Shanghai, as one of the main destinations in China, has transformed into a bustling and modern city with imposing skyscrapers over the last few decades. Boasting some of the most impressive architectural marvels, Shanghai continues to display a strong sense of Chinese cultural heritage through its people, food, and ancient buildings.
Shanghai’s many wonders charm and amazes visitors to the city with their uniqueness. The mix of ancient traditions with contemporary thinking makes the town a remarkable destination worth exploring.
Of the many adventures that tourists can enjoy in Shanghai, here are five that make for essential experiences to have in the city.
A long walkway with spectacular views, The Bund is an essential tourist spot when visiting Shanghai. It is the ideal location to admire the city’s modern skyline that consists of architecturally brilliant buildings, each with its unusual shape and design. Some of the most prominent skyscrapers here are the Shanghai World Finance Centre which looks like a bottle opener, the twisting Shanghai Tower which is also the tallest building in the city, and the spaceship looking Oriental Pearl TV Tower.
The Bund, situated alongside Huangpu river, is decorated with colourful flowers that brighten up the entire area. The flower wall along one side of the walkway makes for a picturesque spot.
Another popular photo opportunity is the Bund Bull – a statue of a charging bull inaugurated in 2010. Interestingly, no matter where you are on the Bund, it seems that everyone is busy making the most of the location and taking stunning photos, with funky poses of course!
At night, the buildings across the river light up to give an outstanding show to visitors who stay back in the area after nightfall.
Full of wonders, Yu Garden is an ancient mystical place packed with natural beauty. Alas! We didn’t go in, but the small glimpse from the entrance made me see the beauty and charm I was missing.
There are different ways to reach the entrance, but the most popular one is the equally iconic Nine Turn Zig Zag Bridge. A popular tourist destination, if you are among the few lucky visitors, you can even get a glimpse of the beautiful goldfish that swim in the pond below.
Shop till You Drop!
Shanghai is quite simply a shopper’s paradise. There are several malls and little souvenir shops scattered all over the city. One of the most famous malls is the IFC Mall. It consists of both high-end and high-street shops, thus appealing to all kinds of shoppers, whether local or from other countries.
The Super Brand Mall is another excellent place to shop. However, be prepared to get tired from all the walking inside the mall. By the end of the day, my legs were aching badly, and I remember passing out on reaching the hotel.
Shanghai Disneyland Park
The latest Disneyland park in the world, a visit to Shanghai Disney is a must-do full day activity when visiting the city. The park consists of 7 separate areas featuring classic as well as new rides which are found only in Shanghai Disneyland. These thrilling and exciting rides attract people of all ages from different parts of the world.
Another exclusive feature to Shanghai Disney is Disneytown – a little shopping, restaurant and entertainment complex, just outside the main gates of the park that can be enjoyed without buying tickets for Shanghai Disneyland.
The food in Shanghai is eccentric and distinct from what one would expect in the Western world. Traditional Chinese cuisine is most popular, but there are restaurants all over that cater to various food preferences.
When looking for local food, choices for vegetarians are limited. Instead, they can do what we did and have a meal at The Cheesecake Factory, in Disney Town. As vegetarians, we enjoyed it so much, that we ended up eating there twice during our stay.
If Indian food is what you want, head to the Indian Kitchen. The place seemed small when we first arrived, but it was jam-packed with all sorts of diners. We were lucky to find a place to sit, and the food turned out to be delicious. I recommend India Kitchen if you want some fantastic Indian food in Shanghai.
With only one day to explore the central city, we did miss out on a few other attractions but were able to hit all the significant tourist locations easily. If you are staying for more than 24 hours, then opt for the Hop On/Hop Off tour as that makes reaching all the places a lot simpler. The public transportation in the city is good, or if you want to travel in comfort, hire a taxi for the day.