Shanghai, called Hu for short, also known as “Paris of the East”, is one of the four municipalities directly under the central government of China. It is located in the estuary of Yangtze River. Due to the convenient and outstanding geographic position that Kyushu island of Japan in the east, Hangzhou Bay in the south, Jiangsu province in the north and Zhejiang province in the west, Shanghai has become a prosperous core city with rapid development. It is the largest commercial and financial center in China and an important international port city in the western Pacific.
Geographic Position: in Eastern China (122.5°— 122.1°E, 30.4°— 31.5°N)
Climate: Subtropical monsoon climate (high temperature and rain during the same period, high temperature and more rain in summer, mild temperature and less rain in winter)
Nearby Airport: Shanghai Pudong International Airport (PVG) , Shanghai Hongqiao International Airport (SHA)
Nearby Railway Station: Shanghai Railway Station, Shanghai South Railway Station, Shanghai West Railway Station, Shanghai Hongqiao Railway Station.
Chinese: 上海 shàng hǎi
Population: 22.258M (2018)
Area: 2,448 sq miles
Zip Code: 200000
Airport: PVG, SHA
Time Zone: GMT+8
Top Things to Do in Shanghai
Here are some top things to do in Shanghai for tourists, which may help tourists learn the culture of Shanghai, taste the delicious food and have a great travel experience.
- It is necessary for traveler to visit some renowned tourist attractions, such as the Bund, Yu Garden, Oriental Pearl Tower and other must-visit attractions we highly recommended above.
- Taste various delicious snacks of Shanghai, such as Pan Fried Pork bun, Soup Dumpling, Steamed Crab, Smoked Fish Slices, Braised pork with Brown Sauce, Sliced cold chicken and so on.
- Visitors can choose to take a Huangpu River Cruise tour to deeply appreciate the charming scenery and unique and exotic buildings of Shanghai, or goshopping in Nanjing Road, Xintiandi and City God Temple. And if you dare to challenge yourself, try to have a “Jinmao skywalk” tour to get a wide view of the modern and splendid urban scenery on both sides of the Huangpu river.
What to Eat in Shanghai
Pan Fried Pork Bun
Pan fried pork bun is a local traditional snack in Shanghai, also known as Shengjianbao or Shengjian steamed bread. Traditional pan fried pork bun is usually fried in a large iron pan and made in a stall. The outside of pan fried pork bun is soft and white but the bottom is crispy. Before coming out of the pot, it is sprinkled with sesame seeds and chives on the top. It is very delicious and popular breakfast for local people.
More Shanghai Food and Snacks
- Steamed Buns
For local people in Shanghai, steamed bun is not only a kind of food, but also a kind of life attitude, it shows the elegant and exquisite lifestyle of shanghai people. Shanghai steamed bun is thin outside but is filled with fresh meat, which is succulent but not greasy. And the eating method is extremely exquisite: First, people need to gently lift, slowly move, open the top at first, then drink the soup, and eat the rest part at the end. Nowadays, there are many various kinds of steamed buns such as foie gras stuffing, durian stuffing, crab stuffing and so on for tourists to taste.
Steamed crab is a kind of river crab, but the species must be Chinese mitten crab and weigh beyond 150 grams. The fat and fresh crab after cooking will burst out a tasty taste in the mouth, and if you are crazy about eating crabs, you can also try to have a crab feast in Shanghai where you can eat different various flavor crabs made by diverse method.
- Sweet and Sour Spare ribs sweet and sour spare ribs
Sweet and sour spare ribs is a famous dish with perfect combination of color, aroma and taste, which is mainly made of lean and fat pork ribs. And after several procedures, it has a bright color on the surface. It is an appetizing dish which cannot be missed by gourmand who prefers sweet and sour flavor and is willing to taste fresh food.
Noodles Mixed with Scallion, Oil and Soy Sauce
The production method of it is not difficult, and the ingredients are easy to prepare, so it is a home-made dish in many Shanghai families. The noodles with rich scallion oil and sauce smell goods and taste delicious, which arouses people’s appetite easily.
