10 Shanghai Gems: A Native’s Top Picks for Tourists

Shanghai is one of the four direct-administered municipalities of the People’s Republic of China. The city is located on the southern estuary of the Yangtze River, with the Huangpu River flowing through it.

Welcome to Shanghai, a city where East meets West, tradition intertwines with modernity, and the skyline dazzles the eye! As a proud local, I’m excited to share my top 10 must-see marvels in this bustling metropolis. Embark on this journey with me as we uncover Shanghai’s hidden gems and iconic landmarks that will make your visit truly unforgettable.

1. Sky-High Splendor: Shanghai’s Iconic Towers

The Oriental Pearl Tower – Standing proudly in Pudong, the Oriental Pearl Tower is an instantly recognizable symbol of Shanghai. With its distinctive pearls and futuristic design, it’s a sight to behold day or night. Head to the observation deck for breathtaking panoramic views of the Huangpu River and the Bund.

Shanghai Tower – As the world’s second tallest building, the Shanghai Tower is a testament to human ingenuity. Its twisting form and energy-efficient design are simply awe-inspiring. Don’t miss the chance to ascend to the highest observation deck in the world and take in the dizzying cityscape below.

Jin Mao Tower – An architectural marvel, the Jin Mao Tower boasts a stunning mix of traditional Chinese elements and modern design. The Grand Hyatt Shanghai, located within the tower, offers the perfect vantage point to sip cocktails and enjoy the glittering skyline.

Fun fact: Did you know that the Shanghai Tower has the world’s fastest elevators, traveling at an incredible speed of 20.5 meters per second?

2. Hidden Gems: Uncovering Shanghai’s Cultural Treasures

Yuyuan Garden – Step back in time and immerse yourself in the tranquility of Yuyuan Garden, a Ming Dynasty masterpiece. Wander through the exquisite pavilions, halls, and rockeries, and don’t forget to sample the famous xiaolongbao (soup dumplings) at the nearby Chenghuangmiao market.

Propaganda Poster Art Centre – Delve into China’s political history at the Propaganda Poster Art Centre, tucked away in the basement of an unassuming apartment building. This fascinating collection showcases the artistry and messages of propaganda posters from the Mao era, offering visitors a unique insight into the country’s past.

Tianzifang – Escape the hustle and bustle of the city in the charming labyrinth of Tianzifang. This artsy enclave is brimming with quaint alleyways, boutique shops, and cozy cafes. Take your time to explore the narrow lanes and discover the creativity that thrives in this hidden gem.

Local tip: For a truly authentic experience, hop on a public bus or the metro to explore the city like a local. It’s the best way to soak up the vibrant energy of Shanghai!

Shanghai is a city of contrasts, where ancient traditions and cutting-edge innovation coexist in perfect harmony. I hope this local’s guide has inspired you to explore the many marvels that make Shanghai a truly captivating destination. From the awe-inspiring heights of its iconic towers to the enchanting beauty of its hidden gems, this city has something for everyone. So pack your bags, grab your camera, and get ready to fall in love with Shanghai!