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Top Tours & Activities in Shanghai

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10 Essential Sights in Shanghai

Shanghai is veritably one of the biggest cities in the world. These 10 tips will help you start to piece together an idea of this vibrant metropolis.

Shanghai World Financial Center

This unusual skyscraper stands at 492 meters and is characterized by its unusual blunt tip. It features restaurants and a bar for visitors, and its observatory is by far the best place to catch a glimpse of the Shanghai cityscape.

Shanghai Museum

Appropriately located on Shanghai's People's Square, this museum is a collection of ancient Chinese art with exhibitions in jade, calligraphy, and ceramics.

Yuyuan Gardens

This "garden of the forbidden city" displays include traditional fountains, pavilions, and rock gardens.

Propaganda Poster Art Center

These Maoist-era propaganda posters, now valued as art pieces by their collector, will help you understand China's Communist history.

Photo: Harvey Barrison@flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Jewish Refugees Museum

During the Second World War, Shanghai received around 20,000 Jewish refugees - this museum goes into more detail about this little-known aspect of history.

The Bund

A microcosm of corporate Shanghai, you'll see the buildings that are home to HSBC and North China Daily News.

Photo: Eduardo M. C.@flickr (CC BY 2.0)

French Concession

This area of Shanghai could well also be called "Little France" - with its Parisian-looking suburbs and quaint bistros, the city has retained portions of its French colonial history.

Jing'an Temple

Translated as the Temple of Peace and Tranquility, this Buddhist temple consists of three main halls testifying to culture from several Chinese dynasties.

Huxinting Tea House

Constructed during the Ming dynasty, the zig-zag bridge surrounding the tea house is meant to shut evil spirits out. It is considered one of the last authentic Chinese tea houses in Shanghai and has even been visited by Queen Elizabeth II!

Photo: Bernt Rostad@flickr (CC BY 2.0)

Lu Xun Park

Located in the Hongkou district and quieter than Yuyan, this park is dedicated to Chinese literary great Lu Xun. You can rent out a boat for the lake, or simply wander around enjoying the tranquility.

Planning Your Shanghai Visit

When to go

The fall months are the mildest, temperature-wise. Winter gets cold, but is not particularly snowy.

Market scams

Beware of buying precious minerals like pearl necklaces and jade ornaments from markets - it is common that these are not the real deal.

English newspaper

Check out the English-language newspaper, Shanghai Daily, to see what's going on in the city.


If you suffer from respiratory issues, look into purchasing a mask that covers your nose and mouth before your trip, as the air pollution concentration in Shanghai is very high.

Good to Know

  • Language
  • Currency
    RNB or Yuan (¥)
  • Time Zone
    UTC (+08:00)
  • Country Code
  • Best time to visit
    May through October is the most mild weather, but also the busiest time for Shanghai. Late March and October are ideal for weather and avoiding the peak times for tourists and business travelers.

Things to Do in Shanghai

Top Attractions in Shanghai

Other Sightseeing Options in Shanghai

Want to discover all there is to do in Shanghai?  Click here for a full list.

What People Are Saying About Shanghai

Great class, learnt a lot, food delicious and market visit a bonus.

Really friendly, lots of information. Recipes you can re-create at home. Enjoyable morning, loved the visit to the market just such an experience. Food was great and got to eat it all after!

Excellent experience, great service staff!

Enjoyed the day very much, cooked four dishes in total. Making Yuanzi was very interesting! The perfect way to learn the local cooking, and mingle with other travellers. Thanks very much to the attentive service staff!

Shanghai: Chinese Cooking Class in a Family Home Reviewed by a GetYourGuide Customer, 05/05/2016

Loved the Market Tour and the cooking was so fun!

Cooking inside one of the high rises was very cool. The wet market is quite unique!

Shanghai: Chinese Cooking Class in a Family Home Reviewed by a GetYourGuide Customer, 11/30/2015

Easy way to experience old and new cultural-mix of this huge city

The three Shanghai routes are a great way to see the French Concession and Bund/Nanjing Rd river area and then contrast this older area with the huge skycrapers and modern developments across the river in Pudong. Buses regular and easy to find, with excellent historic commentary. Only complaint: Labour Day lack of staff meant no-one to show the correct entrance for the river cruise so wasted an hour following a maze of alleyways below the Bund, being refused entry by officious harbour security!

Well worth doing just to see the indoor market.

Our guide was very sweet, friendly and knowledgeable, and carried an I-pad to show us pictures of the different vegetables in their growing state. The chief was good and demonstrated the dishes in an easy mmanner. Would definitely recommend it to anyone visiting Shanghai as you get to see the indoor market, mixing with the locals and visited a typical town apartment, apart from learning to cook 3 fantastic Chinese dishes.

Shanghai: Chinese Cooking Class in a Family Home Reviewed by Richard, 08/28/2014

Based on 69 reviews by GetYourGuide customers