See more Shanghai popular dishes at The Top 10 Shanghai Dishes You Must Eat
Shanghai Travel Guide
1) How to plan your Shanghai tour?
There are various travel plan of Shanghai depends on different travel needs such as time, budgets, interests and preferences, and tourists can choose the most appropriate one as their travel plan.
A. How many days will you spend in Shanghai?
a. One day tour
If you only have one day in Shanghai, it is wise for you to travel must-visit attractions in Shanghai, such as Yu Garden, Jinmao Tower, Shanghai Museum, River Cruise, the Bund, Old God City Temple and so on.
More Shanghai tour planning guide
b. Two days tour
If you plan to spend two days in Shanghai, you can not only go to the most representative and renowned attractions, but also go to some other attractions that you are interested in, for example, you can choose to visit the Urban Planning Exhibition Hall where tourists can see the great change in recent years and know the future plan of Shanghai, or worship the splendid sitting Buddha in the Jade Buddha and so on.
c. Three days tour
If you have three days in Shanghai, you can not only enjoy the modern and charming scenery of Shanghai, but also choose to visit the nearby cities such as Suzhou to visit the ancient water towns there, and appreciate the different classical Jiangnan Watertown.
d. Four days and more days tour
If you have enough time in Shanghai, we also offer the service of making a personal tour in Shanghai according to you preferences and interests.
B. What are you interested in or what is your tour type?
a. Family Trip
If you want to have a family trip, we highly recommended that you can go to some attractions that are equipped with convenient public transportation and advanced tourist facilities, which are available for all ages tourists to visit, such as the Yu Garden, the Bund, Jinmao Tower, Shanghai Urban Planning Exhibition Hall and so on.
b. Gourmet Food Trip
For tourists who pay more attention on food, you cannot miss visiting the Old God City Temple, Xintiandi or Nanjing Road, where you not only can enjoy the profound culture and unique buildings of old Shanghai, but also taste a variety delicious street snacks or specialties, and it is necessary for you to go to the most famous and authentic restaurant to eat Shanghai cuisine.
c. Historical Trip
Due to the history of opening port and serving as a foreign concession as well as the rapid development of economy and society, the infusion of foreign architects and European architectural styles promoted the transformation of traditional Chinese architecture and accelerated the integration of eastern and western architectural styles in Shanghai. Therefore, many traditional classical old Shanghai architectures such as the featured Longtang can be found, while there are buildings with exotic western style, such as the buildings of the Bund, houses in the concession.
d. Photographer Trip
As a prosperous modern city, Shanghai is famous and attractive for its charming night scenery. when night falls down, the buildings of the Bund in varied architectural styles are illuminated by neon lights, reflecting the sparkling waters of the Huangpu river. If you are crazy about photographing, you must not miss visiting the Bund at night and taking photos. Shanghai also has the famous Jiangnan Garden–Yu Garden, where the architecture is antique and exquisite. What’s more, if you want to experience the traditional daily life of a Shanghai citizen, try to visit Shanghai’s old streets.
C. What is your travel budget?
a. If your trip is low- budget, we highly recommend that you can take part in any group tour and live Youth Hostel, which not only can help you save money, but will also help you make some new friends who havethe same
b. If you want to have a better travel experience, you can choose to rent a car and driver, make a personal travel plan and live ina luxury hotel during the days you stay in Dunhuang, which is more comfortable and free than taking part in a group tour.
2) Visa Policy
Electronic terminals have been set up at Shanghai’s two main airports for foreign travelers who have 144-hour visa-free transit. Passengers who applied online and received approval can now scan their passports at the airport and then enter the country. Since 2018, Shanghai has implemented a 144-hour visa-free transit policy, allowing travelers from 53 countries or regions to stay in Shanghai, Zhejiang province and Jiangsu province no more than 144 hours (six days).
