Attractions Nearby Shanghai, Day Trips and Excursions
Although Shanghai may be bursting with attractions and historic monuments, many tourists choose to venture outside of the city and explore the many sights around the surrounding towns and cities.
Close to Shanghai, the attractions in Shaoxing include a particularly stunning pagoda, while nearby Suzhou is also known for its elaborately decorated temples and pagodas.
Further attractions lies within the cities of Hangzhou and Wuxi, where you will find much more than just shops and restaurants.
Suzhou lies in the Jiangsu province, to the north-west of Shanghai. With a population approaching six million, many charming small canals, historic city walls, and many cobblestone alleyways, the main attractions at Suzhou are its beautiful classical gardens, with the Garden for Lingering In, off Liuyuan Lu, being especially attractive and dating back to the Ming Dynasty. Further attractions include the Blue Wave Pavilion gardens, the secluded Couple's Garden, the West Garden Temple, the Humble Administrator's Garden, the Suzhou Silk Museum, the Museum of Opera and Theatre, the North Temple Pagoda, and the seven-storey Twin Pagodas, constructed during the Northern Song dynasty. The attractions at Suzhou can be reached from Shanghai in around one hour by train and warrants exploration.
Shaoxing is an important city with a population exceeding four million and plenty to see and do. Standing to the south-west of Shanghai, Shaoxing is located next to the Zhèjiang plain. Attractions at Zhèjiang are numerous and varied, with highlights including Lu Xun's Former Residence, Zhou Enlai's Ancestral Home, the East Lake Temple and also the Yingtian Pagoda, which offers panoramic views from the top.
Hangzhou is often described by the Chinese as a true paradise and can be found on the south-western side of Shanghai, on the east Coast of China and next to the Hangzhou Bay. The city of Hangzhou has a population of more than six million and the Chinese rank this city amongst their top tourist attractions, due to its stunning West Lake, which has inspired countless artists and poets over the years. West Lake is actually so famous that over 30 other lakes around China have been named after it.
Also worth a look are the attractions on the lake's Gu Hill Island, where you will find the Zhejiang Provincial Museum and the Zhongshan Park. Nearby and all within driving distance of Shanghai, the Hangzhou Botanical Gardens, Red Carp Pond, Lingyin Temple, Liuhe Pagoda and the Mausoleum of General Yue Fei are all also impressive attractions and worth a look.
Wuxi is a good place to stop off when travelling between Nanjing and Suzhou, being sited directly west of Shanghai. Around four million people live in the busy city of Wuxi and whilst there aren't many attractions here, close by, the freshwater lake of Tai Hu is also popular with tourists and features around 90 islands and a thriving fishing industry. Around Wuxi is a network of attractive canals, with the Grand Canal dissecting the city.