Longhua Temple picture
Christoph Dietrich/Getty Images

Key Info

2853 Longhua Road

Details

Churches/Religious Sites, Monuments and Memorials Type
1 to 2 hours Time to Spend
4.2scorecard
  • 4.5Value
  • 4.5Facilities
  • 4.0Atmosphere

As Shanghai's oldest and largest religious complex, Longhua Temple is a natural tourist attraction, drawing droves of travelers. The temple was built in the 10th century and is named after the pipal tree where Buddha is said to have reached enlightenment. It's staggering seven-story pagoda is easy to spot, though much more lies within. Take time to explore the five main halls each filled to the brim with ornate sculptures, including numerous buddhas. Also take time to marvel at the more than 14,000-pound bell located in the bell and drum tower near the entrance. And if you're visiting Shanghai in the spring, expect hordes of peach blossoms to make appearances in your photographs. Unfortunately, the most photogenic point of the property, the pagoda, is not open for exploration. 

Recent visitors found the Longhua Temple peaceful and enjoyed being able to witness locals in worship. Many also strongly recommended visiting during the week, as the weekends bring in the most tourists and can become quite crowded. Travelers who reported visiting at peak days of the week and popular times of the year reported admission prices surging, especially during Chinese New Year. 

The Longhua Temple is located south of downtown and is accessible via the Longhua metro station. Admission is reportedly 10 yuan (about $1.50); visitors are welcome every day between 7 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. For more information, consult the Shanghai tourism board's website.

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#1 The Bund

Shanghai's picturesque waterfront, known as "the Bund," is where you'll find those classic skyline photo ops. With the Oriental Pearl TV Tower, the Shanghai World Financial Center and other skyscrapers standing across the Huangpu River, the view (on a clear day) stuns. And behind you, gorgeous European-style buildings housing restaurants and shops (Nanjing Road is just around the corner) line the waterfront boulevard, affording plenty of activities.

Though a gateway to other attractions, the views from the Bund were the only thing on most travelers minds. Visitors consistently report being in complete awe of Shanghai's skyline, so much so that some said skipping this attraction would be like skipping the Eiffel Tower in Paris. Most agreed the best time is to go at night  the skyscrapers illuminated in different colors create an unbeatable photo op. Not only that, but smog can occur during the day, and depending on the weather, can hinder one's first-time viewing experience. But whichever time you decide to visit, know that many other people want to experience this picture perfect moment too  so expect crowds around the clock. And considering the immense tourist traffic the Bund receives, vendors and pesky hawkers set up shop here too. 

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