Photograph by Justin Guariglia
Today’s Shanghai is a model of progress—not just in China but in all the world. In just a few short decades, the city—known in pre-communist years for its glitz and glamour—has reestablished itself as one of Asia’s most vibrant, forward-thinking, and cosmopolitan places to visit. “This is a city with its foot on the accelerator 24 hours a day, blasting off into the future at speeds that leave little time for nostalgia,” says local journalist Richard Baimbridge. But if you really want nostalgia, among the thrumming nightlife and gourmet restaurants, Shanghai has that, too: Neoclassical architecture, Mao memorabilia, historic museums, authentic food down gritty alleyways—all these and more await.
See the many faces of China's most magnetic city and marketplace to the world.
Our experts recommend the top attractions in and around Shanghai—with advice on how to get the most out of your visit.
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Even in China—a country known for mass production—some things remain provably real.
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