Connecting travellers to guides around the world


The Best Things to do for Free in Shanghai

The Best Things to do for Free in Shanghai

Behind the glitz and glamour of Shanghai are some incredible gems waiting to be explored. And there’s even better news; there is so much that one can do and so many places one can see... all for free! Here’s a shortlist to get started and add to as you get into the vibe of this intriguing cosmopolitan city that still has a firm grasp on its history and culture.

Start your day with some exercise…

Tai Chi

Join the thousands of Shanghai residents that congregate in Shanghai’s parks for their daily exercise routine. You may find some ballroom dancing groups but most common are the tai chi groups greeting the day with their gentle movements. The Bund was once the preferred site for the morning crowd but since it was refurbished it has yet to persuade all the residents back. However it still gets the best morning light so a morning sojourn at the Bund is highly recommended. 

Take in a bit of France…

French Concession

Shanghai was once home to many colonial districts but these are now rare to come across. The French Concession is probably the most fascinating and is full of beautiful villas, houses and other buildings from the 1920s and 1930s. The French really left their stamp on this area with art deco touches found across the locality. The district is a lovely place to just wander around and explore. Do remember to find a great local guide to explore!

Visit the Sculpture Garden…

Sculpture Garden

 Jing'an Sculpture Park is located on the Beijing West Road, west of the North-South Expressway. It is an oasis of calm, consisting of greenery among the surrounding high-rise apartment blocks. This 15-acre park has iconic works made from stone, steel and other materials by artists from all over the world including Jim Dine, Wim Delvoye and Ram Katzir. This is not just an artistic display but the park is a wonderfully family-friendly area, which is used by the nearby residents, particularly over the weekend.

Immerse yourself in Zhujiajiao…


Often referred to, as the ‘Venice of Shanghai’ this ancient water town is a beautiful labyrinth of waterways and canals. Distinctive bridges, ancient buildings from the Qing and Ming dynasties set amongst distinguished gardens set the tone for this ancient town ensconced between lakes and mountains. Narrow alleyways play host to a number of lovely cafes and shops and you will find it hard to not succumb to it’s charms while strolling down its enchanting streets.

Learn about China at the Shanghai Museum


It’s hard to miss the Shanghai Museum due to its brilliantly distinctive architecture of a spherical disc upon a square building. Boasting some of the most valuable and diverse artefacts in China, the museum is often heralded as the best in China. Tourists in particular find the museum hugely interesting as they have taken the time to display information in English so all can appreciate the treasures they have on display. You can visit the museum from 9am – 5pm every day.



Picture Credits and License Details: (User Brian Robinson), (User Discopalace), (User Ben Burkland Carolyn Cook), (User Jonathan),  (User qiaomeng)