Shanghai, the city that is reputed to be the most prosperous and largest business center in China. It is also the first determined destination of many tourists who wish to experience the prosperity that has been acknowledged for a long time. One of them includes me as well. 🙂 How much will China surprise you? To answer this question, I want you to experience it by yourself. Because in this Shanghai travel guide review, I’ll introduce you to a special trendy tourist destination, in consequence, your old idea of China will be changing totally. If you are ready to explore the new perspective of China. Come along with me now!
Round Trip Access to the Airport Shanghai
From the Shanghai Pudong International Airport, there are actually many options for entering the city downtown, such as the Airport Bus, Taxi, Subway, and the Maglev High-Speed Train. I chose to use the Shanghai Maglev Train, which you can ride to the city and approach for Longyang Road Station in just 8 mins, then, take the subway to continue to the heart of the city. This suggestion of Maglev + Subway plan will take only 30-40 mins to travel, less than using the only subway that takes about 60 mins or more. For tourist who is in a hurry or has a limited time. I recommend using this plan. But if you don’t have any scheduling problems, you can choose the subway or the Airport Bus to save your budget. You’ll save quite an amount of money but not saving your time at all.
Shanghai Maglev Train is regarded as the fastest Maglev train in the world right now. Running up to 430 km/hour (but officially running 300 km/hour), a one-way fare costs 50 RMB / a round trip fare costs 80 RMB. The ticket can be purchased from the ticket office in front of the Shanghai Maglev Train station. The first train from the airport starting at 7.02 am. If you arrive earlier than the specified time, you might have to wait for a bit. But before passing the immigration checkpoint and picking up luggage, there will be some spare time, that you can unhurriedly take the first Shanghai Maglev Train.
Shanghai Day 1: Jing’an Temple
The first destination after I’d already deposited luggage at the hotel. I appeared at the Jing’an Temple, where you can come by taking the subway to get off at Jing’an Temple Station. The entrance price is 30 RMB per person. Buy your ticket and walk inside the temple with me, everyone!
Jing’an Temple is considered to be one of the most important temples in Shanghai with a history of more than 780 years. It means the temple is situated before Shanghai built. Not only the temple has a prolonged history of, it used to be a plastic factory before being burned down in 1972 during the period of the Chinese Cultural Revolution. Later on, it reconstructed in 1984 and continuously redeveloped until completed as the current Jing’an Temple in 1990.
The interesting point of the Jing’an Temple that caught me granting for a visit is the architecture in a complex style, China’s largest pure white jade statue of Sakyamuni (Gautama Buddha), and the Ming Dynasty (during the year 1368-1644) copper bell.
I’m quite attached to this temple. The architecture is exquisite with the contrast surroundings of shopping malls and stand-tall modernized buildings. While also being a calm-hearted place to pay respect to a sacred temple before starting our official Shanghai trip.
Seesaw Coffee (Closed)
Those who search for in-Shanghai instagramable cafe ‘Seesaw Coffee’ from the Instagram like me, I’m sorry to inform you that ‘this cafe is already closed’. I saw the unique modern design which looks pretty interesting, also, the cafe’s location is not far from the Jing’an Temple, so I was determined to drop by. Until my arrival, an old uncle came and asked in Chinese which I didn’t understand at all, but guessing from the situation, he probably asked, ‘Are you looking for the cafe?’, then he told me that the cafe was already shut down. WHY! 🤣 , Anyway, the Seesaw Coffee signboard was still presented in front of the building.
With hunger, I, then, left and rushed to the next eatery by searching the top restaurant nearby from Tripadvisor. On the way, while walking along the road, I was greeted with breathtaking scenery. The road resembles a European style of structure, the buildings, the weather, and the trees that grew out until there were no leaves made the whole image picturesque. The atmosphere was so nice at the time, hence, it helped me a lot to escape from extreme hunger. 😁 // After a short walk, I reached the restaurant. YAY!
Fuchun Xiaolong Restaurant
Fuchun Xiaolong is a comparatively cheap and popular Xiao Long Bao restaurant in Tripadvisor. As it is not far from Jing’an Temple and (the closing down) Seesaw Coffee. I consequently stopped by to have lunch here.
