With its stunning modern skyline, thriving riverfront neighborhoods, world class restaurants and variety of day trip options to quaint rural villages, Shanghai is one of Asia’s most romantic destinations. Whether for Valentine’s Day, a honeymoon, anniversary or just because, come let Shanghai seduce you.
When you want to cozy up with a loved one in Shanghai, the Bund immediately comes to mind. Stroll past the historic buildings of the French Concession, and as the sun sets, watch the skyline light up and reflect off the Huangpu River. If your feet get tired, hop on a Huangpu River cruise and take in the sights as you slowly drift by. To experience romance like a local, spend an afternoon at Shanghai Film Park, a collection of regularly used film sets reminiscent of Shanghai in the 1930s. Chinese couples come here frequently to take wedding photos. Recreate that iconic Sleepless in Seattle scene atop Shanghai’s tallest skyscraper, the World Financial Center, and see the city from above.
Parks & Gardens
Shanghai has some lovely green spaces, perfect for a romantic afternoon picnic. People’s Park is Shanghai’s version of Central Park, and it’s the best place to go for a leisurely stroll or some entertaining people watching. On Saturdays, the park has a longstanding and somewhat bizarre tradition of hosting a marriage market. Locals — and sometimes their parents — hang dating classified from lines between the trees, and hopeful romantics come to find that perfect mate. For something a bit quieter, and one of the most romantic things to do in Shanghai, visit the Yuyuan Gardens in the heart of the Old City.
Many a small town surrounding Shanghai have been called “Venice of the East” for their ancient waterways, stone bridges and traditional houses. With little or no automobile traffic, these pedestrian-friendly towns are well worth spending a day exploring with that special someone. For a combination of quaint waterways and well-preserved Chinese gardens, Suzhou is a good bet. Zhouzhuang, the oldest of China’s water villages, offers accommodations overnight and is particularly idyllic in the early morning hours before the day trippers arrive. The lakes, canals, pagodas and parks of Hangzhou make it a favorite romantic getaway destination with domestic tourists.