What to see and what activities to do in your Shanghai visit

It is the universal exhibition that put China  at the top of world prominence, and which in its day was a good excuse to visit Shanghai .

From the outset I will tell you that Shanghai is the best exponent of modernity towards which this great Asian country is inexorably heading.

Skyscrapers of the new Shanghai, in the port area of ​​Pudong
Skyscrapers of the new Shanghai, in the port area of ​​Pudong

Although in Shanghai you find diverse samples of the long history and Chinese tradition, above all you have the best example of what a super modern city is in which there is no shortage of contrasts.

Curiosities history of Shanghai

At present Shanghai is a huge and overpopulated city , with more than 20 million inhabitants, but its history goes back many centuries.

In concrete the present enclave of Shanghai has its origins 1,000 years BC, although its great boom took place during century XIX by its strategic positioning when being a great fluvial port.

Already in the 11th century, this enclave increased its rank as a village to that of a commercial port, and in the 12th century it became an important center of cotton production.

But it was at the beginning of the XIX century when Shanghai became the main commercial and industrial center of China, and in the middle of it was when it became a colonial settlement of the English, French and Americans.

Colonial-era building in the Bund district of Shanghai
Colonial-era building in the Bund district of Shanghai

After the Japanese occupation during the Second World War , and a subsequent period, after the triumph of the Chinese Revolution, of transfer of foreign businessmen to Hong Kong , the city of Shanghai has recovered its peak and is now one of the main centers of that country.

What to see in Shanghai

Next, I’ll give you some basic tips that will be useful when planning your trip to Shanghai .

From the outset you should know that when visiting Shanghai  you have to combine four different facets.

On the one hand, see the areas that reflect its important colonial history  and visit historical sites of the long Chinese tradition.

And on the other hand, stroll through the streets of a very modern city where the big  skyscrapers are concentrated ; and enjoy its great commercial activity .

Colonial Shanghai

In this combination, much of your visit to Shanghai will take place on the banks of the Huangpu River , which is where the Port of Shanghai is located , the most important in the world at present due to the volume of merchandise that passes through it.

Shanghai World Financial Center, on the left, next to the Jinmao Tower
Shanghai World Financial Center, on the left, next to the Jinmao Tower

On one bank you can find the colonial area of ​​the Bund , and on the other, the supermodern financial district of Pudong , with its towering skyscrapers, such as the World Financial Center , the second highest in the world.

Traditional Shanghai

The reflection of the long Chinese tradition in Shanghai you will see in your visits of the Yuyuan Garden and the Temple of the Jade Buddha .

The first dates back to the Ming Dynasty and was completed in 1577.

It is the best example of a typical Chinese garden where you will see rock gardens, ponds and wooded areas among which are pavilions and sculptural groups such as the Wall of the 5 dragons .

For its part, the Temple of the Jade Buddha is a current sample of a Buddhist temple, which was completed in 1918.

Because of its large number of salons and Buddhist figures that can be seen, it is one of the essential visits in a trip to Shanghai.

Te House in the Yuyuan Garden in Shanghai
Te House in the Yuyuan Garden in Shanghai

Modern Shanghai

The best sample of Shanghai as a super modern city, apart from the financial area of Pudong , you will find walking from the central square of the Renmin People , by the famous Nanjing Street , to the Bund area .

Shanghai commercial

Shanghai will surprise you, too, for its incredible commercial activity .

Next to the enormous and modern large shopping centers and brand stores of Nanjing shopping street , in Shanghai you can visit traditional shopping areas, such as the Yuyuan Market , and also markets such as Yatai Market .

And in conclusion, in your visit should not miss the tourist activities , such as a cruise on a traditional Chinese boat on the Huangpu River , or ride the Maglev Levitation Train that connects the city center with the airport.

Jade Buddha Temple in Shanghai
Jade Buddha Temple in Shanghai