I have to mention first that Fuchun Xiaolong is always busy and full. The food-order management of this restaurant is to let customers order at the counter, then, go to find a seat. Once you already get your table, then, clip the table number along with the receipt stub before handing it to a waitress. Later on, the foods will be delivered skillfully. The best-known dish people like to order is Xiao Long Bao and the noodles.
The menu boards at the counter are only in Chinese. Plus, the available English menu is very confusing with no picture at all. So, I ordered the food from the reviewed pictures in Tripadvisor, including pointing out the delicious dishes from the other patrons’ tables. Well, it was quite turbulent. LOL. The final result was, I ordered too many dishes without noticing the names. If you decide to try this local taste, I suggest saving the pictures and show them to the counter staff. The shown pictures of dishes in this guide review are pleasant, a big-YES, you can try for.
If any of you have heard that Shanghai landscape is similar to Europe. The truth is, in Shanghai, there is the neighborhood that has Europe’s semblance, located at The Bund, which you can easily walk from the Nanjing East Road subway station, or if you drop for shopping at Nanjing Road Pedestrian Street first, you can continue walking to the Bund and absorb the European touch. As well as viewing the skyline of Shanghai’s Lujiazui business district from this side. If you are a newbie to traveling in Shanghai, you must pin this destination right away. Because coming to Shanghai but neglect attending here, it’s considered failing to experience the real Shanghai highlight!
The Bund’s European style arises from the 52 buildings applied in the ‘Eclecticism’ design that combines various styles of architecture, lined more than long-standing 1 km along the Huangpu River, most of these buildings are the financial institutions and important trading companies in China. One of them is Bangkok Bank headquarters, from my country, in Shanghai as well. I’m feeling little proud of. 😊
The tourists’ distinctive purpose to visit The Bund is, sightseeing the opposite skyline of Shanghai. Later, strolling to see various buildings. For me, the scene a bit reminds me of the Avenue of Stars in Hong Kong, because there is also providing the Hong Kong skyline on the other side. But in Hong Kong, the building is much tighter. Different from Shanghai whereat the building is higher and appears more modernized.
From The Bund on the Puxi side, take a boat to travel across to the PuDong New District where is the location of the Oriental Pearl Tower, the symbol of Shanghai; Shanghai Tower; and Shanghai World Financial Center: SWFC, China’s largest financial building in Lujiazui, the neighborhood which regards to be the ultimate financial prosperity of China. The whole vibe is very spectacular.
The recommended place to visit is the Mingzhu roundabout. After taking a ferryboat, you have to take a short walk in the Oriental Pearl Tower direction. At this Mingzhu roundabout, you can see all of the aforementioned buildings with the cutting-edge construction design. The surrounding looks totally magnificent reflecting the modern image of Shanghai perfectly.
From Mingzhu, you can pass through the skywalk to access various buildings of the Lujiazui neighborhood. The determined destination I’ll take you to is the Shanghai Tower. On the skywalk, there content some corners that allow you to do a snappy pose featuring these buildings as the background.
Many of you may not know that the second tallest building in the world is Shanghai Tower where standing-tall right in front of us. The aim of visiting Shanghai Tower is to go up and see the Shanghai panoramic from the Observation Deck. To enter the building, you can walk the skywalk from Mingzhu roundabout and reach there easily. During my trip, I arrived when the evening started, the sky was so cloudy, drizzling, and almost dark. So, I made myself realize that going up to the top must be difficult to view whatsoever.
For Shanghai Tower tickets, I made a purchase in advance via KLOOK. The usage is very simple as you have to present the trading voucher in the mobile app in front of the ticket counter. If you’re convinced by this convenient choice, you can buy tickets from KLOOK with this LINK HERE of the widget below
Once you change-over and receive the authorized ticket, let take the elevator and jump to the 118th floor. Then, you can roam in a circle to see the Shanghai city view. When I was there, it was late evening, plus, the fog was very thick which made it difficult to witness the city scenic.
