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Visit Shanghai: Your Travel Guide

Past, present and future are all on display in this testament to China’s booming economy. The city has exploded in a riot of skyscrapers and futuristic structures. Historic temples nestle comfortably among the mayhem of an urban landscape woven with Eastern promise.

Things to Do in Shanghai

The People's Square
Be there or be square. Locals, tourists and expats chill out in the open air and venture to the underground mall to part with their cash. Visiting on a Sunday? You might come away with more than just holiday snaps. Blind Date Corner is where parents go in search of eligible matches for their unwed progeny. Check out Shanghai Museum to get the low-down on the ancient dynasties.
Wusheng Rd, Huangpu, Shanghai
East Nanjing Road
Listen to those registers ring! This is one of the world’s busiest shopping streets, where spending never stops. Hunt with the packs of fashionistas and watch persistent sellers peddle their wares. Go early and go hungry to the snack shops for mouth-watering traditional treats. Follow the sound of the sax in Yong’an department store to hear the resident musician serenade the crowd.
Nanjing Pedestrian Street, Huangpu, Shanghai
Xin Tian Di
Hotfoot it over to this pedestrian paradise. A no-car zone, you can while away the hours dipping into chic boutiques and dining on Hong Kong hot pot or freshly baked pizzas. Amble through the side streets and marvel at the east-meets-west architecture. Head to an ice cream parlour to be part of the cool crowd. Keep your eyes peeled – this area is a known celebrity haunt.
181 Taicang Road, Huangpu, Shanghai
Yu Garden
The Shanghai of years gone by. This garden was built during the Ming dynasty. Half-close your eyes and picture bigwigs of old ambling through the cloisters. Criss-cross the Nine Turn Bridge, then experience a traditional tea ceremony at the Old Shanghai Teahouse. Queue up at the Nanxiang Xiao Long Bao shop for a steamed bun - and some real local flavour.
132 Anren Street, Huangpu, Shanghai
Open Monday-Sunday 08:30–17:00. Changes seasonally. Check website for details.
Tian Zi Fang
Indulge any and all of your artistic whims. Creativity pounces at every turn as you bounce from crowded coffee shop to cutting-edge gallery. Pick up supplies for your own creations at the craft shops and haggle your heart out to get some bargain buys. Then lose yourself in the labyrinth of narrow alleys and hotchpotch streets to restore your inner muse.
274-210 Taikang Road, Huangpu, Shanghai
Open Monday-Sunday 08:00–23:00
Oriental Pearl Tower
Look skywards for dinner and a show. This TV tower with its distinctive space-age shape rises out of the financial district. Savour the sights in the revolving restaurant after testing your nerve on the glass-bottomed skywalk. Visit the 15 observation decks to see Shanghai from every angle and arrive at the top in time to watch the laser light show paint the night sky.
1 Century Avenue, Pudong, Shanghai
Open Monday-Sunday 08:30–21:30
Jing'an Temple
Amid the modern mayhem lies an oasis of calm. This temple has seen the rise and fall of countless dynasties and had several makeovers since it was built nearly two millennia ago. Find it nestled among the cosmopolitan crowds of Downtown Shanghai. Restore your Zen with a turn around the three main halls. Marvel at the jade Buddha and find tranquillity in the courtyards.
1686 West Nanjing Road, Jing'an, Shanghai
Open Monday-Sunday 07:30–17:30
Shanghai World Financial Center (SWFC)
This magnet of finance attracts more than just big business. Daytime sees swarms of suits and hoards of tourists marvelling at the Shanghai sprawl below. Hit the lifts and rocket to the world’s highest observation deck – just don’t forget to look down. At night, dine at The Pantry with a buffet supper then jump up to the 91st to visit the 100 Century Avenue Bar.
100 Century Avenue, Pudong, Shanghai
Open Monday-Sunday 08:00–23:00
Duo Lun Road Cultural Street
A taste of old Shanghai. This quiet street is lined with houses from the early 20th century, when it was the hottest cultural ticket in town. Today, it’s home to curious institutions like the chopsticks museum and the coins museum. Keep an open mind as you wander past quirky art shops and funky galleries, and finish up in Celebrity Teahouse to complete the old-time experience.
Duo Lun Road, Hongkou, Shanghai
The River Mall
Raise the roof! Originally built for the Shanghai Expo in 2010, this shopping centre boasts quite the spectacular ceiling. Made from membrane, it’s lit up at night in dazzling neon colours. During the day, it’s not too shabby either – with musical fountains, an aquarium, a little train and a whole host of shops, it’s got plenty to offer all comers.
1368 Shibo Avenue
Open Monday-Sunday 10:00-22:00
Shanghai Tower
The world’s second tallest tower, this sleek, spiralling skyscraper dominates the Shanghai skyline. Super-speedy lifts zip visitors up to the 121st-floor observation deck for astonishing views of the cityscape below. If you’re lucky enough to go on a clear day, the panorama can stretch as far as 13 km into the distance.
Shanghai World Financial Center
Shanghai’s soaring skyline is so iconic, it’s easy to forget how recently it was created. Chief amongst the new generation of skyscrapers was the World Financial Center, once the city’s tallest building. This glistening glass tower is a beacon of cutting-edge design – though its unique cut-out section has also seen it likened to a gigantic bottle-opener!
Jin Mao Tower
This iconic Shanghai skyscraper was based around the number eight – believed to be lucky in Chinese culture. The Jin Mao’s 88 floors are housed in a tiered tower inspired by traditional pagodas. Once you’ve photographed the panorama from its top-floor Skywalk, head across to The Bund to view this stunning skyline landmark from afar.
Shimao International Plaza
Housing a swanky five-star hotel and eleven floors of exclusive shops and clubs, Shimao International Plaza is one of Shanghai’s trendiest spots. This 333-metre structure towers above its neighbours on the bustling Nanjing East Road. Its striking design makes it a stand-out part of the city skyline – visit after nightfall to see its famous profile outlined in lights.
Shanghai Wheelock Square
A whopping 270 metres high, this glittering glass tower is one of the city’s tallest. The Shanghai Wheelock Square skyscraper soars above the hustle and bustle of Nanjing West Road, right next to the historic Jing’an Temple. Its sleek, symmetrical exterior houses 58 storeys of prime office space with spectacular skyline views.

