15 Must-Do Things in Shanghai │Touring Highlights

15 Must-Do Things in Shanghai

Hangzhou

The captivating city of Hangzhou is just 45 minutes away via the incredibly efficient high-speed rail. There are over 9 million people in the city, so it is by no means a small place, but it has a very different and refreshing vibe from Shanghai.

West Lake is one of China’s most famous natural attractions, and it is unquestionably the highlight here. It is possible to walk or cycle around its perimeter, marvelling at its beauty while experiencing various traditional bridges and pavilions along the way.

Suzhou

Suzhou Shanghai

Many poets and writers have referred to Suzhou as “The Venice of The East,” and it’s easy to understand why. In addition to the abundance of blossom and bonsai trees that grow around every corner, Suzhou is also covered with a vast network of canals and waterways.

The scenery is breathtaking and you can spend hours wandering over the traditional Chinese bridges before heading over to the gardens.

Moganshan

Moganshan Shanghai

A world away from Shanghai, Moganshan is also known as Mount Mogan, the ultimate escape into the highlands. Within 60 kilometers of Hangzhou (and easily accessible from town), the area is gradually being occupied by wealthy locals building their villas and resorts in stunning mountain settings.

One of Moganshan’s top attractions is hiking through its verdant green hills and valleys, which are dotted with rivers and lakes. There are many routes that pass through bamboo forests and tea fields, both of which grow abundantly here.

Zhujiajiao

Zhujiajiao Shanghai

One of eight canal towns on the canal system that leads from Lake Tai, Zhujiajiao is the most widely recommended water town near Shanghai. The quaint water town is easily accessible by bus from Shanghai and is typical of these types of settlements due to its historic significance and cultural significance.

In addition to Dianshan Lake, which is nearly 12 times larger than Hangzhou’s West Lake and fringed by idyllic hills, wide meadows, and beautiful islands, such as Sun and Moon Islands, it is also well worth a visit.

Linhai

Linhai Shanghai
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It is a charming city with a wall dating back to the Eastern Jin Dynasty, circa AD265 – AD420. Linhai is a popular alternative to the Great Wall of China tour due to its low cost. While its similarities to its bigger, more famous counterpart are uncanny, the city itself is a pleasure to explore. A hotbed of architectural history, the city is surrounded by the Ling River, and an ancient street runs directly from its center to Longxing Temple, many miles away.

Nanjing

Nanjing Shanghai

Nanjing is a major Chinese city with a bustling economy, but the city is also known for its fascinating history. During the nation’s history, the metropolis was once the capital of several ruling dynasties and is home to many historically significant sites.

History buffs and casual visitors alike will be fascinated by the various sites in Nanjing, ranging from beautiful temples to the former Presidential Palace and Nanjing Massacre Memorial Hall.

Changshu

Changshu Shanghai

Visit Changshu, a pristine, canal-filled town that is only an hour and a half from Shanghai, if you are looking for a city that shares similarities with Hangzhou and Suzhou without the crowds. Located in a small town, you’ll find the same style of ancient houses, mountain backdrops, and nearby lakes, but at a more local level.

Ningbo

Ningbo Shanghai

A high-speed train takes two hours to take you to the port city of Ningbo from Shanghai. Aside from being one of the oldest cities in China, Lhasa has a strong Buddhist presence, which is apparent in countless temples, some of which are among the oldest in the world.

There are relics of Buddhism’s founder, Sakyamuni, buried at the Asoka Temple, which is more than 1700 years old. A wooden temple like the Baoguo Temple is also one of the best-preserved wooden structures in China.

Zhenjiang

Zhenjiang Shanghai

There is a charming city in Jiangsu called Zhenjiang, best known as the birthplace of Nobel Prize-winning author Pearl S. Buck, and not much else. However, many people have been making day trips to Zhenjiang because of Jiaoshan Park, a charming and scenic park that can be found there.

Located on an island in the Yangtze River, the park is attractively maintained and gives you a feeling of being remote from urban life and connected to nature. Ten Thousand Buddha Pagoda is a popular attraction in this area.

Dongqian Lake

Dongqian Lake Shanghai

Lake Ningbo, a popular day trip destination near the city of Ningbo in the province of Zhenjiang, is the largest lake in the area and is perfect for Shanghai locals and tourists looking to escape the big city for a day and enjoy some peace and quiet they may not find elsewhere in the area.

There are three lakes in Dongqian, but North Lake is recommended the most. Sculpture parks, tiny villages, and temples can all be found nearby in the area’s mountains and shores, all dating back as far as AD960.

Dongqian Lake

Dongqian Lake Shanghai

Lake Ningbo, a popular day trip destination near the city of Ningbo in the province of Zhenjiang, is the largest lake in the area and is perfect for Shanghai locals and tourists looking to escape the big city for a day and enjoy some peace and quiet they may not find elsewhere in the area.

There are three lakes in Dongqian, but North Lake is recommended the most. Sculpture parks, tiny villages, and temples can all be found nearby in the area’s mountains and shores, all dating back as far as AD960.

Shanghai Sculpture Park

Shanghai Sculpture Park Shanghai
Editorial Credit: atiger / Shutterstock.com

Located in the Songjiang District, Shanghai Sculpture Park is a short moto ride away from Shanghai. The expansive grassy meadows, wooded hills, and even a man-made beach make this a perfect family day out.

This park is an excellent escape from the concrete jungle of the city center, as it features excellent restaurants, pools, and boat rentals.

Nanxiang

Nanxiang Shanghai

The district of Nanxiang, home to some gorgeous classic gardens and famed for producing the widely loved xiaolongbao dumplings, is located just 40 minutes from downtown Shanghai.

Guyi Garden is the best, where you can wander over paths and bridges under canopy trees for hours. You can also visit the nearby serene Yunxiang Temple, one of the largest in Shanghai, which is noticeably quieter than the other temples, perfect for some quiet reflection while you explore.

Shaoxing

Shaoxing Shanghai

Shaoxing is a historic town located about an hour and a half from Shanghai, known for its rich history within its borders and affectionately referred to by the locals as “the Museum without Walls.”.

There are cultural sites like Archang Ancient Town and Baicao Garden in the sometimes sleepy but always welcoming town, as well as nearby Kuaji Mountain and East Lake. In addition, you’ll have the opportunity to try the city’s famous Shaoxing Wine, a particular local brew of Chinese rice wine.

Yangzhou

Yangzhou Shanghai

Yangzhou is a unique lake town that combines elements of Hangzhou and Suzhou while still retaining its own unique beauty. It is a smaller but no less beautiful version of its larger counterpart; you can stroll its shores or wander through the reeds of the bamboo gardens in the Ge Yuan Garden for a couple of hours.

Putuoshan

Putuoshan Shanghai

There’s about a four-hour drive from Shanghai to the famous Buddhist resort of Putuoshan, but it is easily doable in a day if you start early. In this part of China, you’ll be lucky enough to see some truly authentic sites, which are frequented by many locals. At the foot of Mount Putuoshan, the Purple Bamboo Forest, famous for its purple rock, is one of them.

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