I was standing there for hours since the city had not yet turned on the light. As far as the entire Oriental Pearl Tower lighted up in an upbeat rhythm which was identical to Discotheque. There were also lights from various encompass buildings. I can say the china’s light up formation is unique and unlike anywhere else, it’s so competitive in illuminating to make the individual building looks more splendid. It was flashing all over corners.
I used to visit the Shanghai Observation Deck at the Shanghai World Financial Center : SWFC years ago. I think the SWFC building proffers a prettier city scenery. You can see the Oriental Pearl Tower straight and majestically against the Bund. I have no comparative images to show you because I’d been there before starting being a blogger. If you look for the suitable Observation Deck, let’s find other relative reviews to consider which building to go for. However, coming up to indulge the city landscape of Shanghai from the tall building is unmissable. Since it purposes stunning visibility.
Shanghai Day 2: Shanghai Disneyland
Shanghai Disneyland is a must highlight for teens who plan to have a vacation in Shanghai, the place is considered the latest Disneyland theme park in the world. So, if you’re a big fan of Disney characters or like to visit an amusement park. Don’t hesitate to visit here and spend one full day enjoying fairytale lands and attractions. I had been there since morning to nightfall. 😊
The high recommendation when traveling Shanghai Disneyland is to buy tickets in advance. I personally bought it through the KLOOK website, which is definitely cheaper than buying in the theme park’s ticket office. Besides, KLOOK also offers monthly discounts from various promotions. If you’re interested in checking and buying, CLICK HERE or click via the widget below.
On your arrival day at Shanghai Disneyland, I advise you to download the Shanghai Disneyland mobile app, because when you pass through the gate and receive the official ticket, you can scan the QR Code from your ticket into the app to access more offered services, such as to view the theme park map, estimated wait times for attraction, including reserving a free Fast Pass ticket, so you don’t have to run towards the different Fast Pass machine’s location, everything can be done via their app. It’s truly convenient.
Disney Premier Access Pass, Skip the Line ticket, or other tickets which is non-free Fast Pass, are also available for purchase in the app. Based on my experience, I think you don’t need to buy those. Because the free Fast Pass is already adequate, it allows you to complete must-try attractions without wasting extra money. But you should set a reminder to book the Fast Pass every two hours (you can’t book all at once). Then, the attractions are all yours to collect the memorable experience, pretty easy, right?
The attractions, to be straightforward, the thrilling rides in Disneyland Park are the minor selling point. They emphasize the cute fairytale themes that kids would enjoy it more. Some noteworthy attractions include the TRON Lightcycle Power Run, Soaring Over the Horizon, Pirates of the Caribbean Battle for the Sunken Treasure, Roaring Rapids, Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, and Peter Pan’s Flight.
Who wants to exclusively read the Shanghai Disneyland guide review with in-depth details of all attractions, or how to enjoy every attraction in an appropriate time? Click here for further plans and suggestions. 💙
Shanghai Day 3: Shanghai Natural History Museum
For the animal enthusiast, I recommend planning to visit the Shanghai Natural History Museum, as it is the largest natural science museum in China. There are replicas of every animal species in the world, ranging from dinosaurs to well-known animals we’ve seen these days for over 110,000 pieces. The magnificence of this museum’s creation can be seen since entering the Exhibition, all of which cost only 30 RMB for the admission ticket. It’s really affordable and worthwhile to gain adjunct knowledge. For those who bring children to Shanghai, the place is also a nice option to pay a visit. Apart from feeling fun, you’ll also get a wonderful image because the place provides a modish decoration.
The Shanghai Natural History Museum emphasizes on natural science. The display collection consists of more than 240,000 pieces of animals, plants, fossils, and minerals from all 7 continents around the world, exhibit in a total of five floors. If you plan to go for all showrooms and theatres, it surely takes a whole day to finish. Hahaha
Starbucks Reserve Shanghai Roastery
The Starbucks Reserve Shanghai Roastery was hitting the headline for a while. Considering Starbucks created the world’s largest branch in Shanghai, known as the Starbucks Reserve Shanghai Roastery. Up until now, the branch has become another tourist destination for a coffee lover. Including, tourists who want to experience the uniqueness of Starbucks in different regions.