When to Go to Shanghai

Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
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90 ℉ 79 ℉
82 ℉ 72 ℉
75 ℉ 62 ℉
64 ℉ 51 ℉
51 ℉ 38 ℉
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Traveler's Reviews & Photos

Very Good
Top tip - don't visit during the national holiday- it gets too busy! Also, sightseeing tunnel under the river is the weirdest experience, and not necessarily in a good way :) overall, enjoyed the city with the iconic skyline and great local food!
United Kingdom
October 12, 2017
Stunning city , with many excellent eating facilities. Great value for money. Very busy as you would expect! Public transport and taxis. Try reasonable. Best to plan you days to make most of your time. Language a bit problematic. Loved it x
United Kingdom
October 9, 2017
After 14 years Shanghai gets better and better! Great attractions, good food and a dynamic vibrant city to boot!
Adrian Hawkins
October 10, 2017
Very Good
Difficult to find no Chinese food Impossible to find change offices The shops are fantastic with variety of goods BUT TO EXPENSIVE Also difficult to find Chinese people who can talk English
October 12, 2017
Shanghai is always good to enjoy and experience the city life.. between the modern, rich, cosmopolitan and poor, cheap, local domestic.... this makes it interesting 😉✌️
October 15, 2017

Accommodations and Hotels in Shanghai

The Puli Hotel And Spa

9.1 Wonderful

Score from 877 reviews


Average price per night
  • “beautiful building”
    95 related reviews
  • “wonderful staff”
    50 related reviews
  • “location was great”
    41 related reviews
IFC Residence

