What comes to mind when you think of Shanghai? A vibrant, fast-paced city packed with futuristic skyscrapers? An international hub for business meetings and conventions? A shopper’s paradise with cosmopolitan flair?
Well, if so, you’re half-right! Shanghai is all this… and much more.
This is a fascinating city of contrasts – a hybrid of East meets West. Glamourous and authentic. Hi-speed and slow paced. There’s so much to see and do in Shanghai, you’ll want to experience it all!
Here are eight of our favorite things to experience in Shanghai:
- Take the Maglev train from the airport to the city. Reaching a speed of 430 km/hr (267 miles/hr), the trip takes less than eight minutes. How’s that for getting you into the action quickly?
- Slow down and experience the city at street level on foot: Shanghai is a walkable city, with sights and sounds best experienced on foot. Wander through Fuxing Park, in the colonial-era French Concession, and the nearby lanes with their elegant mansions, now subdivided into several families’ homes. Or explore Shanghai’s authentic shikumen – indigenous alleyway housing – like Cité Bourgogne on Shaanxi Nan Lu and Jing’an Villa on Nanjing Xi Lu, for a street view perspective of living in the city that is readily disappearing.
- People watch, and more, on the Bund: The Bund is Shanghai’s incredible waterfront extravaganza on the west bank of Huangpu River. It will be hard to tear yourself away form the glorious architecture and attractions of the Bund, but do take some time to people-watch along the boardwalk; it’s an endlessly fascinating pastime in this city.
- Take in the city views from on high. There are more than 240 skyscrapers in Shanghai, the most recognizable and futuristic of them are in the Lujiazui Financial District. Take a ride to the top of a public-access skyscraper watch the city light up at night. It will take your breath away.
- Eat like a local, and dine on international fare. No Chinese take-out carton cuisine found here. Shanghai is fast becoming a foodie’s paradise, with an impressive array of international cuisine to delight your palate. But for true Shanghai cuisine, make sure you try the city’s infamous soup dumpling, or xiaolong bao. The delicate dumpling skin is wrapped around juicy pork (or sometimes crab) and tasty broth filling. An explosion of flavor in your mouth!
- Shop away the hours. Shopping malls, boutique shops, and street kiosks will entice you. Don’t miss picking up something on Dongtai Road, a bustling stretch of antique and curio shops off Xizang Road, that has everything from touristy souvenirs to bonafide treasures.
- Soak up the culture and arts scene. Shanghai Museum holds treasures too many to take in on one visit – you’ll want to visit several times. And experience the vibe of Shanghai’s buzzing art scene at Moganshan Road. This grouping of once-deserted warehouses near Suzhou Creek now houses Shanghai’s best contemporary art galleries.
- Save some energy for the nightlife. Theatre, bars, night clubs – Shanghai has an abundance of nightlife to keep you going until the wee hours! Don’t worry, you can sleep when you return home.
To discover what impressed world-renowned chef, best-selling author and Emmy-winning television personality Anthony Bourdain when he visited Shanghai, click here.
For more ideas on what to experience in Shanghai, and for travel information and tips, visit the official Shanghai tourism website.