History of Shanghai and Tourist Attractions In Shanghai

shanghai tower

Shanghai is one of China’s most popular tourist destinations, known for its rich history, stunning architecture, and vibrant cultural scene. From the iconic Bund to the towering Shanghai Tower, there is no shortage of things to see and do in this bustling metropolis. In this post, we will highlight the history and top 10 tourist attractions in Shanghai that should not be missed.

History of Shanghai

Shanghai has a rich and storied history that spans over a thousand years. The area that is now Shanghai has been inhabited since the Neolithic period, and it was an important center of trade and commerce as early as the 5th century AD.

In the 19th century, Shanghai’s strategic location at the mouth of the Yangtze River made it a key port for foreign trade, and it quickly became a major center of commerce and industry. The city was carved up into foreign concessions by the British, French, and other European powers, which led to a unique blend of Eastern and Western cultures.

During the 20th century, Shanghai was a major center of political and cultural activity in China. It was occupied by the Japanese during World War II and became a major battleground in the Chinese Civil War. After the founding of the People’s Republic of China in 1949, Shanghai underwent rapid industrialization and modernization, and it has since become one of the most important economic and cultural centers in China.

Today, Shanghai is a bustling metropolis of over 24 million people. It is a major center of finance, trade, and industry, and it is also home to a vibrant cultural scene, with museums, theaters, and a thriving arts community.

Shanghai is also a city that continues to evolve, it has a mix of the old and the new, the traditional and the modern. Visitors can see the traditional Chinese architecture in Yuyuan Garden, the Bund and also the modern skyscrapers such as the Shanghai Tower and Shanghai World Financial Center. It’s a city that offers a glimpse into China’s past and its future.

Top 10 tourist attractions in Shanghai

The Bund

The Bund is a must-see destination for any visitor to Shanghai. Located on the banks of the Huangpu River, this historic waterfront promenade offers breathtaking views of the city’s modern skyline. The Bund is also home to a number of historical buildings, including the iconic Art Deco-style Peace Hotel. Visitors can take a leisurely stroll along the river, enjoy a boat ride, or simply take in the views from one of the many riverside restaurants or cafes.

Yuyuan Garden

Yuyuan Garden is a traditional Chinese garden located in the heart of Shanghai’s Old Town. It is a beautiful and peaceful oasis in the midst of the bustling city. The garden is known for its intricate design, including its winding paths, rockeries, ponds, and bridges. The garden is also home to a number of pavilions, halls, and rock formations, as well as a tea house where visitors can sample traditional Chinese tea.

Shanghai Tower

The Shanghai Tower is the city’s tallest building and offers spectacular views from its observation deck. At 632 meters (2,073 feet) tall, it is the second-tallest building in the world and the tallest in China. The tower’s observation deck is located on the 118th floor and offers 360-degree views of the city. Visitors can also take an elevator to the highest observation deck in the world at 562m.

Shanghai Museum

The Shanghai Museum is one of the city’s premier cultural institutions, housing a vast collection of Chinese art and artifacts. The museum’s collection includes bronze and pottery from ancient China, calligraphy and paintings, jade and ivory sculptures, and Ming and Qing-dynasty furniture. The museum is also home to a number of temporary exhibitions showcasing the work of contemporary Chinese artists.

Shanghai Disney Resort

Opened in 2016, Shanghai Disney Resort is the first Disney resort in mainland China. It features a theme park, two themed hotels, and a shopping, dining and entertainment complex. The theme park is home to a number of popular Disney attractions, including Mickey Avenue, Adventure Isle, and Treasure Cove. Visitors can also enjoy parades, live shows, and character meet-and-greets.

Shanghai World Financial Center

The Shanghai World Financial Center is another iconic skyscraper in Shanghai. With 101 floors, it is the third-tallest building in Shanghai and offers a observation deck on the 94th floor. From the observation deck, visitors can enjoy panoramic views of the city and the river. The building also has a number of shopping and dining options, as well as a luxury hotel.


Xintiandi is a trendy, upscale neighborhood located in the heart of Shanghai. It is known for its charming Shikumen-style architecture, trendy restaurants and bars, and high-end shops. Xintiandi is also home to a number of cultural and historical sites, including the Shikumen Open House Museum, which offers a glimpse into the lives of Shanghai’s residents during the early 20th century.

Zhujiajiao Water Town

Zhujiajiao is a charming water town located about an hour outside of Shanghai. Known for its picturesque canals, traditional architecture, and ancient bridges, it is a popular destination for visitors looking to escape the hustle and bustle of the city. Visitors can take a boat ride along the canals, explore the town’s many shops and restaurants, or visit one of its many historical and cultural sites, such as the Kezhi Garden or the Fangsheng Bridge.


Shanghai is a city with endless things to see and do, and these top 10 tourist attractions are just the tip of the iceberg. Whether you’re interested in history and culture, or just want to take in the city’s stunning skyline, Shanghai is sure to leave a lasting impression. Be sure to also check out other popular destinations such as the Shanghai Grand Theatre, Shanghai Ocean Aquarium, and the People’s Square. And remember to take a walk along the Nanjing Road, one of the most famous shopping street in Shanghai. With so much to see and do, it’s no wonder that Shanghai is one of China’s most popular tourist destinations.