If you are a coffee lover or a true Starbucks fan, then, come here. The store layout like Starbucks Reserve Roastery is not yet available in many countries, because there are only 5 branches in the world, Seattle, New York, Milano, Shanghai, and the newest-largest branch in the world right now is Tokyo.
The vantage of Starbucks Reserve Shanghai Roastery is where you can see the roaster and the process of making real Starbucks coffee in a freshly roasted. The shown coffee roaster in the store can behold a coffee bean up to 40 tons, the smell of coffee while operating is aromatic all over the place, inviting you to taste the finest coffee. Aside from showing different methods of coffee bean production. There are also Limited-Edition products that are only available there.
Once coming here, trying to taste the coffee is undeniable. I advise not to order ordinary menus like Americano, Latte, or Mocha. You should try ordering special coffee that makes only in here which you can ask the baristars. Coffee taste is just so good and you shouldn’t miss it!
For those who are not a coffee person. There are also fragrant teas from Teavana Bar and the other ‘Barista Recommends’ special drinks. The entire Starbucks Reserve Shanghai Roastery is pretty good, you can both enjoy the delicious refreshments along with taking numerous chic photos.
M50 Creativity Space
Arts people who want to find more inspiration, I’d like to remark that Shanghai has quite several art spots. One of those is called M50 Creativity Space, which reconstructed from the old warehouse to become known as the Creative Space area. The place brings together more than 100 skillful artists from around the world to display their masterpieces, and also occupy a cafe, bars, and restaurants with good prices. It’s a wise choice to visit! If you want to come, take the subway and get off at the Jiangning Rd station, from there, pin M50 Creativity Space on Google Map, then follow the recommended route. You’ll take a little walk.
There are many buildings in M50 Creativity Space. You can stroll around to browse the artists’ galleries. Some showrooms are free of charge, some are required payments, and some are a real store for artists to sell their own design items. The place is practical and nifty. I walked to some showrooms in which the artists were creating works there.
In my viewpoint, the place is quite different from other galleries due to the artists employ the showrooms to display their works, including, use the occupied space to produce artworks. Consequently, it makes a raw mood comparative to a visit to the artists’ studio and learns their work process.
There is a gallery in the M50 Creativity Space that is very interesting, Brownie Art Photography x UNDEF/NE, which showcases photographic works from photographers around the world. Moreover, inside of the gallery also runs an industrial loft design cafe which is worth a try.
The best plate to order here is the Chocolate Brownie (30 RMB) that is palatable and perfect. Eaten together with Roastee Almond Latter (40 RMB) is fantastic!
Nanjing Road Pedestrian Street
The last spot for Day-3 is to satisfy shopaholics, where offers a full-stream shopping neighborhood. The access is recommended to arrive at the Nanjing Road, which is 5.5 kilometers long of the pedestrian street, from The Bund to the Jing’an Temple. This road is the largest and the most complete shopping center in Shanghai. This is all about shopping matters with an awful lot of department stores selling clothes, shoes, gadgets, food, and souvenirs.
As Nanjin Road is so long, I couldn’t make it all the way. So, in this part, I will focus on the Nanjing Road Pedestrian Street instead. From the People’s Square subway station to Nanjing East Road Station, it will be closed as a long pedestrian street.
The atmosphere around the Nanjing Road Pedestrian Street is very diverse with European-style buildings, some have Chinese style vibe, or some apply modernity. To anyone who is unenthusiastic about shopping, let’s go for a walk that is not boring at all. You can just sightsee the civilization, some buildings have been around since the Qing Dynasty and remain to this day.
Now, from the price survey, it’s unexpected that the hit shoe brands like Adidas and Nike are more expensive than in my country (At first, I thought it would be cheaper because most shoes are manufactured in China). If considering buying, I suggest selecting models that are unavailable for sale in your country. In my case, there are many and cool-design to choose from. Stores such as Nike and Adidas at Nanjing Road are magnificent and massive, I could count about 3-4 floors. // The major stores of Nike and Adidas are positioned across one another at the end of the Nanjing Road Pedestrian Street, near the People’s Square subway station.
