The Pearl of the Orient
Important monuments, modern buildings and tourist attractions make the city a beautiful urban park rich of varied styles. Shanghai, also known as “Hu” or “Shen”, is the largest economic centre in China and one of the most modern international metropolises.
There are many tourist attractions to visit: the Pearl of the Orient TV Tower, the Shanghai Museum and the Grand Theatre, the Jinmao Skyscraper, the Maglev train and events such as the International Tourism Festival and the International Art Festival.
The buildings that line the Bund, built between 1873 and 1937, are a symbol of modern architecture and the city’s development over the last 100 years. Today, 19 important monuments protected by the state, over 100 monuments protected by the municipality, 175 modern buildings, 300 tourist attractions and a luxuriant urban park, the You Yuan Garden, are located in Shanghai.
The Bund, symbol of Shanghai, extends from the northern Waibaiduqiao Bridge, along Zhongshan Dongyilu and up to the Nanpu Bridge to the south, for 1.5 km. A succession of flowers, sculptures, fountains, a panoramic view of the new Pudong area and 52 buildings in different architectural styles are distributed along the promenade.
The Bund’s panoramic pedestrian tunnel crosses a river. The Puxi entrance is located to the north of Chengyi Square, whilst the Pudong entrance is located to the south of the International Conference Centre. Accessible in two directions for 11,000 people per hour, the automated system moves at a speed of 4 metres per second and allows the crossing of the tunnel in 2.5 minutes.
Xintiandi, a pedestrian area in the heart of the city, south of Huaihai Zhonglu road, with restaurants of international cuisine, cafes, bars, shops and art galleries.
It stands on the ancient Shikumen area and features original brick structures and stone gates, whilst the interior reflects the style of the twenty-first century contemporary metropolis with oriental charm.
The People’s Square (Renmin Square), the nerve centre of the city, west of the Huangpu River, in the Puxi area. It features skyscrapers, restaurants, fashion stores, clubs and bars. The square includes: Renmin Park, the Shanghai Museum, the Grand Theatre, the Museum of Contemporary Art and the Urban Exhibition Hall.
The Pearl of the Orient TV Tower
The Pearl of the Orient TV Tower is located at the end of Lujiazui, in the Pudong district, alongside the Huangpu River, in front of the Shanghai Bund.
It was designed by Jia Hunag Cheng, built in 1991 and completed in 1995. 468 metres high, it is among the tallest building in Asia and in world.
The Lujiazui Financial and Commercial Area is the centre for modern development for the service industry: business, real estate, consulting etc… Over 80 buildings are located around the Pearl of the Orient TV Tower, whilst along the Binjiang Dadao promenade, cultural and artistic buildings can be found.
Important museums and theatres are scattered throughout Shanghai city. Be sure to visit: Shanghai Museum (classical Chinese art), the Urban Planning Exhibition Centre (history of urban development), Museum of Fine Arts (4,000 foreign and Chinese works of art).
For those who love to shop, Shanghai offers many stores and shopping centres. Two that are not to be missed:
- Nanjinglu Commercial Street - Nanjing Road (5.5 km of shops and shopping centres);
- Huaihai Zhonglu Road (fashion and elegance; shopping centres: “Paris Spring” and the “Parkson Centre”).
Shanghai by night is not to be missed. Take a visit to the Jinmao Skyscraper with a view of the Shanghai skyline. After dinner we recommend a stop in the most popular district of the moment, XintianDi.
Shanghai cuisine has a special style and is inspired by the specialties of the surrounding provinces, such as Jiangsu and Zhejiang. It is also known as Hu cuisine. The most cooked products are grilled or steamed fish, crabs and chicken. In Shanghai cuisine, sugar is also combined with soy. Among the typical dishes, to try, there are steamed ravioli, pork ribs (in sweet and sour) and the crab.
Text by Nicolò Villa
Avion Tourism Magazine
Photos: Sisterscom.com, Shutterstock
Photos: Sisterscom.com, Shutterstock
Video: Insider TV per www.meet-in-shanghai.net
Copyright © Sisterscom.com
Copyright © Sisterscom.com
Where to sleep in Shanghai
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Discover the city, the main tourist attractions, the most important museums to visit and tours not to be missed, selected for you by the Editorial Staff of Avion Tourism.
