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Top attractions in Shanghai

10 essential sights in Shanghai

Shanghai is veritably one of the biggest cities in the world. These 10 tips will help you start to piece together an idea of this vibrant metropolis.

  • Shanghai World Financial Center

    1. Shanghai World Financial Center

    This unusual skyscraper stands at 492 meters and is characterized by its unusual blunt tip. It features restaurants and a bar for visitors, and its observatory is by far the best place to catch a glimpse of the Shanghai cityscape.

  • Shanghai Museum

    2. Shanghai Museum

    Appropriately located on Shanghai's People's Square, this museum is a collection of ancient Chinese art with exhibitions in jade, calligraphy, and ceramics.

  • Yuyuan Gardens

    3. Yuyuan Gardens

    This "garden of the forbidden city" displays include traditional fountains, pavilions, and rock gardens.

  • 4. Propaganda Poster Art Center

    These Maoist-era propaganda posters, now valued as art pieces by their collector, will help you understand China's Communist history.

  • Jewish Refugees Museum

    5. Jewish Refugees Museum

    During the Second World War, Shanghai received around 20,000 Jewish refugees - this museum goes into more detail about this little-known aspect of history.

  • The Bund

    6. The Bund

    A microcosm of corporate Shanghai, you'll see the buildings that are home to HSBC and North China Daily News.

  • French Concession

    7. French Concession

    This area of Shanghai could well also be called "Little France" - with its Parisian-looking suburbs and quaint bistros, the city has retained portions of its French colonial history.

  • Jing'an Temple

    8. Jing'an Temple

    Translated as the Temple of Peace and Tranquility, this Buddhist temple consists of three main halls testifying to culture from several Chinese dynasties.

  • Huxinting Tea House

    9. Huxinting Tea House

    Constructed during the Ming dynasty, the zig-zag bridge surrounding the tea house is meant to shut evil spirits out. It is considered one of the last authentic Chinese tea houses in Shanghai and has even been visited by Queen Elizabeth II!

  • Lu Xun Park

    10. Lu Xun Park

    Located in the Hongkou district and quieter than Yuyan, this park is dedicated to Chinese literary great Lu Xun. You can rent out a boat for the lake, or simply wander around enjoying the tranquility.

Planning Your Visit

  • When to go

    The fall months are the mildest, temperature-wise. Winter gets cold, but is not particularly snowy.

  • Market scams

    Beware of buying precious minerals like pearl necklaces and jade ornaments from markets - it is common that these are not the real deal.

  • English newspaper

    Check out the English-language newspaper, Shanghai Daily, to see what's going on in the city.

  • Pollution

    If you suffer from respiratory issues, look into purchasing a mask that covers your nose and mouth before your trip, as the air pollution concentration in Shanghai is very high.

Good to know

  • Language
  • Currency
    RNB or Yuan (¥)
  • Time Zone
    UTC (+08:00)
  • Country Code
  • Best time to visit
    May through October is the most mild weather, but also the busiest time for Shanghai. Late March and October are ideal for weather and avoiding the peak times for tourists and business travelers.

Other Sightseeing Options in Shanghai

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