Shanghai has existed for centuries but only grew to enormous sizes after becoming a major hub of China's trade in the 1840's. By the early 20th century, it was the largest and most prosperous city in the Far East and a major destination for both tourism and business.
This modern international city offers tons of options for sightseeing. The main highlight of Shanghai is the Bund - a famous high-tech waterfront area regarded as the symbol of Shanghai’s neoteric history, standing on west bank of Huangpu River. After Shanghai was established as a trading port in 1846, a big street was paved here, the riversides were reinforced and rows of commercial buildings were constructed. By the end of 19th century the Bund became a major financial hub of Eastern Asia. Today there are 26 various buildings with different architectural styles representing Shanghai’s ‘yesterday, today and tomorrow’.
Of course the awe-inspiring 492m skyscraper and the city's most recognized landmark - Shanghai World Financial Center can't be left unseen. The construction of the tower was finished in 2008, today the building encompasses shopping malls, meeting facilities, a hotel and offices, yet the most astonishing sight of this 101-floor building is its fabulous sightseeing halls. The three observation decks on levels 94, 97 and 100, will provide you with the most stunning panoramic view of Shanghai.
Another sight worth seeing is the elegant private Yuyuan Garden located in the center of Shanghai's Old City. This prestigious classical southern garden has a total area of about two hectares (five acres) with more than 40 appealing attractions. The garden is believed to have been built in 1577 by a government officer. The name of the garden - “Yu” means 'peaceful' in Chinese, and today it is a complex of Chinese southern gardening traditions and bazaars.
The Jade Buddha Temple is also worth a visit. The famous Buddhist temple of Shanghai was built in 1882 to keep two precious jade Buddha statues brought from Burma by a ‘Huigen’ monk. The original temple was destructed, yet the two jade statues were saved and are currently displayed in the temple rebuilt in 1928.
All in all, the magical ‘oriental pearl’ - Shanghai has countless options for sightseeing, and no matter you choose you will certainly remember this stylish metropolis for a long time.