How to escape the intensity of Shanghai

Enjoy Shanghai Environment without hassle

Shanghai, a city that never sleeps, is a bustling metropolis with a vibrant energy that can sometimes be overwhelming. Amidst the towering skyscrapers, neon lights, and ceaseless activity, finding a peaceful retreat might seem impossible. However, there are plenty of ways to escape the intensity of Shanghai and discover the city’s more tranquil side. Whether you’re a visitor or a local looking for a break, here are some tips to help you unwind and enjoy a different pace of life in this dynamic city.

1. Discover the Tranquil Gardens

Yu Garden

Yu Garden, located in the heart of the city, is a classic example of traditional Chinese garden design. With its pavilions, rockeries, ponds, and ancient trees, it offers a serene escape from the urban chaos. Stroll through its winding paths, admire the intricate architecture, and enjoy the peaceful ambiance.

Jing’an Sculpture Park

Jing’an Sculpture Park is a modern green space that combines art and nature. The park features contemporary sculptures, lush greenery, and quiet spots perfect for relaxation. It’s a great place to take a leisurely walk, read a book, or simply enjoy the beauty of the surroundings.

2. Explore the Watery Retreats

Zhujiajiao Water Town

Zhujiajiao, also known as the “Venice of Shanghai,” is an ancient water town located on the outskirts of the city. With its charming canals, stone bridges, and traditional buildings, it provides a picturesque escape. Take a boat ride along the canals, explore the narrow streets, and savor local delicacies at the riverside cafes.

Qibao Ancient Town

Qibao Ancient Town, located closer to the city center, is another water town that offers a glimpse into Shanghai’s history. Wander through its ancient alleyways, visit the Qibao Temple, and sample snacks from street vendors. The town’s serene environment makes it an ideal spot for a day trip.

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3. Enjoy the Serenity of Temples

Jade Buddha Temple

The Jade Buddha Temple is a peaceful sanctuary in the midst of Shanghai’s hustle and bustle. Home to two exquisite jade Buddha statues, this temple offers a quiet place for reflection and meditation. Wander through the temple grounds, light incense, and soak in the tranquil atmosphere.

Longhua Temple

Longhua Temple, the oldest and largest temple in Shanghai, is another excellent retreat. Its beautiful gardens, ancient pagoda, and serene courtyards provide a calming environment. Attend a Buddhist ceremony or simply enjoy the peaceful surroundings.

4. Take a Break by the Water

The Bund

While The Bund is known for its iconic skyline views and vibrant nightlife, it can also be a place of relaxation, especially early in the morning or late at night. Take a leisurely stroll along the waterfront promenade, enjoy the cool breeze, and watch the boats sail by. The Bund’s beauty is particularly enchanting at sunrise and sunset.

Century Park

Century Park, located in Pudong, is the largest park in Shanghai and offers a variety of recreational activities. Rent a bike and explore the park’s extensive trails, have a picnic by the lake, or simply relax on the grassy lawns. The park’s natural beauty and tranquility make it a perfect escape from the city.

5. Indulge in Wellness Activities

Spa and Massage

Shanghai boasts numerous spas and wellness centers where you can pamper yourself and unwind. Enjoy a soothing massage, rejuvenating facial, or a relaxing soak in a hot spring. Many spas offer traditional Chinese treatments that can help relieve stress and rejuvenate your body and mind.

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Yoga and Meditation Centers

Join a yoga or meditation class to find inner peace and balance. There are several studios and centers in Shanghai that offer classes for all levels. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced practitioner, you’ll find a welcoming community and a chance to disconnect from the city’s fast pace.

6. Explore the Art and Culture Scene

M50 Creative Park

M50 Creative Park is an artistic haven located in a former industrial area. The complex houses numerous galleries, studios, and cafes, offering a creative escape from the urban rush. Wander through the exhibitions, interact with local artists, and immerse yourself in Shanghai’s vibrant art scene.

Shanghai Museum

For a more cultural retreat, visit the Shanghai Museum. This world-class institution features an extensive collection of Chinese art and artifacts. Spend a few hours exploring its galleries, learning about China’s rich history, and enjoying the quiet, contemplative atmosphere.

7. Savor Culinary Delights


Escape the hustle and bustle by visiting one of Shanghai’s traditional teahouses. Enjoy a cup of fragrant tea, taste delicate snacks, and immerse yourself in the timeless ritual of tea drinking. Teahouses provide a tranquil setting where you can relax and recharge.

Hidden Cafes and Bistros

Shanghai is home to many hidden gems when it comes to cafes and bistros. Seek out these cozy spots where you can enjoy a quiet meal, sip on a delicious coffee, and watch the world go by. These hidden eateries often have a unique charm that offers a welcome break from the city’s intensity.