8.8 Excellent

Score from 1,690 reviews


Average price per night
  • “location was great”
    170 related reviews
  • “very clean”
    72 related reviews
  • “wonderful staff”
    53 related reviews
Pullman Shanghai Skyway

8 Very Good

Score from 855 reviews


Average price per night
  • “location was great”
    57 related reviews
  • “very clean”
    37 related reviews
  • “wonderful staff”
    37 related reviews
Dorsett Shanghai

8.3 Very Good

Score from 2,009 reviews


Average price per night
  • “location was great”
    239 related reviews
  • “wonderful staff”
    70 related reviews
  • “very clean”
    66 related reviews
Grand Kempinski Hotel Shanghai

8.5 Very Good

Score from 945 reviews


Average price per night
  • “location was great”
    37 related reviews
  • “amazing views”
    30 related reviews
  • “very clean”
    23 related reviews
Sofitel Shanghai Hyland

8.3 Very Good

Score from 1,610 reviews


Average price per night
  • “location was great”
    265 related reviews
  • “wonderful staff”
    101 related reviews
  • “very clean”
    42 related reviews
Radisson Blu Hotel Shanghai New World

8.5 Very Good

Score from 1,943 reviews


Average price per night
  • “location was great”
    119 related reviews
  • “wonderful staff”
    37 related reviews
  • “amazing views”
    35 related reviews
Les Suites Orient, Bund Shanghai

8.9 Excellent

Score from 2,139 reviews


Average price per night
  • “location was great”
    129 related reviews
  • “amazing views”
    118 related reviews
  • “wonderful staff”
    93 related reviews
Hotel Equatorial Shanghai

8.3 Very Good

Score from 1,611 reviews


Average price per night
  • “location was great”
    108 related reviews
  • “wonderful staff”
    41 related reviews
  • “very clean”
    39 related reviews
Discover Shanghai

Popular Neighborhoods in Shanghai


323 properties

Xiaolongbao is a dish that’s not to miss. Tuck into these delicate pork-filled dumplings at Nanxiag Xiaolongbao Restaurant in City God Temple. Once you’ve had your fill, work it all off with a stroll through Dongtai Road Antiques Market for retro homeware and kitsch souvenirs.

Old French Concession

194 properties

Brunch with a beat. By day this quiet corner is where the foodies flock for eggs over easy. Try Cotton’s for mimosas and al fresco dining. After sundown, it’s a whole different Shanghai story as ardent partygoers arrive on the scene. Electronica groovers shimmy in The Shelter, while beer buffs sip craft ale in Shanghai Brewery.


170 properties

Loud, crowded and a dream destination for tourists and expats. The trio of malls forms a golden triangle where you can burn through your holiday spends. Expats queue at City Supermarket for their fix of imported western food. Shop till you drop and then stroll through Jing’an Park. Hit the Sauna Room at the Equatorial Hotel for a quick detox.

Huaihai Road Commercial Area

152 properties

Pay your respects to the kings and queens of the fashion world. Wall-to-wall designers make this leafy street a haven for label-loving locals. Lust over the latest high fashions, browse the boutiques for one-off pieces then chill out eastern style in one of the five spas in Times Square Mall.


110 properties

Money makes the world go round, or so the song goes. And here – in one of the world’s flushest financial districts – you can almost hear the cash spinning past. Even if high finance is not your deal, take a look anyway. The 30+ skyscrapers on the banks of the Huangpu are a stunning sight - day and night.


52 properties

This downtown district buzzes with shopaholics. Metro City Shopping Centre is the area’s most eye-catching retail nucleus, drawing in shoppers with its giant glass orb. Classy cats head to Orient Shopping Centre for designer threads, accessories and watches. If spending’s not your bag, keep it simple with a stroll round Xujiahui Park.


