Sightseeing in Shanghai
Shanghai doesn’t offer a lot in the way of sightseeing and tourists who are focused on attractions will probably be bored after two days. What Shanghai lacks in terms of sights it more than makes up for in atmosphere. A good way to experience the city is to wander the alleys around Suzhou Creek and the French Concession. Almost all these streets offer something fascinating. There are, of course, some prominent attractions in the city, listed below.
Sightseeing Attractions Around the Bund
The Bund (外滩)
The dominant symbol of colonialism in China and the financial center of East Asia in the early 20th Century, the Bund is an atmospheric place, evocative of Shanghai’s wild and debaucherous past and brimming with the spirit of colonial arrogance… (Read More…)
Directions: Walk east from Nanjing Dong Lu subway station.
The Bund Sightseeing Tunnel
You’ll either love it or hate it: the Bund Sightseeing Tunnel polarizes public opinion, if such hyperbole can be used to describe something as kitschy as this… (Read More…)
Admission: ¥45/¥55 one-way/return. Open: 8am-10pm.
Directions: At the underpass where Nanjing Dong Lu meets the Bund.
Nanjing Dong Lu (南京东路)
The glittering, neon-flooded, golden mile of Shanghai runs from the Bund in the east to People’s Square in the west. Nanjing Road was established as a commercial district in the mid 19th Century when it was part of the international settlement. Today, most of the strip is a pedestrian mall… (Read More…)
Directions: Nanjing Dong Lu subway station will deposit you right on the street.
Yuyuan Garden (豫园)
This is probably the only must-see tourist attraction in Shanghai, especially if you don’t plan to visit any of Suzhou’s classical gardens. Considered one of the four finest gardens in China… (Read More…)
Admission: ¥40. Open: 8:30am-5pm.
Directions: Take Exit 1 from Yuyuan Garden subway station (Line 10).
Sightseeing Attractions Around People’s Square
People’s Square (人民广场)
Technically, this is the center of Shanghai. Up until 1949, People’s Square and People’s Park was the site of the Shanghai racecourse. It was redeveloped into its current form in the 1950s and now serves as something of a cultural center of Shanghai with several museums and galleries in the area… (Read More…)
Directions: People’s Square has its own subway station (on lines 1, 2 and 8).
Shanghai Museum (上海博物馆)
Housed in an ugly building representing the old Chinese belief of heaven being round and the earth square, the Shanghai Museum receives accolades as one of China’s premier museums… (Read More…)
Admission: Free. Open: 9:00-17:00.
Directions: Located at the southern end of People’s Square.
Shanghai Urban Planning Exhibition Hall (上海城市规划展览馆)
It might sound dull but this is actually one of the most interesting attractions in Shanghai. The Shanghai Urban Planning Exhibition Center maps out the development of Shanghai up to 2020… (Read More…)
Admission: ¥30. Open: Mon-Thur 9am-5pm, Fri-Sun 9am-6pm.
Directions: Just south of People’s Square subway station.
Shanghai Art Museum (上海美术馆)
The Shanghai Art Museum is a quality gallery that provides a good introduction to Chinese art… (Read More…)
Admission: ¥20. Open: 9:00-17:00.
Directions: Take Exit 9 from People’s Square subway station and head towards the JW Marriott Hotel. It’s on the left after Starbucks.
Shanghai Museum of Contemporary Art
The building this museum is housed in was originally the greenhouse of People’s Park. The transformation is quite amazing, creating a wonderfully modern gallery… (Read More…)
Admission: ¥20. Open: 10am-6pm (until 10pm on Wednesdays).
Directions: Inside People’s Park – take Exit 9 from People’s Square subway.
Sightseeing Attractions in the French Concession
Site of the 1st National Congress of the Chinese Communist Party
It was in this relatively unassuming two-storey shikumen house on July 23rd 1921 that the Chinese Communist Party was born through a meeting of 13 delegates including Mao Zedong… (Read More…)
Admission: ¥3. Open: 9am-5pm.
Directions: 5 minutes walk south of Huangpi Nan Lu subway station.
Sun Yatsen’s Former Residence (孙中山故居)
This European style villa on the fringes of Fuxing Park, was home to the founder of modern China, Sun Yatsen, and his wife, Song Qinling, from 1918 to 1924… (Read More…)
Admission: ¥20. Open: 9am-4pm.
