dreamstime/© Hugon

Shanghai, China’s largest city, offers many exciting sightseeing opportunities for those unconcerned with having to deal with large crowds. But despite having a population of more than 24 million, this fun city also offers quieter historic districts and attractions alongside its many newer tourist sites.

Highlights of a visit include the innovative architecture as well as the fabulous museums and gardens that are among Shanghai’s top tourist attractions. Some visitors pig out on the food – Shanghai’s cuisine is considered one of China’s top four cuisines. Yes, China’s financial capital, located in the Yangtze River Delta, is hustling and bustling but visitors also will find pockets of ancient culture and charm that make this city a winner.

Shanghai’s Promenade: The Bund

Strolling along The Bund is simply one of the things any visitor to Shanghai must do. Located on the west side of the Huangpu River, The Bund is one of the most famous tourist attractions in Shanghai. It’s particularly popular among tourists as the area has retained a European feel (it was once the location of the city’s International Settlement) that is particularly noticeable in the many old English and French buildings now serving as restaurants, boutique stores, galleries, and offices. The Bund is flanked by old buildings representing various architectural styles, including Gothic, Romanesque and Renaissance.

Yu Garden

Yu in Chinese means pleasing and satisfying. Yu Garden has been a Shanghai fixture since the 16th century when a Ming Dynasty official wanted to create a tranquil garden for his parents to spend their senior years. Today, it is one of the most famous classical gardens in China.

The garden is filled with rockeries (the Great Rockery is at the entrance), halls, pavilions where visitors can rest tired feet, and ponds that ooze serenity. Pagodas and artistically arranged lush vegetation round out the picture.

Shanghai World Financial Center

flickr/Wolfgang Staudt

The Shanghai World Financial Center is a symbol of commerce and culture that speaks to the city’s emergence as a global capital. Located in Shanghai’s Pudong District, the mixed-used Shanghai World Financial Center is a vertical city, containing 62 office floors, conference facilities, an urban retail and dining spaces, and a 174-room five-star Park Hyatt Hotel at the top—the world’s highest hotel from the 79th to 93rd floors. Above the hotel, at the 94th to 100th floors, is a visitors’ square and observatory. Those that make the elevator trip up will be rewarded with stunning views of Shanghai.

Shanghai Museum

Founded in 1952, the Shanghai Museum remains China’s most important museum of classical Chinese art. Located in a modern building on People’s Square, this outstanding museum has five floors containing the best in ancient Chinese history: old coins, priceless paintings and ceramics, intricately carved traditional lacquer furniture, and ancient bronze and jade artifacts.

The exterior design of the round dome and the square base symbolizes the ancient idea of a round heaven and a square land. The museum is divided into eleven galleries and three exhibition halls. Best of all, the museum offers free admission to 8,000 people every day.

Nanjing Road

dreamstime/© Hugon

Nanjing Road is the main shopping street in Shanghai. Indeed, it is one of the world’s largest and most famous attracting about a million shoppers a day. The street is named after the city of Nanjing, capital of Jiangsu province neighboring Shanghai. Where once it was lined with traditional Chinese stores selling daily necessities, today Nanjing Road is lined with upscale shops, restaurants, and hotels.
Nanjing Road comprises two sections, Nanjing Road East and Nanjing Road West. The East section is the primary shopping area.

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