Shanghai City Guide for First Time Visitors

Shanghai City Guide for First Time Visitors

Written By: Alice_66

Whether you’re making a conscious effort to stay in Shanghai or you are just spending a few days in the city before you move on to your next destination, you can easily find plenty to explore and experience during any length of stay. No matter how long you plan to visit Shanghai, the location in which you stay is key and it will allow you to explore more of the area in a shorter amount of time. One thing I love about Shanghai is that in every location of the city there is something for luxe travelers as well as budget travelers -- this is perfect because budget travelers aren’t relegated to the outskirts in order to experience the city and that also means that because you’re in similar locations you don’t always need to spend a lot of money on your accommodations!

One of the key locations to stay during your time in Shanghai is Nanjing Road. This road is close to pedestrian areas and features just about everything you could possibly want to do while you’re staying in Shanghai, including walking to the nearby subway stations, shopping, nightlife and even some of those quintessential things to do, such as tai chi.

Nanjing Road also stretches from The People’s Park all the way to The Bund, which puts you in a central location when you want to stay in a concentrated part of Shanghai. Aside from the beautiful views, the road also features a number of department stores which is perfect for those who want to do little bit of shopping.

One of the most beautiful places to walk is The Bund, which is an iconic spot in Shanghai that gives you stunning views of the architecture and the Huangpu River. At night, the glittering city lights are spectacular and if you happen to be on a river tour, the views are simply breathtaking. Many of the iconic Shanghai light views are found from The Bund or on a river tour so if you’re limited on time and want to make the most of your visit, definitely head down in this direction.

If you are not used to a thriving major city, or you just want to get out of the bustle of a downtown region, The People’s Park is a relaxing oasis for every visitor. This major city park is perfect for people watching especially if you want to feel more like a local. In addition to many points of interest throughout the People’s Park, the Shanghai Museum is an interesting little distraction for those who want to learn more about the city.

While views of the city from The Bund are exceptional, it’s always fun to head up to one of the tall skyscrapers in the city and check out the views from the observation deck. There are two towers in Shanghai that you can see amazing views from including the Oriental Pearl Tower and the Jin Mao Tower -- just be prepared in case it’s an exceptionally smoggy day and some of the views might be hindered, but is definitely worth checking out regardless.

Being that Shanghai is such an old city, there are still many beautiful historic sites and old world experiences located throughout the region. One beautiful garden, which dates back to the Ming Dynasty, is the Yu Garden. There is a bazaar that’s also located nearby, and features a good number of dining and shopping options -- some advice is to avoid the bazaar on the weekends as it is very busy and it is generally known as a tourist destination, so some of the goods and dining will be a little bit more expensive here. Though it’s a fun experience to walk through, I would still recommend saving your money and dining outside of the tourist areas for a true experience in Shanghai.

One of my recommendations is to walk down any number of the side streets from the major thoroughfares to try some of the delicious street foods. Breakfast is an especially great time to find the street foods and will give you a good flavor profile of Shanghai dishes including pancakes topped with egg and hoisin sauce, which is perfect to eat on the go. One of my favorite options are known as bing and come in sweet or salty varieties – another delicious option if you want to try local flavors without spending a lot of money.

Shanghai is a beautiful city with the unique blend of old and new World mixed together -- no matter how long you have to spend in the city, there is plenty that you can do without costing a lot of money!

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Countries: China
Cities: Shanghai
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