On the map for over a thousand years, Shanghai didn’t rise to prominence until the 1840s, but was the largest city in China by the 1930s. Today, it is the largest seaport in China and the third largest in the world. With a port that can accommodate three large oceanliners at a time, the city is a prime departure point for cruises heading to Korea or Japan. As host of the World Expo in 2010, Shanghai saw more visitors than ever before.
How to Get to Shanghai
If you are arriving on an international cruise, you will disembark at one of two ports in Shanghai: the Shanghai Port International Cruise Terminal, located in the North Bund Area in Hongkou District near downtown Shanghai, or the Wusong International Cruise Terminal, about 24 miles from downtown. From the Shanghai Port, many attractions will be within walking distance, or you can catch the metro at the nearby Nanjing East station to reach other parts of the city. Arriving at Wusong, your ship will likely offer a free shuttle into the center of Shanghai.
One Day in Shanghai
Start your day by visiting one of Shanghai’s most popular attractions – the Oriental Pearl TV Tower. Standing next to the Huangpu River and rising more than 1,500 feet in the air, it is the tallest TV tower in Asia. Then, make your way to the Shanghai Museum, home to more than 120,000 pieces of ancient Chinese art, including pottery, paintings, calligraphies and bronze pieces.
Next, head to Nanjing Road, a 3-mile long strip with more than 600 shops to explore. You could easily spend the rest of your afternoon here, but if you need an escape, Yuyuan Garden is the place to go. As the largest of Shanghai’s ancient gardens, it consists of traditional buildings and markets, as well as six different garden areas, each in a different style. You might also pay a visit to the Jade Buddha Temple, one of the most famous Buddhist temples in Shanghai.
Take a break to visit one of the city’s many tea houses and then take some time to check out the Bund, with its impressive, European-style buildings and superb nighttime view of a glittering, glowing Shanghai.
You will likely need to get a visa in advance of your trip to China. The official language is Mandarin Chinese and the official currency is the Yuan. ATMs are widely available and you should be able to exchange money at most banks by showing your passport.