7 Must-See Shanghai Sights You Absolutely Shouldn’t Skip

Shanghai is one of the most popular cities in the far east if you ever find yourself in China, this is definitely a place to go to! The city itself has a lot to offer and it can be a great hub for places outside the metropolis.

However, we are going to focus on what you can find in the city itself. Shanghai is the blend of the ancient Chinese culture with the modern architecture. You can find anything from the ancient town to large shopping districts, pedestrian zones and tall and modern buildings!

In this article, you can read more about must-see sites in Shanghai.

1. The Bund

Soruce: ft.com

The first sight, which is probably the most famous location in Shanghai for tourists is called The Bund. It is the famous boardwalk with 26 western colonial buildings in combination with the modern architecture.

This is where you can see the Western and Easter cultures blending together. The Bund is the waterfront promenade on the western side of the Huangpu River and it gives you a great view of the Pudong, which is the eastern side.

You should visit this place at least two times if you have time. Once during the day and the other time, in the evening once the sun sets and the lights switch on! The lights really give this area the charm and there’s something romantic and also admirable about these man-made structures!

2. Shanghai Tower

Source: hospitalitynet.org

If you want to see most of the Shanghai, you need to climb the Shanghai Tower! This is the second-largest building in the world, right after Burj Kalifa in Dubai. The Shanghai Tower is 632 meters high and you can see literally everything from 118th and 119th flower.

Of course, the elevator will take you there in a matter of seconds and you can spend time taking photos or simply admiring the view. There aren’t really downsides to the building itself, but there is a potential disappointment awaiting you up there. Smog is a big problem in Shanghai and it often blocks the view so the best time to visit the Tower is when you wake up and see that the day is clear!

Make sure that you learn more about Shanghai Tower before you go up there. There are some interesting facts about this place that are useful to know!

3. Huangpu River Cruise

Source: tripstoshanghai.com

Sometimes, the best way to check out the city is from the river. And Shanghai’s Huangpu River is famous for cruises. The two destinations that we have mentioned – The Bund and Shanghai Tower can be seen from the boats that are organizing cruises on the Huangpu River.

The cruise lasts for 45 minutes and it is quite nice to end the day in this area with a nice boat ride. After that, you can check out some of the nearby restaurants and get something to eat before you go back to your room.

4. Nanjing Road

Source: goshopshanghai.com

The Bund is definitely one of the central areas of Shanghai and a great starting point for your exploration of the city. Shanghai is massive and no matter how long you stay, you can never see everything. But one of the sights which can be quite enjoyable is the Nanjing Road.

This is a pedestrian zone that is taking you from The Bund to Jing’an Temple and it is 5.5 kilometers long. Along the way, you can find a lot of stores, coffee shops and the world’s largest Starbucks! I know that visiting Starbucks probably isn’t on your top priority list while you are in Shanghai, but there are so many things to check out in this street.

If you’re up for a shopping tour, Nanjing Road may be the place to go.

5. Huanghe Road Food Market

Source: girleatworld.net

In case you don’t know where to go to eat there is a large number of street food restaurants and eating spots called Huanghe Road. You can try some of the traditional meals such as the soup dumplings called xiaolongbao but also crepes and noodles. A lot of locals and people who work in Shanghai come here to eat before they go to work or to have lunch during their breaks.

Therefore, as a tourist, try to avoid the peak hours, which is between 8-9 AM and go either earlier or later.

6. Zhujiajiao Ancient City

Source: lonelyplanet.com

So far, we have mentioned a few modern spots, but now it is time to check out some of the historic areas of Shanghai. One such city is called Zhujiajio with over 1,700 years old! It is completely different from the modern Shanghai, with the traditional Chinese houses and the popular Fangsheng Bridge.

Furthermore, the place has canals through which you can ride on a smaller boat. There are several entrances to the ancient town and you can spend an entire day here! Again, you can find a lot of great restaurants and resting spots and simply enjoy the ancient China.

7. Yuyuan Garden, Shanghai Old Street and Chenghuangmiao Temple

Source: planetofhotels.com

If you are more inclined to visiting these ancient spots, you are far from finished in Shanghai. There are plenty of great destinations of this kind. Tourists love to come to the Yuyuan Garden and Market where the Chenghuangmiao Temple is located. Prepare the camera because you will take a lot of pictures here!


Shanghai is a massive city but we have managed to narrow down the attractions that you have to see in case you decide to visit China.

There are many more things along the way that may draw your attention such as parks, museums and shopping molls and you can change your plan as you walk through the city. Yet, it’d be a shame not to visit one of these 7 places because they are really unique and they make Shanghai for what it is. For the first-time tourist, these 7 spots are a must, but the next time you come to the city, you can change your itinerary and visit some other parts of the city.

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