Why visit Shanghai?
Shanghai is a glamorous city situated on the coast of the Yangtze River in Eastern China, well-known as a financial, technological and tourism center. It is definitely worth visiting as it came to be one of the top international cities and tourist destinations in the world. It represents a melting pot of traditional, modern, and cultural elements. The mixture of the western lifestyle and the Chinese tradition blend together and create the perfect match, making the place appealing to many.
What to visit in 48 hours in Shanghai?
If you visit Shanghai for a very short period of time or the weekend, you can still manage to see the main sightseeing sites and some other interesting places. Since Shanghai is known for tourist attractions, it has a lot to offer to its visitors.
First of all, it is good to know that Shanghai is generally a safe city, with crime at a rather low level compared to other big cities in Western countries. Culture-wise, tipping is not part of good manners. No tips are expected in Shanghai, so you can keep your money to yourself; otherwise, you could offend someone that way. In China, tipping is considered to be rude and not a nice gesture. Public Wi-Fi is not available all the time and getting a local phone card is strongly advised.
Oriental Pearl Tower
Oriental Pearl Tower is the must-see. Printed on many postcards, it is one of the monuments that shape Shanghai’s identity. It’s the third highest TV tower in the world (468 meters). It’s also a significant part of Shanghai’s skyline and offers a stunning view. This is definitely the first place to go to in Shanghai. One reminder to visitors is to pay attention to the weather. If it is rainy and foggy, you might not be able to see anything.
Binjiang Da Dao might sound funny to you or difficult to pronounce, but it is the name of the Riverside Promenade. The Promenade looks straight at the Shanghai’s skyline. Now you can see it from the ground. You will see all the towers that came into existence only in the past 20 years from a reasonable distance.
The Riverside Promenade is worth visiting twice: during the day and at night. If you lack time to visit twice, you should make the tricky choice by yourself. It is very popular among tourists so it is often crowded, but you can still get a magnificent background for your photos.
Do not visit Shanghai without tasting their famous bubble teas and fruit shakes. They come in all flavors one can imagine. They are available at the famous Chinese restaurant Kuai Le Ning Meng (Jia Mao). The Nanjing Lu is a famous shopping area. Busy streets of this area will offer you a better insight into the Shanghai culture and way of life. Many stores and restaurants can be found here, as well as street sellers who will probably offer you all kinds of services and products (for example fake bags or massages).
Renmin Guang Chang, also known as People’s Square, is located south of the Nanjing Road. The square is attractive because it is a mixture of green and urban designs. Next, to the large green park, many government buildings can be found. You might be surprised by the bird sounds, but these come from loudspeakers. This shows us that the Chinese are, once again, very “original”. Don’t get confused if you happen to visit the park on a weekend day by the coupling attempts of many parents who try to find spouses for their children. The park turns into a dating service on weekends.
If you want to eat right, one of the best rated Chinese restaurants is the Grandmother Restaurant. The menu includes many traditional Chinese dishes and it is worth trying. The restaurant is not even expensive and offers reasonable prices considering its location and status.
The Shanghai Museum should be also listed here. When you are already in Shanghai, don’t miss out on learning something about the Chinese culture and their arts. The best place for that is the Shanghai Museum. It is very highly ranked on the global scale. You can see art pieces dating back more than 1,000 years. The museum is usually quiet in the morning so if you want to avoid crowds try to come as early as possible. The entrance is free of charge.
Green Massage Spa
When visiting this glamorous city, don’t forget to head to the Green Massage Spa. The world population learned a lot about massages from the Asians. Thus, who wouldn’t want to get an original Asian massage? As a tourist, we can advise you to stick to the approved and safe massage salons like the Green Massage Spa. Check out all the massages they offer and choose the one you like the best. It might not be the cheapest place to get a massage, but the service and experience you get are worth the money.
Are you a big fan of theater and performance? Great! The blend of Chinese body control arts and modern dance and acrobatics is performed by the so-called Era Acrobats and is definitely worth seeing. Book your ticket in advance to see a performance if you are interested in this kind of entertainment.
If time allows, take a tour of the Jewish Shanghai. Surprisingly, there is a Jewish neighborhood in Shanghai. Somewhat different than the fancy streets of Shanghai, this neighborhood bears a historical significance. Many Jews arrived during the 1930s to this area from Germany and it was a shelter for refugees without any citizenship. In the Second World War, it was a poverty-stricken region. Visit this neighborhood to see the other side of Shanghai.
Fell in love with Shanghai and want to stay longer?
If you like the Chinese culture and Shanghai city, you might want to consider trying to find an English teaching job there and stay a little longer. China is in constant demand for English teachers, of various origins and countries, and offers good conditions for the foreign employees (good salaries, free accommodation, and a lot of respect from the students and locals). Shanghai is a bustling hub for the expatriate community, so joining them would make you feel comfortably surrounded by the mixture of like-minded people and the new culture.
This post has been contributed by Agness and Cez at eTramping.
Meet a travel couple of eTramping, Agness and Cez, who has been in love with China for the past 5 years. Living and working in the Land of Dragons, they managed to explore most of the provinces of this inspiring country. They taught English, dug into local food and wrote about it on their blog!