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Holidays In Shanghai

Anna Zheng | Jan 16, 2018

The 7 Best Places To Spend Holidays In Shanghai

Whether on a business trip with a couple of days to spare or planning a family holiday, Shanghai offers visitors a truly unique blend of Chinese and Western culture. From experiencing the view from the highest observation deck in the world, exploring ancient water villages, to wining and dining in bars frequented by US Presidents, there is something for everyone. Below is a guide to 7 of the best places to spend the holidays in Shanghai.

1. The Bund

Book Car from Shanghai Bund

  • Why visit: A walk by the river and through Shanghai’s history.

When walking along The Bund and visiting buildings that date back to before the war with Japan, tourists can feel like they are stepping back in time. While across the river skyscrapers like the Shanghai Tower are built, here a strict height restriction ensures that the unique Renaissance architecture of the Peace Hotel or the Neo-Classicism style of Customs House remains.


As well as stunning views, The Bund is also home to some of the city’s most exclusive restaurants and bars:


  • M On The Bund – When it comes to enjoying the views of the Huangpu river, there is no finer restaurant than M On The Bund. Located on the 7th floor of the Nissin Shipping Building, M On The Bund has come to define the fine dining scene in Shanghai.
  • Jean Georges –Due to its European colonial history, Shanghai boasts a wide range of French fine dining experiences. Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s Michelin star restaurant, Jean Georges, may just well be the best of the best in the city.
  • The Jazz Bar – Have a drink in the same bar as former US presidents Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan. The Jazz Bar at the Peace Hotel is one of Shanghai’s most famous hangouts.


How To Get There: Visitors are recommended to hire an English speaking tour guide to introduce the rich history of the buildings on The Bund, and although the area is in the center of the city, those unfamiliar with Shanghai may consider to hire a driver.


2. Former French Concession

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  • Why visit: Shanghai’s famous French connection.

There is nothing quite like the Former French Concession in the rest of China, and it forms an important part of what makes Shanghai such a fascinating city. Walking down the Avenue Joffre or the Avenue Petain, tourists can enjoy the Parisian architecture and soak in the Continental European ambience.


The area is a living reminder of Shanghai’s European colonial connection, where from 1849 to 1943, it was home to the French Concession, an area of the city that was occupied and governed by France. Since then, control of the concession has returned to the Chinese government, yet the quintessential French charm has remained over the years.


The Former French Concession is home to a number of cafes, bars, and restaurants, which tourists can check out after a long day of sightseeing:


  • Cuivre – One cannot go to the Former French Concession without sampling the local French cuisine. Cuivre offers up country style bistro hailing from the south of France and are known for their unpretentious and generous portions.
  • La Creperie – Sample dessert delights all the way from Brittany at Le Creperie, with their authentic and delicious crepes and galettes.
  • Liquid Laundry – After a long day of sightseeing, what some visitors may want more than anything else is a nice, cold beer. Liquid Laundry offers up arguably the best gastro pub experience in town and has 15 craft beers on tap from you to choose from.


How To Get There: The Former French Concession is in the heart of Shanghai and easy to reach by subway, by taking Line 1 to South Shaanxi Station. If visitors wish to fully understand the area’s rich history and cultural importance, it may be worth considering to hire an English speaking tour guide.


A private transfer is the safest, quickest and most convenient way to get around Shanghai. Shanghai Car Service  is a reliable ground transportation service helping business travelers to Shanghai for almost two decades. We provide door-to-door service at competitive prices.

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3. Shanghai Tower

  • Why visit: The tallest skyscraper in all of China.


Shanghai has one of the tallest and most impressive skylines in the world, but towering above all the other skyscrapers stands the Shanghai Tower. The building is 632 meters high, and while second to the Burj Khalifa as the world’s tallest skyscraper, the observation deck at the Shanghai Tower is actually the highest in the world. The deck is open from 9:00 to 21:00 and ticket prices are as followed:


  • Adults = RMB180
  • Children (1 – 1.4m) = RMB90
  • Children (Below 1m) = Free entry


How To Get There: The Shanghai Tower is located downtown on the Pudong side of the Huangpu River. If travelers are familiar with the subway system, they can take Line 2 to Lujiazui Station and leave via Exit 4, but be prepared to walk 500 meters to the tower. If you plan to visit during a busy period then it is recommended you book a driver in advance to avoid delays queuing to board the subway or finding an available taxi.


4. Shanghai Disneyland

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  • Why visit: An unforgettable trip for all the family.


