The Best Tourist Attractions in Shanghai

Some of the tourist attractions in Shanghai can be both expensive and pointless.

There really aren't a lot of Shanghai Tourism spots worth seeing in Shanghai when compared to Beijing.

Any city would fall short when compared to Beijing. There is no Great Wall or Forbidden City to see in Shanghai.

People usually equate Shanghai City with shopping and the vast selection of top international brands to buy.

That doesn't mean that Shanghai doesn't have it's own attractions and isn't an exciting, vibrant city full of it's own adventures.

There is more to see than shopping malls and cash happy vendors selling their wares at great profit.

See The Shanghai Bund

I went directly to the Bund area of Shanghai after landing in the city. I remained there for the entire 6 months in Shanghai because I loved the area so much and there was always something to do or see.

The Bund sits along the banks of the Huangpu river and is where some of the best views can be found.

Make sure to check it out while you're looking for attractions in Shanghai.

Find out more about the Bund area of Shanghai.

See the Shanghai Zoo

They have animals here! The Shanghai Zoo is supposed to be one of the better zoos in China but that's not setting the bar too high.

But it's always about the Pandas! Pandas are one of the biggest tourist attractions in Shanghai or anywhere else in China.

The only problem is that the Panda in the Shanghai Zoo sleeps behind a log for about 23 or 24 hours a day. I can't speak for all the other Pandas around China but ... LAZY!

The Shanghai Zoo's strength is that it has so many Birds, Monkeys, Bears and Fish that are native only to China.

Find out more about the Shanghai Zoo here.

Ride the Shanghai Subway

Learn how to use the Shanghai Subway as quickly as you can. It's the most useful tool you'll use while visiting the attractions in Shanghai!

Get a great insight into the 1000 year old Chinese culture by going for a ride on the Shanghai Subway during Rush Hour!

OK. It's not a good look into their culture but it's the craziest mad dash I've ever witnessed. People in Shanghai can be very polite and courteous when in a small group but when in large numbers, they are ruthless.

Visit the Shanghai Museum

The Shanghai Museum is filled with ancient Chinese art. It possesses a collection of 120,000 or so pieces of the finest art. The collection includes ancient Chinese bronze, ceramics, paintings and calligraphy.

It's a must see for those interested in ancient Chinese artifacts. Like all museums, this place can become a blur after a while and then everything begins to look the same. But it's an impressive collection and I'm glad I visited.

It is possible to walk there from the Bund, but it's pretty far. Better to get on Line #2 of the Shanghai Subway, travel 2 stops up the line and exit at the The People's Square station.

From there it's a few hundred Meters walk down Nanjing Road.

The Shanghai Museum is located at:

NO. 201,
Ren Min Da Dao,
Shanghai, P.R.C.

You can also get there using:

  • The Public Bus

Look for Shanghai Public Buses No. 574, No. 71 and No. 46. Their routes are displayed on most maps found in any Hotel Lobby. It's the cheapest way to get around but also the slowest.

Use the Shanghai Subway to get there quickly and inexpensively.

Admission to the museum is ¥20 Yuan ($2.62USD) but if you want to see the Shanghai Art Gallery and the Shanghai Grand Theater (All in the same place) then admission to all is 50 Yuan or (6.56USD)

The Shanghai Art Gallery, Theater and Museum are open from 9am to 5pm but they won't let you enter after 4pm. You can call them @ 63-723-500 (English Speakers Available).

See the Famous Chinese Acrobats

Ask when they do the 'motorcycle wall of death'. Probably one of the best shows to see in Shanghai. The acrobats perform stunts that are just unbelievable, thrilling and even somewhat frightening.

Catch them at the Shanghai Center Theater. Tickets range in price from (RMB) ¥100 - 200. The booking office we used was at No. 272 Fengxian Road, but we just called them (Ph. 62172426 or 62173055) and went down to pick up the tickets.

Shows seemed pretty booked all year around so get down there early.

Learn more about the Chinese Acrobats in Shanghai here.

See the Jing'an Temple

This wonderful Buddhist Temple is located on the bustling Nanjing Road W., which was once known as Jing'an Temple Road.

The Temple is surrounded by towering office buildings and luxurious shopping centers, offering an oasis of tranquility.

It's one of the most famous tourist attractions in Shanghai.

I saw it on my first morning of Shanghai travel and it was a worthwhile trip especially to see the Jade Buddha, the largest in China. It was originally constructed in 247 AD and thus boasts a history of 1,757 years.

It was built more than 1,000 years before the official beginning of the city of Shanghai in 1292.

Jing'an Temple,
No.1686, Nanjing Road W.,
Shanghai.

Admission is just 10 yuan ($1.31148USD) but it's free on the first and the 15th day of each month according to the Lunar Calendar.

None of the other attractions in Shanghai are free.

The Temple is open from 7am to 5pm and you can give them a call @ 6256-6366.

Getting there is easy but too far a walk from The Bund. It's easy to find because you can't miss it exiting from any of the exits from the underground Metro station.

It's the easiest to spot of all the attractions in Shanghai.

Get on Metro Line 2 and get off at the Jing'an Temple Station or take bus No.15, 20, 21, 37, 48, 113, 506 or 921.

Visit Longhua Temple

This is the largest and oldest of Shanghai's very few Buddhist monasteries. It's filled with orange-clad monks pattering about the grounds and Chinese people burning incense in the mornings.

It's a little out of the way if you're staying at The Bund but under 20 minutes on the underground Metro.

Look for the Cabao Road Metro station and get off there. It's open from 7am to 4pm. The address is:

2853 Longhua Rd,
Longhua Park, Shanghai.
Tel: +86 (021) 6456 6085

Visit the Jade Buddha Temple

The Jade Buddha Temple is yet another Temple, but they are all worth visiting because of the tranquility and the peace in each.

I never stayed longer than 40 minutes here out of all my Shanghai travel time. The place is cool and being that my wife is Buddhist adds an extra element of curiosity for me.

The Jade Buddha Temple is near the intersection of Anyuan Lu and Jiangning Lu. You can't miss it for the exterior bright saffron walls.

Any of the following buses will get you there: bus No. 19, 14, 36, 54, 63, 68, 76, 105, 106, 112, 113, 138, 206, 223, 506, 516, 550, 563, 738, 768, 830, 837, 866, and 922.

It is not as long ride but I took a cab and am glad I had a map because the taxi driver hadn't a clue (Or maybe he was just playing me).

The admission fee is Yuan 15 ($1.96721USD) and you'll find it open from 8:30am to 5:00pm.

See the Attractions in Shanghai

I wanted to see all the famous tourist attractions in Shanghai. I made it on the cruise through the Huangpu river though. It was an awesome ride at night with the lights of the city all around us.

It seemed brighter and clearer because of the cold. Despite the weather I stood on deck the entire trip and was saddened to see it end.

Depends on your budget. I would say the best attractions in Shanghai can be seen from the river cruise.

Find out more about the Huangpu River Cruise and Bund City Lights Evening Tour of Shanghai.

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