Directions: At the west gate of Fuxing Park. Nearest subway is Shaanxi Nan Lu.
Hengshan Moller Villa (衡山马勒别墅)
This fantastical building is well worth a look. It was built by British businessman Eric Moller in 1936. Legend has it that the design was based on a house his young daughter had seen in a dream… (Read More…)
Directions: Hengshan Moller Villa is at #30 Shaanxi Nan Lu, on the corner with Yan’an Zhong Lu – nearest subway is Shaanxi Nan Lu.
Sightseeing Attractions Around Jing’An Temple
Jing’an Temple (静安寺)
Although the origins of this centrally located temple date back to 247AD, it might as well have been built last year. Indeed, with recent large-scale reconstruction, it pretty much was… (Read More…)
Admission: ¥30. Open: 7:30-17:00.
Directions: Jing’an Temple is right at Jing’an Temple subway station.
Jade Buddha Temple (玉佛寺)
One of the most active and attractive Buddhist temples in Shanghai, the Jade Buddha Temple is worth a look even if it doesn’t really measure up to the temples elsewhere in China… (Read More…)
Admission: ¥20 (another ¥10 to see the jade Buddhas). Open: 8:00-17:00.
Directions: It’s easiest to reach by taking a taxi from Nanjing Xi Lu.
Sightseeing Attractions in Pudong
Oriental Pearl TV Tower (东方明珠电视塔)
The Oriental Pearl TV tower cops a lot of ridicule for its gaudiness and odd shape. The criticism is unfair. Its supposedly futuristic design might look bizarre… (Read More…)
Admission: ¥85-¥135. Open: 8:00-21:00.
Directions: A couple of minutes walk from Lujiazui subway station.
Jinmao Tower (金茂大厦)
Like the Oriental Pearl TV Tower, the Jinmao Tower is a mix of modern design with Chinese characteristics. Unlike the Pearl TV Tower, most people think the Jinmao Tower is quite beautiful… (Read More…)
Admission: ¥70 (observation deck). Open: 8:30am-9pm.
Directions: About halfway between Lujiazui and Dongchang Rd subway stations.
Sightseeing Attractions in South-West Shanghai
St Ignatius Cathedral (天主教堂)
The twin-spired, red brick St Ignatius Cathedral was built by the Jesuits in 1910. The Jesuits were actually the first foreigners to settle in Shanghai… (Read More…)
Admission: Free. Open: There is no apparent logic to the opening hours.
Directions: Take Exit 3 from Xujiahui subway station.
Longhua Temple (龙华寺)
Longhua Temple is Shanghai’s oldest, most beautiful and most interesting. The temple’s origins are way back in the 3rd Century AD. However, the layout and design seen today is based on a Song Dynasty… (Read More…)
Admission: ¥10. Open: 7am-4:30pm.
Directions: About 15 minutes walk east of Longcao Lu subway station.
Longhua Park of Revolutionary Martyrs (龙华烈士陵园)
The Longhua Park of Revolutionary Martyrs is a great place to visit if you have the time. Situated next to the Longhua Temple, it provides an extra reason to make the trek out here… (Read More…)
Admission: ¥5 (park) and ¥5 (museum). Open: 9:00-16:00.
Directions: About 15 minutes walk east of Longcao Lu subway station.
Art Districts in Shanghai
M50 Art Center
Set within a number of industrial buildings dating from the 1930s nearby Suzhou Creek are a multitude of galleries housing contemporary Chinese artwork. You could easily spend half a day checking out the many galleries… (Read More…)
Directions: The best way to reach M50 is by taxi, or you can take bus 19, 68 or 112 from Jiangning Lu, which runs north from Nanjing Xi Lu.
Taikang Lu Art Center (泰康路艺术中心)
In 1998, this lane was designated to be the artistic center of Shanghai, though in recent years it has become somewhat overshadowed by M50… (Read More…)
Directions: Taikang Lu, Lane 210 runs north-south between Taikang Lu and Jianguo Zhong Lu. Take a taxi from Shaanxi Nan Lu or Huangpi Nan Lu subway stations.