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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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Shanghai World Financial Center, Shanghai

Opened in 2008, mainland China's tallest tower stands 101 floors and 1,615 feet high. Owned and built by Japan's Mori Corporation, it has been dubbed the...more

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Xintiandi, Shanghai

In the 1930s, Shanghai was covered with blocks of shikumen (traditional stone-gated structures). Today, most of these narrow middle-class houses, which...more

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Yu Garden, Shanghai

A lot of history resides in this little garden and its City God Temple. They were commissioned in 1559, built over the course of 19 years, destroyed in 1842...more

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