5 Places in Shanghai You Have to See For Yourself
During my year abroad, I visited Shanghai 5 times. It is easily my favorite Chinese city and one of only a few I would go back to. Pro-tip, the Chinese say Shanghai with a soft “a” sound, not like “SHANG -HIGH”, say the “a” like you’re British and you’ll get bonus points.
Shanghai is such a unique combination of traditional Chinese culture and modern commerce. If you’re headed to this side of the world, here are 5 places you’ve got to visit!
1. The Bund
Zhongshan East 1st Rd, Wai Tan, Huangpu
Obviously you need to start with the iconic Shanghai skyline which can be seen in an area called The Bund. The tallest building that looks like the Eiffel Tower with a ball on top is called the Oriental Pearl Tower. You’ll get two totally different views if you go during the day and at night. The area does get really crowded but is still a beautiful walk along the bay. Also, keep in mind the nearest subway stop is Nanjing East Road.
2. Nanjing Road (East or West)
(parallel to People’s Park) 231 Nanjing W Rd, People’s Square
Next, on your walk towards The Bund, enjoy the neon lit shopping district featuring a wide range of brands from Forever 21 to Hermes. The street itself is gorgeous, nestled between modern skyscrapers and classical temples with plenty of photo opportunities.
3. Tianzefang (Tee-en-zuh-fung)
210弄 Taikang Rd, Da Pu Qiao
Here, you’ll find local artisans making everything from leather bound journals to honey sticks. As part of the old French Concession, it has maintained a lot of the old brick passageways and now has unique shops nestled into it’s corners. If you can manage to find the coffee shop called Cafe Dan, go all the way up to the top floor for the best view over the whole district.
4. Starbucks Reserve Roastery
Jing’an, Nan Jing Xi Lu, Nanjing W Rd, 789号Unit 110 & 201
Most importantly, you don’t want to miss this one. It. Is. GIANT. Not your average Starbucks. They have a whole wall of fresh baked artisan pastries that you can eat while you watch the roasting process through giant glass windows. They also mix cocktails! It is usually very crowded but a really cool place to wander around and enjoy something out of the ordinary.
5. Taco Laoban (translation = Taco Boss)
168 Wujiang Lu (Near Maoming Bei Lu)
Finally, right down the street from Starbucks is the best Chinese fusion tacos you have yet to experience. It is the only place you’ll find authentic ingredients and lots of other foreigners. If you already love tacos and are curious about a Chinese twist on them, this is the place for you!
Shanghai Tourism Tip:
These prime locations should help you begin exploring the city. Because of the large foreign commerce presence in Shanghai, if you are lost or have questions, you can almost always find someone around you who speaks English.
If you’re visiting as a tourist, I’ve compiled everything you need to know to get a tourist visa for China here too!