Shanghai Tourist Attractions

The name Shanghai means ''over the sea''. It is the largest city in China and the center of the nation's trade and industry, with the biggest and most important port in the land. The city is experiencing a meteoric economic expansion, one result of which has been a massive building boom. Much of this activity is focused on the new industrial zone of Pudong, a district in the east of the city reached via two high-level bridges and a tunnel that cross over and under the Huangpujiang River.

Yuyuan Garden

Yuyuan GardenYuyuan Garden
The Yuyuan Garden situated to the north east of the old town, covers an area of over 20,000sq.m/21,880sq.yd and consists of an outer and an inner garden. The garden was laid out in 1559 by a high state official in the style of Suzhou.
Outside the garden can be found the very popular Huxin Ting Tea-House the center of the Lake, reached from the bank by a zig-zag bridge.

Outer Garden

The Outer Garden of the Yuyuan Garden, dating from 1559, was extended in 1577. In 1760 the overgrown gardens were bought and partially redesigned by a group of merchants. The popular taste of the time is reflected especially in the main hall Sansui Tang with its roof ornaments, figurative representations in bas-reliefs and window openings, and in the walls adorned by dragons. The best known building is the Hall of Spring (Dianchun Tang), where the Company of the Little Swords (Xiaodao Hui) had its headquarters between 1853 and 1855, when it ruled Shanghai. Of great historical importance are the artificial rocks in this part of the garden, the only work of the master garden designer Zhang Nanyang that has been preserved. It was created not from the commonly used Taihu stones but from yellow rocks from Wukang. Also of great interest is the large, beautiful garden stone (Yulinglong) with its 72 holes and tunnels as well as a long wall the upper part of which represents a dragon.

Inner Garden

The Inner Garden (Neiyuan), dating from 1709, once belonged not to the Yuyuan gardens but to the nearby Temple of the City God (Chenghuang Miao) where Shanghai's patron was worshipped. Although the garden is only slightly more than 0.1ha/0.2acres it includes all the typical features of a classical Chinese writer's garden: attractive little pavilions, decorative stones and miniature mountain ranges, dividing walls and small ponds. At the southern end of the Inner Garden is a richly decorated theatrical stage.

Jade Buddha Temple

Jade Buddha TempleJade Buddha Temple
The temple, situated in the northwest of the city in Anyuan Lu, houses two Shakyamuni statues which the monk Huigen brought with him from Burma. In order to find a fitting place to accommodate the statues, he collected funds for building a temple at Jiangwan in the northeast of Shanghai. The work was completed in 1882 but the building was destroyed in 1911 during the revolution. Seven years later an undertaking was made to rebuild the temple on a site nearer the old city, and this is how the present Jade Buddha Temple came into being. The building work took ten years to complete, from 1918-28. The temple is divided into three halls and two courtyards.

Hall of the Kings of Heaven

In the Hall of the Kings of Heaven (Tianwang Dian) stand statues of the four heavenly kings, a gilded Maitreya and a gilded Weituo.

Shakyamuni Sculptures

The two Shakyamuni sculptures were each carved from a single piece of white jade. The 1.9m/6ft high statue of the seated Shakyamuni can be found on the upper floor of the Wentang Main hall, where a collection of Buddhist manuscripts is also kept. The small reclining Shakyamuni (barely 1m/3ft long), portrayed entering Nirvana, is situated in a building in the west courtyard of the temple.

Hall of the Great Hero

The charming Hall of the Great Hero (Daxiong Baodian) has Buddhas of the Three Ages, and also eighteen Luohan figures.


The Zongshan Lu, a river promenade running along the west bank of the Huangpujiang, is also known under the Anglo-Indian name of ''Bund'' (Waitan). The left side of the road is lined with numerous buildings put up by the English and French at the time of the concessions for their settlements.
Moving from south to north, the dominant buildings are the former headquarters of the Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corporation (with cupola), the harbor customs office (with bell tower), the Peace Hotel (at the corner of Nanjing Lu) and the Bank of China. The entire row of buildings is under a preservation order. The riverside was laid out as a promenade.
From Shiliupu Quay it is possible to take a sightseeing tour by passenger steamer around the port and the confluence of the Huangpujiang and Changjiang rivers.

