Shanghai


As China’s most progressive city, Shanghai easily combines traditional eastern culture with European style. Here you will find architectural styles old and new, delicious food, awesome nightlife, and an abundance of things to see and do.

A young but fascinating history

Shanghai is a relatively young city by Chinese standards; although it has existed as a village since the Song dynasty and was officially made a city under the Yuan dynasty in the late 1200s, it wasn’t until after China lost the First Opium War that Shanghai developed economically, industrially, and cultural...

As China’s most progressive city, Shanghai easily combines traditional eastern culture with European style. Here you will find architectural styles old and new, delicious food, awesome nightlife, and an abundance of things to see and do.

A young but fascinating history

Shanghai is a relatively young city by Chinese standards; although it has existed as a village since the Song dynasty and was officially made a city under the Yuan dynasty in the late 1200s, it wasn’t until after China lost the First Opium War that Shanghai developed economically, industrially, and culturally. From the mid-1800s, the city had sections which were governed by eventually eight nations, including the UK and the USA. This foreign influence, in addition to the largely Chinese population keeping the local traditions alive, has helped shape Shanghai’s history and therefore its culture, and this is evident throughout the city. If you want to learn more about Shanghai’s history, there are plenty of interesting museums, such as the Shanghai Museum and the Shanghai Urban Planning Exhibition Centre.

An architecturally diverse city

Due to Shanghai’s history as a multicultural city and its relatively recent economic growth, all kinds of architecture can be found around the city. The Bund is a famous waterfront area in the city which is known for its wide variety of architectural styles, such as Eclecticist, Gothic Revival, and Art Deco. Probably Shanghai’s most iconic structure is the Oriental Pearl Tower, located opposite the Bund; as well as being a stunning piece of architecture, the observation decks offer amazing views of the city. For truly unique architecture, head down to the 1933 slaughterhouse, an eerie example of industrial design and now housing a number of restaurants and shops.

An array of nightlife options

Shanghai is like many huge cities in that it never sleeps; whatever time of day or night, you’ll find something to entertain you. When it comes to nightlife, Shanghai has so many options you’ll be spoilt for choice. Aside from the vast array of pubs, bars, speakeasies, and clubs you’ll find on pretty much every street and which stay open all night long, there are numerous nightlife options for you to take advantage of. If you’re into theatre, you will find plenty showing performances of plays, dance, opera, and puppet shows, and for those who are fans of cinema, there are lots of cinemas showing a mixture of Chinese and international films.

Unique shopping

Shanghai offers great opportunities for retail therapy, whether you’re a fan of shopping or not. The most important shopping area is Nanjing Road; at 6 kilometers long, it’s the longest shopping district in the world and is split into different sections. Nanjing West Road is where you’ll find high-end stores, whereas Nanjing East Road is filled with shopping centers and specialty shops. The Nanjing Road Pedestrian Street is worth checking out, especially if you’re looking to buy books and stationery. If traditional markets are more your thing, make sure you check out all the different ones, such as the pearl market, cloth market, and tea market.

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Shanghai in Two Minutes