5 Must-Visit Attractions in Shanghai

5 Must-Visit Attractions in Shanghai

Shanghai is the biggest city in China and it could get a bit overwhelming for tourists. Here's a list of top 5 places you have to visit when in Shanghai!

Contributed by My Quirky Soul!

Shanghai is China’s biggest city and one of the most populous cities in the world. This city has the best view at night, with all the LED advertisements dancing on the face of every building! You’d wonder just how much electricity they consume each night to run all these lights. Now, I’ve listed down the top 5 attractions to see in Shanghai, China!

Also read: Forget Beijing & Shanghai: 7 Offbeat China Cities Everyone Needs to Visit

1. Waibaidu Bridge

Waibaidu Bridge

Waibaidu Bridge at night!

This bridge is so beautiful at night! My Shanghainese friend said this bridge is very famous and has appeared in a lot of Hollywood movies. Well, in my mind, I couldn’t remember seeing this bridge in hundreds of movies I’ve watched nor had a time to validate his statement.

I was just so captivated by the view right in front of my eyes — the  bright red colour of the bridge against the dark night, the bright lights illuminating from the surrounding buildings (well, you have the infamous Pudong skyline at the back), and the river perfectly capturing the bridge’s reflection. It was just so perfect! Then add the tranquility around the vicinity; it feels like in the movies after all! Shoutout to my Shanghainese friend, Justin, thank you for bringing us here!

Also, I’ve read that this is the first all-steel bridge, and the only surviving example of a camelback truss bridge in China. Cool!

2. The Bund

The Bund

The Bund, Shanghai, China

When you get to Shanghai and ask the locals where to go, The Bund is always a famous recommendation. It’s a waterfront promenade with European style buildings, predominantly that of the Renaissance type architecture.

That said, you’d easily get that this is a high-end place where you can eat dancing prawns at expensive restaurants. The buildings, the streets, and the place as a whole exude that classic, extravagant feel — you know, the one you get when you watch theatrical performances, or when you listen to jazz music or piano, or it’s probably just me. This side of Shanghai just gives you that distinct vibe which is not very Asian, if you know what I mean.

3. Lujiazui Skyline (Pudong district)

must visit attractions shanghai

Pudong Skyline – my favourite Pearl Oriental Tower (centre), Shanghai World Financial Tower (the one which looks like a bottle-opener), and Shanghai Tower (right)

Lujiazui is the central business district of Shanghai. It sits directly across the river from The Bund. Every night, your eyes can feast on its soaring skyscrapers (yeah, I find it very entertaining) — Shanghai Tower (the tallest in Shanghai), Pearl Oriental Tower (my personal favourite), Jin Mao Tower, and Shanghai World Financial Tower which all light up with dancing LED ads. This district literally shows what bright lights of a modern city should look like — very futuristic.

Also read: 10 Foods in Shanghai That Will Keep You Returning For More

It’s only in Shanghai where you can see various architectural designs of tall buildings. It’s what makes Shanghai stand out from other modern cities in Asia that I’ve visited so far. You’ll get fascinated by just how much each building is visually unique and different from the other.

4. Tianzifang


Cute arts and crafts in Tianzifang

Tianzifang is like the “Insadong” (traditional shopping area in Seoul, Korea) of Shanghai, but not entirely.

It’s a labyrinth of narrow alleyways where you can find small (yes, really small!) boutiques, shops, art galleries, cafes, and restaurants. You can buy traditional Chinese tea, crafts, silk cloth, souvenir items, and other art pieces.

The place also has bars — it kind of gives off the same ambience with Golden Gai (Drunkards alley) of Tokyo but unlike Golden Gai which only starts its nightlife at 10pm, Tianzifang stores are already close at this hour!

My Shanghainese friend said this place was once a residential area and re-developed to be a house of arts and crafts, shops, and restaurants. Well, I think some are still residential areas because we saw hanging laundry! Also, there are visible electric cable wires, super old television, and telephones which add to its very vintage and residential feel.

5. Yu Garden

Yu Garden

The very famous and crowded Yu Garden in Shanghai

This is a very famous tourist spot even among Chinese! We were in Shanghai during the Chinese New Year holidays so the garden was full of lanterns and lights. I was personally excited!

However, we were told not to go during the holiday period since a lot (and they meant really massive!) of people are also visiting the place. So we decided to go after the holidays. We were so excited to see the garden and the lanterns and find out for ourselves why it’s so popular; well, apart from the fact that we heard there’s a restaurant that serves really delicious Xia Long Bao.

When we went there, there were still a LOT of people. We tried getting inside to get a view of the garden but to no avail. We decided to eat but the Xiao Long Bao store was already full of customers, it had to close.

Also read: 48 Hours in Shanghai for a Weekend Getaway

Probably, during ordinary days, you’ll be able to see a glimpse of this infamous Yu Garden without the hassle of squeezing yourself in the big crowd. Let me know if it’s really worth the visit.

About Author

Sarah Maceda
Sarah Maceda

Sarah is a massive fan of spontaneity who has just recently developed an affinity with travelling. She’s a very dynamic, boundlessly curious person who thrives in pursuing new learning opportunities and adventures to spur her growth, personal and otherwise. Follow her quirks in My Quirky Soul! and Facebook.


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