Key highlights of Shanghai:

  • Iconic skyline featuring the Oriental Pearl Tower and Shanghai Tower
  • Rich cultural heritage evident in its museums and historical sites
  • World-class shopping and dining experiences
  • Efficient public transportation system
  • Vibrant art scene with numerous galleries and exhibitions

Travel Resources

  • Flights: Find affordable flights to Shanghai with our flight search tool to kickstart your journey.
  • Insurance: Ensure a worry-free visit with comprehensive travel insurance.
  • Car Rental: Rent a car in Shanghai for convenient exploration beyond the city center.
  • Tours: Discover Shanghai’s hidden gems with our curated selection of tours.
  • Packing List: Don’t forget essentials like comfortable walking shoes, adapters, and a good camera!

Some History First

Shanghai’s fascinating history spans over a thousand years:

  • Originally a small fishing village in the 11th century
  • Rose to prominence as a major trading port in the 19th century
  • Became known as the “Paris of the East” in the 1920s and 1930s
  • Experienced rapid development and modernization since the 1990s

Notable historical events:

  • Opium Wars (1839-1842 and 1856-1860)
  • Establishment of foreign concessions
  • Japanese occupation during World War II
  • Communist takeover in 1949

Shanghai Today

Modern Shanghai is a testament to China’s economic prowess and global influence:

  • Population: Over 24 million inhabitants
  • Economy: Major financial and commercial center
  • Innovation: Hub for technology and startups
  • Education: Home to prestigious universities and research institutions

Key sectors:

  • Finance and banking
  • Manufacturing and technology
  • Fashion and design
  • Entertainment and media

Is Shanghai Safe?

Shanghai is generally considered a safe city for tourists and expats alike. However, as with any large metropolitan area, it’s important to exercise common sense and take standard precautions:

  • Be aware of your surroundings, especially in crowded areas
  • Keep valuables secure and be cautious of pickpockets
  • Use licensed taxis or reputable ride-hailing services
  • Respect local laws and customs
  • Emergency number: 110 for police, 119 for fire, 120 for ambulance

Where is Shanghai?

hanghai is strategically located on the east coast of China:

  • Situated at the mouth of the Yangtze River
  • Borders the East China Sea
  • Coordinates: 31.2304° N, 121.4737° E
  • Neighboring provinces: Jiangsu and Zhejiang

Fun fact: Shanghai’s name (上海) literally means “Upon the Sea” in Chinese.

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From The Area

What is the Best Time to Visit Shanghai?

Shanghai experiences four distinct seasons, each offering a unique perspective on the city:

  • Spring (March to May): Pleasant temperatures and beautiful cherry blossoms
  • Summer (June to August): Hot and humid with occasional rain showers
  • Autumn (September to November): Ideal time to visit with comfortable weather and clear skies
  • Winter (December to February): Cold with occasional snow, but festive atmosphere

Best months to visit: April, May, October, and November

Tips for visitors:

  • Check the lunar calendar for Chinese holidays, as attractions can be crowded during these times
  • Book accommodations in advance during peak seasons
  • Consider visiting during shoulder seasons for fewer crowds and better deals

How to Get to Shanghai & Around

Getting to Shanghai:

  • By air: Two major airports serve Shanghai:
    • Shanghai Pudong International Airport (PVG): Primary hub for international flights
    • Shanghai Hongqiao International Airport (SHA): Mainly domestic flights and some regional international routes
  • By train: High-speed rail connections to major Chinese cities
  • By bus: Long-distance buses from neighboring provinces

Getting around Shanghai:

  • Metro: Extensive and efficient subway system covering most of the city
  • Buses: Comprehensive network, including sightseeing buses
  • Taxis: Abundant and relatively affordable
  • Ride-hailing: Apps like DiDi (similar to Uber) are popular
  • Bicycles: Bike-sharing programs available for short trips

Tip: Consider purchasing a Shanghai Public Transportation Card for convenient use across multiple transport modes.

