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This city of multiculturism, international trade, education, art was just a fishing village less than 200 years ago. Shanghai managed to become a cosmopolitan metropolis in a short time. The city had its ups and downs, but nowadays it is a major touristic destination. And in this article, you will find the 7 best places to visit in Shanghai. But first, let’s dig into the history.
Before the middle of the 19th century, Shanghai was a small fishing village. But its status has changed after the First Opium War. Why was there a war, you might ask?
Today it’s common knowledge that drugs can be dangerous for people. Though, at that time, countries like The British Empire were trying to export and sell them in other countries like China. The latter banned the opium trade because of its destructive abilities.
Throughout history, due to the active trade of Chinese goods like silk, jade, and ceramics, most of the silver (which was exchanged in China to get Chinese currency for buying their products) of Europe ended up in China.
Unfortunately, when the British were selling opium to the Chinese in silver, large amounts of it was going back to foreign merchants, hence leaving China. As a result, the value of silver increased in China, causing taxpaying problems for the citizens since those payments had to be made in silver.
As an outcome, there was the Opium war, where the British won. Consequently, foreign trades became possible in Shanghai as a part of the treaty. This meant that foreign ships could unload their wares in the city’s port. Therefore, not only the British were attracted to run their business in Shanghai, but also the French and American merchants. They established their own territories like Britain. And each “colony” brought its culture to the city. For this reason, it started developing rapidly. Thereby, we are presenting the top 7 places in Shanghai impacted by its short but rich history.
The Bund is a historical district of Shanghai. It contains many architectural buildings of various styles. In the past, it was the center for trading houses and the port for foreign ships. Nowadays, you can find many international banks here and touristic attractions.
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Nanjing Road is the world’s longest shopping district. It has been destroyed during WW2 and renovated after. Here is a perfect place for some shopping and trying local food. Things to do:
Shanghai Disneyland Park is the first in mainland China. It is known for having the tallest castle and the first pirate-themed garden among all the Disney Parks. This park has 7 themed zones, including Mickey Avenue, Gardens of Imagination, Fantasyland, and others. Moreover, last year the company announced that new themed land is coming: The City of Zootopia!
Things to experience:
All of them are the pioneers of their kind among all the Disney Parks.
You can find one of the most satisfying garden-sceneries here. No wonder that the name itself (“Yu”) means pleasing and satisfying. 400 years ago, a Chinese government official built this beautiful garden for his parents. Yu Garden has 6 general areas showcasing classical Chinese architecture.
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You should also visit the Yuyuan Bazaar nearby for shopping and try Shanghai’s famous Nanxiang Steamed Buns.
Shanghai Museum is the best choice for people who don’t like museums. It is the most extraordinary, entertaining, and educational hub for both locals and tourists. This is a museum of ancient Chinese art presented in 11 galleries and 7 exhibition halls. You can see ancient Chinese coins, sculptures, paintings, furniture from the Ming and Qing dynasties, as well as traditional garments from various ethnic groups of China.
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This is a district in the heart of Shanghai City, which is full of book stores, bars, restaurants, and boutiques for wealthy leisure. Xintiandi means “New Heaven and Earth.” This former French Quarter of Shanghai is known for its combination of building designs of the ’20s and contemporary style. A perfect example of modern urban development!
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One of the most important cultural and religious places in Shanghai is the Old City God Temple. It was built during the Ming dynasty more than 600 years ago. From its early years up to now, this Taoist temple has been popular among many people. They come here to pray for peace, wealth, well-being, and luck. The temple has 9 halls and is full of statues of immortals, which, supposedly, are in control of various aspects of human life.
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