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Shanghai attractions

Shanghai Attractions

Shanghai hotels

The international metropolis of Shanghai attracts many visitors each year. Walk along the Nanjing Road where anything and everything is for sale. The Jade Buddha Temple is one of the most famous in Shanghai with the white jade Buddhas in recumbent and seated positions. Yuyuan Garden is the largest of the ancient gardens in Shanghai and is particularly well known for the Grand Rockery. Take a boat trip down the great Huangpu River that flows through Shanghai and is a tributary of the Yangtse. Longhua Pagoda and Temple are some of the oldest sights in Shanghai and are set in beautiful gardens in the city. Visit when the peach trees are in blossom. The Jin Mao Tower is the fourth highest in the world and a great place for panoramic views of Shanghai. Why not visit the Shanghai Financial Centre for a glimpse of one of the world’s growing economies. Xin Tian Di is a fashionable pedestrianised street symbolic of the changing economy in China and has a lot of interesting architecture. The ancient district of Qibao is a beautifully structured area with the famous temple, cricket displays and take in a performance of Qibao Shadow Play. Enjoy traditional Chinese culture here in this timeless setting.

There's a lot to see and do in Shanghai , and the greatest feature of these attractions is that these places are absolutely diverse. No place in Shanghai is similar to another, and therefore visiting everywhere becomes a wholly new experience. The following is a list of the attractions in Shanghai that you can simply not miss.

The Bund
The Bund in Shanghai is actually just a street, but it is lined with some of the most overwhelming buildings in the world. It is present along the Huangpu River . The place has a uplifting charm to it; you feel important when you walk down here. You can find several buildings in the English style here, and some grand architectural delights of that period. One of the nicknames that the Bund has is 'museum of buildings' and you have to only visit here to understand why it is called that. Some of the important buildings you will find here are Customs Building , HSBC Building and the Peace Hotel.

There's even a Sightseeing Tunnel constructed here at Bund, where you can make the most of watching these stately buildings and move UNDER a river! The other side of this tunnel opens up to Putong. It is when you are near this river do you understand the contrast that Shanghai is – you can see the Old Shanghai town on one side of the river and the sprawling metropolitan Shanghai town on the other side.

French Connection
The French Connection is named because of the French charm that is area still maintains. In fact, if you walk down here, when you look at all those Tudor mansions and all those mansions with French words on them, you might think you are transported somewhere in France rather than in an Asian country. Quite aptly, the French Connection in Shanghai is known as the ' Paris of the East'.

You can reach here using the Metro 1 station, and get down at the Shan Xi Nan Lu station. When you reach the French Connection, you will find that the area is not as small as you originally think it would be. It is an interweave of several streets, each with a kind of originality of its own. If you are looking for some peaceful exploration, you will need to go visit the place between Julu Lu and Huai Hai Lu. Here you will find lush vegetation surrounding some quaint French buildings. There are a lot of shops here, so it's a quiet little place to shop too.

But if you want to experience the hustle and bustle of the French Connection, then you need to visit Xintiandi. Xintiandi is more Shanghai-esque than French. You can stay in the shikumen lodgings here, which are actually Sino-European in design. You can also spend your time in a very beautiful museum here.

Nanjing Road
Nanjing is famous all over the world for its shopping. The road begins immediately after the Bund in the direction of Hongqiao. It is included in the Seven Greatest Roads of the World. One of the most prime attractions here is the People's Square, which is centrally located on Nanjing Road . You can reach here via the Metro Line 2. You can also get buses shuttling to and fro from here to Pudong and the Hongqiao airports.

This road also boasts of The Shanghai Museum, which is a house for the treasures of ancient Chinese arts. You will find some of the most ancient artifacts in bronze here. This is the place to visit if you want to know more about what China was like in the past. Also to be visited without fail are The Shanghai Art Gallery and The Shanghai Urban Planning Exhibition Hall. All three are museums in their own right. Another architectural marvel here is the Jing'an Temple. For some opulent charm, you might see the Shanghai Grand Opera Palace. If possible, you can check out the events at the Beijing Opera and at the Shanghai Acrobatics Show.

Shanghai Attractions


Shanghai Museum (Shanghai Bowuguan)

201 Ren Min Da Dao Shanghai China

Telephone: 021-6372-3500

The Shanghai Museum contains a variety of exhibitions, which are spread across four separate floors. Types of exhibit include Ancient Chinese sculpture, along with paintings and other period historical pieces such as furniture and ceramics. Temporary exhibitions are also quite common; visitors are advised to check with the museum to find out if any special displays are currently in effect. The Chinese Minority Nationalities Art Gallery can also be found within the museum grounds. Entrance fees are charged, and prices at 40RMB currently. Additionally, you may like to hire and audio guide, which is available for a further 40RMB. A free floor plan is available at the entrance, and it is recommended that visitors allow around four hours to exploit the museum fully. Cameras may be used; however, you must turn off the flash. Refreshments are available from the tea room which makes up part of the main museum, prices can be quite high and stocks of food tend to sell out fast, a better option would be to eat outside of the museum before entering or wait until your visit is over.

