City Orientation Walking Tour II, Shanghai

If you're a collector or someone who simply appreciates a vintage item or two around the house, don't miss out on what Shanghai has to offer. It would be a pity to leave Shanghai without having explored its antiques shops and bringing home something truly authentic. We've compiled a list of shops that specialize in antiques in Shanghai, all within walking distance of the city center.
You can follow this self-guided walking tour to explore the attractions listed below. How it works: download the app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" from iTunes App Store or Google Play to your mobile phone or tablet. The app turns your mobile device into a personal tour guide and its built-in GPS navigation functions guide you from one tour stop to next. The app works offline, so no data plan is needed when traveling abroad.

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City Orientation Walking Tour II Map

Guide Name: City Orientation Walking Tour II
Guide Location: China » Shanghai (See other walking tours in Shanghai)
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Sightseeing)
# of Attractions: 8
Tour Duration: 3 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 5.9 km
Author: Daniel

1) Xintiandi (must see)

Xintiandi is a popular pedestrian district in Shanghai. East meets west at the location and traditional Shikumen houses and modern western style buildings exist side by side.

There are two parts to Xintiandi. The Southern block has modern buildings with a few preserved Shikumen houses. The Northern block consists solely of preserved Shikumen houses and narrow streets giving the ambiance of Shanghai in the early 20th century. The south block has 25,000 square meters of shopping and entertainment in a modern setting. The large shopping mall was opened in 2002. The preserved exteriors of the Shikumen houses in the north block hide their transformed interiors. They now house high-end boutiques and cafes serving cuisine from all over the world. The two blocks are divided by Xingye Lu, the road on which the memorial of the first congress of the communist party of China is located.

Xintiandi means New Heaven and Earth. It's a very lively zone with many trendy restaurants and bars with live music and seating that spills out into the plaza. There's a small lake behind the neighborhood ringed with trees and very exclusive residential towers. Lots and lots of westerners here enjoying the nightlife.

Why You Should Visit:
Elegant, beautiful and of great ambiance; one of the best places for a chilled out meal any time of day – European style.

Eat first and burn off the calories with a long walk around the area to explore the bars, designer boutiques, art galleries, specialty stores, etc.
Sight description based on wikipedia
Fazangjiang Temple

2) Fazangjiang Temple

The Fazangjiang Temple is one of the four important Buddhist temples in Shanghai. The others being the Jade Buddha, the Longhua and the Jing An Temples. It is a major city attraction because of its unique architecture.

The Fazagjiang Temple, located in the Old Town was built in 1924 by the Tiantai Ancestor called the Xingci Master. It occupies an area of 0.4 hectares. It took five years to build and is unique because unlike other temples it has a tower. The entrance door is located in the west unlike other Buddhist temples where worshippers enter from the South. Some parts of the structure have architecture with a unique art deco resemblance.

The Fazangjiang Temple recently underwent extensive restoration. New doors were installed in the main hall. A large modern statue of the Sakyamuni is now found in the hall sitting on top of a lily. There are two gilded walls with images of Arhats. Other walls have golden sculptures of the Buddhist trinity. There is a small shrine dedicated to the God of the Underworld in Buddhism, Dizang Wang.

The modern Fazangjiang Temple is an active place of worship thronging with worshippers, visitors and black robed chanting monks.

Please note that there are two doors at number 271. The one on the left leads into a restaurant, but has a back door to the temple, while the one on the right leads directly into the temple complex.
Confucian Temple (Wen Miao)

3) Confucian Temple (Wen Miao) (must see)

Known as the School Palace, the Confucian Temple was once the highest institution of learning in Shanghai. It is dedicated to Confucius, the great Chinese thinker and founder of the Confucian culture and code of conduct.

The temple was built between 1368-98. It has 28 buildings covered with exquisite stone carvings. There are three well-preserved courtyards surrounded by halls that were once used as classrooms. There are carved stone bridges built across tranquil ponds within the courtyards. The main part of the complex used to worship Confucius is the Dacheng Hall. A large bell weighing 1.5 tons is located at the southeast part of the main hall. A bronze statue of Confucius stands in front of the main door of Dacheng Hall.

