Top Things to Do in Shanghai
Iconic as the Fifth Avenue in New York, Nanjing Road is the most thriving commercial street of Shanghai. Buzzing with shopping activities, the pedestrian-only street absorbs retailers of big brands from all over the world, visited by thousands of shoppers on a regular basis. You could indulge yourself in a shopping spree at Nanjing Road and seize the most vibrant part of Shanghai. All the way along Nanjing Street to the east lies the resplendent Bund area, where Shanghai's heartbeat could be felt. The futuristic skyline formed by skyscrapers of different styles across the Huangpu River unfolds the real glamour of this mega city. A stroll along the waterfront promenade of Bund is a must-do for every first-timer, or you could enjoy a drink at a rooftop bar at the Bund to marvel at the dazzling night views.
As a time-honored private garden dating back to the 16th century in Ming Dynasty, Yu Garden displays the most classic traditional Chinese architecture and garden scenery. Temples, pavilions, corridors, living halls, rockeries and ponds are exquisitely arranged to create one of the finest residential complexes of wealthy families in ancient China. The adjacent Yuyuan Bazaar is another great highlight not to miss, where you are offered with a ton of street stalls for handmade crafts, folk artworks and other knick knacks. Peacefully sitting in the center of this international metropolis, Yu Garden is one of the must-sees in Shanghai to absorb the elegant beauty of traditional Chinese garden.
In Shanghai, the best way to take in the magnificent cityscape is to ascend to the top of a high rise. Shanghai World Financial Center towering at Lujiazui as the fifth tallest building in the world would be the best place to go. As the most majestic skyscraper of Shanghai skyline, SWFC stands out because of its unrivaled height of 632 meters (2,073 feet) and its floor-to-ceiling windows for amazing panoramic views. You could take the rocketing elevator to ascend the top within 50 seconds to snapshot the splendid panoramic view of the neighboring high-rises and a thorough glimpse of the entire layout of Shanghai.
Xintiandi is a place where the west meets the east and the new meets the old. Arrayed with fancy bars, restaurants, boutique shops and galleries, Xintiandi is imbued with an antique and bourgeoisie flavor due to the well-preserved Shanghai's traditional Shikumen architecture hidden in the narrow alleyways. Enriched by charms of the modern buildings, the whole block allows you to go back to 50 years ago to meet the vintage but stylish Shanghai. You are free to roam around for shopping, dining or a lazy drink to while away hours. You could also walk into Inside Shanghai to see the traditional family of 1920s.
Located about 30 miles west of downtown Shanghai, Zhujiajiao is an old and well-maintained water town in China. Praised as the Venice of Shanghai, the 400-year-old water village has been the city's most prestigious getaway, offering a delight day trip to run away from the hustle and bustle of the big city. Blessed with time-weathered wooden buildings and crisscrossing network of canals, this classic ancient water village could be discovered by a relaxing stroll or a boat ride to revel in the picturesque waterways, bridges, garden architectures and narrow alleyways. You will feel like traveling back in Yuan Dynasty (1271 - 1368) by living a slow-paced life in such a tranquil and serene escape.
As the very first Disney theme park in mainland China, the resort absorbs a lot of inspiration from traditional Chinese culture and historic stories. You could embark on a magical and wonderful adventure into the real world of fairy tales with your families and friends. Meet the live princesses at the castle, embrace favorite Disney characters in the famous movies, join the grand shows and parades, and explore the countless thrilling rides. Please do take the Fast Pass into your consideration for it is a choice of time-saving and free of queues.
Nestled by the side of the People's Square, Shanghai Museum is one of the best options for travelers who want to get an in-depth sight into Chinese history and culture. Storing a remarkable collection of cultural relics more than 1 million pieces, Shanghai Museum clearly gives a chart of the evolution of Chinese history. The essence of Chinese culture and art are well demonstrated by priceless artifacts on display including bronze wares, calligraphy works, ink paintings, ceramics, Ming and Qing furniture, traditional clothes, coins, seals, jade wares, and minority costumes, which could be dated back as far as Xia Dynasty in 2000 BC. The museum is free for entry, but do come early if you could as someone else would like to take advantage of this freebie.
A 30 minutes ferry cruise on Huangpu River takes you to best to discover the night glamour of Shanghai. On the cruise, the waterfront is lit up by a cluster of colonial architectures and soaring skyscrapers on both sides, such as the Jinmao Tower, the Oriental Pearl TV Tower, and Shanghai World Financial Center. You could witness the most prosperous part of Shanghai illuminated by dizzy array of lights that creates an unbeatable view of skyline whilst enjoying a cup of cocktail on the cool deck. The slow drifting on Huangpu River offers you a pleasant immersion into the magical power of Shanghai.
Located about two hours' drive from Shanghai downtown, Suzhou is arguably a must-visit destination teemed with droves of elegant water towns and gardens. Dubbed as Venice of the East, Suzhou boasts enchanting canals and winding waterways which nourished a spellbinding array of lovely water towns with historic dwellings, such as Zhouzhuang, Luzhi and Tongli. You could either take a leisurely stroll along a tree-shaded path or set sail for a relaxing gondola cruise in search of a real local experience in the countryside. Meanwhile, classic Suzhou gardens listed as UNESCO World Heritage sites are absolutely not-to-miss spots. Spanning a period of almost one thousand years, these elaborate private gardens showcase the pristine beauty of traditional Chinese architecture art. Master of Nets Garden and Humble Administrator's Garden are considered the best-preserved and most dedicate ones that would unveil the authentic look of China's ancient residence.