Shanghai Science & Technology Museum (Shanghai Keji Guan)

No. 260, Yan'an East Road Shanghai 200002 China

Telephone: 8621-68542000

The Shanghai Science & Technology Museum is designed to be a fully interactive experience for the visitor; it was originally opened in 2001 and has become a firm favourite with many tourists each year. There are five separate interactive sections to the museum, and they can be viewed in whichever order the visitor likes. The major exhibits include the Spectrum of Life, a fully robotic re-creation of a tropical rainforest, including a cave of bats and robotic beetles. The Cradle of Designers is an exhibit which allows the visitor to try their hand at creating new media such as video and animation. The Light of Wisdom is an area which contains over one hundred separate exhibits, all of them fully interactive and designed to explain different principles of science. There is also the Children's Technoland, a large reconstruction of a human heart and brain houses this section of the museum, which can be walked around and entered. Many fun activities for younger visitors have been created within the boundaries of this area of the museum. The final area is Earth Explorer, which is a recreation of how a journey deep into the earth would be, containing rock samples and fossils, along with other geological exhibits.

Cultural Sites

The Jade Buddha Temple

170 An Yuan Road Shanghai China

Telephone: 62663668

The Jade Buddha Temple is one of the most revered Buddhist temples in the world; the old temple was rebuilt in 1982 to house two new Jade Buddha statues, which had been given to the temple by the Monk Huigen, from Burma (now Myanmar). The larger of the two statues is named “sitting Buddha” and is almost two metres tall and weighs a hefty three tonnes. The second, smaller statue is named “reclining Buddha” and is thought to represent Buddha's death. Visitors should note that recently a second reclining Buddha statue has been added to the Temple, this one is made of marble and is much larger, this is not the original statue, make sure to seek out the smaller jade statue if you are keen to view the real one. Although the Jade Buddha Temple is fairly new, it has been constructed using a classical style of architecture, which takes inspiration from a combination of several Ancient Chinese forms of architecture. The Temple structure consists of the Jade Buddha Tower, Mahavira Hall and Devajara Hall, each of which displays an architectural flavour all of its own.

Natural Sites

Garden of Contentment (Yu Yuan Garden)

32 Anren Road Shanghai China

The Garden of Contentment is renowned as being one of the best gardens in China, the sketchy history of the garden seems to indicate that it was first established as far back as 1159, but this cannot be confirmed for sure. The garden is set in five acres of beautifully landscaped grounds, and is divided into several areas including the heralding spring hall, the jade magnificence hall, the inner garden, ten thousand flower tower and the lotus pond with several rare species of lotus. The garden has a long and interesting history, which has seen it despoiled by rogue traders in 1760, and further damaged by a short occupation by Imperial troops during the 1842 opium wars, and damaged severely by the Japanese in 1942. In 1956 the Shanghai government put forward plans to re-furbish the garden and it eventually opened its gates to the public again in 1961.

Jing an Park

Hua Shan Entry, Nan Jing Rd West

Telephone: 021 6333 2226

Jin an Park is something of an oddity, as it is open 24 hours a day, it is also extremely close to many of the local attractions, such as the temple and plaza areas, making it a great place to relax and rest following an excursion into either of these areas. The park is noted as an area of outstanding natural beauty, and includes an elegantly landscaped artificial lake among its most prominent features. A very popular location in the early hours of the morning, as local inhabitants flock to the park to practice Thai Chi. The park also hosts many wedding and birthday parties each year, and visitors often find themselves invited to join in the celebrations.


Oriental Pearl Tower (Dongfang Mingzhu)

No. 1 Century Avenue Pudong New Area Shanghai 200120 China

Telephone: 8621 58791888

Arguably Shanghais most recognizable landmark, the Oriental Pearl Tower rises 468 metres above ground level. The tower was completed in 1995 following a four year construction project. The architecture is completely unique, and uses a series of 11 spheres, supported upon three columns to give the building a space age type of look, indeed the largest of the observation spheres is actually named the Space Module. Sitting atop the tower is the antenna spire, which rises a further 118 metres above the tower proper. Over three million tourists visit the Oriental Pearl Tower each year, and enjoy the incredible views of Shanghai from any number of its observation modules. Visitors can also make use of the fully featured restaurant, or even stay in one of the 20 hotels rooms that make up the Space Hotel. Other popular parts of the tower are the Space City and sightseeing floor.

