New York never sleeps, but Shanghai doesn’t even sit down

A collection of attractions and interesting spots to explore on your next visit to Shanghai.

Shanghai is the second most populous city proper in the world. It is an international hub located on the eastern shores of China and it has become the country’s most renowned location. Shanghai is an urban jungle with major international companies located within its borders. Writer Patricia Marx once said, “New York may be the city that never sleeps, but Shanghai doesn’t even sit down, and not just because there is no room.”

Thanks to being China’s showpiece city, it attracts tourists from all over the world. In 2016, Shanghai welcomed 300 million people to its streets. It became one the world’s most visited cities that year alongside the likes of Bangkok, London, and Paris.

A picture of Old Shanghai near the entrance to the beautiful Yu Garden.

Old Shanghai near the entrance to the beautiful Yu Garden.

Known as the “Paris of the Orient”, Shanghai offers visitors a number of amazing cultural and historical landmarks to explore. The city’s traditional street food stalls and markets are must-visits, and getting lost in Shanghai can be a good thing as visitors traverse its streets.

A CityPals guide can take travelers on an adventure of a lifetime as they uncover some of the most well-known, and not so well-known, tourist attractions. So, where should travelers go off the beaten path? A CityPals guide will showoff these great attractions and more.

A picture of the French Quarter of Shanghai with its many restaurants and cafés.

Travelers can enjoy the newly renovated French Quarter of Shanghai with its many restaurants and cafés.

Propaganda Poster Art Center

Some of the coolest art ever produced was the communist propaganda posters created in China. The Propaganda Poster Art Center shows off a collection of amazing posters created to promote communism and the Chinese state. The museum isn’t big and is located in the basement of a Shanghai apartment building.

Posters come from the Republican Period, World War II, the Maoist campaigns of the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s, and the post-1980 Reform Era and each is well-kept. Travelers who only know about China thanks to modern day news can learn much more about the country’s history at the Propaganda Poster Art Center.

Propaganda Poster Art Center features posters of other communist leaders such as this one, promoting Fidel Castro. Shanghai

At the Musem, visitors can find Chinese propaganda posters of other communist leaders such as this one, promoting Fidel Castro.

The Bund

The Bund is a popular promenade located in Shanghai’s former International Settlement. Thanks to its location, The Bund has a European feel as many of the buildings were constructed by European companies and each has a flavor of Euro-architecture. Today, many of these old buildings have restaurants, cafes, and shops located inside.

The Bund is situated on the Huangpu River. The river is to one side of pedestrians while the city’s skyscrapers are on the other. Whether travelers want to simply stretch their legs or find an exciting place to spend the evening, The Bund is the place to be.

The Bund Boardwalk in Shanghai on a cold winter day

The Bund Boardwalk on a cold winter day.

The Oriental Pearl Tower

After strolling along The Bund, visitors should join up with their CityPals guide and venture to the Oriental Pearl Tower right next door. The tower is an impressive 468-metres tall and gives visitors unbelievable views of the city below.

Travelers can find more than just great views at the Oriental Pearl Tower as it contains a shopping mall and hotel on its lower levels. There is even a rollercoaster for travelers to get their adrenaline pumping if the sky-high views weren’t enough.

Night view of the the Oriental Pearl Tower in Shanghai

Night view of the the Oriental Pearl Tower

Single’s Market (a.k.a. Marriage Market)

The Shanghai Single’s Market is one of the most unique items in all the world. Here, parents with single sons and daughters meet up in an attempt to find their child a romantic match. This is the of Shanghai as parents share their child’s CV with other parents. The Single’s Market is open on Saturdays and Sundays and is really worth a visit for its cultural uniqueness.

Picture of the matchmaking street market in Shanghai

Matchmaking street market. High supply and demand of concerned parents on both sides of the matchmaking business.

Shanghai dive bars and music clubs

Shanghai has an outstanding nightlife that teems with excitement. The city’s underground music scene and bars are a great place to spend a night and the wee hours of the next morning. Yuyintang is a well-known club for its music. Bands perform at Yuyintang each weekend and travelers can get to know just what the local music scene is like in Shanghai. Yuyintang is quite small and is definitely a beer and rock music club.

Travelers looking for something a bit more upscale can find it in Shanghai too. Bars such as M1NT and Bar Rouge are renowned for being a bit classier. But experiencing a dive bar while sipping bottles of cold Tsingtao all night is an experience all its own.

a picture of a local Shanghai rock band preforming at the Yuyintang Club

Local rock band preforming at the Yuyintang Club

Shanghai Jewish Refugees Museum

Tourists may not be aware that Shanghai was a destination for Jewish people during World War II. Forced to flee their homelands in Europe and unwelcome by many western nations, thousands of Jewish people relocated to Shanghai.

The Shanghai Jewish Refugees Museum is situated in the city’s Jewish Quarter inside an old synagogue. Visitors can learn about the 25,000 Jewish refugees that fled to Shanghai between 1930 and 1950. Outside of Shanghai, much of the history of the Jewish refugees during the time period is unknown.

A CityPals guide at the Shanghai Jewish Refugees Museum in Shanghai

Longhua Temple

One of the most popular tourist activities in Shanghai is to visit Buddhist temples. There are a number of temples to explore, but one of the best – if not the best – is the Longhua Temple. It is one of China’s oldest religious buildings having been erected in AD 242. The Longhua Temple has beautiful ornate statues and it still holds regular Buddhist ceremonies. Travelers may be able to catch a glimpse of a ceremony during their visit.

A Buddhist Monk at a Shanghai Temple in Shanghai practicing the art of coping Sutras as an expression of piety.

A Buddhist Monk at a Shanghai Temple practicing the art of coping Sutras as an expression of piety.

Shanghai is one of the top travel destinations in the world today. It combines culture and history in remarkable ways. A CityPals guide can help travelers find the best and most interesting places to visit on their trip. “The Paris of the Orient” awaits and CityPals can lead the way.

Feel free to add recommendations in the comments section below for more places to see and experience in Shanghai.

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Comments (1):

  1. Ron

    January 30, 2019 at 10:17 am

    The Silk Museum of Shanghai is an interesting spot. It is cool to see first hand how silk is made and manufactured. Stay away from the pricey museum store…a real tourist trap.


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