Arguably the most international, trendy, and bustling city in all of China, Shanghai has no shortage of fun to offer travelers. The city’s name is an apt descriptor, with Shanghai (上海) directly translating to upon/on (上/shang) the sea (海/hai). While each of my trips there has been shorter than I would have liked, Shanghai has always held a special place in my heart as one of those cities that leaves a lasting impression. You might visit for the breathtaking views, the food, or the nightlife, but the warm and welcoming vibe of the city will make you want to stay. What’s really cool about Shanghai is that it makes you constantly curious for more; the diversity of interactions you’ll experience are different from other cities, and it brings you down to earth in a humbling way. A city full of history, Shanghai is a rich cultural mecca, and even if you’ve lived in Shanghai all your life, you could never see everything, because the city is constantly evolving, growing, and expanding, moving faster than anyone could ever keep up with.
While Shanghai is amazing and all, it might be a little overwhelming, thanks to a population of over 24 million (three times the size of NYC!) and so much to see that you don’t even know where to start. If it’s your first time in Shanghai, here’s a NYLON-approved list of places for you to check out. It’s impossible to do all of the great things there are to do in Shanghai, but these should give you a pretty good head start.