Shanghai is a religious city. It might not seem that way, amidst the endless Gucci stores and shiny shopping temples, but there are more than 250 places of worship in our city. Ninety percent of them are Buddhist temples, and many of them are centers for monks, serious followers and laymen.
China’s indigenous belief, Taoism, still has an active presence, as do worship for Confucius, whose philosophical teachings are deeply engrained in Chinese culture.
So we visited nine temples in Shanghai where, faithful or not, you can find a small measure of quiet time for contemplation, sightseeing or just daydreaming. If the city has become boring and familiar, the temple spaces can serve as an antidote and a reminder of a deeper connection between the city and its residents.
Hours are fickle. Try to visit in the mornings, when most of the temples are open, and bring a passport or Chinese ID card and a green health code