More Shanghai tour visa policy
The 53 countries are available for this policy in the following: the Republic of Austria, the Kingdom of Belgium, the Czech Republic, the Kingdom of Denmark, Republic of Estonia,the Republic of Finland, French Republic, The Federal Republic of Germany, The Hellenic Republic, Hungary, the Republic of Iceland, the Republic of Italy, the Republic of Latvia, the Republic of Lithuania, Luxembourg, Republic of Malta, the Kingdom of Netherlands, the Republic of Poland, the Portuguese Republic, the Slovakia Republic, the Republic of Slovenia, the Kingdom of Spain, the Kingdom of Sweden, Swiss Confederation, Russia, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland , Republic of Ireland, the Republic of Cyprus, the Republic of Bulgaria, Romania, Ukraine, the Republic of Serbia, the Republic of Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Republic of North Macedonia, the Republic of Albania, the Principality of Monaco, Republic of Belarus, United States of America, Canada, The Federative Republic of Brazil,the United Mexican States, the Republic of Argentina, Republic of Chile, the Commonwealth of Australia, New Zealand, Republic of Korea, Japan, Republic of Singapore, Negara Brunei Darussalam, United Arab Emirates and the State of Qatar.
Visas are not required for People who come from the above-mentioned countries and hold valid international travel documents and connected international flights tickets with confirmed dates and seats to a third country (region) within 144 hours.
Notes: Qualified people can stay for 144 hours in the administrative areas of Shanghai, Jiangsu and Zhejiang province without Visa. The most important thing is that the arrival fight and connected fight need to be international flight. It is crucial for foreigners who can stay in Guilin within 72 hours to obey the Chinese law, and if someone exceeds the permitted stay area or time limit, punishment will be given by the Exit and Entry Administration law of the People’s Republic of China.
As a world-renowned and highly modern tourist city, Shanghai has a very developed and convenient public transportation system. In Shanghai, there are many direct international flights to various countries, numerous bus and subway lines to all directions and a great number of cabs with good service in the city area. All of them provide a solid foundation for the development of tourism and bring more convenience travel and good travel experience for tourists.
More Shanghai Transportation
There are two airports in Shanghai: Shanghai Hongqiao International Airport and Shanghai Pudong International Airport. Thousands of tourists come and go at the airports every day and enjoy the professional services and convenient transportation system.
Shanghai Pudong International Airport
Shanghai pudong international airport, located in the east of Shanghai, is near the coastal area and about 30 kilometers away from the city center. It is one of the three major international airports in China. Terminal 1 was opened in September 1999, and now mainly offers international and domestic flights such as Japan airlines, Korean air, China Eastern airlines, Shanghai airlines and so on. Terminal T2, located on the east side of T1, now mainly offers international and domestic flights such as emirates, Qatar airways, Dragonair and Chongqing airlines.
- Direct international flights:
- Shanghai Pudong International Airport- North American Countries: the United States of America, Canada, the United Mexican States
- Shanghai Pudong International Airport-some European Countries:Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, French Republic, the Federal Republic of Germany, the Republic of Italy, the Kingdom of Spain, the Kingdom of Sweden, Swiss Confederation, Hungary, the Republic of Finland, the Kingdom of Denmark, Russia.
- Shanghai Pudong International Airport-some Asian Countries:Japan, Republic of Korea, Republic of Singapore, Malaysia, the Kingdom of Thailand, Republic of the Philippines, the Islamic Republic of Iran, the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka, the Republic of India, the Republic of Indonesia, the United Arab Emirates, the Republic of Turkey
- Shanghai Pudong International Airport-African Country:the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia
- Shanghai Pudong International Airport-some Oceanian Countries:Commonwealth of Australia, New Zealand
- Popular travel airlines: Shanghai-Beijing, Shanghai-Xi’an, Shanghai-Chengdu, Shanghai-Guilin, Shanghai-Zhangjiajie, Shanghai-Hongkong, Shanghai-Macao
Shanghai Hongqiao International Airport
Shanghai Hongqiao International Airport, built in 1921, is located in the western suburbs of Shanghai, which is only 13 kilometers away from the city center. Terminal1 with a long history, mainly have spring airlines now, including Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan flights and Japan and South Korea flights. Although Terminal2 has opened for just about 10 years, now it mainly offers China Eastern airlines, international airlines, China southern airlines, Juneyao airlines and so on.
