Six Cultural Places to Visit in Shanghai

Shanghai is a massive city in China, located on its central coast. It is China’s biggest city and financial hub/capital. In the heart of the city is a famous waterfront with buildings from the colonial era, mostly of British influence. They call it “The Bund.” The city itself is home to a fast lifestyle of many people and has a futuristic skyline but at the same time maintains its rich cultural heritage. It has temples, gardens, and secret alleyways that preserve the Chinese cultural lifestyle.

When visiting Shanghai, you have a whole lot of opportunities to experience the culture around you despite being cosmopolitan. Tourists often enjoy their visit as there is a long list of places to go to and buildings to explore and amazing sites to view in and around the city.

Cultural Places to Visit in Shanghai Skyline from the Bund
Cultural Places to Visit in Shanghai / Photo by: Edward He

Six Cultural Places to Visit in Shanghai

Yu Garden

Yuyuan Garden Shanghai Travel China
The You Garden in Shanghai / Photo by: Chastagner Thierry

One of the first wonders of Shanghai worth mentioning here has to be the Yu Garden or Yuyuan Garden. It is an extensive Chinese garden next to the City God Temple in the northeast of Shanghai. Chinese gardens are famous worldwide, but this particular garden is known for its cultural preservation. One of the most famous rockeries of China, Jade Rock is also a treasure of the Yu Garden. You will have a good time staring at the Chinese architectural style in their temples. Shopping for souvenirs? Shop ’till you drop here!

Longhua Temple

Another cultural place to visit in Shanghai is the Longhua Temple, a Buddhist Temple that was made for the Maitreya Buddha. The temple is of great cultural and religious value and is a spiritual place to visit. While most buildings in the area have been reconstructed, the Longhua Temple maintains and preserves its architecture from the Song dynasty monastery of the Chan School.

People’s Square

Do you like to sit on a bench and watch the locals go by? Head to People’s Square. It is one of the most fascinating tourist attractions and a hub for social interactions with the locals. As the name suggests, it is the center where people come and gather to indulge in various on-going street affairs and activities. The Square is a major transport hub, and it attracts people as it is also the main shopping street. If shopping is not your thing, the mouth-watering street food stalls will make you hungry.

Duolon lu (aka Cultural Street)

Duolun lu or Cultural street is another street full of local festivities. This is a pedestrian street that offers so much cultural enrichment and engagement with surroundings to each passerby.

Cultural Places to Visit in Shanghai Nanjing Lu Road
Cultural Places to Visit in Shanghai (China). / Photo credit: GoShopShanghai

Nanjing Lu

This is also known as Nanjing Road. It is one of the main shopping streets in China. Even if you don’t plan on buying anything, it is still a cultural experience to be among the Chinese crowd. It’s a really unique experience to be walking on here. Do you know that this is one of the world’s busiest shopping districts?

French Concession

The last on our list here but definitely not the least has to be the French Concession in Shanghai. Yes, this is not very Chinese, but this concession is part of the city’s history that is hard to ignore. This is yet another street but a leafier one. It is a beautiful road lined with trees and is a venue for live music. It has boutique wine bars and indie fashion shops, and much more. It is peaceful and has a spiritual experience of its own while being more lavish.

Cultural Places to Visit in Shanghai French Concession Xintiandi
The French Concession is one of the cultural places to visit in Shanghai. / Photo credit

Many of the streets in Shanghai are culturally rich and full of opportunities for people to engage themselves in local customs and activities. Each street offers an experience of its own. Your overall visit to Shanghai will surely be a memorable one you would never forget in a long time.

Hostel/ Hotel in Shanghai

Wherever you stay in Shanghai, you are certainly accessible to any public transport. So, it doesn’t really matter because the city’s public transport is one of the best in the world. However, if you wanna stay in a hostel close to the city centre, the Phoenix, near People Square should be your choice. You can book it through HostelWorld, and Booking. For other hostels, check out this list of Top 10 hostels in Shanghai. For hotel accommodations, TripAdvisor and Expedia have many choices, too. Remember that while most hotels in China have free access to wifi, it is recommended that you install your own VPN to access your social media accounts. This website has more information on VPNs, how and what they do.


A wanderer. A frustrated photographer. Hiker. Lover. Half extrovert, half introvert. Solo traveler.

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