shanghai free things to do

Here are 6 free (and nearly free!) things to do in Shanghai

If you’re lucky enough to visit this exciting city and are happy to crowd in with other tourists, Shanghai’s budget sights should definitely be on your to-do list. Here are our top 8 free (or almost free) things to do in this dynamic city.

The Bund waterfront

The Bund is a glistening waterfront where you can see Shanghai’s stunning skyline come to life at night. Gaze at some of China’s most impressive architectural buildings and modern wanders across the river in Pudong. Head here in the early evening to savour the light displays as they’re turned off at 10pm.

Shanghai Museum

China’s collection of ancient art relics is beyond impressive. This museum exhibits a legacy left by the cultures of bygone eras, including the Ming and Qing dynasties. Ceramics, ancient coins, costumers, bronzes and jade artifacts are displayed across the four floors of the museum. The best part? It’s free to enter.

Tianzifang’s alleyways

Expect a lively atmosphere and colourfully decorated shop fronts in this shopping area. Tianzifang is a place at the edge of the French Connection of alleys lined with craft shops, food stands and bars. Shoppers looking for the best bargains must come here, and be prepared for a haggle with the shopkeepers!

Ferry and walk around Binjiang Dadao

One of the best value activities in Shanghai, for ¥2 (less than 30p!) you can take a scenic trip across the Huangpu River, taking you to the Binjiang Dadao riverside walk. The waterfront setting here is a great spot to appreciate the impressive heights of Shanghai’s architectural buildings: Shanghai Tower, the Oriental Pearl TV Tower and the Shanghai World Financial Centre.

A stroll through French Concession

No visit to Shanghai is complete without a stroll through the charming and stylish French Concession. A place that was once a French neighbourhood is now packed with cafes, boutiques, restaurants and lively bars. Nanchang Road is a notable street where you can find fresh hand-pulled noodles at Lanzhou Lamian for a cheap price.

Fuxing Park

Overflowing with culture and community spirit, this park isn’t one for a moment of calm. It’s host to lively local Shaingainese groups performing singing, dancing, tai chi, flying kites, and playing traditional musical instruments – all in perfect harmony.


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