navigate the city without becoming overwhelmed.
1. The Bund
The Bund is one of the most famous parts of Shanghai, located along the Huangpu River. It features a long stretch of waterfront and 52 historic Western-style buildings.
The historical buildings on the Bund are a reminder of the Western colonial influence on Shanghai. They have huge pillars and domes with heavy facades and clock towers.
Taking a walk along the Bund is a great way to explore and appreciate the rich history of this area. There are also plenty of shopping opportunities to enjoy. Among these are high-end designer boutiques, domestic brands and local eateries.
2. Oriental Pearl Tower
The Oriental Pearl Tower is one of the most iconic skyscrapers in Shanghai. Standing on the Lujiazui side of the Huangpu River, it makes for a stunning view.
The colossal emblematic tower, rising 468 meters above the city, is a symbol of Pudong’s path to modernization. It is the result of a design inspired by a poem in the Tang Dynasty that speaks of a pipa instrument making sprinkling sounds of large and small pearls falling on a jade plate.
A high-speed elevator takes you to the tower’s second big ‘ball’ where you can enjoy a delicious buffet meal and admire bird’s-eye views of Shanghai. Your 2-hour experience includes dinner and private return transfers from your central Shanghai hotel.
3. Shanghai Museum
The Shanghai Museum is one of the largest and most impressive museums in China. The collection contains 120,000 pieces of artefacts, including Chinese bronze ware, ceramics, calligraphy, painting and jade.
The museum was founded in 1952, and it moved into the former Zhonghui Building on Henan Road in 1959. Then in 1992 the Shanghai municipal government allocated a piece of land in the People’s Square as its new site.
The museum has 11 galleries with a total of 39,200 square meters and is divided into several themes. These include Ancient Chinese Bronze, Sculpture, Ceramics, Painting, Calligraphy, Jade, Seals, and the Arts and Crafts of Minorities Nationalities.
4. Yuyuan Garden
Yuyuan Garden, a Ming Dynasty masterpiece designed and laid out by the wealthy Pan family in 1559, is renowned for its scenic beauty. The classical gardens include towering rockeries, graceful arches, glimmering pools and impressive carvings.
A leisurely stroll through the enchanting gardens will reveal hidden treasures, from clay sculptures to brick carvings and calligraphic art to paintings by famous artists. You can also spot inscriptions, couplets and other historical documents scattered around the grounds.
One of the highlights of Yuyuan Garden is its Great Rockery, which is 14 meters (about 50 feet) tall and has 72 holes. It was built from thousands of tons of rocks and is the oldest and highest rockery south of the Yangtze River. It is a popular spot for tourists to enjoy a cup of tea.
5. Huxi Mosque
The Huxi Mosque (literally, West Shanghai Mosque) is one of the most famous mosques in Shanghai and it is located in Putuo District. This place of worship was first built in 1917, then reconstructed in 1925.
This mosque is surrounded by a rectangular courtyard on the east side, with a three-story Chinese style-building that houses a lecture room, offices, library, reading room, sermon room and ablution facilities.
This mosque is also a popular place for Muslim worshippers from around China to gather and take part in prayer. There are many high ranking government officials, prestigious people from Islamic countries and foreign Muslims who visit the mosque to take part in prayers.