For those travelling to Shanghai with family during the holidays, Mainland China’s first ever Disneyland should be top of your to-do list. The park only opened its gates in 2016, but it has already become one of the country’s top family destinations. Parents and children alike will find plenty to keep them entertained in the park, which is divided into seven areas consisting of Mickey Avenue, Gardens of Imagination, Fantasyland, Treasure Cove, Adventure Isle, Tomorrowland,  and the soon to be launched, Toy Story Land.


Prices vary between weekdays and weekends:

  • Adults: Weekends = RMB499,  Weekdays = RMB370
  • Seniors (Over 65 years): Weekends RMB375, Weekdays = RMB280
  • Kids (1-1.4m): Weekdays = Weekends RMB375, Weekdays = RMB280,


How To Get There: Visitors may wish to book a private driver as Disneyland is a 40 minutes drive from the center of Shanghai, allowing the family to leave at their own leisure and get back to downtown.


5. Yu Garden

  • Why visit: Spend a relaxing afternoon in a 400 year old garden.


After visiting landmarks like the world’s tallest observation deck and spending the whole day at places like Disneyland, some tourists may wish for some peace and tranquility at Yu Garden.


The garden was built in 1577 and is spread out over 5 acres in the Old City of Shanghai, with notable highlights including the Grand Rockery and the Pavilion Of Listening To Billows. The main attraction of Yu Garden is the Exquisite Jade Rock, a 5 ton boulder that is said to have been intended for the Forbidden City but had to be retrieved from the sea after the boat sank on its way to delivering the rock to Beijing.


From April to June and September to November, the entrance fee is RMB40. From July to August and December to March, the admission price is reduced to RMB30. The garden is open from 8:30am to 5:30pm, but tourists should note that between November and February that the gates close at 5:00pm. The garden can become overly crowded with tourists on the weekend, so it is recommended to plan your trip during the week if possible.


How To Get There: The garden is just a short distance away from the Bund and can be reached directly by taking Subway Line 10 to Yuyuan Station. Tourists wishing to learn about the history behind Yu Garden, however, are recommended to hire an English speaking tour guide for the visit.


6. Zhujiajiao Ancient Town

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  • Why visit: Explore the history of this 1,700 year old town.


When people think of Shanghai, they may picture the giant skyscrapers that tower over the Huangpu River, but there is another side to the city where visitors can still experience the traditional way of living. Situated on the outskirts of the city, tourists can find Zhujiajiao Ancient Town, an old water village that has retained its stone houses, water canals, and 1,700 year old history.


  • Fangsheng Bridge – Built in 1571, this 5 arch bridge is the most iconic spot in Zhujiajiao and popular with photographers looking to capture the beauty of the ancient town.
  • Kezhi Garden – Once owned by one of the richest families in Zhujiajiao, Kezhi Garden links together 200 buildings that combine Chinese and Western architecture.
  • Yuanjing Buddhist Temple – Built during the Yuan Dynasty, the Yuanjing Buddhist Temple has over 600 years of history. Tourists can enjoy a panoramic view of Zhujiajiao from the third floor of the temple’s Qinghua Pavilion.


How To Get There: Zhujiajiao sits on the outskirts of Shanghai and driving from downtown will take around 80 minutes. It is highly advised to book a private car for the trip, due to the risk of scams in Chinese taxis. When booking the car, visitors may also wish to hire a private tour guide to explain the history behind the Zhujiajiao Ancient Town.


7. Longhua Temple

  • Why visit: Shanghai’s tallest building of ancient times is still the largest temple in the city.


Shanghai Tower may now be the tallest building in the city, but before modern times, Longhua Temple was known as the highest structure in Shanghai. At 40 meters, the temple’s pagoda is a long way from matching the skyscrapers of today, but it still remains as the largest temple complex in the city.


  • Longhua Pagoda – Once the tallest building in Shanghai, the stairs and roofs of the red pagoda have said to have been rebuilt, but the foundations are claimed to date all the way back to 977.
  • Room With 500 Golden Statues – Located outside of the Daxiong Baodian hall, tourists can find the curious room filled with 500 miniature golden statues all arranged in rows.
  • Bell Tower – The Bell Tower contains a bronze bell that was originally cast in 1894 and weighs 3.3 tons. Traditionally, the bell is rung on New Year’s Eve to see in the New Year, but tourists can also pay to ring it.


Longhua Temple is RMB10 to enter and is open between 7:00am and 4:30pm.


How To Get There: Visitors can take Line 3 to Longcao Road Station, but after arriving there is still a 15 minute walk to the temple. Some tourists may wish to book a private car, which can include an English speaking tour guide for Longhua Temple.



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