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Top 7 Shanghai Travel Attractions For Your First Visit


Johannesburg to Shanghai

Moving around Shanghai can be daunting for visitors without Chinese language skills, making navigating more complex. A hop-on hop-off bus tour such as Go Shanghai Pass may be beneficial when unfamiliar with an area.

Oriental Pearl Radio and TV Tower is an absolute must. Boasting breathtaking views, an exquisite restaurant with panoramic revolving tables, as well as an observation deck featuring glass bottom floor for one observation level – its 468m height offers exceptional experiences for visitors. Johannesburg to Shanghai Cathay Pacific flights are now available.

1. Shanghai Museum

With an exquisite collection spanning millennium, this Shanghai museum will take you on an amazing journey through Chinese beauty. From bronzes with archaic green patinas in the Ancient Chinese Art Gallery to solemn porcelain statues in Zande Lou Gallery – your eyes will appreciate a wide array of artistic treasures in each exhibition space.

Ceramic Relics stand out among the galleries, as are multi-colored glazed potteries and celadon that illustrate Chinese artisans’ exceptional skills. Furthermore, this Museum also specializes in paintings, seals and jade; rare exhibitions display old cameras; there’s also an excellent museum shop.

Stow away your luggage at either of the Museum’s two cloakrooms located outside its southern and northern entrances or each exhibition hall for free. Wheelchairs can also be accommodated, while lost-and-found services are available as well as audio guide handset rentals for an extra 40 RMB deposit (400RMB or passport required for audio guide rentals). Plus, there’s plenty of food and drink offerings inside including restaurants and cafes!

2. Yu Yuan & Cheng Huang Miao

Yu Garden was constructed during the Ming Dynasty and translates as the “Garden of Contentment.” This well-preserved Chinese garden features pavilions, streams, halls and ponds; one main attraction being Nine-turn Bridge’s unique zigzag pattern reflecting Chinese philosophies; during autumn it becomes decorated with golden ginkgo leaves to signify autumn leaves falling off its trees! Huangshi Grand Rockery stands as another must-see site with over 400 years of history behind it!

Garden visitors can also experience Huxinting Tea House, which provides an ideal setting to sip traditional Chinese tea and relax. Situated near the entrance, visitors can witness how beautifully illuminated their surroundings become at night by colorful landscape lights.

Yu Garden and Chenghuang Miao remain two of the most authentic tourist areas in Shanghai despite being highly trafficked tourist areas, offering visitors the opportunity to learn about folk customs while sampling delicious local food, snacks, souvenirs and small commodities available for sale as well as jewelry shops offering unique presents for someone special. Alongside plenty of shopping options the area features numerous time-honored catering brands.

3. Shanghai Zoo

Shanghai Zoo is an unmissable attraction for animal enthusiasts and families, boasting stunning lakes, lawns, and botanical gardens with aquatic features where visitors can relax while viewing exotic animals from all around the world. Home to several endangered species as well as conservation education initiatives.

Shanghai Zoological Park (simplified Chinese: traditional Chinese:Xijiao Park; pinyin:) is the primary zoological garden in Shanghai, China. Established in 1954, this garden is famed for its collection of Chinese and international wildlife; in addition to providing better conditions for their animals as well as offering visitors an enjoyable experience.

The Zoo boasts more than 6,000 species, with 600 Chinese varieties alone such as giant pandas, golden snub-nosed monkeys, South China tigers, hooopoe, black bulbuls, scimitar-horned oryx and great hornbills among them. There are also animals from other parts of the world like chimpanzees, giraffes polar bears kangaroos gorillas ring-tailed lemurs common marmoset spider monkey and olive baboons among them. Finally nighttime tours allow visitors to see these magnificent animals under diffused lighting which simulates natural moonlighting, when tigers grab meat hanging above them using their teeth before playing with it in their pools- bringing joyous audiences!

4. Shanghai Ocean Aquarium

Shanghai Ocean Aquarium () is one of Asia’s largest aquariums, showcasing aquatic life from all around the globe. A popular Shanghai attraction, this remarkable attraction draws in visitors of all ages and is divided into different zones that display marine habitats from across the world – visitors can spend an enjoyable day touring coastal reefs, open ocean, shark cove and kelp cave. Furthermore, this remarkable venue houses the world’s longest underwater tunnel for an immersive experience!

