Things to Do in Shanghai

The Bund waterfront acts as a perfect starting point for your ventures in Shanghai. From here you can embrace traditional Shanghai in one of its many teahouses – Tan Yun is a popular one. Or head to the Shanghai Musuem to learn about the city's history, before hitting the clubs as night falls. There are ample Shanghai attractions, so you'll have to prioritise depending on how long you have there. 

Shanghai Museum

For ancient Chinese treasures, the Shanghai Museum houses over one million relics including prized collections of ancient bronze, ceramics, jade, paintings, coins, furniture, seals and calligraphy. Located in the centre of Shanghai in People's Square, it's worth setting aside a day to explore the gems within the museum's 11 galleries. The Shanghai Museum is home to an exhaustive array of ancient examples of Chinese art and artifacts. Entry to the Shanghai Museum is free all year round. To visit, take metro lines 1, 2 or 8 to People's Square Station and then it's a seven-minute walk down Xizang Middle Road and right into Renmin Avenue and the Shanghai Museum.

The Bund

Call it the Bund or by its street name, Zhongshan Dong Yi Lu, this famous waterfront area is an iconic symbol of Shanghai and dotted with examples of European architecture styles including Gothic Revival, Baroque Revival, Romanesque Revival, Classicism and Art Deco on the west bank. Today the area is a popular meeting spot for tourists and locals alike. Spanning five blocks of Zhongshan Dong Yi Lu between Jinling Lu and Suzhou Creek, the Bund is a famous stretch of waterfront with a promenade hugging the embankment of the Huangpu River. These days, mornings see the area draw locals who can be viewed ballroom dancing, doing aerobics and practicing kung fu, qi gong and tai chi. By night, the Bund transforms into a atmospheric destination for couples taking moonlit strolls by the light of period lamp posts and complemented by the colourful lights floating in the Huangpu.


Encompassing two blocks between Madang and South Huang Pi Roads, Xintandi is an upmarket pedestrian street straddling the old and the new where you can dine at expensive bars and restaurants and shop in chic boutiques among heritage housing. Designed as ‘the city's living room', it's the ideal spot to people watch from the outside seating areas. Xintiandi was completed in 2002 by converting dilapidated residential blocks into an entertainment complex boasting restaurants, bars, boutiques and cafes. Other attractions in the area include the Shikumen Open House Musuem, and the site of the First Congress Hall of the Communist Party of China on Xingye Lu which divides the two blocks. To get to Xintiandi, take metro line 1 to South Huang Pi Station and walk five minutes'south down Madang Lu. From metro line 10 to Xintiandi Station, it's a six minute walk north up Madang Lu.

Yu Garden

Yu or Yuyuan Garden is a classical garden built during the Ming dynasty and finished in 1577. A must-see Shanghai attraction, yu means ‘pleasing' in Chinese and with pavilions, halls, rockeries, carp ponds and cloisters to explore, you're sure to enjoy spending some time in the scenic environs of Yu Garden . Characterised by traditional washed red walls and upturned tiled roofs, Yu Garden has been long-time social precinct where locals gather to shop, commune and practise qi gong of an evening. Yu Garden comprises six main sites: Sansui Hall, Wanhua Chamber, Dianchun Hall, Huijing Hall, Yuhua Hall and the Inner Garden, each with its own scenic areas. Huxinting Teahouse, near the entrance, is one of the most famous teahouses in China.