For centuries, Shanghai has represented one of China’s most important cities. Located on the East China sea at the end of the Yangtze River, the third longest river in the world, Shanghai has been a center for trade, administration, culture, and shipping. Today, it is China’s most populated city and the third largest in the world.
Being such and hugely populated city and large city, Shanghai is home to myriad attractions, cultural exhibits, quaint traditional neighborhoods, a variety of cuisine and a grand and seemingly endless skyline.
With so much to do and see in Shanghai it’s hard to know where to begin. In order to narrow down your choices and experience Shanghai on any budget or time frame, below are the top 5 things to do in Shanghai.
1) Ride The Magnetic Levitation Train
Maglev is an exciting new means of transport that literally levitates and propels a train using super conducting magnets. And Shanghai boasts one of worlds few operating Maglev trains in existence. The train journeys from Shanghai International Airport to Longyang Road, which is still a 20 minute subway to downtown. So although it doesn’t really go anywhere, it’s still a unique experience and something to get your Shanghai experience off right from the moment you land. For just 50 Yuan or around 7 dollars, you get the chance to rocket at speeds of 260+ mph.
2) Visit the Shanghai World Financial Center
From China’s fastest train, head over to China’s tallest buildings. The Shanghai World Financial Center is located in the Pudong district of Shanghai. It stands as one of China’s tallest buildings at 492 meters or 1,614 feet tall. Although the Shanghai Tower is due to top the WFC following its completion in 2014, the World Financial Center still boasts the tallest observation deck in the world. To check out the observation deck for yourself simply head to the main entrance between the hours of 8 am and 11 pm and pay 150 Yuan. It provides a unique and unadulterated view of Shanghai and the surrounding suburbs. Just be sure to go on a clear day.
3) Go Shopping On Dongtai Road
Dongtai road is one of those few places where you can still find authentic antiques, crafts, clothes and paintings. They have loads of Mao era knick-knacks, army surplus gear, medicinal plants, and even fighting crickets for sale. With over 100 stalls you’re bound to find that ultimate Chinese souvenir.
4) Relax In Yuyuan Garden
After shopping your heart out it’s time for an escape from the bustle of 24 million people and find repose in one of Shanghais most beautiful and historic gardens. Yuyuan was conceived in 1559 during the Ming Dynasty. Although it was nearly destroyed a few times, especially during the opium wars, today it has been re-manicured and declared an official national monument. The entrance fee, 40 Yuan or 6 dollars.
5) Shanghai Water Town Tour
Shanghai’s ancient “Water Towns” are considered by many to be the “Venice Of The East.” For centuries they have provided navigable canals and water ways for transport around the city and within neighborhoods.Today these Water Towns continue to thrive as both a means for transport and as a major tourist attraction. Some notable water town include Nanxu(least crowds), Zhujaijaio, and Tongli. Entrance fees and boat rides cost between 100 and 200 Yuan. Additionally, if you’re looking for a more in depth experience you might want to consider checking out tours in Shanghai.
Like most big cities, Shanghai is full of loads of cool things to do. In fact, there’s so much to do you could spend a lifetime trying to do it all. So if you’re heading to Shanghai, be sure the check out the former attractions, you won’t be disappointed.