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Guide to Shanghai for Families

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Even though Shanghai is mostly associated with business, there are plenty of activities to keep both parents and children entertained. From an immense range of bubble tea flavors to great shopping possibilities, Shanghai has something for every member of the family.

Good for
  • Family
  • History Buff
  • Art and Architecture Lover
  • Nature Lover
  • Foodie
  • Like a Local

10 Places

3 City Tips

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Map

10 Places

The Bund (Wai Tan)

Historic Walking Areas, Scenic Walking Areas, Points of Interest & Landmarks

Shanghai World Financial Center

Observation Decks & Towers

Former French Concession

Historic Walking Areas

Happy Valley of Shanghai

Theme Parks

Shanghai Ocean Aquarium

Aquariums

Yu Garden (Yuyuan)

Gardens

Shanghai IFC Mall

Shopping Malls

KuaiLe NingMeng (WuJiang Road)

Restaurants

Din Tai Fung (World Financial Center)

Restaurants

Shanghai Circus World

Architectural Buildings, Points of Interest & Landmarks, Performances

Johannes F's City Tips

  • Tipping isn't part of Chinese culture, and can even be considered impolite. Apart from guided tours, you don't need to budget for tips.
  • Get a Shanghai Public Transportation Card (SPTC) to use on the subway system. You can buy these at any station, top them up with whatever amount of credit you like, and then just pay as you go.
  • If the subway seems too stressful, take a taxi. They are cheap and you can pay with your SPTC on these too.
  • Save
    The Bund (Wai Tan)
    Historic Walking Areas, Scenic Walking Areas, Points of Interest & Landmarks
    See more photos
    Johannes F Says:

    Located in central Shanghai, the Bund is a must-see for all visitors. Also known as 'Wai Tan' (literally, 'outer bank'), the Bund is a waterfront area from which you can enjoy the best views of China's tallest and most colorful buildings.

    Good for
    • Must See
    • Thrifty Traveller
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • Couples
    • Senior
    • Family
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    Tips
    • If you plan to visit during the day, make sure to check the visibility conditions before you head out. The infamous Shanghai smog could lead to a disappointing view.
    • The view becomes even more impressive at night, when the buildings are illuminated in different colors.
    Plan to stay:
    Less than 1 hour
    From the community
    Ranked #1 of 1,363 things to do in Shanghai
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Great view 21/09/2018
    • A must do! 21/09/2018
    • The Bund (Wai Tan)
    Address:
    Zhongshan East 1st Road
    Shanghai
    China
    Hours:
    Sun - Sat
    00:00 - 23:59
  • Save
    Shanghai World Financial Center
    Observation Decks & Towers
    See more photos
    Johannes F Says:

    The Shanghai World Financial Center is not only a (very) tall building that hosts thousands of offices — it's also home to a wide range of restaurants and a 94th-floor observation deck with stunning city views, including a unique perspective on the Oriental Pearl Tower.

    Good for
    • Foodie
    • Must See
    • Luxury Traveller
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • Shopping Fanatic
    • Family
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    Tips
    • While this is definitely not the place for bargain hunters, it's absolutely worth checking out the food court. You will find just the right thing for every taste and diet here.
    • The very family-friendly front desk offers a baby stroller and wheelchair lending service, umbrellas, and even diapers.
    Plan to stay:
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #12 of 1,363 things to do in Shanghai
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Gorgeous view 21/09/2018
    • Great City View 20/09/2018
    • Shanghai World Financial Center
    Address:
    Building 1, No.100 Century Ave, Pudong New Area
    Shanghai
    China
    Phone:
    +86 21 6877 7878
    Other:
  • Save
    Former French Concession
    Historic Walking Areas
    See more photos
    Johannes F Says:

    Originally established in 1849, the Old French Concession provides an interesting contrast to Shanghai's otherwise skyscraper-heavy metropolis. The architecture of this area can almost trick visitors into believing they've traveled back in time (and also overseas...to Europe). In addition to being a good place to simply wander, the Old French Concession is home to numerous restaurants that are perfect for family meals.

