Contrary to popular misconception, Shanghai is not (just) a concrete jungle but is one of the best places to travel to in China.
Contrary to popular misconception, Shanghai is not (just) a concrete jungle but is one of the best places to travel to in China. As an international traveller, Shanghai presents the perfect confluence of ancient Chinese culture and the modern day Chinese developments. I travelled to Shanghai last summer and had an amazing time there. Shanghai was a total surprise and the best of all that is exotic, historical and cultural.
I would like to shortlist some of the must-visit places In Shanghai for the discerning traveller. From Gardens to Shopping areas to amazingly lit-up streets, Shanghai has a ton of things that will leave you staring with your jaws dropped.
1. Yuyuan gardens- These beautiful gardens were originally built during the reign of Jiajing and Wanli, during the Ming dynasty as a private garden. The Yuyuan Gardens is one of the places of historical relevance in Shanghai. With just a few shops in the lanes surrounding the Garden, this is a great place to just sit around and watch people.
2. The Bund- The bund located just outside of the Lujiazui station is one of the most remarkable sites of Shanghai and is probably the best place to compare the new China versus the old China. You can reach the Bund by a short walk from the East Nanjing station. Stand on the banks of the Huanpu River and grab an ice cream or a coffee while you look around at the old Shanghai on this side of the river and the new Shanghai on the opposite side in the Puxi district.
3. The Oriental Pearl Tower and the Jin Mao Tower- These two towers have now for long been symbols of the Shanghai skyline. The area around the Oriental Tower is bustling with energy and sound; and is probably the best place to soak in the busy Shanghai life.
4. Tianzifung- My personal favourite place in Shanghai would be Tianzifung - an arty area with a whole lot to do, shop for and eat. Here you can try famous local foods like the homemade Popsicle, buy little Chinese artefacts or better still, do absolutely nothing and just walk around.
5. Xintiandi- Another absolute delight in Shanghai is Xintiandi - the party area. This street comes to life once the sun sets and has the best dressed people going to the best bars and restaurants in the city. The legendary actor Jackie Chan owns a bar here. There are of course tons of branded stores here too. Xintiandi is actually known as Shanghai's window to the modern world because the old gives way to the new here with modern architecture rubbing shoulders with the traditional one.
6. Nanjing Street- Consider carrying a pair of sunglasses when you head to Nanjing street because the insane number of neon lights could blind you. This is basically the main shopping street in Shanghai. If you're looking for malls, try the Zhi Di Plaza.
7. Shanghai Art Museum- an absolute must-see to understand the culture and art forms of the Chinese people.
8. Shanghai World Financial Centre- is one of the tallest buildings and you can go up to a viewing gallery on the 100th floor for around 150 RMB.
9. Other Places of Interest- the Shanghai science and technology museum, Longhua temple, Qibao ancient town, Guyi garden are a few other places which make Shanghai one of the best places to travel in China.