42 properties

Best enjoyed from the ground up. Start at street level for some grade-A people-watching on the boardwalk. Get above the crowds and soar to the clouds – M on the Bund serves classic martinis on the roof terrace, with the Shanghai skyline delivering a breathtaking backdrop. Recline on the daybeds at Vue Bar and cool off in the terrace whirlpool.


19 properties

Apply some pressure at Green Massage. Dispel any notion that Chinese acupressure is a relaxing experience as you’re pushed to the fine line between pleasure and pain. Further your cultural immersion with an early morning T’ai Chi class in Fuxing Park. Stroll through the covered pavilions and watch mah-jong enthusiasts demonstrate their skills.

Local Tips for Shanghai

Knowledge & Innovation Community (KIC)
Anthony by Anthony

Book-loving Anthony enjoys unwinding with a cup of coffee and a good read.

Go back to school at Wujiaochang’s Knowledge & Innovation Community, where you’ll find exhibition halls at the KIC Plaza, and bustling shops and recreational facilities at KIC Village. Blend in with the students at KIC’s hip cafés, and take a sneak peek into Shanghai’s student life.

Shanghai Disneyland Park
Betty by Betty

Betty is crazy about Disney and has visited every one of their theme parks across the globe!

Shanghai Disney Resort is set to be a spectacular park when it opens in June 2016! Located in the Pudong District, the resort is home to six themed lands, oodles of attractions and great entertainment.

Cool Docks
Eddie by Eddie

Eddie is passionate about relaxing and knows all the secret hideaways of Shanghai.

Amid the speckles of old Shanghai architecture is the modern Cool Docks, a glitzy realm of foreign restaurants and bars. Chill out with a drink outside, or grab a bite to eat at the Cool Docks’s Indian, Thai, or Japanese restaurants. Don’t miss out on their trendy parties!

  • 505 South Zhongshan Road
Korean Street
Eva by Eva

A Shanghai native, Eva loves discovering new things to do in the city!

Nestled in the Gubei area is Hongquan Road, locally known as Korean Street. Get your hands on Korean products (like face masks!) and browse for K-pop collectibles. Save an afternoon for a full-body massage at a Korean spa before treating your palette to a succulent Korean BBQ dinner.

  • Hongquan Road, near Yinting Road
Lujiazui Central Green Space
Jessie by Jessie

Born and bred in Shanghai, Jessie likes spending time in the tranquil oases of this huge metropolis.

Tired of shopping? Sick of crowds? Hop on over to Lujiazui Central Green Space. This large open-air oasis is perfect for spending a lazy afternoon. Whether you’re picnicking with your family, jogging around the lake or just daydreaming, this sanctuary is the place to be.

  • 15 Lujiazui East Road, Pudong
Huanghe Food Street
Cressida by Cressida

Cressida is a true foodie who indulges in Shanghai’s delectable local dishes during her free time.

Save your appetite for Huanghe Food Street! Located near People’s Park, this delicious street features an incredible variety of Shanghainese restaurants, from cheap diners to upscale eateries. Pastries, noodles, steamed dumplings, duck legs… mmm, you could easily spend an entire day here!

  • Huanghe Road
Katharina by Katharina

Katharina recently moved here from a tiny town in Austria and can’t get enough of Shanghai!

No, it’s not a weapon! M50 (also known as Mongshan Road) is home to Shanghai’s finest contemporary galleries. You can easily spend an afternoon looking at million-dollar sculptures and paintings, or searching for that special piece of art to hang over your fireplace.

  • 50 Moganshan Road
Read our FAQs on this destination –>

Recommended in Shanghai

If you're just in shanghai for a few days its not a problem. Leave 1,5 hours to get souvenirs near the yu garden, an hour for the garden itself, and the rest is perfect for the free evenings. Go dowm Nanjing Road to the Bund, make pictures, go up have a cocktail at bar rouge, take more pictures, then head to the light tunnel, cross tje river climb to tje bar on the top of the world financial center. Then hit one of the bar streets for more drinks and finish it off before 5 am with the best sttret seafood om earth near the fraser residince. Or you can start from the other side of the river with the bar at the financial center if you're there first.