The public transportation system in Shanghai is perfect, and Subway is the most convenient transportation which has many line routes and connect to many famous tourist attractions and all directions.
- Subway Line 1:Fujin Road(5:30-22:30) — Shenzhuang(5:30-22:32) whole stations:28
Famous stations: People’s Square Station, Shanghai Railway Station, Xujiahui Station
- Subway Line2: Xujing Dong(5:28-22:45)–Shanghai Pudong International Airport(6:00-22:30) whole stations:30
Famous stations: Hongqiao terminal 2 Station, Zhongshan Park Station, People’s Square Station, Shanghai Pudong International Airport Station
- Subway Line 3:Shanghai South Railway Station(5:25-22:30)–Jiangyang North Road(5:25-22:35) whole stations:29
Famous station: Shanghai Railway Station
- Subway Line 4: Yishan Road(5:30-22:30)–Shanghai Gymnasium(6:27-23:27)whole stations:26
Famous stations: Zhongshan Park Station, Shanghai Railway Station, Shanghai Gymnasium
- Subway Line 5: ShenZhuang(5:50-22:30)–Fengxian xincheng(5:42-22:00)Whole stations: 15
- Subway Line6: Gangcheng Road(5:30-22:30)–Shanghai Oriental Sports Center(5:30-22:30) Whole stations: 28
Famous stations: Shanghai Oriental Sports Center Station
- Subway Line 7:Huamu Road(5:30-22:30) — Meilanhu(5:30-22:15) Whole stations:33
Famous stations: Jing’an Temple Station, Shanghai University
- Subway Line 8: Shendu gonglu(5:30-22:30) –Shiguang Road(5:30-22:30)Whole stations:30
Famous stations: Shanghai Big World Station, People’s Square Station, Shanghai Oriental Sports Center Station
- Subway Line 9: Cao Road(5：30-22:30) –Songjiang South Railway Station(5:40-) Whole stations:35
Famous stations: Lujiabang Station, Songjiang South Railway Station
- Subway Line 10:Xinjiangwancheng(5:35-22:00) — Hongqiao Railway Station(5:55-22:00) Whole stations:28
Famous stations: Nanjing East Road Station, Yu garden Station, Xintiandi Station, Hongqiao Terminal 1 Station, Hongqiao Terminal 2 Station, Hongqiao Railway Station
Branch line of Subway line 10: Xinjiangwancheng(5:30-21:55) –Hangzhong Road(5:30-21:55) Whole Stations:27
Famous stations: Nanjing East Road Station, Yu garden Station, Xintiandi Station, Hongqiao Terminal 1 Station, Hongqiao Terminal 2 Station, Shanghai Jiaotong University Station
- SubwayLine 11:Kangxin gonglu(06:04-22:24)–Jiading bei(5:38-21:50) Whole Stations: 30
Famous stations: Shanghai Oriental Sports Center Station, Shanghai Jiaotong University Station, Shanghai West Railway Station
Branch line of Subway line 11: Luoshan Road(5:35-22:00)–Hua qiao(5:40-21:32) Whole Stations:32
Famous stations: Shanghai Oriental Sports Center Station, Shanghai Jiaotong University Station, Shanghai West Railway Station, Shanghai International Circuit Station
- Subway Line 12:Jinhai Road(5:30-22:30) — Qisheng Road(05:30-22:30) Whole stations:32
- Subway Line 13: Jinyun Road(5:30-22:30) — Zhangjiang Road(5:30-22:30) Whole stations:31
Famous stations: Nanjing West Road Station, Xintiandi Station, Shanghai World Exposition Museum Station
- Subway Line 16: Longyang Road(5:50-22:00) — Dishui hu(6:00-22:00) Whole stations:13
Famous station: Shanghai Wild Animal Park Station
- Subway Line 17: Hongqiao Railway Station(6:00-22:30)– Dongfang Lvzhou(6:00-22:00) Whole stations:13
Famous stations: Hongqiao Railway Station, Zhujiajiao Station
- Shanghai maglev train line : Longyang Road Station– Shanghai Pudong International Airport Total length of 29.863 km
As the highly modern and renowned tourist city, the Cab service of Shanghai is professional, and the cabs are available anytime and everywhere in Shanghai. If you want to take cab to travel in Shanghai, it is wise for you to avoid the rush hour (7:00-9:00 in the morning and 17:00-20:00 in the evening).