Shanghai Museum

Shanghai MuseumShanghai Museum
This museum, founded in 1952, is China's best museum of classical Chinese art. It is situated in a new building on the south side of the People's Park. The following sections are presented on four floors, in excellent displays:
Ground floor: China's most important collection of prehistoric bronzes and plastics;
1st floor: ceramics from prehistoric cultures to the 19th C;
2nd floor: ink drawings, calligraphy and seals;
3rd floor: art from the ethnic minorities; jade, coins as well as furnishings from the Ming and Qingperiods (1368-1912).
Address: 201 Renmin Avenue, China

Longhua Park

The Longhua Park lies in the southwest of the city. It contains a temple and a pagoda which reportedly date from the year 247, but have been destroyed and rebuilt many times. The present 40m/131ft high, seven-story pagoda of brick and wood dates back to 977. Around every story runs a balcony with a canopy-roof over it. The last time the various temple buildings were restored was at the end of the 19th C. Buddhist ceremonies are regularly held here.

Meeting Place of the Communist Party of China

In July 1921 the foundation meeting of the Communist Party of China took place in the south of the city, in the French concession district. Thirteen of the 53 party members took part including chairman Mao. As there was a danger of being searched by the concessionary police, the delegates finished the meeting early. They then completed their deliberations on a ship in Jiaxing in the province of Zheijiang.
The Meeting Place is situated at the corner of Xingye Lu and Huangpulu. Displayed in a small museum are various exhibits documenting the history of the revolution.

Church of Xujianhui

The church, built between 1906 to 1911 in Neo-Romanesque style, is situated to the south of Shanghai in the city district of Xujiahui near the municipal sports palace. It is the largest Catholic place of worship in Shanghai and the nave can accommodate 2500 people. Both of the bell-towers are over 50m/164ft high.

Confucius Temple of Jiading

The Confucius Temple, situated to the south of Jiading 19km/12mi northwest of Shanghai, was built in 1219 and restored during the Yuan, Ming and Qing dynasties. In 1958 the municipal museum of Jiading was erected here where, among other exhibits, are kept 90 stone tablets with old inscriptions.

Nanjing Lu

The Nanjing Lu, the principal shopping street of Shanghai was constructed in the second half of the 19th C; it runs from the Zongshan Lu for several miles towards the west. Here can be found shops of every description, restaurants and cinemas, also the department stores Yibai and Jiubai.

Pagoda for Pearls (Learning Pagoda)

Near Songjiang on the Tianmashan mountain stands the Pagoda for Guarding Pearls, also known as the Leaning Pagoda (Xie Ta). It dates from 1079 and was almost burned down in 1788. Afterwards bricks were torn from the building which is why it leans towards the west.

People's Square

The southern part of the open space which was formerly the racecours, is the People's Square (Renmin Guangchang). In the years 1993 to 1998 it was transformed into a modern representative town center. There is a new large town hall, the newly constructed Shanghai Museum and an opera house.

Former Residence of Lu Xun

In the north of the city in Shanyin Lu is the Lu Xun terrace, where the writer lived from April 11th 1933 until his death on October 19th 1936. In his study on the upper floor he translated, among other works, Gogol's novel ''The Dead Souls''.

Former Residence of Sun-Yat-sen

Near the Fuxing Gonyuan Park is the Former Residence of Sun-Yat-sen, situated at No. 7 Xianshan Lu, where the statesman lived from 1920. The house, which has been converted into a small museum, still has the original furniture.

Fuxing Gongyuan Park

The Fuxing Gongyuan Park in the south of the city was created in 1909 in the former French concessionary district. It is a favorite resting place, with trees providing shade.

Old Town

To the southeast of the city center, bordered by the Renmin Lu and Zongshan Lu streets, extends the old town, which was formerly surrounded by a city wall. The hustle and bustle of life and dealing dominates the area.

People's Park

This open green area came into being after the abolition of the racecourse which had been built by the British in 1862. It consists of two parts: the northern part forms the People's Park bordering on to Nanjing Lu.