    Good for
    • Foodie
    • Must See
    • Hidden Gems
    • Trendsetter
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • Couples
    • Senior
    • Shopping Fanatic
    • Family
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    • Nightlife Seeker
    Tips
    • To really admire the French Concession's architecture, be sure to take a daytime stroll.
    • Hosting numerous restaurants and bars, this place becomes quite lively at night, making it a good place for cocktails if you take a kid-free night.
    • This area also features many affordable shops, a nice contrast to most of Shanghai's shopping malls.
    Plan to stay:
    2-3 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #23 of 1,363 things to do in Shanghai
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • beautiful area 19/09/2018
    • Must visit area in Shanghai 19/09/2018
    • Former French Concession
    Address:
    Puxi Central, Huangpu District
    Shanghai 200000
    China
    Hours:
    Sun - Sat
    00:00 - 23:59
  • Save
    Happy Valley of Shanghai
    Theme Parks
    See more photos
    Johannes F Says:

    Happy Valley is one of the most popular amusement parks in China, and is definitely worth visiting with the family. While not located in the city center, it can be easily reached by metro, making it a good option for a half-day trip.

    Good for
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • Couples
    • Thrill Seeker
    • Family
    Tips
    • Go by metro line 9 to Sheshan Street, and then take the free shuttle service to the park.
    • Mornings are usually more crowded, so it's wise to visit in the afternoon.
    Plan to stay:
    More than 3 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #47 of 1,363 things to do in Shanghai
    • Happy Valley 20/07/2018
    • We went before in 2013 15/07/2018
    • Happy Valley of Shanghai
    Address:
    No.888 Linhu Road, Songjiang District
    Shanghai 201602
    China
    Other:
  • Save
    Shanghai Ocean Aquarium
    Aquariums
    See more photos
    Johannes F Says:

    The Shanghai Ocean Aquarium offers you the chance to discover coral reefs, shark coves, kelp caves, and much, much more — all whilst walking through one of the world's longest aquarium tunnels. This is also the only aquarium that has a dedicated China section.

    Good for
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • Couples
    • Senior
    • Family
    • Nature Lover
    Tips
    • Don't let the high entrance fees put you off — this aquarium is definitely worth it.
    • Plan enough time to explore this place properly. There is so much to see!
    • Go during the week to avoid the weekend crowds.
    Plan to stay:
    2-3 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #77 of 1,363 things to do in Shanghai
    • God to Kill Time 28/08/2018
    • DON’T 21/08/2018
    • Shanghai Ocean Aquarium
    Address:
    No.1388 Lujiazui Ring Road, Pudong New Area
    Shanghai 200120
    China
    Phone:
    +86 21 5877 9988
    Hours:
    Sun - Sat
    09:00 - 18:00
    Other:
  • Save
    Yu Garden (Yuyuan)
    Gardens
    See more photos
    Johannes F Says:

    The Garden of Contentment is an oasis of peace and calm among the busy streets of Shanghai. If you're looking for some quiet time after a busy morning of sightseeing in the city, then this is the perfect place to take a restful break before indulging in a little Shanghai evening entertainment. Built in 1577, this garden has a long history and many interesting areas to be explored — bring a picnic and enjoy!

    Good for
    • Peace and Quiet Seeker
    • Hidden Gems
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • Couples
    • Senior
    • Family
    • Nature Lover
    Tips
    • Don't forget to bring some snacks and sodas!
    • If you can, come here during the week to avoid larger crowds.
    • You do have to pay to enter, but it's really worth it!
    Plan to stay:
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #25 of 1,363 things to do in Shanghai
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Where History and Tourism collide 19/09/2018
    • lovely garden for a wander 19/09/2018
    • Yu Garden (Yuyuan)
    Address:
    No.218 Anren Street, Huangpu District
    near Fuyou Road
    Shanghai 200010
    China
    Phone:
    +86 21 6326 0830
    Hours:
    Sun - Sat
    08:45 - 16:15
    Other:
  • Save
    Shanghai IFC Mall
    Shopping Malls
    See more photos
    Johannes F Says:

    The Shanghai IFC Mall is one of the biggest shopping malls in China, home to numerous luxury brands and an impressive food court. While shopping here can be quite pricey, it's definitely still worth checking out the mall for its architecture, spectacular evening views, and huge range of cuisines that are sure to delight even the fussiest of eaters!