If you want a good look around, enter a stall/shop while the owners are busy serving someone else. It gives you a good chance to look around first without being hassled... There are dozens of shops selling the same thing, so definitely be prepared to bargain low and walk away..... If they don't call you back, you know your price is unreasonable.... So go to the next shop and raise your bottom asking price a little.

Not getting a taxi in advance. If you want to move around Shanghai easily their are several ways. During the day the metro is an excellent option. At night if you plan on dancing, and having fun try to have someone order a taxi for you. It can be a challenge finding a taxi from Thursday thru Saturday especially at night.

When using the subway, avoid the time people go or come to work, the goes for taxis, the bst time to visit The Bund and the SWFC is 1 hour before sundown, you will have both pictures Day and Night, both views are amazing! asked travelers...

Why do you recommend Shanghai for food?

Shanghai has every cuisine you can think of, from Asian to American, and all authentic.

Have to bargain to get a good price

Beautiful old buildings around

Cloud 9 bar


Shanghai Transportation

Air – Pudong International Airport

Pudong is Shanghai’s main international airport. From here, the speedy Shanghai Maglev Train departs every 15–20 minutes (CNY 50 single/CNY 80 return). It takes around 8 minutes to reach Longyang Road Station, where you can transfer to metro Line 2 for a further 25-minute ride to the city centre. Metro tickets cost CNY 3–15. Alternatively, take an airport shuttle bus (90 minutes, CNY 15–30) or a licensed airport taxi (1 hour, CNY 160) directly to the centre.

Air – Hongqiao International Airport

Hongqiao International Airport is Shanghai’s main domestic airport. The fastest way to get into the city is via the metro (Line 2 or 10). Metro trains depart every 3 minutes and the journey takes around 50 minutes. A taxi to the centre takes about 20 minutes and costs around CNY 75.


Shanghai has an efficient metro system. Ticket machines and station signs are available in English and Chinese, and each stop is announced in Mandarin Chinese and English. All metro lines operate daily between 05:30–22:30, but each has its own schedule. One-day tickets cost CNY 18, while 3-day tickets cost CNY 45: both can be purchased at the ticket desk. Download a metro map from the official website for easy navigation through the city.


Shanghai's buses are less crowded nowadays, thanks to the efficient metro system. Most buses are air conditioned and run every 5–10 minutes. Bus stops and route maps are often written only in Chinese and can be confusing to understand, while announcements aboard are usually in Shanghai dialect, Mandarin Chinese and English. Tickets can be purchased on board for CNY 2: it’s best to have coins or small denomination notes handy.


Flagging down a taxi can seem impossible – especially during rush hours (between 07:00–09:00 and 17:00–19:00). If you must take a taxi, have your hotel's reception call one or take one from a taxi rank. Between 05:00–23:00, taxis cost CNY 14 for the first 3 kilometres and CNY 2.4–3.6 for each additional kilometre. Night rates are slightly more expensive. Most taxi drivers do not speak English, so make sure you have the Chinese characters of your destination handy.


Shanghai is a very walkable city with good public transport. Unless you plan on travelling to the countryside, driving in Shanghai is not recommended. To drive, you must have a People’s Republic of China (PRC) driving licence or a Temporary Driving Permit. Keep in mind that Shanghai’s traffic and limited parking makes driving in the city challenging, even for an experienced driver.

