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An ever-growing skyscraper skyline, mouth-watering Michelin dining, glitzy shopping and the world’s longest subway. Shanghai doesn’t do things by half measures, that’s for sure. It’s one of the world’s most populous and prosperous cities (with no signs of slowing down), and you won’t be able to resist getting swept up in its hedonistic charms. Dine in the fashionable restaurants, shop in designer stores, poke around prestigious art galleries and catch some Chinese opera. This is a city that invites you to splash the cash and indulge in the finer things in life. Go on, you deserve it.
Having said that, the glitz and glamour is just half of the story in Shanghai. Look beyond the sleek veneer of this modern metropolis and you’ll find an abundance of authentic treasures that whisper of days gone by. At the heart of the city is a disorienting maze of alleyways known as the old town. It’s here where you’ll find some of the city’s premier attractions - the lush oasis of Yùyuán Gardens surrounded by shabby-chic teahouses and kitsch markets. Explore the bustling bazaars, browse the curio shops and peek inside the temples for a flavour of the ‘real’ China.
Aside from museums, galleries and river cruises, Shanghai is less about big attractions and more about aimless wandering. Stroll along the Bund to see the surprisingly un-Chinese mix of architectural styles and spend some time browsing the studios, caéfs, bars and boutiques along the lilongs (traditional alleyways) in the French Concession.
And let's not forget the electric nightlife. With its lively club and music scene, plus the famous acrobatic shows, Shanghai is a city that knows how to have a good time. From jazz clubs and rooftop cocktail bars to dance parties and indie venues, you won't struggle to find somewhere to let your hair down. Or, for something more low-key, night time cruises along the Huangpu River offer some spectacular views of the city.
There’s nowhere else in the world quite like Shanghai. Add this alluring city to your China itinerary and prepare to be dazzled by its exuberant spirit and unexpected cultural charms.
From the maze-like streets of the French Concession and bustling old town to the stylish waterfront walkway at the Bund, Shanghai is a city that lends itself to on-foot exploration.
Want to tailor your holiday around your own interests? Simply add an experience pack to your trip. Have a look at our Itinerary Builder to see what else you could be doing!
A mile-long stretch of European-style architecture that hugs the western bank of the Huangpu River, the Bund is where it’s at as far as Shanghai is concerned. An iconic montage of 52 colonial buildings, not only does this waterfront make for a pretty wander, but it also marks the historical centre of this giant of a city.Discover more
Shanghai is a city that mixes modern glitz and glamour with traditional Chinese culture. To find out more about what this captivating city has to offer, have a read of our blogs.
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