Get ready to be wowed by Shanghai! This dynamic city has it all – from a buzzing cosmopolitan lifestyle to a rich cultural scene to stunning traditional Chinese architecture. It’s time to start exploring!
Whether you’re travelling solo or with family and friends, exploring all the city has to offer can be an overwhelming task. To make it easier for you, we have curated the best districts and highlighted the popular attractions nearby in this guide. Explore the city with ease and make the most of your time in Shanghai!
Travel Requirement For Visiting China
As of 2023, China has significantly eased its travel restrictions. Domestic travel restrictions have been completely lifted, allowing people to move freely across provincial and regional borders. The requirements for international arrivals have also been simplified. To enter China, all that’s typically needed is a valid visa, passport, and an antigen self-test. (For more information about Visa requirements, click here.)
Discover Shanghai: Top Sights and Best Districts to Stay
The Bund and People’s Square
The Bund is a waterfront promenade lined with colonial-era buildings, while People’s Square is a large public square with a number of museums and government buildings. This is the most central and popular area to stay in Shanghai due to its stunning views of the Huangpu River and Pudong skyline
It’s also home to some of Shanghai’s most iconic buildings and attractions, such as the Oriental Pearl Tower and Yu Garden. Hotels in this area have great views and easy access to everything Shanghai has to offer, but they can be more expensive.
Popular attractions in The Bund and People’s Square:
The Bund Historical Museum: This museum tells the story of the Bund and its role in Shanghai’s history. It is located in the underground of the Monument to the People’s Heroes on the Bund in Shanghai.
Shanghai Museum: One of the most popular tourist attractions in Shanghai, with over 2 million visitors each year. It is among China’s first world-class modern museums, renowned for its vast and rare collection of cultural artifacts. With over 120,000 pieces including bronze, ceramics, calligraphy, furniture, jades, ancient coins, paintings, seals, sculptures, minority art, and foreign art, the museum is divided into eleven galleries and three exhibition halls.
Oriental Pearl TV Tower: The Oriental Pearl TV Tower is a 468-meter-tall (1,536 ft) TV tower in Shanghai, China. It is the tallest structure in Shanghai, the second-tallest structure in China after the Canton Tower, and the sixth-tallest structure in the world. There are 3 main sightseeing floors at Oriental Pearl TV Tower where you can enjoy the city view from different heights.
People’s Park: This beautifully landscaped park, located within the confines of People’s Square, offers a tranquil retreat from the bustling city. It includes several attractions within its boundaries, such as the Shanghai Marriage Market and the MOCA Shanghai (Museum of Contemporary Art).
Staying near The Bund and People’s Square? Check-in to JW Marriott Hotel Shanghai. Prices start from SGD$210.
For unbeatable views of The Bund, check-in to The Peninsula Shanghai. Prices start from SGD$487.
This is Shanghai’s most famous shopping street and is home to a wide variety of stores, from high-end designer brands to local markets. There are also many restaurants and cafes in this area, making it a great place to stay for first-time visitors who want to do some shopping and a taste of local cuisine. With so much to see and do, hop on the Dangdang, a trackless sightseeing train, to bask in the vibrant atmosphere.
Shanghai Nanjing Road is actually made up of two sections – East Nanjing Road and West Nanjing Road. These two sections are divided by the Middle Tibet Road. When it comes to comparing the two, East Nanjing Road definitely takes the cake for being the busier one. And you know why? It’s all because of its prime location right next to the Bund, which is Shanghai’s iconic landmark.
Staying near Nanjing Road? Check-in to Radisson Collection Hyland Shanghai. Prices start from SGD$160
*Minimum spend of SGD$100
The Former French Concession
The former French Concession in Shanghai is a historic district known for its European-style architecture, tree-lined streets, and trendy cafes and boutiques. It is located in the northwestern part of the city.
A bit of history on the former French Concession in Shanghai. Established in 1849 after the First Opium War, it was one of several concessions granted to European powers in Shanghai. The French Concession stood out as the largest and most prosperous among them, quickly becoming a vibrant hub of trade, finance, and culture – making it a hot spot for cosmopolitan experiences.
If you are looking for a relaxed atmosphere in bustling Shanghai, this is the place to stay.
The former French Concession is a great place to wander around and explore the different shops, cafes, and restaurants.
Popular attractions in the former French Concession:
Tianzifang: A former textile factory that has been converted into a maze of art galleries, boutiques, and cafes
Xintiandi: A restored neighborhood with traditional Chinese architecture and modern shops and restaurants.
Staying near the former French Concession, Xuhui District? Check-in to Capella Shanghai Jian Ye Li for a once-in-a-lifetime luxurious experience. Prices start from SGD$714
Named after the historic Jing’an Temple, this district seamlessly blends ancient traditions with modern urban life. Wander through the tranquil temple grounds before stepping out into a world of towering skyscrapers and bustling shopping malls.
Top sights nearby:
Jing’an Temple: This ancient Buddhist temple, from which the district gets its name, is a serene haven amidst the urban hustle.
Jing’an Park: Located next to the temple, this park is perfect for a leisurely walk or a picnic.
Jing’an Kerry Centre: This modern shopping mall offers a mix of high-end and high-street fashion brands, along with eateries and entertainment options.
Staying near Jing’an? Check-in to The Portman Ritz-Carlton Shanghai. Prices start from SGD$221.