At Lujiazui District’s marine aquarium is an attraction not to be missed for tourists and locals alike. Home to more than 15,000 aquatic creatures, its eight major exhibit areas include Biological, Sub-Asia, South America (Amazon), Australia Africa Cold Water Polar Sea Depths.

The main attraction at the aquarium is its 155-meter underwater tunnel, designed to recreate a walk on the bottom of the ocean – an amazing experience! Additionally, many aquatic species like Electric Eels, Spotted Seals, Weedy Seadragons, Jellyfish and Sand Tiger Sharks call this home; other popular features of note include its China Zone which showcases rare aquatic creatures of Yangtze River such as Chinese Sturgeons and Yangtze Alligators.

5. China Art Museum

The China Art Museum is an internationally acclaimed art museum that can compare to any in the world, like the Metropolitan Museum of Modern Art or Musee d’Orsay. Tours of its expansive building–featuring 27 halls hosting both permanent and touring exhibits–are offered by the museum, while its signature feature, “Congratulations from the World,” featuring 100 loan works from all around the globe (you might encounter modern American masters from Whitney or Vermeer masterpieces from Rijksmuseum among them) showcased from various permanent galleries are offered by tours of its massive building–behind which lies permanent and touring exhibitions from permanent galleries showcasing permanent and touring exhibits from these galleries). One such highlight of tours at China Art Museum includes tours through 27 halls that house permanent/tournance exhibitions/venue. One highlight is ‘Congratulations from the World,” with 100 works on loan from various artists around the globe (you might see modern American masters from Whitney or Vermeer masterpieces from Rijksmuseum).

The museum features an excellent restaurant and cafe, in addition to workshops and lectures about art and Chinese culture.

Experience Shanghai by embarking on a river cruise, providing an incredible perspective of both its skyline and riverbanks. Many companies provide tours lasting several hours for just a few yuan. Alternatively, hop aboard one of the double-decker buses navigating Shanghai or Lujiazui; look for ones equipped with English audio guides!

An indispensable item when traveling in China is a Shanghai Jiaotong Card or Shanghai Public Transportation Card, available for sale at most metro stations as well as convenience stores like Alldays and KeDi Marts. The card also allows access to bus and trolleybus services within its designated zones.

6. Xintiandi

Xintiandi or is a gem in Shanghai that brings the past and present together into a trendy entertainment complex. Comprised of two city blocks featuring restored traditional shikumen houses with modern restaurants and bars. Plus its narrow alleys provide perfect places for strolling while offering both indoor and outdoor seating opportunities!

Shikumen houses have long been recognized for their antique exterior walls and tilework; yet their modernized interiors make for the ideal setting for dining, shopping, entertainment and relaxation.

There is an abundance of restaurants serving cuisine from different nations such as France, Italy, America and Japan. Additionally, romantic open-air bars provide the ideal venue to listen to loud music while dancing the night away.

Xintiandi offers numerous stores that sell everything from fashion products to souvenirs. Additionally, the area features many book and art galleries that are free for entry; as well as high-end shops selling designer watches, furniture and handicrafts – which travelers frequently stop by before heading back out the airport terminals.

7. The Bund

The Bund is an iconic waterfront promenade lining Shanghai’s historic riverbank, known for displaying Gothic, Baroque and Neoclassical-style buildings that showcase its historic architectural legacy. Stretching for one mile along its waterfront promenade are Gothic buildings featuring Gothic, Baroque and Neoclassical influences; stroll around and take in views of Huangpu River’s skyline; shop designer brands like Ralph Lauren or Dolce & Gabbana while shopping Cartier luxury timepieces; nearby Huangpu Park offers relaxation as well.

Early morning is the ideal time to visit the Bund, when crowds have dissipated, and buildings illuminated with soft sunlight are at their most stunning. Many visitors find this time of day particularly memorable.

Other activities popular at The Bund include browsing renowned boutiques, taking a river cruise or dining at one of its numerous restaurants. Travelers also often enjoy getting their picture taken at photo stalls that pop up; this provides professional photos at a relatively cheap cost; expect to pay 30-40 RMB per shot.