Things to Do in Shanghai with Teens during Your Vacation

If you are thinking of taking your family, teenagers included, on vacation to Shanghai, prepare to be amazed by what this charming city has to offer. Teenagers can be a difficult cohort to please at times, but Shanghai City has plenty of teen-friendly activities and places to visit that will keep them excited all through.

Some of these activities and popular Shanghai attractions include

  • Shanghai Zoo
  • Yu Garden
  • Shanghai Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Tour
  • Happy Valley Shanghai Theme Park
  • Pujiang River Cruise Tour
  • Jin Mao Tower Observation Deck
  • and more…

Save on Admission to Attractions Teens Will Love

Many of these must-see attractions and things to do in Shanghai with teens are available on the Go Shanghai Card.

Choose as you go from lots of popular Shanghai attractions and save up to 30% off combined admission vs. paying at the gate.

See all available Shanghai passes, attractions, & prices – Learn more.

Please keep in mind that some of the attractions listed in this post may be separately ticketed and not be currently included with the Go Shanghai Card.

Shanghai World Financial Center

View of the iconic Shanghai World Financial building

Visit one of the world’s top ten tallest buildings right in the heart of the Pudong District.

Zoom up to the 97th and 100th floors for panoramic views of Shanghai and beyond. You’ll have access to SkyWalk 94, complete with floor-to-ceiling windows for an all-encompassing view, SkyWalk 97, an open-air roof deck, and SkyWak 100, the most exciting floor of them all – here you’ll find transparent glass floors.

There are so many different ways to take in Shanghai, you quite literally won’t miss a thing at Shanghai World Financial Center.

Getting in: Shanghai World Financial Center tickets are included on Go Shanghai Card.

Shanghai Zoo

Panda bears at the Shanghai Zoo

For the teen animal lovers, Shanghai Zoo is the perfect place to check out and interact with thousands of animals. The zoo plays home to more than 6,000 animals, with over 600 of them being rare species. It is located next to Hongqiao International Airport in the western region of the city.

The animals originate from all over the world and include South China Tigers, giant pandas, alligators, giraffes, penguins, pythons, kangaroos, and ostriches among many more. One of the rare and unique animal species at the Zoo is the golden monkey.

The Zoo also has the largest number of gorillas in China and boasts of over one hundred thousand trees planted in its vicinity.

Getting in: Shanghai Zoo tickets are included with the Go Shanghai Card.

Yu Garden

Yu Garden is a fascinating place for your adventurous teens to explore when in Shanghai. It is a classic Chinese garden with a 400-year old history. The Garden was built by a government official during the Ming dynasty as a place for his aging parents to relax in their late years.

Over its 400 years of existence, it has undergone through significant changes including changing owners. It has been severely damaged and restored numerous times.  Today, it has plenty of attractions that your teens will love. From halls to pavilions, streams, rockeries, cloisters, and ponds – all with unique features – Yu Garden is a photography jewel.

Make sure to check out the Exquisite Jade Rock, often referred to as the true treasure of Yu Garden. It’s over 3 meters tall and has 72 holes. Try burning something (of course with the help of a guide) under the rock and observe how the smoke behaves. You can also pour some liquid into the rock from the top and watch the result. It will be a sight to behold.

Getting in: Yu Garden tickets are included with the Go Shanghai Card.

Shanghai Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Tour

Teens are highly active, and they love exploring many places at once – or one after the other – before taking rests. The Shanghai sightseeing bus is a perfect way to quench their insatiable exploration thirst. With a hop-on-hop-off bus, they can visit Shanghai’s historical highlights, striking landmarks, and alluring attractions sites.

They will pass through top attraction sites like Yu Garden, Nanpu Bridge, People’s Plaza, and Jade Buddha Temple among others. They will enjoy onboard audio complimentary in different languages, and they can disembark from the bus and explore sites further whenever they want to.

There are various different package options to choose from depending on the bus company you decide to tour with around the city. They vary depending on tour hours, the route taken and attractions visited or activities engaged in during the tour. You can also get your teens a package that takes them on a cruise of the Huangpu River so that they can observe the city’s attractions from a different perspective.

Getting in: Shanghai Hop-On Hop-Off Sightseeing Bus Tour tickets are included with the Go Shanghai Card.