In its northeastern part, the temple hosts a second-hand book market similar to the book houses that thrived during the reign of the Ming and Qing Dynasties. Every Sunday, book traders come to buy, sell and exchange old and rare books at the venue. A temple fair is held at the end of the year including a bell tolling ceremony, contests for young people and performances by folk dancers.

Why You Should Visit:
Well maintained, super cheap, with beautiful artwork in back courtyards. Off the main tourist route yet still easy to get to. It is also nice to experience a private tea ceremony here.

The Sunday book market has to be visited as it is something different in Shanghai, but beware that it opens at 8am and closes early around 3-4pm.
If you want full access then pay 10RMB; otherwise, you can just go to the book market inside the inner courtyard. 10RMB lets you into the temple as well as the other courtyards.
Go towards the temple and the guards will ask for your tickets. Most people think they cannot go up, but that's what your ticket covers for.

Temple Opening Hours:
Daily: 8:30am-4:30pm
Peach Garden Mosque

4) Peach Garden Mosque

The Peach Garden Mosque is the largest active mosque in Shanghai. It was here that the Shanghai Muslim Association was founded.

The building called the Mosque of the Small Peach Garden was founded in 1917. The present building dates back to 1927. The structure was constructed with donations from the Muslim community. The foundations were laid in 1925 and the building was completed two years later.

The peach garden Mosque has an inner courtyard surrounded by outbuildings. The main hall can hold several hundred worshippers. It has two green cupolas at each end. The center has a pavilion with a crescent emblem. Only male worshippers are allowed in the main hall and women are allowed in a separate smaller hall. It has a minaret for the Islamic call for prayer. The building has a West Asian Islamic architectural style.

Today, the Peach Garden Mosque is the headquarters of the Shanghai Islamic Association. The municipal government has declared the building as a protected cultural relic. The structure suffered damage during the Cultural Revolution but has now been restored.
Shanghai Town God's Temple

5) Shanghai Town God's Temple (must see)

This Taoist temple dedicated to Chenghung, the guardian God of the city of Shanghai, is its most popular place of worship. The temple is surrounded by a large shopping area where visitors can purchase a range of products at bargain prices.

The place has become the Town God's Temple in 1403 during the Yongle era of the Ming Dynasty. It grew famous as a place of worship during the Qing Dynasty and was expanded during the Daoguang era. It was at this time that the large market grew around it. Converted into a jewelry shop by the communists, it was returned to Taoist clergy in 1994. Later, between 2005-6 the structure was completely restored and consecrated by Taoist priests, and worship began once again.

The temple has a small courtyard in front of the main entrance and halls dedicated to the Gods. The main hall is dedicated to Huo Guang and his large statue dominates the northern side. There are smaller halls dedicated to minor guardian gods and the gods of wealth, literature and knowledge. The temple is the venue for traditional festivals including the Lantern festival, the tea ceremony, and the Double Nine Festival. It is an active place of worship where visitors are outnumbered by worshipers.

Why You Should Visit:
To indulge in local street food and admire the architecture, especially if you want to experience more of "ancient Shanghai".

At night the various old-style buildings are decorated with lights and are great for photos.
Note that prices are on the high side in the shops, so bargain well.

Opening Hours:
Daily: 8:30am-4pm
Sight description based on wikipedia
Yuyuan Garden

6) Yuyuan Garden (must see)

Yuyuan Garden was built 400 years ago during the Ming Dynasty by Pan Yunduan, the son of a high ranking official for the recreation of his aging parents. Yuyuan means happy and Pan spent 20 years creating a space for the happiness of his parents.

Yuyuan Garden fell into disrepair after the decline of Pan’s family and was purchased by rich merchants in 1760. The garden was restored to its former glory but suffered damage again during the Opium Wars. In 1956, repairs and restorations were undertaken and it was opened again to the public in 1961.

The garden covers an extent of five acres. It has the oldest and largest rockery in China and three halls, the Cuixiu Hall, the Sansui Hall, and the Dianchun Hall. Other buildings include the Yule Pavilion and the Wanhua Chamber. Visitors can view Ming-dynasty-style rosewood furniture in the halls. A 400-year-old maidenhair tree planted by Pan stands in front of the Wanhua Chamber. The highlight is a large rock called the jade rock. It is a 3.3-meter high rock with 72 holes positioned in such a way that water or smoke sent into one of the holes comes out through all the holes at the same time. The Yuyuan Garden has pavilions, corridors, bridges, streams and a courtyard to make it a calm and relaxing sanctuary within a busy section of the city.