If any of you are a regular shopper for Inditex’s fast-fashion clothing brands such as Zara, Bershka, or Pull & Bear. On the Nanjing Road Pedestrian Street includes all 3 brands with about 20-25% cheaper than the stores in my place. It’s a feel-like buying these 3 brands when they are on sale. Yeah, it’s given a mood like that really.
I explored for many hours. Walking into and out of the countless stores that are lined up in a row. It’s reflected to be a fun area to browse around. Those who don’t yearn for shopping, you can come to walk or take a tram to sightsee the building and life in the bustling city. It’s another way to chill out!
Shanghai Day 4: The Press by Inno Coffee
Begin the last day by stopping for a breakfast and sipping coffee at a cafe & restaurant known as The Press, which is said to be one of the most stylish and popular eateries in Shanghai. The food is delicious. The access is also easy for traveling, it is located not far from the Nanjing East Road subway station Exit 3.
What makes The Press more interesting? It is the restaurant’s background. Before becoming the current popular shop, this building was constructed in 1872 and was the office building of Shen Bao, the longest daily newspaper in China.
After Inno Coffee got this building to make a restaurant, they still maintain the pristine atmosphere of a newspaper building with the signature corner decorated with photographs during that period. The original elements combine with the new loft design makes the whole picture perfect. Nice decoration, good ambient, as well as the background story. It’s super cool.
Entrée dish like Mushroom Soup is appetizing. The main course that I tried, Spaghetti Bolognese is also very tasty.
Another surprising dish Seabass Fish & Chip, the sea bass on the dish arrangement is in a great balance. From the beginning, I thought they would mix a big amount of flour with a small piece of fish. But it turned out different.
Overall, food is good but coffee is still common. The food expenses are not too expensive like the restaurant decoration appearance. I’d have preferred you to try it out!
Getting out of the Yuyuan subway station to reach the most desirable tourist destination, Yuyuan Garden, which is believed to be the largest and most beautiful Chinese garden in Shanghai. Before approaching the Yuyuan Garden, there is a Yuyuan Market nearby.
Yuyuan Market is a shopping district with traditional Chinese buildings, it’s one of the busiest venues in Shanghai. It’s crowded, plentiful with food and shops. There are all kinds of products that resemble a wholesale market. The souvenir can be bought from this area, if you wish to buy anything, don’t forget to ask for a discount too.
After having fun shopping and enjoying the scenery. Then, we continue heading to Yuyuan Garden. The first cool spot is the zig-zag bridge that we have to walk across the pond in front of the garden. Innumerable fishes and a few geese were swimming to welcome us. Hahaha. When crossing over, prepare 30 RMB for an entrance ticket beforehand.
Yuyuan Garden is a classic Chinese garden that occurred since 1559 in the Ming Dynasty period, it was built by a senior official to be his father’s personal recreation place. The garden is gorgeous and shady. It’s a must-see attraction when you plan to visit Shanghai.
The pond was excavated into the water flowed around the garden, there are thousands of Koi swimming in it. The Pavilion structure is well-crafted, delicate, and each told the behind story. The interesting factor about this garden is various stone and wood carving is exquisite. I suggest seeing the details closely. It’s truly beautiful. The simple conclusion is you must come… certainly this place worth traveling.
The last stop of this Shanghai trip is one of the hottest art museums named Yuz Museum. Most of the displayed works emphasized in Contemporary Art in each era. The museum provides a variety of rotating exhibitions and events. During my visit, there organized an interactive installation art show, Rain Room 2019: 雨屋, which was very cool, I praised it as Shanghai’s newest Hidden Instagramble Spot.
For the admission fee, the price will be 80 RMB. Tourists with a student card can present to the ticket office for a price reduced to 40 RMB. As far as I know, the Rain Room 2019 : 雨屋 is not scheduled to be completed yet. For anyone who wants to participate in this event, it’s still on display. I advise checking the Yuz Museum website again for confirmation. Otherwise, if it’s over, you’ll be disappointed. For more exhibitions and shows, take a look on the website directly at > www.yuzmshanghai.org
Inside the Rain Room 2019: 雨屋, there is only rain and a spotlight effect in space black room. Many people may be confused about ‘taking pictures in the heavy rain, don’t you get wet?’. No, it’s not, because they settle the sensors above, when guests walk in, the rain in your stand spot will stop suddenly. The taken pictures are simply chic and charming, even shooting slow-motion video, you can see raindrops in a longline. It’s super cool! To experience how amazing this would be? You have to come and find out for yourself. 😊
All of this is my Shanghai trip.