Yang pu Bridge

Pu Dong Avenue Shanghai China

Telephone: 021 5885 4701

The Yang pu bridge is among the longest suspension bridges in the world, at 602 meters it is fourth longest cable stayed bridge in the world, and crosses the Huangpu River. As well as being one of the largest of this type of bridge, it is also one of the busiest and carries over 100,000 vehicles across the river each and every day. When first constructed it was left un-painted, and local residents began to complain of the bridge being an eyesore as it began to acquire layers of dirt from car exhaust fumes, for the millennium in 2000, it was given a coat of bright red paint, which again saw local residents complaining the bridge was an eyesore due to the garish colour.

The Bund (Wai Tan)

Zhongshan Dong Yi Lu between Jinling Lu and Suzhou Creek Shanghai

Located in the Huangpu District, The Bund is a heady mix of historical and architecturally important buildings, world class shopping prospects and vibrant bars and restaurants. Primarily a walking area, this is one of Shanghais major tourist centres. The Bund covers a mile of the banks of the Huangpu River and features a mixture of contemporary modern architecture and traditional building design. By day this is a busy metropolitan area, which by night transforms itself into a neon lit tour of some of the best nightlife to be found in Shanghai.

The Arts

Shanghai Grand Theatre

300 Renmin Da Dao Shanghai China

Telephone: 8621 6372 8702

This impressive structure was designed by Jean-Marie Charpentier, and was first opened to the public in 1998. The complex is made up of three distinctly separate parts, designed to suit the triple presentation of orchestra, ballet and opera. Of particular interest to tourists is the world leading acoustic system, which has been installed at immense expense and is widely regarded to be among the best to be found anywhere on the globe. Similarly impressive is the lighting system, which was especially designed and developed by Mitsubishi. These two features make a trip to the Shanghai Grand Theatre an extravaganza of the senses. A full schedule of opera, ballet, symphony and theatre is run throughout the entire year.

Elegant Art Gallery

97 Shui Cheng South Road Shanghai 200336 China

Telephone: 86 21 6208 2788

An upmarket gallery, which features a great selection of contemporary Chinese art, predominantly by artists who were born during the 1960s. The gallery can be quite hard to find as it is fairly small, it can be found close to the Carefour Shopping Centre. The Gallery is particularly well lit and is designed to entice the visitors to spend time simple wandering around the exhibits and enjoying the atmosphere as much as the art. Occasionally the Elegant Art Gallery will arrange special showings or themed exhibitions, which in that past have included the magnificent landscapes of Wu Xiao Shen and the abstract work of Hu Wei Da, if you are planning to visit the gallery, it may pay to find out if any such exhibitions are planned during the duration of your stay and plan your visit accordingly.

Historic Sites

Eric Moller's House

Shanxi Nan Rd, opposite City Hotel. Shanghai China

| This strange folly of a building was designed and constructed by the eccentric Swede Eric Moller for his daughter, who it is said wished to live inside a fairytale castle. In current times it is a lavish hotel, but tourists are encouraged to come and explore this marvel of contradicting architectural styles and cunningly crafted features. The brickwork is best described as crazy, and certain other accoutrements like the Netherlands inspired turrets are nothing short of shocking. A brash and boisterous building, with a charm that is all of its own. The main part of the house dates all the way back to 1936, but was unfortunately damaged in 1941 when it was requisitioned by Japanese soldiers, it has now been fully restored and remains arguably the most unique example of architecture to be found in Shanghai.

Temple of the Town God (Chenghung Miao)

218 Anren Street Old City Shanghai China

This ancient temple was originally founded in 1403, in honour of Qin Yubo. In modern times the Temple of the Town God has grown to include the surrounding area which has developed into a thriving and brash bazaar. The Cultural Revolution which began in 1966 almost completely destroyed the temple and surrounding area, although the entire complex was full restored over a ten year period which began in 1990s. Now the Temple of the Town God is part historical site, part cultural centre and part shopping district, offering visitors a very varied experience. Locally produced handicrafts are noted as being of particularly good value in the bazaar.

Shanghai Library (Shanghai Tushuguan)

1557 Huaihai Zhong Lu Xuhui Shanghai China

Telephone: 021 6445-5555

Shanghai Library is one not only one of the physically largest libraries in the world, it also contains one of the ten most expansive collections around the globe. Much more than a simple library, it has been developed with a motto of “Reader First”, to promote an air of open-mindedness for both local users and international visitors alike. Each year the Shanghai Library sees over nine million visitors enter through its doors. The library contains a whole host of treasures, and has an entire collection that contains almost 51 million separate items, from technical documents to ancient artefacts. Much more than a library, it is a centre for study; equipped with everything the visitor may need, including audio-visual equipment, seminar rooms and exhibition halls. Please note, the library is only open to people over the age of 14 years.
|Sun Yat-sen Residence

Xiangshan Road French Concession Shanghai China

This is a charming European style of building, of two stories. It pales in the light of some of the more spectacular mansions which surround it, but since opening its doors to the public in 1988 it has seen millions of visitor. The house was the former home of Sun Yat-sen, who was the grandfather of the Chinese Democratic Revolution. It was during his time in residence that Sum Yat-sen penned his famous Doctrines, as well as setting the plans in motion for china's development as a democratic nation. The house is now been listed by the state as a State Preserved Cultural Relic, and is a protected building even though it is open to the public every day.

