10 Things to Do in Shanghai

10 things to do in China for the tourist

China is a huge country, with tens of thousands of attractions and tourist attractions. In this blog post, I want to tell my vision of what a tourist should definitely do in China, and what will bring the best experience. So – my top 10 list.

The 10th place – to try the famous Chinese dishes

Chinese cuisine is famous primarily for its variety. You will never try all of its dishes, not enough time of life or the size of the wallet.

However, you must try a few dishes or else it will be difficult to call the trip to China full-fledged. First on the list is Peking duck, as it is the most famous Chinese dish outside the country. The second one is pork in sweet and sour sauce, this dish is also world famous and very tasty. And the third is fruit in caramel, but not a street snack, but a full meal in a restaurant.

9th place – visit at least one museum of Chinese antiquities

The history of China is 6 thousand years of cultural and civilization development. You must see collections of ancient ceramics, bronzes, paintings, calligraphy, and sculpture. You do not need to stand and look at every exhibit, you can just walk through the museum. The main thing is to realize the antiquity of this culture and its diversity.

The largest and most interesting collection is in the National Museum of China in Beijing on Tiananmen Square. I recommend this museum in the first place. If you are flying to Shanghai, the Shanghai Museum of Ancient Art is a good choice. The third interesting collection of antiquities is in Hubei Museum in Wuhan. Every major city in China has its own historical museum, be sure to check it out.

8th place – try Chinese alcohol

Chinese alcohol is one of the most colorful phenomena in the world. Beer is common here, but wine and spirits are a real attraction. Most Russians can’t even drink them because of the distinctive smell. That’s what makes China interesting for tourists: color.

I recommend not trying Chinese vodka Baizhu directly in China. Buy a bottle and try it with friends and relatives at home, it’s much more interesting. See who among your acquaintances is the bravest, who will dare to drink a shot first?

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The bottle will only weigh about half a kilogram, a worthy addition to the list of things to bring from China as a gift and for fun.

7th place – a bird’s-eye view of Shanghai

Visiting high-rise observation decks is the main tourist attraction in the city of Shanghai. The view is spectacular and only here you can become deeply aware of how huge Shanghai is – the biggest city on planet Earth.

The most popular observation deck for tourists is the Pearl of the East TV Tower. It is famous for its transparent floor. Less popular are the observation decks at the Jin Mao skyscrapers and the ‘Opening Tower’. Soon the Shanghai Tower will be opened for tourists and it will be the highest observation deck in the world, having pressed from the pedestal the Burj Khalifa skyscraper in the Arab Emirates.

6th place – wander around a big Chinese mall

Have you been to Moscow’s Golden Babylon mall? The malls in China are twice as big. I didn’t use the word ‘wander’ in the title by accident, you can really get lost here. In Beijing, there is an entire district of the city, which consists only of shopping malls; it’s the Xidan district. There is no such phenomenon in Russia, and it’s not expected. I highly recommend stopping here.

The 5th place – to see a real night market

Night markets for the Chinese are more a place of pastime than shopping. The night markets are full of restaurants, cafes, and food stalls. It’s where people meet in the evening, socialize, have dinner and have fun.

In my opinion, the most colorful night market in China is Wangfujing in Beijing. There are hundreds of stalls with food from all the provinces of China. It’s a must-see.

4th place – go to an authentic tea market

Tea markets are one of the most amazing phenomena in China and cause a storm of emotions for tourists. Huge buildings or streets where they sell only tea, tea tables, cups and teapots. You can see the scale of the Chinese love for tea only here.

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The most famous such market is in Beijing on Malindao Street. I recommend visiting it first.

The 3rd place – to ride the Maglev train at a speed of 430 kilometers per hour.

The fastest train on Earth is the Shanghai Maglev. It runs between Pudong Airport and the city of Shanghai. Not every flight runs at a record speed of 430 kilometers per hour. In our article at the link above you will find the flight schedule, navigate by it.

I wouldn’t say you’ll get any giant sensations. This train rides quieter than the electric trains near Moscow, because it doesn’t ride the rails, but flies above the ground on a magnetic cushion. It’s interesting to watch as buildings fly by, and as you dash around motorists on the highway nearby.

2nd place is to see the Great Panda.

This animal is considered one of China’s main symbols. No major Chinese zoo is without pandas. The easiest place to see them is Beijing Zoo, or the zoo in Shanghai. I can also recommend Wuhan Zoo, it’s a wonderful place.

The best place to see pandas is the Panda Research Center in Chengdu, Sichuan. Here you can see not one, not two, but hundreds of pandas. They live in their natural environment, and you can observe their behavior, which can not be done in zoos.

First place – visit the Great Wall of China

As they say, ‘he who has not been to the Great Wall of China, has not been to China’. Although I don’t really share this opinion. But if you are in Beijing you should definitely go see the longest structure built by the mankind.

At the wall, the most important thing is to realize the majesty of this structure. Try to imagine how people were able to build 8,000 kilometers of wall.

To the north of Beijing there are two of the best sections of the Great Wall for tourists – Badaling and Mutianyu. For an independent trip, I recommend Badaling because it is easier to get here by train. If you prefer an organized tour, I recommend Mutyanyu, as it is a more interesting section, but almost inaccessible by public transport.

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I hope you enjoyed my rating and that it will be useful when planning a trip to China. Read our articles and other blog posts ( links below ).

10 Things to do with 48 Hours in Shanghai

Shanghai, one of China’s largest cities, is a bustling metropolis and a shopper’s paradise with its iconic landmarks, centuries-old temples and cultural attractions. Although you can only scratch the surface in 48 hours, you’ll have a chance to experience a dose of the city’s cultural significance, traditional gardens and futuristic skyline. Perfect for a vacation in the Pearl of the Orient, here are the best things to do on a 48-hour visit to Shanghai.

