6 Things To Do in Shanghai

Shanghai has a long, prosperous history. For centuries, it was a major administrative and trading town. It literally translates to “On the sea” and in the nineteenth century, it grew in importance because of its favorable port location and its economic potential regarding trade to the west. In the 1990s, economic reforms led to major re-development of the city, and today, it’s considered a “showpiece” for China’s phenomenal growth over the last few decades. If you want to visit Shanghai, here are a few places you can check out.

1. Shanghai Maglev Train

The magnetically levitated train that goes from the international airport to the city runs at 267 miles per hour. The trip takes less than 8 minutes, and it will be indicative of the fast-paced city that lies ahead.

2. 7 Xiangshan Road

This is the former house of modern China’s founder Sun Yatsen. The house contains furniture and books from Shanghai’s early days. Near this, you’ll also find elegant mansions that have been sub-divided into family homes.

3. Shanghai Museum

For a country with such a long history, China doesn’t have the best museums. This is partly because of the effects of the cultural revolution and also because nationalists who left mainland China for Taiwan in 1949 carried off a lot of the finest art. But if China does have any good museums, the Shanghai Museum would be one of them. ┬áIt will be difficult to digest all the artifacts in one go.

4. Dongtai Road

This road is full of antique and currio shops, some of which have historical significance. If you’re lucky you can take home a souvenir from here. Some items are for sale; but if you ask for other things, you may be laughed at. Even if you don’t end up buying anything, it’s a great place to go stare at stuff.

5. 50 Moganshan Road

Monganshan is the center of Shanghai’s buzzing art scene. Many of the best artists have their studios there, and if you’re lucky, you may be able to see their creative processes unfold. 50 Monganshan Road is the oldest and most respected art gallery and has art as good as the best you may ever see.

6. Jishi

If you want to taste some of Shanghai’s best food, check out the often crowded Jishi. Order food like Jiang LuoBo (radish pickled in soy sauce), or the HongShao Rou He Zhu Sun (red-braised pork with bamboo shoots), or the XieFen FenPi (crab with vermicelli sheets). The english translated menu is a bit hard to read, so be sure to look up the menu online before going there.


A lot of these places listed can make a tourist feel welcomed. But remember that the life of a tourist is not the same as that of the locals. Try to talk to some people and learn about their culture; it will enlighten your travel experience.