China is a unique, but huge place featuring amazing places, and to me the hardest part was figuring out where to go and what to visit. 72 hours seem to be a ridiculous amount of time to explore Shanghai, or any big city really. But unfortunately that is the biggest struggle most travellers have to face: TIME.
So here is how I have spent my (short) time in Shanghai!
9:00 am – THE BUND BY DAY
Woke up early to go and visit Shanghai. Of course, the most famous waterfront in the world was my first stop.
What is incredible about the Bund is the contrast between Puxi and Pudong. When looking at the west side of Huangpu river it almost feels like you are in the heart of London because of the western looking buildings, whereas the east side reminds you of Manhattan’s skyline. That is where you can find all the famous skyscrapers such as the Oriental Pearl TV Tower, the Shanghai World Financial Center and so on…
2:00 pm – PUDONG
Crossing the Huangpu river and entering into this impressive part of Shanghai made of skyscrapers was an incredible experience. If you have always dreamed of strolling among a forest of skyscrapers, Pudong is a must. I wanted to get a bird’s eye view of this landscape and since I can’t fly (yet) I had to go up to the 99th floor of the Shanghai World Financial Center.
The view was impressive. I couldn’t find any official numbers but it is generally assumed that Shanghai has more highrise buildings than any other city in the world. No wonder why.
Getting up the SWFC made me thirsty, so following the recommendation of Lonely Planet, I headed to Park Hyatt Hotel which is literally next door to the SWFC. The bar located on the 90th floor is very modern, chic and expensive! But obviously displays an incredible view.
7:00 pm THE BUND BY NIGHT
You might think that going to the Bund once is enough however to me, the Bund completely transforms itself when night comes it is worth seeing by night.
10:00 am – ZHUJIAJIAO
Shanghai is everything but traditional. If like me, you enjoy getting a glimpse into the past of a city, there are a few places such as Zhujiajiao that will give you a traditional taste of China. Known as Shanghai’s Venice, Zhujiajiao is a water town situated one hour away from Shanghai. I recommend spending the whole day there, as I did, to make the most out of it!
9:30 am – JADE TEMPLE
A great way to start your day in Shanghai is to visit Jade Temple. Surrounded by big skyscrapers and modern infrastructures is the old Jade Buddha Temple. The original temple was destroyed during the revolution that overthrew the Qing Dynasty. However, the statues were saved and the temple that we know was built as a replacement in 1928.
12:00 pm – TIANZIFANG
With a 1930’s architecture, Tianzifang is a very nice but crowded shopping and cafe area in Shanghai in the Old French Quarter.
Getting around in Shanghai
I would normally recommend the Subway however if you are in a rush taxis taxis taxis!! Taxis are really cheap and reliable (as long as they have a counter). Most of the journeys inside shanghai cost around 25yuen (4€). If you have more time than I did, definitely take the subway!
Please share your own tips for what to see in Shanghai with our readers in the comments below!