Things to do in Shanghai

Shanghai is a slick modern city with millennia of rich Chinese cultural history to draw on. Travellers can float along the Huangpu River on a scenic boat cruise, get lost in the maze-like Yu Garden, or have a drink in a traditional tea house. Shanghai is a great place to start a trip to China, as the blend of western and eastern culture makes for a pleasant combination between the familiar and the exotic.

No vacation in Shanghai is complete without a stroll along the Bund. The waterfront embankment affords visitors a great view of the city's most spectacular buildings by night and day, and while it is generally crowded with tourists and vendors during the daytime, the mornings and evenings offer great opportunities for photography.

Shanghai has a number of museums worth a visit, including the Shanghai Museum - which houses about 120,000 historical artefacts - and the Bund History Museum. Travellers can also see many beautiful temples and pagodas, like the Jade Buddha Temple, Longhua Temple and the magnificent Jinshan Donglin Temple.

Jinshan City Beach is a nice break from the city on sunny days. There are plenty of opportunities for water sports and other activities, including boating, bungee jumping and other fun activities. The beach also hosts annual international volleyball and kite-flying competitions.

The Bund photo

The Bund

No trip to Shanghai would be complete without a walk along the famous Bund. Shanghai's picturesque waterfront promenade stretches for a mile (2km) along the bank of the Huangpu Riv…

The Bund

No trip to Shanghai would be complete without a walk along the famous Bund. Shanghai's picturesque waterfront promenade stretches for a mile (2km) along the bank of the Huangpu River. Once the most famous street in Asia, it's still renowned for its strip of Art Deco buildings. One of the grandest of these buildings is the home of the Shanghai Pudong Development Bank. From the Bund, visitors can take a river trip down to the mouth of the Yangtse. Boats leave regularly from the Shiliupu Pier south of the Bund and the trip takes about three hours. Those preferring aerial vistas with a drink in hand could visit rooftop Char Bar in the Indigo Hotel.

Address Zhongshan East 1st Rd, Huangpu

Shanghai Museum photo

Shanghai Museum

The Shanghai Museum is found at the People's Square, the political and cultural centre of Shanghai. Shaped like a giant bronze urn, it contains a collection of some 123,000 artefac…

Shanghai Museum

The Shanghai Museum is found at the People's Square, the political and cultural centre of Shanghai. Shaped like a giant bronze urn, it contains a collection of some 123,000 artefacts in 21 categories. Permanent galleries cover anything from ancient jade assemblages and Chinese minority art, to intriguing calligraphy and furniture from the Ming and Qing dynasties. Foreigners should look out for the museum's advanced audio tour, which is offered in eight languages, and be sure to get there early to avoid long queues. As well as the impressive exhibits, there's a restaurant, gift shop and green space, surrounded by the Grand Shanghai Theatre and City Hall.

Address 201 Renmin Avenue

Website www.shanghaimuseum.net/en

Yuyuan Gardens photo

Yuyuan Gardens

The Yuyuan Gardens, or the Gardens of Contentment, date back to 1559 and are the best example of classical Chinese gardens in Shanghai. A peaceful refuge with koi ponds amid trees …

Yuyuan Gardens

The Yuyuan Gardens, or the Gardens of Contentment, date back to 1559 and are the best example of classical Chinese gardens in Shanghai. A peaceful refuge with koi ponds amid trees and pagodas, the gardens have been divided into six sections. The gardens' intricate designs are replete with pavilions, rockeries, ponds and a traditional theatre arranged in an ornate maze.

The gardens are on Yuyuan Street in downtown Shanghai and can be reached via the Town God Temple Market, a warren of shops and stalls that is becoming increasingly popular as a tourist bazaar. It is best to visit the gardens during the week because they become crowded over weekends and the crowds can detract from the spirit of the place.

Address 218 Anren St, Huangpu, Shanghai

Website www.yugarden.com.cn