You could spend forever exploring everything there is to see in Shanghai, but if you’ve only got one weekend, these places are the best of the best. Bring some friends, an empty stomach, your camera, and cash for souvenirs. Memories are about to be made.
The weekend starts on Friday, right? Kick off your travels with an early dinner at Yu Garden. Wander through the shops and stalls of street food surrounded by gardens and beautiful traditional architecture.
Once you’ve had your fill, take metro line 10 to East Nanjing Road. This is an iconic commercial street known for its countless neon signs that light up the night. Next, head to the Bund at the end of the street for some photos in front of the classic Shanghai skyline. From here you can see the Oriental Pearl Tower, the Shanghai World Financial Center, the Jin Mao Tower, and the Shanghai Tower.
Bright and early take metro line 9 to Qibao, a water town in the suburbs of the city. For a small fare, a local can guide you on a boat through the network of canals. Qibao is known for the gardens and architecture of its ancient temple, cricket fighting, and delicious traditional snacks. Let yourself get lost in the bustling alleyways of the town and grab some lunch.
Take metro line 9 to Century Avenue and take line 2 to the Shanghai Science & Technology Museum station. Although this museum is great, you’re here for the underground fake market. Connected to the metro station is one of the largest fake markets in Shanghai, where you can find knock-off electronics, clothes, purses, shoes, jewelry, and souvenirs. The shopkeepers speak English so be prepared to bargain hard. Even if you aren’t a big shopper, it’s always fun.
After a good night’s rest, take metro line 7 to Changshou Road station to get to the famous Jade Buddha Temple. The temple is located on Anyuan Road, a short walk from the station. After purchasing a ticket, your first sight inside the temple is swirls of smoke from burning incense. Quietly observe locals bowing and praying to the Buddha in the temple’s multiple halls. Here you can see the Sitting Buddha and the Recumbent Buddha, both carved in jade.
Wind down your busy weekend in Tianzifang, a labyrinth of alleyways off of Taikang Road in the French Concession. Tianzifang has dozens of tiny specialty craft stores, coffee shops, bars, restaurants, and art galleries.
This place is a fascinating blend of modern Chinese and Western culture. The menus can get pricey but a relaxing drink here is definitely worth it. Take a look through your photos and plan your next trip.