Actually, there are still a lot of places to visit in Shanghai.
But just from this trip, it can express how far Shanghai develop.
I told you, traveling in China is new and chic beyond expectation. ❤️
Other Popular Activities in Shanghai
Apart from this Shanghai travel guide review to follow the travel path reflecting the modern hangouts. There are still many other activities for you to do and visit. It would be simpler if you can check out some of the most popular activities in the Shanghai links below. I already picked them up with love!
Accommodation in Shanghai
In Shanghai, there are a few neighborhoods that are well-known for tourists to accommodate. Each of which is People’s Square and The Bund where offers shopping areas, restaurants, and cafes around. The accommodation choice depends on individual preference and style. Some people prefer a luxurious full-service hotel, some select a 5-star hotel, or some are comfortable with a hostel. This selection depends on you.
The top option you should determine for accommodation is, selecting the place near the subway station within walking distance, especially the green LINE 2 or other lines that connect to LINE 2 easily because this line is a traveling way to-from the airport. Including, it connects to the Maglev Train as well. Now, traveling between accommodation The airport will be easier, no need to worry about dragging luggage and changing too many trains.
New Harbour Service Apartments
This trip was a quite difficult trip to find a room because there were 3 companions, and we didn’t want to separate the rooms as well. Hahaha. Eventually, we finalized reserving at the New Harbour Service Apartments. I can guarantee that the stay is very good in all aspects. OFC, the apartment building, and the room are not brand new or modern refurbishment. But if comparing the room size, facilities, location, etc., is a great value for money.
The room I stayed in is a 2 Bedroom Suite which is 90 square meters (very big). There are 2 bedrooms, 1 living room with a dining table and refrigerator, 1 bathroom, and 1 kitchen with a microwave. Facilities are full-provided, feeling like being in a condo at home. There is a housekeeper to arrange and tidy up rooms every day due to it is a Service Apartment. I appreciated it so much.
The location is equally good. It closes to the subway Line 8 Dashijie Station, only a station away from the People’s Square station. In case of any emergency or starving, there are Familymart nearby, also surround with local Chinese restaurants. And if walking a little longer, it’s an entrance to the Shanghai Times Square venue. Sound excellent, don’t you think? If I have any plan on re-visiting Shanghai without thirst for trying a new thing, I definitely choose to stay here again.
Shanghai Deco Hotel Pudong
Tourists who fly back home with the early morning flight, and concern about how to find ways to the airport in time. I believe many people would be sleeping at the airport, but for those who think the first option is inconvenient, then, I’d like to recommend the Shanghai Deco Hotel Pudong to get some good sleep before flying in the morning. The hotel is so fine. Aside from providing a good room with attractive decoration. There is also a 24-hour free shuttle bus service between the airport and the hotel. It’s awfully awesome!
The way to get to Shanghai Deco Hotel Pudong, I advise coming to the airport first, then, dial the hotel shuttle bus number, which the hotel will give you when the room reservation process is all done. They will appoint the waiting location and pick-up time. After finished dialing a shuttle bus, stand by at the designated airport gate, wait until the bus arrives. // No public transports are approachable to the hotel except a taxi, so that means the hotel shuttle bus is the only best way to make a round trip. On the way to the airport, the hotel has a timetable for guests to sign for an estimated time of departure to the airport. This is a very convenient service, and the bus is also punctual.
As for the room, it’s fantastic! The room is well-decorated, the bed is comfortable, the bathroom is well-laid for good use. Everything is better than expected. Plus, the price is reasonable. The hotel location is only the main drawback because there is nothing around and far from civilization. Hence, before coming to the hotel, it’s advisable to eat something in the city or at the airport first. Or if you’re afraid of being hungry, buy some food along too. This may catch your curiosity about whether the hotel doesn’t provide a restaurant. Well, there is, but it’s not a 24-hour service.
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