View of the Bund, also called Waitan, in Shanghai

View of the Bund, also called Weitang, in Shanghai

Explore the Bund (Nearby Hotels)

One of Shanghai’s biggest attractions is the Bund, a scenic waterfront that is best known for its classic skyline photo opportunities. Located on the left bank of the waterfront, you’ll find a collection of old European buildings from Shanghai’s colonial days, but if you look to your right, you’ll see the city’s soaring skyscrapers. The best time to visit this area is at dawn, when you can see locals practicing tai chi and flying kites, and admire the view of the Huangpu River.

Get a bird’s eye view of the Shanghai World Financial Center (nearby hotels)

For some of Shanghai’s best views, head to the Shanghai World Financial Center to visit several 1,555-foot-high observation decks, one of which has a glass floor. The building resembles a large bottle opener and is one of the tallest buildings in the world, offering many digital images that highlight the city’s rapid development. There are other options to see the tall skyscrapers, from the 88th floor of Jin Mao or over a cup of coffee or cocktail at the Grand Hyatt or Park Hyatt.

Take a stroll through the Yu Gardens.

Pagoda in Yuyuan Garden (Yu Garden) Square, Old City, Shanghai, China

Yuyuan Garden Pagoda, Old City, Shanghai, China

Take a stroll through the Yu Gardens (nearby hotels)

Even if you’re taking a short trip, head to Yu Gardens to see one of the city’s most beloved green spaces, where you can spend a full day exploring five acres of classic 16th-century Chinese-style gardens, See its traditional Chinese architecture as you stroll through alleys and lanes, then pick up some souvenirs for home, such as silk pajamas and chopsticks. Relax and admire the beautiful Huxingting Tea House and colorful pagodas, among which Heralding Spring Hall, Jade Splendor Hall and Lotus Pool stand out.

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Admire the statues at the Jade Buddha Temple (Hotels nearby)

The Jade Buddha Temple, one of Shanghai’s most enchanting attractions, is known for its impressive collection of statues and resident monks, and can be easily viewed during a 48-hour visit. Learn about its rich history, as it was originally built to house two jade statues brought from Burma. Over time, the collection grew and was seduced by travelers wanting to marvel at the jade Buddhas. Begin your visit in the Great Hall to see the golden Buddhas representing incarnations of the Buddha, then go to the Hall of the Heavenly King and the Hall of the Lying Buddha, which contains a Buddha statue carved from a single piece of white jade.

Take a step back in time at the Shanghai Museum

Shanghai Museum exterior

Shanghai Museum exterior

Take a step back in time at the Shanghai Museum (nearby hotels)

If you really want to learn more about this unique city, spend a day exploring the Shanghai Museum. Located in People’s Square near Nanjing Road, you’ll first notice the museum’s distinctive architecture, which includes a circular building on a square foundation. Step inside and browse the interesting exhibits (which are in English and Chinese) and tour the halls, which house a diverse collection of nearly a million pieces. Many of the highlights here include jade carvings, millennia-old bronzes and decorative calligraphy.

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Even if you’re in Shanghai for a brief visit, the region known as “Shanghai Venice,” or Zhujiajiao, is just a short cab ride from downtown. Admire the scenic waterways, which are rich in history, as this ancient water city was popular during the Ming dynasty as a commercial center. Take a trip along the many canals with bridges that lead to charming narrow streets and alleys with cafes and souvenir stores, and visit historic sites such as Kezhi Garden.

Walk along Nanjing Road (Nearby Hotels)

It may be a bit touristy, but after visiting Shanghai for a short visit, you’ll find that a trip along Nanjing Road is worth the trip. This bustling neighborhood used to be the center of city life, but has now become a major shopping and dining district. Stretching for a total of six miles, you’ll find retailers from all over the world as you’re amazed by the collection of illuminated lights and signs that line the street.

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Relax at Fuxing Park (Nearby Hotels)

Fuxing Park is one of the largest parks in Shanghai, where you will often find locals practicing tai chi, playing mahjong or calligraphy. You can escape the hustle and bustle of the city by visiting this tranquil space, which was reopened during the French concession in 1909. Some of the park’s attractions include statues of Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, and the colorful flowerbeds are what really draw you in, including the rose garden and the camellia bed. Sit back and relax under the more than 10,000 trees planted in the park, which include sycamores, pinecones and maples.

Explore the Long Hua Temple.

Statue of a Buddhist god at the ancient Longhua Temple. China, Shanghai

A statue of a Buddhist god at the ancient Longhua Temple. China, Shanghai

Explore Longhua Temple (nearby hotels)

The Longhua Temple, just south of the city center, is accessible via the subway and is the oldest and largest religious complex in Shanghai. Built in the 10th century, the temple boasts a seven-story pagoda where you can explore five main halls, each filled with ornate sculptures such as Buddhas. Don’t miss the 14-kilogram bell located in the bell tower and drum tower near the entrance, or the time of your visit in spring when the temple is surrounded by beautiful peach blossoms.

Traveling the Shanghai Maglev (Hotels Nearby)

While it may seem odd that a train ride is a must-visit for 48 hours, the Shanghai Maglev is a unique transit option. It is one of the fastest passenger trains in the world at about 270 miles per hour. Although it is a fast trip, it will help you make the most of your trip, as passengers on this train depart between downtown and Pudong International Airport in about seven minutes. You’ll travel 18 miles, plus the Maglev Longyang Road station has a museum dedicated to the history of the train and the engineering skills needed to build it.

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