Shanghai
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Top attractions in Shanghai

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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

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

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

Yuyuan Gardens

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

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
Photo: Harvey Barrison@flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)

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

The Bund

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

French Concession
Photo: Eduardo M. C.@flickr (CC BY 2.0)

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

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

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
Photo: Bernt Rostad@flickr (CC BY 2.0)

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 Shanghai 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
    Mandarin
  • Currency
    RNB or Yuan (¥)
  • Time Zone
    UTC (+08:00)
  • Country Code
    +86
  • 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.

Things to Do in Shanghai

Top Attractions in Shanghai

Cities in China

Other Sightseeing Options in Shanghai

Want to discover all there is to do in Shanghai? Click here for a full list.

What people are saying about Shanghai

Mark is the perfect guide with whom to see Shanghai's highlights

This was one of the most relaxed and informative guided tours we have ever experienced in any city, with a very knowledgeable and friendly guide in Mark and a comfortable air-conditioned car as well! Mark's flexibility in taking us to all of the sights we wanted to see (not just the regular 'must do') and at our own pace was much appreciated, as was his exceptional commitment to helping us when our initial research didn't show us what we'd wanted. His easy going nature and excellent English made it such an enjoyable experience for us on our first day that we actually booked Mark for a second day to see more of Shanghai. We very highly recommend this service to anyone wanting to look around Shanghai at their own pace in a relaxed and flexible way, and we will be telling all of our friends about it. Guides don't come better than this!

Shanghai: 8-Hour Private City Tour Reviewed by Nicholas, 04/15/2019

Amazing tour with the fantastic guide Julia

We had an amazing bike tour through Shanghai with a fantastic guide. Julia had everything prepared as we got there (bikes, helmets and water bottles) and guided us not only through the city but also explained about the history of Shanghai and its treasures. We felt safe at all times and all our questions were answered in detail. Overall, we would recommend everyone to do the tour with Julia!! What an amazing day xx

Shanghai Must-See and Foodie Bike Tour Reviewed by a GetYourGuide customer, 04/02/2019

Highly recommend this tour, if you come to Shanghai.

Exceptional service in every way! Great customer services, courteous, very knowledgeable of history and culture guide who speaks perfect English, very reasonable/affordable fee. We get to see and do so much in one day. I will give them a great review on TripAdvisor when I get back as well. Thank you Tom for a wonderful day in Shanghai!!!

Shanghai: 8-Hour Private City Tour Reviewed by Amphorn, 01/20/2019

Incredible tour! Great food, lots of knowledge, and good fun!

I have not stopped talking about my experience on this food tour in Shanghai. I wound up with a surprise 24 hour layover in the city after my connecting flight got cancelled, and I found this tour online in the wee hours of morning. I was able to register at that late date, and another stranded traveller I linked up with was able to register in the morning too. Totally unprepared for this stop on my trip, I was so grateful to have a knowledgeable guide to show me the tastiest food and coolest out-of-the-way places in Shanghai. The meetup spot was easy to find, and I was so impressed with Jim, our guide. He spoke perfect English, had lots of great knowledge, and did a wonderful job moderating our many restaurant visits so we didn't get overfull. Incredible experience I literally have told all my friends about!

Shanghai: 3-Hour Local Food Tasting Tour Reviewed by Audrey, 12/25/2018

Great fun, lovely sincere welcome, local knowledge tasty treats!

Lin waited 25 minutes for us. We arrived late directly from the airport and were so happy and delightfully surprised to see her still there waiting for us!

Shanghai: 3-Hour Biking and Local Food Tour Reviewed by Martin, 12/18/2018