Shanghai is a 26 million person mega city located on the east coast of China. I can’t say I have been to loads of Chinese cities but Shanghai is my absolute favourite. It is the perfect mix of Chinese culture and the modern perks of Western culture. Keep reading for 6 things to do in this incredible city.
1. The Shanghai Skyline @ The Bund
The Bund has to be most peoples favourite place to visit in Shanghai, because who couldn’t resist staring for hours on end at that incredible skyline. I was in Shanghai for 4 or 5 days and I made sure to fit in a trip to the bund everyday. The bund, a 2.6km waterfront walkway is the perfect spot to take in the city views. Make sure to go during the day and especially at night for those classic views of this incredible city. Do be warned though the bund gets busy. Very very busy. As in you have to keep your eyes peeled for a spot along the front railings. Keep an eye out for photoshoots along the bund, I always enjoy watching these in China.
An Evening On The Bund
Mini Models at The Bund
2. Nanjing Road
Nanjing Road is the main shopping street in Shanghai. Now travelling to cities just to shop is not high on my travel list, however it is worth visiting this street for the experience of visiting it with the 1 million people who visit daily. This busy street was so overwhelming that I didn’t really stop to take photos. You are propelled down the street by the flow of human bodies. But check out this somewhat unprofessional video I made of my trip to Shanghai and Beijing and see if you can spot the busy street I am talking about.
3. Urban Planning Exhibition Centre
Ok. I am a geographer, so an urban planning museum was just what the travel doctor ordered. But even for you non urban geography lovers then I would still recommend this place, especially for a rainy day activity. Located on People’s Square this exhibition costs 30 RMB (US$4.60) and is pretty interesting to discover how this city developed into the metropolis it is today.
4. Yu Garden
If you want to enjoy Chinese architecture, sculptures and an assortment of orange fish then Yu Garden is the place to visit. I’d suggest you need around 1 or 2 hours to visit Yu Garden and the surrounding area.
Entry fee: 40 RMB (US$6.20 ) (March – October), 30 RMB (US$4.60 ) (November – February)
5. Jing’an Temple
My favourite temple I have visited in China, no, make that Asia. If you want one word to sum up this temple it would be…juxtaposition. Jing’an Temple epitomises juxtaposition. This temple is right in the heart of Jing’an District, surrounded by busy traffic and skyscrapers. But walk through the gate of this temple and the noise seems to stop, and tranquility prevails.
Entry fee: 50 RMB (US$8)
6. The Skyline Towers
Shanghai’s skyline is like no other skyline I have ever seen. As I mentioned above I stared at it for a long long time. But let me give you a break down of some of these incredible buildings.
Oriental Pearl Tower
Perhaps the most iconic building of the Shanghai skyline is the Oriental Pearl Tower. This tower is 468m high and three legs (for want of a better word) support the structure that has two large and one smaller spherical capsules that make up the observation decks.
- 220 RMB (US$34) – 3 spheres & Shanghai History Museum
- 160 RMB – (US$25 ) – 1st and 2nd spheres & Shanghai History Museum
- 120 RMB – (US$18.50) – 2nd sphere & Shanghai History Museum
- 35 RMB – (US$5.40) – Shanghai History Museum
The Shanghai Tower or the twisty building as I was calling it. It is the worlds second tallest building and has the worlds highest observation deck within a building. What is interesting though is that the building is actually believed to be somewhat of an architectural failure, despite its striking facade. Since it’s completion it has faced an incredibly low occupancy rate. This is largely due to the twisting glass, which has created impractical space, forcing tenants to pay for space they can’t use.
Access to the 118th floor (546m) and 119th (552m) floors of the tower cost 180 RMB (US$28)
Jin Mao Tower
The Jin Mao Tower I think looks a tad similar to New York’s Empire State. It’s viewing deck is 420m high, where you can look out at some of the other incredible Shanghai architectural structures. It costs 388 RMB (US$60) to go up onto the 88th sightseeing floor. I think this ticket is a little pricey seeing as this is one of the smaller of the skyscrapers.
Shanghai World Financial Tower
Nicknamed the bottle opener this building took 11 years to build and opened in 2008. It is both a hotel, an office and there are plenty of shopping opportunities and eateries. Tickets are around 180 RMB (US$28).