Family Attractions

Bund Sightseeing Tunnel

Riverside Promenade Shanghai China
The Bund Sightseeing Tunnels connects the Oriental Pearl TV Tower to the northern side of the Chen Yi Square. It was the first ever sightseeing tunnel built to cross a river that was built in China, and covers a distance of almost 650 metres. Passengers through the tunnel find their senses flooded in a dramatic display which uses modern technology to present sound, video and pictures on the tunnel walls. A veritable whistle stop tour of Chinese history and culture, with a smattering of nature inspired scenes assaults the passenger as they whisk along the tunnel, designed to make the traveller feel as if they are actually part of the scene. Full stereo sound in hi-fidelity is used to make the visitor feel as if they are positioned within the show. The tunnel when viewed from a distance seems to be a rainbow bridging the river.

Madame Tussauds Shanghai

10/F, New World Building No.2-68 Nanjing Xi Road Shanghai 200003 China

Telephone: 021-63587878

Part museum, part theme park, the Madame Tussauds Waxwork Museum has been a major Shanghai attraction since it opened in 2006. This was the 6 th Madame Tussauds Museum to be opened in the world, and features a full range of was figures, organised into historical and themed exhibits including sports, film, music and glamour. This new offering from Madame Tussauds has been bought bang up to day by incorporating modern technology to bring the exhibits alive, and to encourage interaction with the visitors, including the ability to sit down and have a business discussion with Microsoft founder, Bill Gates. The museum has fast become one of Shanghais major new tourist attractions. Plans are already laid to expand the number of exhibits in late 2008.


The Cotton Club

8 Fuxing West Road Shanghai China

Telephone: 021-6437-7110

The Cotton Club is a dark, smoky and serious live Jazz and Blues venue in every traditional sense. The Cotton Club features nightly live performances, and is popular with locals, ex-pats and tourists alike. This lively bar can fill up very quickly, so arrive early to make sure of a seat. Some of the best Jazz and Blues band in the nation play here regularly, it is worth checking the current bookings and planning your visit around your particular taste. Food is also served along with the alcohol, and there is a no-smoking section. Several times each year The Cotton Club will feature guest appearances by world famous Jazz and Blues musicians, and has been visited by such famous players as Ry Cooder, Robert Cray and Buddy Guy.

DR Bar

15 North Block Xintiandi Shanghai China

Telephone: 86 21 6311 0358

A frequent nominee for the prestigious Worlds Best Bar Award, DR Bar is housed in the old Communist Party Meeting Hall; this is a slick and modern cocktail bar, replete with marbled serving counters and elegantly furnished private booths. Designed and built by the architect Benjamin Wood, and located in the chic Xintiandi District, DR Bar is an opulent watering hole favoured by the wealthy and affluent. Media moguls rub shoulders with up and coming young artists in the most popular of Shanghai's new sophisticated, westernised nightlife venues. Often full to the brim, even on weekdays, it is worth calling ahead to reserve a table. The specials menu is well renowned for well priced and locally sourced food, cooked in a traditional Chinese style, with just a twist of western fusion to cater to the tastes of the young crowd.

Xintiandi Xintiandi is arguably the most raucous of all nightlife zones to be found in Shanghai, featuring a full range of bars, restaurants, cafes and nightclubs to suit every taste. From modern and elegant cocktail bars to traditional Chinese food stalls Xintiandi offers something for everyone. In recent years the Shanghai government has done much to re-develop the area, and it is now rated among the best maintained and safe places in Shanghai to visit. Home to almost all of Shanghais new westerns style bars, the area has become something of a trendy place in which to live and play, which has seen local residents enjoy a rich injection of capital into the local economy. Tourists are made very welcome in Xintiandi, which is a world class metropolitan style urban village, young, vibrant and affluent.


Shanghai Centre Village

1376 Nanjing Road West Shanghai China

Shanghai Centre Village is a full on shopping extravaganza in the most serious sense. The mall itself is spread over three levels, and contains everything from franchise operated retails stores to unique local handicraft produce. The price of goods can be competitive and bargains can be found if the time is taken to look for them. The Centre is also something of a social centre, with a wide range of bars and restaurants to suit all tastes and budgets. Parents will be particularly pleased to know that there is a fully features children's area, designed to keep the young ones entertained whilst the adults shop.

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