Happy Valley Shanghai Theme Park

You must take your teenagers to visit the Happy Valley Shanghai theme park. This theme park is famous for its big rides, beautiful scenery and plenty of exciting amusement activities. It is made up of seven main zones with different themes, and they include the Sunshine Harbor, Typhoon Bay, Happy Ocean, Gold Mine Town, Shangri-la Woods, Happy Times, and Shanghai Bund.

Your teens will most likely love the park for its big rides. At the Shanghai Beach, there is a huge drop-coaster commonly referred to as the “king of coasters.” It drops down 60 meters, giving riders a thrilling experience like no other. It also pauses at the top to offer those on board a spectacular view of the beautiful scenery below.

There is also a Gyro Swing in the Shanghai Beach which can rise up to 15 stories to give you great views of the area below. The Happy Times area boasts of China’s first wooden roller coaster. Your teens will love the exhilarating ride on this coaster as it is protected against the elements and one can hear the wood creaking as they move.

The Gold Mine Town also has plenty to offer. There is a high speed and high altitude mine cart that delivers an intense adrenaline rush. In addition, there is a theater in the area with plenty of shows and performances such as acrobatics and circus.

The whole park has so much more to offer that one day won’t be enough to cover it all.

Getting in: Happy Valley Shanghai Theme Park tickets are included with the Go Shanghai Card.

Pujiang River Cruise Tour

A cruise tour on the mother river of Shanghai City, after a whole day of thrilling tour adventure, is a must for you and your entire family. It is the perfect way to relax and get lost in the beauty of Shanghai’s landmarks through an alternate perspective.

Pujiang river cruise at night gives you the opportunity to view the brightly-lit lands on both sides of the river. One side features some classic European architecture while the other basks in modern architecture glory. Most of the skyscrapers on the western bank including the Jinmao Tower, Oriental Pearl and Shanghai World Financial Center are clearly visible from the river.

At night, the river is veiled in dazzling neon lights on either side. Your teens will enjoy taking pictures of the incredible river, landmarks, and skyline from this perspective.

There are many cruise options to choose from, and they vary in capacity, size, amenities, and decoration. You can also choose the length of tour duration you prefer.

Getting in: Pujiang River Cruise tickets are included with the Go Shanghai Card.

Jin Mao Tower Observation Deck

view from the Jin Mao Tower Observation Deck in Shanghai

The Jinmao Tower is the third tallest skyscraper in Shanghai after the Shanghai Tower and the Shanghai World Financial Center. Visit the tower with your family and get to the observation deck located at its top-most floor (88th floor) for a breathtaking view of the city from above. The floor can fit up to 1000 people at a time.

The tower also features a skywalk that lets visitors “wander in the clouds.” The skywalk is a 60-meter-long glass walking platform with no rails located on the 88th observation floor. From here, you can test your height fears and enjoy scenic views of the city and river below.

Getting in: Jin Mao Tower Observation Deck tickets are included with the Go Shanghai Card.

Shanghai Ocean Aquarium

The Shanghai Ocean Aquarium is a great attraction site for any age group, and your teens will surely love it. Located in Pudong District and just next to the famous Oriental Pearl TV & radio tower, this aquarium is the biggest in Asia. It is comprised of 4 underwater tunnels with a total length of 168 meters which are considered to be the longest submarine tunnels on earth.

Your teens will be treated to exceptional marine life exploration of more than 15,000 unique water creatures and rare types of fish. They are collections from all over the world, and the aquarium is divided into several zones such as the China Zone, Africa Zone and South America Zone among others. Each zone displays creatures collected from that zone.

Overall, the aquarium will give your teens a tour of the world’s five continents and the marine life in their four Oceans. They will enjoy taking hundreds of pictures and sharing them with their friends or followers on social media.

Let’s Recap

These are the most popular things to do in Shanghai for teens.

From observation decks and museums to theme parks and zoos, there’s something that every teenager will enjoy.

Consider visiting some of these attractions on your next trip to Shanghai with teens and you’ll fall in love with this city. Whether you’re traveling with family or friends, you’re sure to have a blast.

Don’t forget to pick up a Go Shanghai Card and save up to 30% on combined admission prices. Happy travels!

The information contained in this post, to the best of the author's knowledge, was accurate at time of publishing. We do our best to ensure and maintain the accuracy of this information.

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