    Good for
    • Foodie
    • Must See
    • Luxury Traveller
    • Trendsetter
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • Couples
    • Senior
    • Shopping Fanatic
    • Family
    Tips
    • Given the mall's central location, you can easily combine it with a visit to the Oriental Pearl TV Tower.
    • You'll find very clean bathrooms here.
    • The food court offers a spectacular range of national and international cuisine, including several dessert-only places.
    Plan to stay:
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #45 of 1,363 things to do in Shanghai
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Luxury shopping mall, good locatio 10/09/2018
    • shopping mall 10/07/2018
    • Shanghai IFC Mall
    Address:
    8 Century Avenue, Lujiazui, Pudong New District
    Shanghai 200020
    China
    Phone:
    +86 21 2020 7000
    Hours:
    Sun - Sat
    10:00 - 22:00
    Other:
  • Save
    KuaiLe NingMeng (WuJiang Road)
    Restaurants
    See more photos
    Johannes F Says:

    A popular bubble tea cafe chain in China, Happy Lemon offers more varieties of bubble teas and fruit shakes than you could possibly count! You can get everything from traditional milk and pearl teas to new creations like banana and matcha shakes — all for very affordable prices. This is the perfect place for a refreshment stop during a busy day of attraction hunting!

    Good for
    • Foodie
    • Thrifty Traveller
    • Like a Local
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • Couples
    • Senior
    • Family
    Tips
    • If you haven't done so yet, try the traditional milk tea with tapioca pearls. It's an Asian classic.
    • You will find Happy Lemon branches everywhere in Shanghai; Wujiang Road is just an example of a particularly nice branch.
    Plan to stay:
    Less than 1 hour
    From the community
    Ranked #383 of 7,818 restaurants in Shanghai
    • Liquid Fun 25/08/2018
    • Cheap but delicious 30/12/2015
    • KuaiLe NingMeng (WuJiang Road)
    Address:
    WuJiang Road 150-1
    Shanghai
    China
    Phone:
    +86 21 6267 5831
  • Save
    Din Tai Fung (World Financial Center)
    Restaurants (Chinese, Asian, Taiwanese)
    See more photos
    Johannes F Says:

    You can find branches of this famous Taiwanese restaurant chain throughout Asia. Mostly famous for its soup dumplings, Din Tai Fung offers a wide range of traditional Chinese and Taiwanese dishes. Most of these are designed to be shared, enabling you to get a little taste of everything when you visit with your family.

    Good for
    • Foodie
    • Like a Local
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • Couples
    • Senior
    • Family
    Tips
    • There are lots of options for vegetarians.
    • If you can't decide what to order, ask a server for recommendations.
    • Din Tai Fung was named one of the top 10 restaurants in the world by the New York Times.
    • You will be surprised by how affordable this restaurant is.
    Plan to stay:
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #58 of 7,818 restaurants in Shanghai
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Lemongrass drink and dumplings! 19/09/2018
    • best dumplings 14/09/2018
    • Din Tai Fung (World Financial Center)
    Address:
    3F, Shanghai World Financial Center, 100 Century Avenue
    Shanghai
    China
    Phone:
    +86 21 6877 6886
    Hours:
    Sun - Sat
    10:30 - 22:00
    Other:
  • Save
    Shanghai Circus World
    Architectural Buildings, Points of Interest & Landmarks, Performances
    See more photos
    Johannes F Says:

    Shanghai Circus World is a permanent indoor circus, specializing in acrobatic and vocal arts. Famous beyond China's borders, Circus World is a well-established institution, known for its breathtaking shows featuring traditional Chinese acrobatics and music that will impress kids and adults alike.

    Good for
    • Must See
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • Couples
    • Senior
    • Family
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    Tips
    • Food and drinks are quite pricey here. Consider eating/buying some snacks before you arrive.
    • You can easily get here by metro.
    Plan to stay:
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #3 of 33 Concerts & Shows in Shanghai
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Amazing Performances! 17/09/2018
    • Shanghai circus world 07/09/2018
    • Shanghai Circus World
    Address:
    No.2266 Gonghexin Road, Zhabei District
    Shanghai 200072
    China
    Phone:
    +86 21 6652 5468
    Hours:
    Sun - Sat
    09:00 - 20:30
    Other:
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