Things to Do in Shanghai
Shanghai, known as the Paris of the East, is overflowing with things to do. Your challenge will be to prioritize the city’s attractions and accomplish all of your goals in the limited time you have in Shanghai.
Don't worry! Here, we carefully selected the TOP 10 attractions such as the Bund, Nanjing Road, Yuyuan Garden & Bazaar etc., as well as some recommended featured activities for you. All of them are the best things to do in Shanghai, helping you have a glimpse of Shanghai’s past, see what’s on the horizon, and get a blueprint of Shanghai’s future!
- Top Attractions
- Featured Activities
No. 1: Experience Shanghai Maglev Train
Type: public transportation system
Recommended Length of Visit: around 8 minutes
When tour Shanghai, don’t skip the Maglev Train. It is simple: the Shanghai Maglev is one of the fastest passenger trains in the world. Traveling at about 430km per hours, passengers on board the maglev are blasted between downtown (Longyang Road Station) and Pudong International Airport in about 8 minutes. This 30km ride is quite a trip. “Not so much an attraction, but definitely a must do if you’re flying to/from Pudong Airport,” comments one Tripadvisor user. Learn more about Shanghai Maglev Train.
No. 2: Watch Shanghai Acrobatic Show
Type: nightlife, entertainment
Recommended Length: 1.5 hours
The acrobatic in Shanghai is always a magic touch for your nightlife! A typical art of China with long history started from Warring States Period (475 BC – 221 BC).
There are two famous acrobatic troupes: Shanghai Circus World and Shanghai Acrobatic Troupe. You’ll enjoy most of the acrobatic skills they will offer, like Juggling, unicycling, chair-stacking, Chinese yo-yoing, balancing acts, and the “unique bowl flip”…leaving you completely astounded.
No. 3: Huangpu River Cruise
Type: nightlife, river cruise
Recommended Length: 50 minutes
Huangpu River is the symbol of Shanghai. Cruising on Huangpu River, both in daytime and at night, is the best way to enjoy Shanghai’s famous waterfront sceneries. On one side, the Bund mesmerizes with a sense of nostalgia, and on the other side, Pudong’s glitzy, cutting-edge skyline charms like never before – giving you a feeling of contrast of old and new Shanghai.
Cruise Routes: Shiliupu Wharf - Binjiang Road - Lujiazui - Shanghai Tower - Shanghai World Financial Center - Jinmao Tower - Oriental Pearl TV Tower - Qinhuangdao Wharf - Waibaidu Bridge - Monument to the People's Heroes - The Bund - back to the wharf >> Learn more about Huangpu River Cruise.
No. 4: Fun for Kids
Sites: Shanghai Ocean Aquarium, Shanghai Zoo
Recommended Length of visit: 2-3 hours
Shanghai Ocean Aquarium: Being one of the best in the world, it features more than 10,000 temperate and tropical fish representing more than 300 species. The aquarium includes a 120-meter tunnel that takes you through a coastal reef, open ocean, a kelp cave, shark cove, and a coral reef, putting you right from everything. You kids will like it.
Shanghai Zoo: With large size, it is home to a huge amount of animals and birds. It is also a decent place with large green areas to run and plenty for kids to do and see. You and your kids may like pandas, flamingos, giraffes, elephants and tiger, as well as apes and monkeys. It will make a great time out for families.
To see more family-friendly ideas & activities in Shanghai, please visit Top Family-friendly Things to Do in Shanghai.
No. 5: Visit French Concession
Type: French-style architecture, historic walking areas
Recommended Length of Visit: 1-2 hours
The French Concession is centered on Huaihai Road and Nanjing Road. Designated for the French, French Concession is area with an air of “Paris of the East”. It is a beautiful district of Shanghai with tree-lined avenues, little boutiques and great bars and restaurants. What’s more, you could have a visit to Soong Qingling’s Former Residence, Fuxing Park and Longhua Temple which all are with walking distance.
No. 6: Immerse yourself in Fuxing Park
Type: parks & gardens
Recommended Length of visit: 1-2 hours
Fuxing Park: the French bought this private garden, located in the French Concession, in 1908. It was known then as the “French” park, and has elements of a formal Parisian jardin, with meandering paths flanked by cherry trees. It was renamed Fuxing, meaning “revival”, in 1949. Close by on Xiangshan Road, you could also pay a visit to Sun Yat-sen Memorial Residence and Former Residence of Zhou Enlai.
No. 7: See Shikumen Architecture
Sites: Xintiandi, Tianzifang
Xintiandi: Composed of Shikumen and modern architectural style, you could not only experience Shanghai’s historical and cultural legacies, but also enjoy the graceful and leisure lifestyle here.
Tianzifang: It is an arts and crafts enclave that has developed from a renovated residential area in the French Concession area. With some similarities to Xintiandi, Tianzifang is preserved the local Shikumen architecture.
Recommended Shanghai Tours
Top 3 Shanghai tours chosen by most customers to explore Shanghai in the best way. Check the detailed itinerary, or tailor your own trip now with us.
- 5 Days Shanghai Hangzhou Suzhou Highlights Tour
Shanghai / Hangzhou / Suzhou / Shanghai