In the downtown area, the flag-down fare of cab of Shanghai in daytime is CNY 14 for the first 3 kilometers（2 miles), and when the mileage between 3-15 kilometers(2-9 miles), the fee is CNY 2.5 per kilometer; and when the mileage is over 15 kilometers, the fee is CNY 3.6 per kilometers. And during the 23:00-5:00, for the first 3 kilometers(2 miles), the fee is CNY 18, and when the mileage between 3-15 kilometers(2-9 miles), the fee is CNY 3.1 per kilometer; and when the mileage is over 15 kilometers, the fee is CNY 4.7 per kilometers.
In the suburb area such as the Minhang, Fengxian, Qingpu and Songjiang Districts, the flag-down fare of cab of Shanghai in daytime is CNY 11 for the first 3 kilometers（2 miles), and when the mileage between 3-15 kilometers(2-9 miles), the fee is CNY 2.4 per kilometer; and when the mileage is over 15 kilometers, the fee is CNY 3.1 per kilometers. And during the 23:00-5:00, for the first 3 kilometers(2 miles), the fee is CNY 13.2, and when the mileage between 3-15 kilometers(2-9 miles), the fee is CNY 2.9 per kilometer; and when the mileage is over 15 kilometers, the fee is CNY 3.7 per kilometers.
Moreover, if it is necessary to drive on the highway or toll road, the toll should be paid by visitor.
4）Shanghai Weather&What to wear& The Best Time to visit Shanghai
Shanghai is subtropical monsoon climate with the features of high temperature and rain during the same period, high temperature and more rain in summer, mild temperature and less rain in winter, and the weather of Shanghai is generallymild and moist. July is the hottest month in Shanghai with an average temperature of 29C (84°F), and the coldest month is January with an average temperature of 4C (39°F).The wettest month is September with an average of 156mm of rain.
More Shanghai weather information
|Month||Average Temperature||What to Wear|
|January||3℃~9℃||thick coat, cotton-padded clothes, sweater, thick pullover hoodie and zip up hoodie ,thick pant|
|February||4℃~10℃||thick coat, cotton-padded clothes, sweater, thick pullover hoodie and zip up hoodie ,thick pant|
|March||8℃~16℃||Leather jacket, Dust coat, thick coat, thin sweater|
|April||14℃~22℃||Leather jacket, Dust coat, knitwear, hoodie, T-shirt with long sleeves, jeans|
|May||19℃~27℃||T-shirt with short sleeves, knitwear, skirts, thin jeans, cloth in cotton or linen fabrics that are comfortable and breathable|
|June||23℃~29℃||T-shirt with short sleeves, skirts, thin jeans, short trousers, polo shirt, cloth in cotton or linen fabrics that are comfortable and breathable, hat, sunglasses|
|July||28℃~35℃||T-shirt with short sleeves, skirts, short trousers, cloth in cotton or linen fabrics that are comfortable and breathable, hat, sunglasses|
|August||27℃~34℃||T-shirt with short sleeves, skirts, short trousers, cloth in cotton or linen fabrics that are comfortable and breathable, hat, sunglasses|
|September||23℃~29℃||T-shirt with short sleeves, skirts, thin jeans, short trousers, polo shirt, cloth in cotton or linen fabrics that are comfortable and breathable, hat, sunglasses|
|October||18℃~24℃||T-shirt with long sleeves, knitwear, topcoat, jeans|
|November||12℃~18℃||Leather jacket, Dust coat, thin sweater|
|December||5℃~11℃||thick coat, cotton-padded clothes, sweater,thick pullover hoodie and zip up hoodie,thick pant|
Notes: The Summer(June, July and August) in Shanghai is hot and rainy, so it is necessary for tourists to travel with an umbrella and sunshade, and wear a cap and sunglasses or use some sun scream to protect your skin against ultraviolet ray.
