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Shanghai see + do

Shanghai is a relatively young city—it didn't fully develop until after the first Opium War in 1842—so it lacks the imperial palaces and temples of Beijing. However, sightseeing in Shanghai trumps the capital for grand neoclassical and Art Deco architecture, which spread across the former French Concession in the late 19th and early 20th centuries and helps make Shanghai China's most visually arresting city. This forward-focused metropolis is now gearing up for the 2010 World Expo, with the construction of several new sky towers, hotels, shopping malls, roads, tunnels, and metro lines—plus the Expo site itself, which straddles both banks of the Huangpu River. Yet, for all its urban ambition, Shanghai retains a delicate balance between old and new: From a visitor's perspective, this means you can combine strolling around the old Chinese city, the French Concession, and the Bund with distinctly modern experiences such as ascending to the 100th-floor Observatory Deck at the Shanghai World Financial Center, perusing the contemporary art galleries and studios of Moganshan Lu, and jumping on the Maglev, the world's fastest passenger train. Don't miss Fuxing Park, a leafy French Concession spread where older Chinese people while away the day doing tai chi, ballroom dancing, singing opera, and gambling.

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2010 World Expo Site, Shanghai

Hosting the 2010 World Expo left Shanghai a legacy of improved infrastructure, plus some visually striking Expo pavilions. The World Fair's centerpiece, the...more

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The Bund, Shanghai

This stretch of Zhong Shan Dong Yi Lu, on the western bank of the Huangpu River, was once home to the Wall Street of Asia. The grand mansions were built as...more

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Contemporary Art

As China's contemporary art scene continues to heat up, one of the best places to catch a glimpse (or even buy) is the growing cluster of galleries in the...more

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French Concession (Luwan), Shanghai

In the area around Huaihai Lu, a street known for its department stores, boutiques, antique shops, and cafés, lies the marvelous old French Concession....more

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Huangpu Cruise, Shanghai

Winding through the heart of Shanghai, the Huangpu River is the city's primary artery, a freshwater tributary that leads to the Yangtze River and beyond to the...more

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Maglev Train, Shanghai

Blink and you'll miss the ride. The world's fastest passenger train, with a top speed of 268 miles per hour, takes just eight minutes to journey back and forth...more

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Ohel Moshe Synagogue, Shanghai

During the 1930s and 40s, more than 10,000 Jews fleeing Nazi persecution landed in Shanghai, which offered refuge to "stateless individuals." Herded by...more

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Old City (Nanshi), Shanghai

Once home to the impoverished Chinese masses—who lived in close quarters here while wealthy foreigners spread out around them—the old city is full of...more

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Shanghai Museum, Shanghai

With 120,000 works of art on view, this premier collection of Chinese artifacts warrants at least half a day to browse the ten galleries of calligraphy, jade,...more

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Shanghai Urban Planning Exhibition Centre, Shanghai

More interesting than it sounds, this dramatic five-story glass building showcases the city's future urban development through detailed models and multimedia...more

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Information may have changed since date of publication. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.



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