- Download our Shanghai Schools Guide
While the city may not be China’s number one tourist destination, there is still a wealth of cultural, historical and natural attractions in Shanghai.
Expats have many opportunities to immerse themselves in the city. Looking at Shanghai’s skyscrapers from the waterfront area is an impressive sight, while taking in the city’s lights during a night cruise down the Huangpu River is nothing short of spectacular.
A different kind of experience can be enjoyed by escaping the urban bustle. The Yuyuan Gardens is a natural retreat as well as a reminder of the city’s ancient history, while places such as the Shanghai Museum allow new residents to learn about the city’s past.
Recommended attractions in Shanghai
Shanghai’s picturesque waterfront promenade stretches along the Huangpu River for around one mile (1.6km) and was once the most famous street in Asia. The area is lined with interesting Art Deco buildings such as the Shanghai Pudong Development Bank and provides picturesque views of the city.
Escape the madness of Shanghai’s busy streets and spend an afternoon in this modern and natural park. The perfect place for leisure and entertainment, Century Park is home to a number of attractions such as the lake and bird sanctuary. There are also vast expanses of open forest and lawn, while there are sections dedicated to children, cyclists and fishing enthusiasts. The park is at the peak of its beauty in April and May when the flowers are in bloom.
A massive temple complex in Shanghai, the Longhua Temple is said to hold a side room with 500 golden statues, as well as attractions such as the Bell and Drum Tower and the Longhua Pagoda. It's easy to spend the whole day exploring the temple's grounds. There is also a vegetarian restaurant on site that serves lunch.
Situated on the People’s Square, the Shanghai Museum is a place that all new residents should spend some time exploring. The museum contains more than 120,000 precious works of art and historical artefacts. The museum has a number of galleries and three temporary exhibition halls and is considered by many to be the best museum in China.
Dating back to the Ming Dynasty in 1559, the Yuyuan Gardens are a breathtaking example of Chinese classical gardens that have been laid out in intricate designs filled with pavilions, rockeries, mazes and ponds which offer a retreat from the hustle and bustle of the city.
Zhujiajiao Water Town
A water township in Shanghai's Qingpu District, Zhujiajiao is an ancient town with a population of around 60,000 people. Visitors come to see the area's maze of canals, as well as its old buildings, fresh seafood and unique shopping experience.
►Find out about the city's best annual events with What's On in Shanghai
►Lifestyle in Shanghai gives an overview of entertainment options in the city
Are you an expat living in Shanghai?
Expat Arrivals is looking for locals to contribute to this guide, and answer forum questions from others planning their move to Shanghai. Please contact us if you'd like to contribute.
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