Updated: Oct 8, 2022
Shanghai is the third largest city in the world by population. The square mileage is approximately 8 times the size of New York. It is vast, new, and futuristic. Majority of people wear sneakers, regardless of how it matches their outfit. The sun is to be shielded not soaked. Menu items include bullfrog, pigs brains, and whole pigeons. Western culture is embraced, but little English is spoken. Here are 10 of the top activities to do in Shanghai.
1. Marriage Market
Each weekend People’s Square hosts a Marriage Market. Parents line the walkways with colorful umbrellas to advertise their child’s attributes in hopes of finding a future suitor. It is pure entertainment to watch negotiations take place while photos of their children get pulled up to help in convincing.
2. Soup Dumplings
Shanghai is known to be the origin of soup dumplings. The dumpling is filled with the meat of your choosing and a little bit of broth. Some dumplings are so large that people buy only one and suck the soup out first with a straw. Nanjing Tangbao is one of the best located in a hole in the wall joint with about five options on the menu. $17 USD is enough for the cost for three people
3. South Bund Fabric Market
The South Bund Fabric Market is filled with hundreds of tailors ready to measure for custom-made clothes. A custom outfit can be ready within 24-48 hours, even during the holidays.
4. Shopping Malls
It seems like there is a mall on every corner in Shanghai, but one of the most popular areas to shop is on Nanjing Road. The malls are an experience within themselves as they contain at least five levels of escalators to visit the stores and restaurants within them. Much would be missed by not stepping inside.
5. Boxing Cat Brewery
For craft beer and cat lovers, Boxing Cat Brewery is your spot. Choose from one of three locations to sip the delicious and hoppy TKO IPA. It's hard to find outdoor seating at restaurants in Shanghai, but this spot provides an al fresco option. Check out their location in the French Quarters.
6. Yu Garden
Yu Garden is located within Old Shanghai. It's easy to become immersed in the old architecture that brings you right into the Chinese culture. There stores to shop and restaurants to take a seat at to be still, people watch and absorb it all.
7. The French Concession
Many vibrant restaurants and bars can be found in the French Concession neighborhood of Shanghai. Barcoarra is a colorful, open air, Brazilian owned bar where Swings replace bar stools. Ask the owner to mix a delicious signature cocktail of his country, called Caipirinha, made with pummeled fresh lime.
8. The Bund
Similar to the views of New York City from the East River, there is no place better to take in the skyline of the Shanghai than at the Bund. A paved trail lines the water for people to walk along. Brides and their grooms pose for pictures here and photography classes gather to learn how to capture it the brilliance.
9. Hot Pot
Haidiloa is an excellent choice for the hot pot experience. Even at 3:00 am, families with children will find themselves waiting for 45 minute to have a bite. The menu hosts a variety of bases, vegetables and meats to cook at the table. Their condiment bar offers toppings like crushed garlic, chili’s, and sauces to enhance the meal. Noodles are delivered to the table in the form of a ribbon dance. The abundance of no smoking signs are ignored and many guests light up in the restaurant after they eat. Haidiloa is also available in selected cities throughout the US.
Music blares from parks where people will be gathered for calisthenics at all hours of the day. Some groups focus on basic movement while others will partner up with each other to dance.