9 Things To Do in Shanghai

shanghai skyline at night

After a few days in Hong Kong (Day 1, Day 2), I headed to Shanghai. I had never seen photos of the skyline in Shanghai and it’s a memorable one that you wouldn’t forget, so I was surprised and elated to see how fun the Shanghai skyline is!

I had the pleasure of taking the Rolls-Royce again to the airport from The Peninsula (I could get used to that…). As much as I didn’t want to leave Hong Kong, I was excited to experience Shanghai. Plus, a friend of mine just happens to live there and I knew I’d get to see her a little bit, which made this trip just that much sweeter.

So if you are headed to Shanghai (or maybe now you are putting it on your to-travel-to list!) here are 8 things you should consider doing in Shanghai:


shanghai at night

1. Take a boat ride on The Bund at night to see the Shanghai skyline lit up. The boat ride is only about 45 minutes and it’s packed with people, but it is visual feast for the eyes. I definitely got my best photos of skyline at night from this boat ride.


In the Shanghai Jade Buddha Temple.

2. Go to the Shanghai Jade Buddha Temple. This was one of my favorite things I did in Shanghai. Not only was it just visually beautiful, but it was fascinating to see how other people worship and go through their rituals. I had a tour guide walk me around the entire temple and explain everything and answer my continuous questions. I also bought a lot of jade at their little shop.


view of shanghai from sir ellys

3. Get a drink at Sir Elly’s Terrace at The Peninsula. The view of Shanghai is amazing. I could have sat up there forever just soaking up the view, not to mention the great weather.


difference between freshwater and saltwater pearls

4. For the shoppers, go to the Pearl Gallery. There you can learn the difference between freshwater and saltwater pearls, how to tell the difference between real and fake pearls, and then shop their vast collection of pearl jewelry. Can you tell in the photo above which are freshwater and which are saltwater?

For saltwater pearls, they are in the smaller shell and there will only be one pearl (if any) in the shelled mollusc. They are the ones that are more perfectly round. Freshwater pearls usually come with a lot in each shell, above there were around 30 in one shell. They are the more misshapen pearls.

Even though I’m not a huge fan of pearls, I did leave the Pearl Gallery with some gifts.


floral wall on the bund in shanghai

5. Take a walk along the Bund. You’ll get the gorgeous view of the modern buildings of Shanghai, and enjoy the living floral wall that changes each year. I decided to get an ice cream cone while I took an afternoon stroll.


la tacqueria by franck in shanghai

6. Go outside the tourist area & try local restaurants. Because a friend of mine lived in Shanghai while I was there, she was able to take me to some great not-so-touristy places to eat without much effort on my part. Taxi’s in Shanghai (and Hong Kong as well) are really inexpensive, so it’s easy and cheap to get around via taxi, as long as you can show them the address in Chinese — that’s the hard part…

We ate at Mercato, which is actually on the Bund, but it’s not a touristy and is delicious. We also went to what seemed like a secret local place, La Taqueria by Franck. It’s not easy to find, there are no signs (that I could see), but it was super cool. It’s a rooftop with a different view of the Shanghai skyline then what you see on the Bund. It was BEAUTIFUL and there’s not many things I like more than hanging out outside on a rooftop, eating and drinking margaritas, with a gorgeous view, and meeting new and interesting people.


tianzifang shanghai

7. Walk around Tianzifang. This little area was another one of my favorite parts. It’s comprises a neighborhood of labyrinthine alleyways off Taikang Road. There are a ton of little shops, cafes, galleries, and bars. You feel like you aren’t in Shanghai anymore.


how to make silk

8. Learn how silk is made. I actually had no idea how silk was made, and wow is it a specific process. I can totally see why it is expensive and it took everything in me not to buy a comforter and pillowcases while there, but my suitcase was already busting at the seams.

9. Get a tour guide. Unless you can speak Mandarin, it’s a good investment to hire a tour guide and hire a driver. It’s pretty inexpensive to hire a tour guide for half a day (less than $100). They can make suggestions of where to take you, or you can tell them the type of things you’d like to do and then they will take you there. I had a great experience with my tour guide, and booked her via Viator.com. She helped me book a driver separately, rather than taking taxis from place to place, although I don’t know think would have been hard to get a taxi where we went. Either way, with a driver or taxis, the tour guide was very helpful.



Photos by Meg Biram. Please do not use without written permission.

This post series was sponsored by Cathay Pacific Airways in partnership with iambassador. MegBiram.com retains all editorial control of what is published. All opinions are my own — and you know, I tell it like it is.