Why You Should Visit:
A terrific initial exposure for those unfamiliar with a Chinese garden, with its elegant structures, hidden bat and dragon features, and huge rockery.
There is less emphasis placed on flora with, rather, more emphasis placed on flow, water, and the harmony of elements.

Go early, as closer to the opening hours as possible, to minimize crowds. Later in the day, the lines get very long!
Do take a bottle of water with you, but if not you will find a tea house in the middle of the gardens.

Opening Hours:
Daily: 8:45am-4:15pm
Sight description based on wikipedia
Nanjing Lu (Nanjing Road)

7) Nanjing Lu (Nanjing Road) (must see)

Nanjing Lu in Shanghai is the world’s longest and busiest pedestrian shopping street. It attracts over a million visitors every day and has all types of stores from the upscale to the quaint.

The road begins at the Bund in the East and ends at the People’s Square in the West. It was established in 1845 by the British and was called Park Lane. In the 1900s, eight big stores were located here and later franchises of many major British stores set up shop. The road saw little development after the international settlement in Shanghai was annulled. In the year 2000, the local government converted it into a pedestrian street when Shanghai was modernized to attract tourists.

Today, Nanjing Lu is a hub of activity in Shanghai. 600 international business establishments offer a range of products including upscale fashions and well-known brands like Tiffany and Mont Blanc. There are also food chains franchises, open-air bars, and fine dining restaurants. Street musicians add to the festive atmosphere of the street. Visitors can take a relaxed trip on a trackless train enjoying the sights and sounds of the busy street by day or taking in the neon signs and illuminated skyline by night.

Why You Should Visit:
It's a fun sight to watch, especially at night, when all the malls lay side by side trying to grasp your attention by lighting up all the lights and countless screens they have on them.
What's more amazing is the stark contrast of old world Art Deco charm on one side of the street while the modern designs of the new malls wow you with their stunning lines and transparency.

The newer malls are actually worth exploring as they reflect a side of modern Chinese millennials and their pursuits in cute (yes, literally cute) luxury items.
On a foodie note, try the food court in the New World City Plaza mall. Huge, pretty, clean, numerous stores, good prices. And the LEGO shop on its ground floor is a haven for LEGO lovers.
Sight description based on wikipedia
The Bund

8) The Bund (must see)

Once the principal financial hub of China and the Far East, the Bund forms part of Zhongshan Road in Shanghai. All major institutions of the former international settlement stood here and the 52 buildings along the waterfront have an array of European architectural styles.

The Bund comes from the Indian word for embankment. The Bund of Shanghai is on the western bank of the Huang Pu River starting from the Waibadu Bridge to the Nanpu Bridge. When Shanghai was a major trade center, European banks and financial institutions were located at the Bund. It was also the location of the consulates of Russia and Britain, an English club and a Masonic lodge. A 771-meter retaining wall runs along the bank of the river. Railings were placed on top of the wall and a promenade was designed alongside.

The embankment had many statues of prominent colonial and European statesmen before the communist victory in the Chinese Civil War. Today, there is a bronze statue of Chen Yi – the first mayor of Shanghai after the communist takeover, at the Nanjing Road intersection – and a Monument to the People’s Heroes at the Northern end.

The Bund area was restored to attract tourism in the 1990s and today visitors can walk along this stretch of Europe in Shanghai and take in views of the Huang Pu River.

Why You Should Visit:
If you want to understand why China has become a world financial center, this must be the place to start.

