Like most cities in China, Shenyang offers each visitor a rare glimpse into the unusual merger between past and present. Nestled within the bustling metropolitan landscape lies a curious array of ancient monuments steeped in local history and culture. Despite its initial overly-industrialised feel, this city has so much to offer a keen-eyed and adventurous traveller. There are sites to whet the appetite of just about everyone, whether you prefer to seek out the remnants of an ancient Chinese dynasty or simply want a boutique shopping experience in the heart of the city.
The Mukden Imperial Palace, home of the early Qing dynasty, is a great place to start your trip. Besides Beijing's Forbidden Palace, it is the only other of its kind, making it a real must-see when in Shenyang. Once you've spent the morning strolling through these opulent Imperial rooms, complete your journey into the ancient world by exploring the Zhaoling and Fuling tombs of the Qing dynasty emperors, finishing off with a stop at the Liaobin Pagoda.
After you've had your fill of palatial architecture and ancient folklore, it's time to get into the heart of modern China. Enjoy a walk through the Botanical Gardens, especially in spring and summer when the flowers are in full bloom, before heading to Zhongshan Square. Not only is this a great point to begin a shopping trip, but for many, this is also a wonderful place to sit, relax and enjoy the mesmerising city lights before heading to a nearby bar or restaurant to sample the local beer or sushi.