10 Shanghai Photography Locations I Can’t Stop Returning To

shanghai photos

If you’re a photographer on your way to Shanghai or China, or if you’re on a trip and want to get the best Shanghai photos you can, look no further. We’re tell you the popular locations.

Shanghai photos capture endless skyline, full of fog and massive buildings that will inspire you from every angle and point of view. No matter your passion, you’ll find beautiful people, places, and things to photograph in Shanghai.

Shanghai has no shortage of memorable shooting scenes. Here are the top ten places to take the best Shanghai photos.

1. The Bund

No shanghai photography location guide would be worth it’s salt without a mention of The Bund. The Bund is a waterfront area along the West bank of the Huangpu River in the middle of Shanghai.

If you take the one-mile walk, you’ll find plenty of spots along the way that offer stunning views.

Especially beautiful after rainfall, The Bund is famous for producing some of the most incredible reflection photography the world over. Just turn around from the waterfront view and the old collonial builds will be reflecting in the sidewalk.

2. Nanjing Road

In the city center, Nanjing road runs in an East-West direction and is Shanghai’s major shopping area.

At around 5 and a half kilometers long, Nanjing road attracts over a million visitors a day. After sunset, the crowded road is alight with neon signs and shimmering lights which make for spectacular city photos.

Know that Nanjing road can get overcrowded, and you might fight for a stable photo as people jostle past you. Persevere, though, because you’ll come out of the crowd with some of the best Shanghai photos you can create.

3. Park Hyatt At Shanghai World Financial Center

The massive tower built in 1997 and designed by Kohn Pedersen Fox, the World Financial Center offers two, equally impressive vantage points for photographers.

The Observatory and the Lounge Bar are both expensive and busy, but offer up some of the most impressive views of Shanghai’s iconic skyline. Don’t forget a polarising filter to deal with the glass.

There are few photography locations in China that offer you the chance to grab a drink, while taking some incredible pictures. It’s worth the extra dime. Be sure to arrive early if you want a table, because there are only a few of them with excellent window views, and others will snatch them all up during the dinner rush!

4. Nanbei Elevated Road And Yan’an Middle Road Intersection

Shanghai is one of the busiest cities in the world, and Shanghai photos often reflect that.

One of your best options for capturing the extent of people, traffic, and activity is to photograph some of the most impressive intersections.

The building with the best vantage point of Nanbei elevated road and Yan’an Middle road is on private property, so come prepared to smooth talk your way in or to hunt down another location. The intersection can be beautiful from below, as well.

5. Moganshan Road

Moganshan Road offers some of the most unique and impressive views in the city. Not because of any vantage point or skyline, but because of the impressive and seemingly endless street art.

Bright paint, graffiti, stencils, and art cover the bridge on every surface, which make a strong photographic impression.

Years worth of layered paint covers traditional and typical Chinese architecture wherein each building within sight is nearly identical. The towers differ only in their paint jobs.

6. Ritz Carlton At Shanghai International Finance Centre

One of the finest and fanciest locations in Shanghai, the Ritz-Carlton and International Finance Centre was recently erected in 2011 and designed by Cesar Pelli.

There are two towers here, the hotel occupies the Southern tower, while the HSBC China occupies the Northern one.

Views from the rooftop of the hotel above the staggering 58th floor are breathtaking. While getting a drink here might cost a small fortune, it will be worth the perfect skyline photos you’ll take.

As another bonus, the Ritz Carlton roof is the closest you can get to the famed Oriental Pearl TV Tower.

7. VUE Bar

Although “professional photography” is prohibited atop the roof of this Hyatt hotel on the Bund, you can take photos with a professional grade camera providing you don’t use a tripod or any accessory equipment. Don’t look to pro folks 😉

Unlike the Hyatt, you won’t need a polarising filter at this Shanghai photography location, because you can access the roof. The VUE Bar’s rooftop will give you perhaps the best views facing the Lujiazui skyline, and the rooftop itself is perfect for photography, with little to no fencing or cabling in the way.

8. Waibaidu Bridge

Waibaidu Bridge is the last remaining example of a Camelback Truss bridge in all of China. They built the bridge in 1908 as the very first all steel bridge in the Country.

While the best views of the bridge come from the opposite side of the road, the number of tourists on the bridge itself might surprise you, and you may have to wait a while for a space to clear for your photographs, but it’s worth the wait!

After dark, the bridge is lit up, and with the Pudong skyline in the background, this contrast of old and new will help you take some of your best Shanghai photos.

9. Yuyuan Gardens

Yuyuan Gardens first opened to the public in 1961 but the Ming Dynasty first conceived the gardens in 1559.

After several damages during the 19th century, the gardens now offer one of the most beautiful observation points of Shanghai’s ever changing skyline.

This series of pavilions is a true gem of traditional Chinese culture nestled in the bustling city.

While the entire complex provides wonderful photography locales, the best views are around the pond inside the gardens themselves, and there is a small admission fee.

10. Huangpu River Cruise

Huangpu River, the silent witness to Shanghai’s history and massive growth, is home to one of the most popular and most unmissable activities in Shanghai.

Though the cruise is most often busy with tourists, it’s a necessity for those looking to make the most of their photography in Shanghai.

If you don’t have time to visit every place on this list, make a point of cruising Huangpu River, as you will see the most variety of things to photograph.

Take The Best Shanghai Photos

No matter what you choose to see, do, and photograph, bring your camera, and if you have a friend in China, bring them along as a tour guide!

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