The western Bund is older and has impressive colonial-style buildings, chief of which must be the Hong Kong & Shanghai Bank building and the Lighthouse Tower.
The eastern Pudong side is where most of the modern skyscrapers are located: these are colorful and of different shapes & heights and where the evening light show is most impressive.
Be sure to be there after sunset, but before 10pm when the lights shut off. There are also many piers from which you can hop onto the river cruise or some smaller boat tours.
Sight description based on wikipedia

Walking Tours in Shanghai, China

Create Your Own Walk in Shanghai

Create Your Own Walk in Shanghai

Creating your own self-guided walk in Shanghai is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
Walking Tour of Shanghai's Huangpu District

Walking Tour of Shanghai's Huangpu District

The Huangpu district is one of Shanghai's major bustling areas. It is home to a large variety of attractions, both modern and historic. Here in the old city of Shanghai you will see the historic Bund, impressive skyscrapers, museums, theaters and so much more. The next walking tour will highlight some of the best sites the Huangpu district has to offer.

Tour Duration: 7 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 19.3 km
Luwan District Walking Tour, Shanghai

Luwan District Walking Tour, Shanghai

The Luwan district is located in the core of the huge metropolitan city of Shanghai. It boasts a rich cultural life, featuring museums and historic centers. Be sure to follow this guide if you want to visit the Site of the First National Congress of the Communist Party, Sun Yat Sen's former residence and many other interesting places.

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.7 km
Shanghai Museums Tour

Shanghai Museums Tour

With its architectural diversity, powerful economic hubs and a vibrant social life, Shanghai is highly recognized as the symbol of modern China. It is also a city boasting a rich culture and a large number of museums that show the city's devotion to its history. Get ready to explore some attractive cultural sites of Shanghai in the next self-guided tour.

Tour Duration: 5 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 14.5 km
Children's Entertainment Tour in Shanghai

Children's Entertainment Tour in Shanghai

Shanghai is one of the largest cities in the world, a destination packed with modern architecture, historic sites, museums and other attractions. It is also one of the most fun cities in China with attractions for children, including amusement parks, aquariums and one of China's best zoos. This tour guide highlights some of the fun places in Shanghai for the little travelers.

Tour Duration: 1 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.2 km
City Orientation Walking Tour I

City Orientation Walking Tour I

Unlike other ancient Chinese cities, Shanghai is more to be called the “face of modern China”. Since it was opened as a port for foreign trade, this city managed to turn into the largest and most populated metropolis in the People's Republic of China. It is a famous touristic destination for renowned historical monuments as The Bund or Longhua Temple as well as for Asia's most famous shopping area- Nanjing Lu. Here is a list of other popular attractions that you might want to check out.

Tour Duration: 7 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 17.8 km
Walking Tour: Old City of Shanghai

Walking Tour: Old City of Shanghai

The Huangpu district contains some of the best-preserved sites of old Shanghai. The old town of Shanghai is a large area that remained walled when this city was divided into foreign concessions. Take a walk around traditional Chinese buildings or make your way through a large open-air market and enjoy the delightful Yuyuan gardens. The next walking tour is all about the delights of Shanghai's old Chinese city.

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.8 km

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Whether you are in Shanghai for a quick stopover or have a few days to see the city in more detail, exploring it on foot, at your own pace, is definitely the way to go. Here are some tips for you to save money, see the best Shanghai has to offer, take good care of your feet while walking, and keep your mobile device – your ultimate "work horse" on this trip - well fed and safe.

Taking Care of Your Feet

To ensure ultimate satisfaction from a day of walking around the city as big as Shanghai, it is imperative to take good care of your feet so as to avoid unpleasant things like blisters, cold or overheated soles, itchy, irritated or otherwise damaged (cracked) skin, etc. Luckily, these days there is no shortage of remedies to address (and, ideally, to prevent) these and other potential problems with feet. Among them: Compression Socks, Rechargeable Battery-Powered Thermo Socks for Cold Weather, Foot Repair Cream, Deodorant Powder, Shoes UV Sterilizer, and many more that you may wish to find a place in your travel kit for.

Travel Gadgets for Your Mobile Device

Your mobile phone or tablet will be your work horse on a self-guided walk. They offer tour map, guide you from one attraction to another, and provide informative background for the sights you wish to visit. Therefore it is absolutely essential to plan against unexpected power outages in the wrong place at the wrong time, much as to ensure the safety of your device.

For these and other contingencies, here's the list of useful appliances: Portable Charger/External Battery Pack, Worldwide Travel Charger Adapter, Power Converter for International Travel Adapter, and Mobile Device Leash.