Shanghai is a dynamic, diverse, stimulating, and the most cosmopolitan city in China. Shanghai is one of the biggest gate of China to the World. Every day, there are tens of thousands of people come to China through Shanghai. The diverse cultures of Shanghai and its pursuit of modernity put Shanghai among the greatest destinations in China. For many tourists, Shanghai is a museum of the East meeting the West and the past joining the future. Though Shanghai can not rival Beijing in cultural heritage, but its varied architectural style, cosmopolitan feel show its own charms.
Shanghai has large neighborhoods of foreign architecture, where Europeans once resided. The mansions, garden estates, country clubs, and cathedrals of the Westerners who made their fortunes here more than one and a half centuries ago are scattered throughout the city. Shanghai of the concession days is especially visible along the western shore of the Huangpu River where a remarkable strip of banks, offices, and clubs forms Shanghai’s classic skyline.
While the influence of the West could be found virtually everywhere in the city, the creations of a strictly Chinese culture are no less prevalent. A walk through old Shanghai town area which is very near the Bund and right by the side of former French Concession turns us astounding traditional treasures: teahouses that epitomize all that was old China; a classical garden as superb as any in Suzhou; marketplaces as quaint and crowded as any in China. Active temples and ancient pagodas are thronged with worshipers.
Shanghai is also the place for those who want to see the future of China. Across the mighty Huangpu River, which served as old Shanghai’s eastern border, lies China’s 21st-century financial, economic, and commercial center. Known as Pudong, this truly new Shanghai is home to China’s largest stock exchange, the tallest hotel in the world, and the highest observation decks in the world, the city’s international airport and the world’s first commercial “maglev” (magnetic levitation) train.
The most striking landscape of Shanghai can be seen as a powerful manifestation of the city’s commercial culture. Shanghai became the first major city in Chinese history that had as its paramount landmark a few blocks of commercial establishments. Nanjing Road, China’s number-one shopping avenue, which runs west from the Bund for several miles, has long been seen as a symbol of the city, in much the same way that the Manhattan skyline symbolizes New York. In the new round of development, great malls are popping up on every corner. Domestic stores rub shoulders with the boutiques of international brands.
To sample the complexity of the city, many travelers would like to start with the Bund, the first foreign settlement in Shanghai. Its colonial buildings are evocative of the dreamlike past. Southwest of the Bund is Shanghai’s Old Town, a historic district. Thoroughly Chinese, Old Town is the location of Yuyuan Garden and the Mid-lake Teahouse, two of Shanghai’s most striking treasures. It is also a great stop for souvenir shopping. A mile or so west of the bund lies People’s Square, a cultural and recreational center converted from a racetrack. It boasts one of the best museums of ancient Chinese art and artifacts. As one of the grandest the former French concession, another historic area with its own architecture and the attractions - The Xintiandi, Sinan Mansion and Tianzifang are the famous neighborhood for the traditional architecture, the western style restaurants and antique fans. The Pudong New Area across the river, east of the Bund, boasts of a delightful riverside promenade, the futuristic landmark of Shanghai, the world’s highest observation deck, and swanky hotel, restaurants, and lounges.
While sightseeing is concentrated along the Huangpu River, other parts of Shanghai have a scattering of interesting sights. North downtown Shanghai offers the Jade Buddha Temple, the Jewish Refugees Museum (Ohel Moishe Synagogue), Hai Lun Historical and Cultural Street, 1933 Shanghai Area, southwest Shanghai is home to Longhua Temple and Pagoda, Xujiahui Catholic Area (include Tou Se We Museum (old Tou-Se-We Orphanage), The Memorial Hall and Tomb of Xu Gaungqi, Xujiahui Cathedral (St. Ignatius Cathedral), Xujiahui Bibliotheca, former Xujiahui Observatory and former Virgin Mary Convent, former Zi-Ka-Wei Convent des Carmelites, some historical and cultural streets in the former French Concession, such as Wukang Road, Hengshan Road, Fuxing Road and so on. There are also many attractive scenic spots in the outskirts of Shanghai, such as Zhujiajiao Water Town, Fegnjing Water Town, The Shanghai Song-Ze Ruins Museum – built on the Neolithic Age village site with many “1st” in Shanghai: The 1st Man, The 1st Rice, The 1st Well, The 1st Village around 6000 years ago…
With some most important origins of the Chinese civilization and most representative prehistoric cultures of China, Shanghai and its surrounding areas are the most dynamic economic region in China now. Situated in the lower reaches of Yangtze River, at the temperate zone and with many lakes and a network of rivers and canals as well as a fertile land, mild temperature and abundant rainfall, this area is one of the most prosperous areas in China and even well-known as "Land of Fish and Rice" area from ancient times till now. Historic Suzhou city (around 100km to the northwest of Shanghai) and Hangzhou city (around 200km to the southwest of Shanghai) are popularly known as "the earthly paradise".
As a place famed for its well-known scholars, successful merchants, great architects and distinguished artists, this area provides favorable conditions for the creation and development of classic gardens, graceful architectures, excellent cuisines and famous operas. Meanwhile, the natural scenery in this area is also picturesque for the captivating limpid waters, lush verdant vegetation, graceful hills. There are many serene small water towns and villages scattered in this area, such as Wuzhen, Zhouzhuang, Xitang, Luzhi, Zhujiajiao, with their black tiled, oil-painted timber framework houses, that contrast sharply with its white walls and gray flagging, which bring to mind a Chinese ink and wash painting. The rivers and canals running through the town were once the main means of transportation for local people. The hundred-year-old, even thousand-year-old bridges, well-proportioned houses, the flagstone streets and watercourses in the towns would make tourists feel that the time there is frozen.
Around 2 or 3 hundreds kilometers far from Shanghai are mainly the hill and mountain areas with waters. There are many famous attractions with peculiar and eye-feasting natural landscape and embrace a great number of historical sites and legends, many historic cities with profound historical and cultural connotations.
Shanghai Elite Tours selects well-arranged tour packages, offers private and small group tours, full-day excursions and multi day tours for all visitors, aims to provide you with best ideas - how to enjoy the sceneries worthy of visiting and know more interesting local customs and culture which may meet your needs on a limited number of days. We can also customize the tour according to your needs.