Ancient Chinese pagodas and tea gardens stand shoulder to shoulder with skyscrapers of glistening glass and steel in the World’s most populous city.

Shanghai’s teeming streets are home to more than 23 million people who live, work and play in its offices, restaurants, bars and gardens. An ancient colonial powerhouse which suffered through War and Revolution, the city is now in the midst of a renaissance.

This is in evidence across the city, in the redevelopment of historical quarters like Xintiandi and The Bund and the feats of engineering brilliance in its gleaming financial quarter, including the Jin Mao Tower and the Oriental Pearl TV Tower.

Such a crowded Metropolis is always in need of green spaces and in Shanghai, these are plentiful. The largest by far is Century Park, where you can try out some calming Tai Chi, play a relaxing round of golf or work up a sweat with an energetic walk or jog.

For a glimpse of the city’s former colonial life, stroll through the refurbished Pudong Riverside Promenade and Park and explore the elite mansions and villas of the French Concession. Their European architecture and classical charm once earned Shanghai the title of ‘Paris of the Orient’.

As a city of hidden streets and secret gems like the Yu Yuan Gardens, Shanghai is a great place to wander around and explore without too much advance planning. There is a deep spiritual undercurrent throughout the municipality, which you are welcome to embrace with a visit to Jing’An Temple or the Jade Buddha temple, home to two spectacular white jade Buddha statues.

Most of the attractions in Shanghai are within half an hour’s walk of downtown, but if you are feeling a little jaded or want to stray further afield, there is an excellent public transport network. A cruise along the Huangpu River is a relaxing way to get to know the different districts, taking you past much of the historic and modern heart of the city.

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Guide to Exploring Shanghai

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