The future of China is said to reside in Shanghai, a global financial center hurdling forward at lightning speed. Constantly evolving and progressing, this modern Chinese city is sure to impress even the most jaded traveler. Shanghai is the site of the world’s busiest port, and with over 24 million residents, it’s fast becoming the most populous city in the world. Yet the urban locale is also home to an impressive 153 public parks, meticulously kept gardens, and green space on every corner. A must-see city on any trip to China, there’s always something new and exciting going on in Shanghai.
At first mention, the Chinese city may conjure up images of futuristic skyscrapers, flashing neon lights, and a sprawling concrete jungle. Once you visit this buzzing metropolis, however, you’ll discover that there’s so much more than that. One of Shanghai's most delightfully unexpected characteristics is its architectural diversity. Hundred-year-old Art Deco buildings, quaint lane houses, and sacred old temples neighbor modern marvels like the Oriental Pearl Tower and the world’s third tallest building, Shanghai Tower. This pairing of old and new extends to the local culture as well. Take a stroll around, and you’ll see stylishly dressed locals with smartphone in hand, countless luxury cars, and gleaming designer storefronts. But you’ll also notice hints of a slower, more traditional lifestyle. Retirees practice tai chi and calligraphy in the park, while sidewalk pedestrians instinctively yield to the ring of an oncoming bicycle’s bell.
People watching aside, there’s plenty of fun to be had by honeymooners in Shanghai. Let the fast, clean, and efficient metro system whisk you and your love nearly anywhere in the city. Summit some the world’s tallest buildings in Pudong, admire the beautiful Chinese landscaping at Yu Yuan Gardens, or soak up the charming atmosphere of the tree-lined former French Concession. Take your lover’s hand and explore the ancient water towns of Qibao and Zhujiajiao, or find inner peace at the serene Jing’an Temple. Save time for some retail therapy, too; the shopping opportunities in Shanghai are not to be missed.
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The Best Parts of Shanghai
- THE BUND: Just across the river from Shanghai's famous skyline, this stretch of 20th century Art Deco buildings is another sight to behold. Enjoy world-class nightlife at a swanky club or take an epic Shanghai selfie on the walkway over the river.
- YU YUAN GARDENS: Explore this impeccably landscaped Chinese garden, complete with koi ponds, rock sculptures, and curved pavilions for peaceful introspection. Just outside the garden, revel in the chaotic harmony of a bustling Asian marketplace.
- OLD FRENCH CONCESSION: This region of Shanghai has a distinct French influence, hailing from the 19th century European settlement. Wander down the charming tree lined streets, poking in and out of small shops as you go.
- MARKETPLACES: The shopping options are amazing in Shanghai. Have a suit or dress tailored to you at the South Bund Fabric Market, discover zany souvenirs in the winding alleys of Tianzifang, or luxury shop ‘til you drop on the posh Huaihai or Nanjing Roads.