Food in Shanghai

Top Restaurants in Shanghai

Cheap Eats
Nana'S Green Tea (七叶和茶)
  • Unit 75, Hong Kong Shopping Center, 9-99 Renmin Avenue
  • Open Monday–Sunday 10:00–22:00
  • 0086 21 63582701
Cheap Eats
Ping Cheng Wu (平成屋日式料理店)
  • Floor 1-2, 245 North Guangxi Road
  • Open Monday–Sunday 11:30–15:00 and 17:00–00:00
  • 0086 21 63522139
Mid-Range Fare
J Pasta & Steak (界●地中海意面餐厅)
Mid-Range Fare
Ashley (阿什莉)
  • Floor 4, 336 Middle Xizang Road
  • Open Monday–Sunday 11:00–14:30 and 17:00–21:30
  • 0086 21 63463235
Cheap Eats
Cheap Eats
Zhen Lao Dafang (真老大房)
Upscale Dining
Kathleen's 5 Rooftop Restaurant & Bar (K5西餐厅)
  • Floor 5, 325 West Nanjing Road
  • Open Monday–Sunday 11:00–00:30
  • 0086 21 63272221
Cheap Eats
Long Time Ago (很久以前只是家串店)
Mid-Range Fare
Dong Lai Hai Shang (东莱·海上)
  • 94 Middle Fujian Road
  • Open Monday–Sunday 10:30–14:00 and 17:00–21:30
  • 0086 21 63115800
Mid-Range Fare
Laokeqin Shanghai (老克勒上海菜)
  • Floor 2, Chong Hing Finance Center, 288 West Nanjing Road
  • Open Monday–Sunday 11:00–14:00 and 17:00–22:00
  • 0086 21 61221577
Mid-Range Fare
Lingo (灵格西餐厅)
  • Room 109, 388 West Nanjing Road
  • Open Monday–Saturday 11:00–15:00 and 17:00–22:00, Sunday 11:00–15:00 and 17:00–00:00
  • 0086 21 63345066
Cheap Eats
Fan Cafe (饭小馆)
  • Room 108, Hongji Ximenting, 279 South Xizang Road
  • Open Monday–Sunday 11:30–14:00, 17:30–22:00 and 22:00–01:00
  • 0086 21 63752536
Mid-Range Fare
Home Thai
  • Unit 401, Floor 4, K11 Art Mall, 300 Middle Huaihai Road
  • Open Monday–Sunday 11:30–22:00
  • 0086 21 63355995
Mid-Range Fare
  • Unit 303, Floor 3, K11 Art Mall, 300 Middle Huaihai Road
  • Open Monday–Sunday 11:00–22:00
  • 0086 21 63128807
Mid-Range Fare
Banana Leaf (广州蕉叶)
  • Floor 4, South Building, Hong Kong Square Shopping Shopping Center, 283 Middle Huaihai Road
  • Open Monday–Sunday 11:00–22:00
  • 0086 21 53833333
Upscale Dining
Bar Bites
  • Floor 4, South Building, Hong Kong Plaza, 283 Middle Huaihai Road
  • Open Monday–Sunday 21:00–05:00
  • 0086 21 62886222
Upscale Dining
Bar Bites
Jiyue Hotpot (季悦火锅)
  • Floor 3, South Building, Hong Kong Plaza, 283 Middle Huaihai Road
  • Open Monday–Sunday 11:00–22:00
  • 0086 21 33662796
Cheap Eats
Food Fusion (融合马来西亚餐厅)
  • L413-415, 300 East Nanjing Road
  • Open Monday–Saturday 10:00–22:00
  • 0086 21 33767967
Cheap Eats
Jiajia Steamed Dumpling (佳家汤包)
Cheap Eats
Lao Sheng Chang (老盛昌苏州汤包馆)
Cheap Eats
k1+3 Rooftop Cafe (木鸭梨露天餐厅)
  • Floor 4, 456 West Nanjing Road
  • Open Monday–Sunday 11:00–22:00
  • 0086 21 33051136
Mid-Range Fare
Yi Xiang Chun Zhu (怡乡春竹)
Cheap Eats
Cang Lang Ting (沧浪亭)
Mid-Range Fare
Man Fu Man Zu (满腹满足)
Cheap Eats
Shen Dacheng (沈大成)
  • Floor 6, Yuehui Square, 353 East Nanjing Road
  • Open Monday–Sunday 07:00–21:00
  • 0086 21 33313134
Find accommodations in Shanghai

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