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Top 7 Free Things to Do in Shanghai

With plenty of famous attractions in Shanghai, there will always be something for you to do and have fun. A trip in Shanghai can be expensive, however, there are specific things to do for free in Shanghai, no matter for beautiful sceneries or splendid culture. If you want to spend less money on your Shanghai tour, the following discussion on the top 7 free things to do in Shanghai may be helpful.


1.Enjoy Fabulous Views along The Bund

No one will ever miss the fabulous views along The Bund. As one of the representative sceneries of Shanghai, The Bund generously show its glamor from day to night. When strolling around The Bund, you can closely feel the long history from the colonial architectures alongside. Meanwhile, the skyscrapers along Huangpu River display modern examples of how fast China has developed in the recent years.

Top free things to do in Shanghai
The Bund


2.Explore Shanghai Museum

Want to know more about history and culture of Shanghai? Don’t hesitate to pay a visit to the Shanghai Museum, it’s free to enter. Being one of China’s best collections of treasures, Shanghai Museum, with 4 floors for you to explore, processes over 120,000 precious historical relics from the Ming and Qing dynasties. Bronzes, jade pieces, calligraphies, porcelains and other artifacts are exhibited here, which are impressive enough for visitors from all over the world. You’d better head over in the early morning.

Top free things to do in Shanghai
Shanghai Museum


3.Stroll around Famous Streets in Shanghai

Looking for free things to do in Shanghai? Honestly, a lot of walking will be involved. You can consider some famous streets in Shanghai if you like, as you eat, shop and buy something along your way.

Top free things to do in Shanghai

  • Nanjing Road is the most famous commercial street in Shanghai, leading the main fashion in this prosperous city. Here in Nanjing Road, you may admire the graceful buildings around, and witness the fast development of Chinese commerce.
  • Xintiandi is a popular entertainment area among tourists, where you can shop, get entertained, and seek for something delicious to eat. Architectures here have both traditional and modern elements, which are really beautiful.
  • Tianzifang is also a wonderful area for you to stroll around and do some shopping. Except for appreciating ancient architectures, it will be great to get lost in some small shops and food stalls along the twisting lanes in Tianzifang.


4.Meet the Locals in Shanghai’s Parks

Local parks are ideal places for you to know folk culture. Many parks in Shanghai are free to enter, it’s a great idea to take a stroll in one or two parks to experience the local life in Shanghai. Many locals prefer to do some morning exercises in the parks, such as dancing, playing Tai Chi or chess. You can either take part in some activities, or go for a picnic.

Fuxing Park, Zhongshan Park and People’s Park good choices. Check out the match-making market in People’s Park, you may have a glimpse of modern life in China. Lots of parents will go to the marriage market of People’s Park to find perfect partners for their daughters and sons.


5.Learn Morden Art at the M50 Creative Garden

For art lovers, visiting M50 Creative Garden will be one of the best free thing to do in Shanghai. Located at the Moganshan Road, M50 is a contemporary art district with various galleries and innovative exhibitions. You can spend some time here and share your ideas with modern artists, as lots of Chinese artists use the space for their galleries.


6.Walk along Shanghai French Concession

If you’re looking for more places for an enjoyable walking tour in Shanghai, you won’t regret a walk through the French Concession. As there are trees along the streets and quiet lanes, the comfortable atmosphere here is great for you to take a walk and appreciate characteristic French architectures, biking will be great as well. Besides, there are lots of restaurants, cafes and concept bars, you will never get bored.


7.Visit Ancient Water Towns near Shanghai

Ancient water towns near Shanghai provide you perfect opportunities to experience the historical atmosphere. For some water towns, you may enter for free.

Top free things to do in Shanghai
Zhujiajiao Ancient Town

  • Zhujiajiao Ancient Town is famous for the fine combination of water sceneries of canal, lakes and the well-preserved buildings and old bridges. It is regarded as the Venice in Shanghai.
  • Qibao Ancient Town is the nearest water town, public transportation is available. Even though this town is small in size, you can enjoy a great time among the ancient architectures. Don’t forget to visit Qibao Temple and Qibao Old Street.


Plan Your Personal Shanghai Tour

By knowing the top free things to do in Shanghai, you may save your budget for an enjoyable Shanghai tour. Please feel free to let us know if you need any help when planning your trip to Shanghai, or you can check our sample tours below if you like.

Top free things to do in Shanghai
Customers from Top China Travel


  • 4 Days Shanghai to Putuoshan Island Tour: Jade Buddha Temple, Yuyuan Garden, Shanghai Financial Center, the Bund, Xintiandi, Putuoshan Island (Purple Bamboo Forest, Giant Avalokitesvara Buddha Statue, Puji Temple, Fayu Temple)
  • Tailor-made Shanghai Tour: share us with information about your travel date and any other requirements, we’re glad to help you out with a suitable tailor-made Shanghai tour