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Located in the north-eastern part of the historic city, in the area of Nanshi, the Yuyuan Garden was built from 1559 on an area roughly 50,000 square metres in size. A large artificial rocky hill of huangshi stone, a wall decorated with an image of a dragon, the Huuijing tower and a small outdoor theatre stage are located inside the garden. Yuyuan is considered the most beautiful garden for its beauty and uniqueness.
JADE BUDDHA TEMPLE
This is a Buddhist temple founded in 1882 with two statues of Buddha. Numerous rooms with various other statues can be found inside. A Jade Buddha is located in the northern part of the temple, on the second floor: a fee of 10 yuan must be paid to gain access. A restaurant for visitors and a private one for the monks’ personal use are located inside the temple.
It is the oldest and the largest temple in Shanghai with a history of over 1700 years at Maitreya Buddha. It consists of five buildings: the Maitreya hall, the Emperor Hall of Heaven, the Great Treasure Hall, the Three Halls of the Wise Men and the Hall of the Abbot. The temple also includes a pagoda, a hall with 500 gold statues, the Bell tower and a vegetarian restaurant.
Designed by Jean-Marie Charpentier, the Grand Theater of Shanghai is located in the northern part of People’s Square (Renmin Square) and features several floors. It houses operas, musicals, ballets, symphonies and chamber music concerts. Inside there is also a cafeteria and a restaurant.
Neighborhoods and attractions
SHANGHAI OLD ROAD
Renmin - Henan
This road is 825 metres long and is divided into two sections, east and west. In the eastern part of the old road, traditional houses from the late Qing Dynasty have been built, and in the western part, on both sides of the road, the buildings are reproduced in the architectural style of the Ming and Qing Dynasties; today they are shops and shopping centres.
A symbol of the city and a mandatory destination, the Bund waterfront area extends from the Waibaiduqiao Bridge to the North, along Zhongshan Dongyilu road, and up to Nanpu Bridge to the South, for a distance of 1.5 kilometres. A wall of 6.9 metres acts as a barrier to prevent flooding. The western side is lined with majestic buildings built in different architectural styles, and for this reason the Bund has been renowned for some time as a “Gallery for international modern architecture”.
Nanjing Road Pedestrian Street is one of the busiest shopping streets in Shanghai. On the street there are various shops and modern buildings in harmony with old European style buildings.
ORIENTAL PEARL RADIO AND TV TOWER
468 meters high, the Oriental Pearl Radio & TV Tower is located on the bank of the Huangpu River opposite the Bund, famous for its large buildings of various architectural styles. From the tower you can enjoy a splendid view of Shanghai.
201 People’s Avenue - Huangpu District
The Shanghai Museum is a museum of ancient Chinese art, founded in 1952, but the present building was built in 1993 and inaugurated in 1996. Designed by a local architect, it was designed in the shape of a cooking vessel known as a “Ding”. It houses a collection of 120,000 unique pieces and has eleven galleries with permanent exhibitions and three rooms for temporary exhibitions.
SHANGHAI SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY MUSEUM
2000 Century Boulevard
Located near the Century Park, the Shanghai Science and Technology Museum includes a theatre and since 2006 has twelve main exhibitions open to the public. The construction of the museum cost 1.75 billion Chinese yuan for a structure of 98,000 square metres.
SHANGHAI HUANGPU RIVER NIGHT CRUISE
The Huangpu River is the mother river of Shanghai, and on a cruise it is possible to see the entire city with its most popular neighbourhoods and glittering skyscrapers. The night cruise offers a wonderful and illuminated view of the city of Shanghai.
Zhouzhuang is known for being China’s main county on the water and enjoys almost 900 years of history. Located in the areas between Shanghai, Suzhou and Hangzhou, it is a city surrounded by canals where the local mode of transport consists of boats and where, within the city, ancient buildings dating back to the Qing Dynasty are preserved.
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