Ah, Shanghai! The name itself evokes images of bright lights, iconic skylines, and the glamour and mystery of the James Bond movie (specifically Skyfall, which was partly shot in Shanghai).With an amalgamation of the old and the new this city is unique. It’s a booming modern economy on one hand and on the other hand, its fully scattered with the relics of the ancient Chinese dynasties. Shanghai might be a tad bit confusing for the first-time traveler. There’s so much to do and see! But fret not, Shanghai enthusiasts, we have the perfect list for you. In order to experience the essence of this ‘Paris of the East’ for the first timers, here are the top 8 ‘must do things’ in Shanghai.
1. Watch the Peace Hotel Old Jazz Band play
The Old Jazz Band, which plays at the Fairmont Peace Hotel every evening between 7:30 pm -9:00 pm, is as famous in Shanghai as many of its tourist attractions. The members are all in their 80s which explains the band’s name, they’ve been playing non-stop every day since 1980! There’s an endless list of fun things to do in Shanghai, of course, but these should definitely be at the top of your first-visit checklist. So what are you waiting for? Pack your bags and dive into the bizarre and beautiful culture of this historic city for your next trip!
2. Shop for souvenirs at Old Street
Shanghai is a shopper’s heaven and no trip to this city is complete without some time spent at Shanghai’s local markets. If shopping at a designer outlet is not your thing then head straight to the Old Street (also called Middle Fangbang Road) to shop for curios, Chinese silks and jade jewelry items. Don’t forget to stop by a traditional teahouse for a drink when you’re tired. 3. Sample some street food at Shouning Lu Food Street One of the best known food streets in Shanghai, this tiny lane might be a little chaotic to maneuver for a first-timer, but the seafood here is to die for. Try the whole barbecued fish, crayfish, roast duck and the traditional Shanghai-style dumplings at reasonable prices.
4. Pay your respects at the City God Temple
Located in the old walled city, this temple is dedicated to the city of gods. A typical Chinese town Tradition. The surrounding area has many restaurants, teahouses and souvenir shops, and is a great place to spend some time exploring the local culture. 5. Spend some time with nature at Yu Garden This extensive Chinese garden is spread over 2 hectares and houses many relics from the Ming dynasty. These gardens are a beautiful example of the Chinese landscape along with glittering ponds, Ming-style pavilions and towers, and a 12-metre high rockery including caves, gorges and peaks.
6. Take a ride under the Huangpu River
Yes, you read that right. While you can, of course, take the usual river cruise (coupled with dinner and a tour of the city lights).We recommend the Bund Sightseeing Tunnel, which takes you on an audio-visual ride through a tunnel under the river on an automated car. Bizarre as it may seem, it’s one of Shanghai’s top five tourist attractions and definitely a ride to remember!
7. Click some stunning pictures at The Bund
The waterfront area of The Bund, in central Shanghai, runs along the west bank of the Huangpu River and is the best place to take some great shots of the spectacular Pudong-district skyline, right across the river. Visit this place at night, for a view that’s straight out of a futuristic movie!
8. Get a bird’s-eye view of the city from the Oriental Pearl Tower
No trip to Shanghai is complete without a trip to the Oriental Pearl Tower, arguably the most iconic of Shanghai’s neck-craning skyscrapers. Go all the way up 259m-high upon a glass floor, for a dazzling and a stunning view of the city.
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