Old Town attractions

Top Choice Gardens in Old Town

Yùyuán Gardens & Bazaar

With its shaded alcoves, glittering pools churning with fish, pavilions, pines sprouting wistfully from rockeries and roving packs of Japanese tourists, the Yùyuán Gardens is one of Shànghǎi's premier sights – but b…
Buddhist Temple in Old Town

Chénxiānggé Monastery

Sheltering a community of dark-brown-clothed monks from the Chénhǎi (Sea of Dust) – what Buddhists call the mortal world, but which could equally refer to Shànghǎi’s murky atmosphere – this lovely yellow-walled temp…
Taoist Temple in Old Town

Temple of the Town God

Chinese towns traditionally had a Taoist temple of the town god, but many fell victim to periodic upheaval. Originally dating to the early 15th century, this particular temple was badly damaged during the Cultural R…
Museum in Old Town

World Expo Museum

Located at the former site of the 2010 Shànghǎi World Expo, this museum showcases the history of world expositions. Using old video footage, interactive displays and intricate models, the exhibit focuses on the Worl…
Buddhist Temple in Old Town

Fǎzàngjiǎng Temple

This simple but very active temple is curiously accessed from the west, rather than the south, where the entrance to Buddhist temples usually lies. The restored main hall encloses a large modern statue of Sakyamuni,…
Confucian Temple in Old Town

Confucius Temple

A modest and charming retreat, this well-tended temple to Confucius is cultivated with maples, pines, magnolias and birdsong. The layout is typically Confucian, its few worshippers complemented by ancient and venera…
Architecture in Old Town

Cool Docks

The riverside Cool Docks consist of several shíkùmén (石库门; stone-gate houses) surrounded by red-brick warehouses, near (but not quite on) the waterfront. Now full of restaurants and bars and all lit up at night, the…
Historic Site in Old Town

Dàjìng Pavilion

Dating from 1815, this pavilion contains the only preserved section of the 5km-long city walls. Also within the pavilion is a small Guandi temple, which found a new calling as a factory during the Cultural Revolutio…
Church in Old Town

Dǒngjiādù Cathedral

Just outside the Old Town and once known as St Francis Xavier Church, this magnificent whitewashed cathedral is Shànghǎi’s oldest church, built by Spanish Jesuits in 1853. A splendid sight, the church was located wi…
Beach in Old Town

Sunny Beach

Life’s a beach, even in the middle of Shànghǎi. If the sun comes out, pop down to this small but amusing artificial strip of sand right by the river and north of the Cool Docks. There you'll find a backdrop of Lùjiā…