When is the best time to visit?
We highly recommended that the best time to visit Shanghai is April, May, June, September, October and November. During these months, the weather is pleasant and the scenery is charming. If you travel at these months, the scenery will definitely make a deep impression on you.
Tips: Visitors had better avoid the official holiday in China, because many Chinese citizens choose to travel on official holidays to ease the pressure of their work. As a result, many Chinese tourist attractions are overcrowded and traffic jams are common. Therefore, visiting China at this time will bring tourists a less pleasant travel experience.
Official Holidays in China
|Chinese New Year||Around January or February|
|Labor Day||May1st -3rd|
|Summer vacation(for students)||July-August31st|
|Mid-Autumn Festival||Around mid-September|
|National Day||October 1st-7th|
5) Where to Stay in Shanghai
Although the accommodation fee of each five-star hotel is higher, the convenient location and transportation, advanced facilities, great accommodation environment and professional services are advantages.
- Renaissance Shanghai Yu Garden Hotel
Renaissance Shanghai Yu Garden Hotel is located in the center of the city and close to the famous Yu Garden and the ancient town. It just takes few minutes to get to the Bund, Xintiandi and other tourist attractions. It is adjacent to Subway Line 10 that runs through the whole city and can be transferred to almost any other subway line, reaching all major areas of Shanghai.
More Shanghai hotels
- Radisson Blu Hotel Shanghai New World
Located on the bustling Nanjing West Road, the Radisson Blu Hotel Shanghai New World is adjacent to the SEGA world entertainment center, IMAX theater and the famous new world mall, which is just 15 minutes’ walk away from the renowned Bund.
Four – star hotel
- Sunrise On The Bund Hotels & Resorts Shanghai
Sunrise On The Bund Hotels & Resorts Shanghai is located in the center of the north bund, which is only a few minutes away from the riverside green space of the north bund. It takes about 5 minutes to walk to the hotel directly from exit 3 of Tilanqiao Station of Subway Line 12.
- Golden River-view Hotel
Golden River-view Hotel, located in Hengfeng Road, Jing’an district of Shanghai, is in the prosperous business core area of Jing’an. The hotel is adjacent to the visa center (Germany, France, Switzerland, Netherlands, Hungary) and close to the Hanzhong Road Subway Station, which is about 10 minutes’ drive from Nanjing Road commercial street.
Three-star hotel can provide a comfortable accommodation with the affordable price.
- Holiday Inn Express Shanghai Putuo
Holiday Inn Express Shanghai Putuo is located in Guangfu West Road in the middle of Puxi. With the convenient transportation system and excellent geographical location, it takes about 10 minutes to reach Shanghai railway station, and about 45 minutes to get to the Disneyland by taking the Subway Line 11. The hotel is adjacent to two major financial and business districts– Jing’an temple and Zhongshan park, and less than 5 kilometers away from the Shanghai exhibition center. It is convenient for tourists to get to East China Normal University in Shanghai, East China Politics and Law University, branch school of Shanghai Jiao Tong University and so on.
- CHAI Living Serviced Apartments
It is located at No.400, North Suzhou Road of Zhabei District, which can get to beautiful and charming Bund by walking about 7minutes. And its restaurant provides free and healthy breakfast, delicious Chinese and western dishes, as well as laundry and dry cleaning services.
- Quintet Bed and Breakfast Guest House
Quintet bed and breakfast guest house, located at No808, Changle Road of Jing’an district, is adjacent to the French concession of Shanghai. Situated in a garden built in 1939, it is equipped with three-storey and five comfortable and distinctive rooms. The restaurant serves delicious and healthy breakfast, and there is a terrace on the top floor for guests to have a rest, chat or appreciate the scenery.