Tomb of Lu Xun

In the Hongkou Gongyuan Park, to the north of the house where Lu Xun resided, is the poet's tomb which was put up on the occasion of the twentieth anniversary of his death.

Zhenru Si Temple

The Zhenru Si Temple (1320) is situated in the northwestern edge of Shanghai, near the Zhenru railroad station. Of the original complex only the main hall of brick and wood is still preserved.

Botanical Garden

The botanical garden, founded in 1954, is situated in the south of the city in Longwu Lu. Here can be seen reproductions of landscape scenes.
Address: 1111 Longwu Road, China

Oriental Pearl TV Tower

The Oriental Pearl TV Tower in Pudong-Park on the east bank of the river is 468m/1535ft high and offers excellent views.


Garden of Natural Beauty

The 6.6ha/16 acre Garden of Natural Beauty in Nanxiang, a little village 8km/5mi to the northwest of Shanghai, was laid out in the 16th C. It was extended in 1746, seriously damaged in 1937 and completely re-laid in 1959.
Today it is embellished with numerous pavilions, small villas, pagodas, lakes and flowerbeds. There is also a dagoba dating from the Song period (960-1279) and several stone pillars from the Tang era (618-907) with inscriptions from the Buddhist Sutra.
The northeastern section of the roof is missing from the rectangular Buque Ting Pavilion (bu que meaning to correct a mistake). The building was erected in 1931 during the Japanese occupation of Manchuria; the missing roof section was meant to remind the Chinese of this occupation.

Xingshengjiano si Ta Pagoda (Four-cornered Pagoda)

The 48.5m/158ft high nine-story pagoda, also known as the Four-cornered Pagoda (Fang Ta), was built during the rule of the Northern Song between 1068 and 1094 and was renovated between 1975 and 1977. It is situated 30km/18mi to the southwest of Shanghai in the city of Songjiang. Its rectangular ground plan makes it exceptional as pagodas from the Song period were usually octagonal; the rectangular shape is typical of the Tang period (618-907).
It can be seen that the pagoda's substructure leans slightly to the southeast and that the canopies on the southeast façade are longer - these are precautions taken by the builders of the Song period against typhoons from the southeast.

Dianshan Hu Lake

The Dianshan Hu Lake extends out some 50km/31mi to the west of Shanghai.

Garden of Grand Scenery

The Garden of Grand Scenery (Daguan Yuan) is situated on the east bank of the Dianshan Hu Lake. Some of the buildings, including the Guawang Temple and the Aofeng Pagoda have survived through the years. On the east bank of the lake is a large public bathing area.

Freedom Bridge

The Freedom Bridge, some 10km/6mi to the southwest of the Pagoda of Longevity, is 71m/230ft long and 6m/19ft wide, the longest stone bridge in Shanghai. It was built in 1571 with funds collected by the monk Xing Chao. He was also responsible for stopping the local people fishing under the bridge, and even suggested to them that they should throw back the fish which they had already caught. The original bridge collapsed in 1814; the present bridge was built a little later at the instigation of another monk.

Bridge of General Wellbeing

The single-arched Bridge of General Wellbeing is situated 54km/33mi from Shanghai. It was built in 1265 during the Song period (960-1279) and all its features are typical of its time of origin - purple bricks, restricted width and a single arch with a long span. The structure is without doubt a magnificent example of bridge architecture of the Song period.

Pagoda of Longevity

The Pagoda of Longevity was erected in 1743 by the occupants of the town of Qingpu, 31km/19mi to the west of Shanghai, to wish the emperor Qianlong a long life. He did in fact answer their prayers and considerably lowered the taxes to be paid. The pagoda was originally made from bricks and wood, although the wooden section was destroyed by fire in 1883.


Zhujiajiao is an ancient water town, established about 1,700 years ago. This well-preserved town features unique bridges that range from wooden to marble, and houses with courtyards.
North Street is a notable attraction featuring historic buildings, long-established stores, old bridges and many narrow lanes.

Mao Ta Pagoda

The Mao Ta Pagoda, built in the second half of the 9th C, stands 20km/12mi to the east of the Bridge of Wellbeing, towering up on a small island in the River Mao. For a long time it served as a lighthouse.

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