Shanghai has long been on my travel radar. The closest I have ever been to visiting Shanghai was in the Shanghai Pudong International Airport on a five-hour layover to Hong Kong. However, next year that will change as we plan to finally venture into China for the first time. I have put together this list of must-see attractions for when I visit, and hopefully other travelers can get some ideas too!
Shanghai is the second largest city in China and has more people living in it than all of Norway, Sweden, and Finland combined. With a population of over 23 million and 15 different districts, it’s no doubt that Shanghai is a massive metropolis. It may even be daunting just to find a place to stay, but with Shanghai hotels located all over the city, this is one area of the logistics I always feel comfortable with. When I know which hotel I prefer, I can focus on the many sights and experiences I want to tick off my checklist!
Have a Tea at Tang Yun Tea House
The first thing on my list in Shanghai is to have a drink at a traditional Chinese Tea House. Not just any teahouse, though, but the Tang Yun tea house, which serves many varying types of Chinese tea. This classical tea house has been on my list for a while because it is filled with calligraphy, and looks like the epitome of tranquility and serenity.
Stroll Back in Time in Qībǎo
For a transportation into ancient China, a visit to Qībǎo is a must. This 13th-century town was built during the Ming dynasty, but now serves as a residential town and a tourist attraction. It’s thriving with history, dotted with narrow alleyways, and has a dazzling canal to make you feel like you are really in China. Qībǎo is named after the Qībǎo Temple located in the town and can be accessed by taking the number 9 metro to Qībǎo station.
Image via Flickr by Kimon Berlin
Get My Dumpling Fill at Din Tai Fung
The one restaurant I see on everyone’s “must eat” list in China would be Din Tai Fung. To travel all the way to China and miss out on this iconic restaurant would leave me filled with regret. Din Tai Fung is best known for their xiao long bao (Shanghai steamed soup dumplings) and is what many patrons come specifically for. The funny thing is that Din Tai Fung is actually a Taiwanese chain, but no one seems to mind!
Catch a Sunset at The Bund
No trip to Shanghai would be complete with a visit to The Bund. This infamous area is located on the western bank of the Huangpu River, and if you don’t mind the crowds, it can make for a very fun sightseeing activity. This place is enchanting during sunrise or sunset. The Bund is the perfect place for a mix of historic, new, commercialized, industrialized, and western style buildings all in one. After sunset, the next step is to wait until complete darkness for the light show over Pudong.
If you’re ready for an exotic but relaxing vacation, book your Shanghai hotel and start packing.
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