Things to do in Shanghai

Shanghai is the largest city in China but if you want to see landmarks or historical buildings such as those offered by London, Rome or New York , you are in for a nasty surprise.

The city is divided into two main areas: Pudong and Puxi. Most of the sights are in Puxi so that’s where you should look for cheap hotels or hostels, too.

High speed start

Take the Maglev train from the airport and connect to the metro station in order to get in the city center. You are in for a fast ride in a train designed to impress the visitors.

Visit the Shanghai Museum

It is considered to be the best museum in China but if you expect good information in English, you’ll be in for a surprise. Still, it can be fun to see the exhibits.

Get your workout in Fuxing Park

Fuxing Park , in the middle of the French Concession, is designed for walking. So put on your walking shoes and enjoy this gem.

French Concession Walking Tour




Whether you create your own route or ask a professional to walk with you, there’s a certain European-feel when strolling this part of Shanghai. Soak up the atmosphere and enjoy the feel of a local neighborhood.

Visit the Jade Buddha Temple

It is the most famous temple in Shanghai, known for its white jade Buddhas. You can also see ancient relics and paintings.

A night view in People’s Square

Scenic by day, the People’s Square is absolutely spectacular by night.

Check out the Bund

Yes, it’s touristy but you get to do some people watching along the way. You can stop for a drink on a roof terrace when you need to take a break.

Traditional food

If you order Chinese food at home, forget about it. You are in for a treat here but look for places which don’t have an English menu. Your best bet is to go with a friend, unless you are brave enough to try to figure out the menu. Try some minced dried tofu with wild greens or red-braised pork with bamboo shoots. Or both?

Try the food at the Bazaar

Right near Yu Yuan Garden , you can find Shanghai’s Bazaar. Walk the small streets and look for souvenirs and stop at the food stalls for a quick bite.

Go up

The city is one which develops on the vertical so it makes sense to go up and enjoy the views, right? Pick a bar which is high enough (say at the 32nd floor?) and soak up the view.

Shop or do some people watching on Nanjing Road

This is the first commercial road in Shanghai. It is a pedestrian street lined up with a variety of stores.

Spend time at Dino Beach

It is the best known water park in Shanghai and a good option if you travel with the kids.

Photo credits: Maglev train , Shanghai Museum , Fuxing Park , French Concession , Jade Buddha Temple , People’s Square , The Bund , Food , Nanjing Road