Things to Do in Shanghai

Discover top attractions and activities in Shanghai:

  1. The Bund: Iconic waterfront promenade with colonial-era buildings
  2. Yu Garden: Traditional Chinese garden dating back to the Ming Dynasty
  3. Shanghai Tower: World’s second-tallest building with spectacular views
  4. Nanjing Road: Premier shopping street with a mix of local and international brands
  5. Shanghai Museum: Houses an impressive collection of ancient Chinese art
  6. Xintiandi: Trendy district with restored shikumen houses
  7. Jade Buddha Temple: Famous Buddhist temple with two jade Buddha statues
  8. Shanghai Disneyland: Magical theme park for families and Disney enthusiasts
  9. Tianzifang: Labyrinth of alleys filled with boutique shops and cafes
  10. Shanghai Science and Technology Museum: Interactive exhibits for curious minds

Don’t miss: Taking a night cruise on the Huangpu River for breathtaking views of the illuminated skyline.

Where To Stay In Shanghai

Shanghai offers a wide range of accommodation options to suit every budget and preference:


  • The Peninsula Shanghai
  • Mandarin Oriental Pudong
  • Waldorf Astoria Shanghai on the Bund


  • Les Suites Orient, Bund Shanghai
  • URBN Boutique Shanghai
  • The Yangtze Boutique Shanghai


  • Captain Hostel
  • Blue Mountain Bund Youth Hostel
  • Shanghai Fish Inn East Nanjing Road

Best areas to stay:

  • The Bund: For iconic views and proximity to attractions
  • People’s Square: Central location with easy access to transportation
  • French Concession: Charming area with tree-lined streets and boutique hotels
  • Pudong: Modern district with luxury hotels and close to business centers

What To Eat In Shanghai

Shanghai’s cuisine is a delightful mix of local specialties and international flavors:

Must-try local dishes:

  • Xiaolongbao: Soup dumplings filled with pork and savory broth
  • Shengjianbao: Pan-fried pork buns
  • Shanghai hairy crab: Seasonal delicacy (best in autumn)
  • Scallion oil noodles: Simple yet flavorful noodle dish
  • Red-braised pork belly: Rich, sweet, and savory meat dish

Where to eat:

  • Din Tai Fung: Famous for xiaolongbao
  • Jia Jia Tang Bao: Local favorite for soup dumplings
  • Old Jesse: Traditional Shanghai cuisine in a cozy setting
  • Yang’s Fry-Dumplings: Best for shengjianbao
  • M on the Bund: Upscale dining with stunning views

Tip: Don’t miss out on Shanghai’s vibrant street food scene in areas like Fangbang Lu and Sipailou Lu.

Entry & Exit Requirements

Visitors to Shanghai must comply with China’s entry regulations:

  • Visa: Most foreign nationals require a visa to enter China
    • Check with the nearest Chinese embassy or consulate for specific requirements
    • Some visitors may be eligible for visa-free transit for stays up to 144 hours
  • Passport: Must be valid for at least six months beyond your planned stay
  • Customs: Be aware of restricted and prohibited items

Important: Always check the most up-to-date information from official sources before your trip, as requirements may change.

What To Pack For Your Trip

Ensure a comfortable and enjoyable stay in Shanghai by packing these essentials:

  • Clothing:
    • Lightweight, breathable fabrics for summer
    • Layers for spring and autumn
    • Warm coat and thermals for winter
  • Comfortable walking shoes
  • Travel adapter (China uses 220V, 50Hz with Type A and Type I plugs)
  • Portable charger/power bank
  • Reusable water bottle (tap water is not safe to drink)
  • Basic medications and first-aid items
  • Sunscreen and hat (especially in summer)
  • Umbrella or rain jacket
  • VPN service (if you need access to blocked websites)
  • Translation app or phrasebook

Tip: Leave some space in your luggage for souvenirs and shopping finds!

Remember to respect local customs and dress modestly when visiting religious sites or traditional areas.


Check with the Chinese embassy or consulate in your country regarding visa requirements for China.

Don’t miss the Oriental Pearl Tower, Shanghai Disneyland, and Tianzifang.

It’s advisable to drink bottled or boiled water to avoid stomach upset.