The top 10 attractions in Shanghai

Shanghai is the vibrant epicentre of eastern China and is known as one of the most glitzy cities in the world. But what are the top things to see?


10. In the middle of a Buddhist and Taoist region, it is always nice to see churches and cathedrals from other religions. Xujiahui Cathedral (also known as St. Ignatius Cathedral) is a neo-gothic Roman Catholic cathedral and is the current home of the Bishop of Shanghai.

Fuxing Park
Fuxing Park

9. For a city that is so full of glass skyscrapers and high ride buildings, it is always nice to get away from the urban sprawl and enjoy a spot of tranquillity at Fuxing Park, which is known as one of the major oases in Shanghai.


8. Located on the outskirts of the city, the Shanghai International Circuit was opened in 2004 and hosted its first ever F1 race there the same year. Since then, the likes of Michael Schumacher, Lewis Hamilton, and Sebastian Vettel have raced here with varying degrees of success. Day tours can be booked to look around the circuit even when the F1 circus is not in town.

Are we in China or France?

7. Part of the old French Concession, Xintiandi is known as a hip and happening place to see and be seen! The youth of Shanghai comes here in their droves to partake in some boutique shopping amidst the old colonial buildings.

The silhouette of the Oriental Pearl Tower in front of the Shanghai sun

6. Once known as the icon of the city, the Oriental Pearl Tower remains a highly visible attraction on the Shanghai skyline in the Pudong district. You can get great views over the Huangpu River and across the city from up the top of the observation deck.


5. Beijing may have Wangfujing Road for all its high-end shopping, but Shanghai has its answer in Nanjing Road! Here, you can shop until you drop in this pedestrianized street, and maybe even hop on the quaint Nanjing Road tram to take you the length of the precinct. Simply, the best place to shop and dine in Shanghai!

Wen Miao
Wen Miao

4. Built as an ancient site at which to pay homage to Confucius, Wen Miao Temple in Shanghai is a great way to get away from the sheer modernity of the rest of the city and to begin to understand the history of the place, which was actually burnt down during the Cultural Revolution. The best temple in Shanghai.

At the base of Jin Mao
At the base of Jin Mao

3. Probably the best-looking of the famous trio of Shanghai supertalls, Jin Mao Tower has 88 floors with an observation deck at the very top. It was completed and opened in 1999, and continues to wow the tourists even to this day. The architecture of the building is stunning! Read about my experience up at the observation deck of Jin Mao Tower.


2. Considered the ultimate oasis in Shanghai, the Yuyuan Garden is intended as a garden of happiness, and occupies a site of 5 acres. It is built mainly in Suzhou style, which means there is plenty of water around here in addition to its manicured gardens, which adds to the tranquil atmosphere.

The Bund, Shanghai
The Bund, Shanghai

1. Unquestionably the most famous area of Shanghai and a real must-see for tourists of all ages, The Bund is a splendid waterfront promenade along the Huangpu River with views of Pudong on one side, and the old colonial buildings of Zhongshan Road on the other. The Bund is a great place for a romantic stroll or a spot of photography.

11 thoughts on “The top 10 attractions in Shanghai

    1. I think if I had to choose, Beijing is the best Chinese city, but Shanghai is so interesting. I think it’s because people consider it to be a business-oriented city, yet when you scratch under the surface you will notice many hidden gems. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Shanghai is quite touristy yeah, but you will be surprised that a large proportion of the tourists there are actually from China! China’s tourism industry is booming and a lot of domestic holidaymakers are coming to the big cities en masse to see what the fuss is about! It’s difficult to recommend anything off the beaten path in Shanghai, but I did enjoy the tranquillity of Fuxing Park. I imagine an early morning stroll down the Bund would also be pretty eerie.

      Liked by 1 person

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