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4.2 / 5 30 votes

Country rank: 3 out of 8 Places To Visit In China

Sub-Region: East China


Ideal duration: 4-6 days

Best time: March to May (Read More)

Nearest Airport: Pudong (Check Flights)


"The towering Chinese metropolis"

Shanghai Tourism

Shanghai is among China's most important cities. It is the most populous city in China and also the most populous in the world. Due to it's wide array of tourist attractions, Shanghai serves as one of China's best tourist destinations.

Shanghai has been a major part of China's meteoric rise in the modern world. It is a very important global financial centre and also the busiest container port in the world. The Pudong area skyline is a testament to this dominance of Shanghai as China's financial centre, with some of the tallest structures in the world such as the Shanghai Tower, the Shanghai World Financial Centre and the Jin Mao Tower.Not just economically, but Shanghai is a historically important city too, around 2000 years old. And this makes the city a very popular tourist attraction as well. Many of the city's tourist attractions such as the Lunghua Temple, the City God Temple and the Bund go centuries back. But what makes Shanghai a true cultural fusion is the fact that it has evolved so much beyond that and yet has held on to it's roots. You will find ancient temples and along with those you will find spectacular modern buildings. Places like the Shanghai Museum, or the Oriental Pearl Tower or the New International Expo Centre are an example of how far Shanghai has come, while the Yuyuan Garden and the Jade Temple at the same time take you back to the history of the city. This pronounced fusion of the ancient with constant progress and modernity make Shanghai one of the world's top most cities.

Hotels in Shanghai

Top Hotels in Shanghai

  • Capella Shanghai, Jian Ye Li

    CNY 2,900 /night onwards

  • Fairmont Peace Hotel On the Bund

    CNY 1,835 /night onwards

  • The Peninsula Shanghai

    CNY 2,300 /night onwards

View All Hotels in Shanghai >

More on Shanghai

While the official language of Shanghai is Standard Mandarin, the language spoken by the people of Shanghai is Shanghainese. This dialect of Wu Chinese is actually quite different from Mandarin. Knowing basic words like 'nong ho' (hello) and ng_ xin... (my name is...) and yˆyš (thank you) will come in handy. English is not spoken very widely in Shanghai by the common people, but you will find a good number of English speakers in tourist and business areas and also the international hotels.

Shanghai is one of China's most historic cities and it has been directly influenced by the rules of various dynasties, despite never being a capital itself. It was upgraded to the status of a town for the first time in 1074. Shanghai saw most of it's development because of it's port and several changes in trade practices between the 16th to 18th century saw Shanghai the primary port of the Yangtze region. Shanghai's port's global usage began when the British realised it's strategic importance. The British gained access to the city and the port after the first Opium Wars of 1939 to 1942. Even after that, Shanghai had a very turbulent time, witnessing many rebellions and revolutions. The first Sino-Japanese war had also seen Japan establish itself as another foreign power in Shanghai. In the first half of the 20th century Shanghai saw a large amount of immigration from nearby European countries and by the 1930s Shanghai was the 5th most populated city in the world and it was upgraded to the status of Municipality in 1927, excluding the parts under foreign control. Japan once again attacked Shanghai and in 1937, occupied areas beyond the International Agreement and the French Concession. Japan took over Shanghai completely before surrendering at the end of WW2. After 4 years of turmoil, the People's Liberation Army took back control of Shanghai. The period after saw great radical leftist ideology in Shanghai, yet considerable industrial growth. Economic reforms were initiated only by 1991, but since then Shanghai has established itself as one of the biggest financial centres of the world.

Shanghai is an international city and as such has a host of top notch nightclubs to help you have a memorable night out. Clubs such as the Apartment and the Shelter on Yongfu Lu. The super fancy Monkey Champagne is also popular with the high end crowd for a great hip hop night!

In Shanghai, you can literally shop till you drop. It's often called a shopping paradise! Many famous roads have lines of stores, shops and boutiques. The Nanjing Road especially is known for it's numerous international stores and brands. You'll also find plenty of shopping malls in the Xujiahui commercial district.

Renminbi is the only currency accepted in Shanghai. Shanghai is a global financial centre and all major Visa and MasterCards are accepted here.

Currency exchange in Shanghai is an easy task. Along with forex companies such as Travelex, you can get your currency exchanged at the banks as well. Currency exchange options are present at the airport as well. Enquire about rates offered by different places before getting it changed as it can make a difference when you're converting a large amount of money.

China in general is not a very expensive country. But since Shanghai is it's largest city and is a major tourist destination, it tends to get a little expensive. A low budget should lie around RMB 250 - 350 per day. A mid range budget can be expected to be in the range of RMB 500 - 1000. This owes a lot to the fact that prices change drastically when you go to decent restaurants for food rather than cheap ones and street food and also if you go out during the night. A high end budget would mean that you're going out at nights, eating at fancy places, and shopping as well, these expenses should start from around RMB 1200 - 1300 per person and higher.

Shanghai is religiously very diverse. A sizable population of Shanghai follows traditional faiths such as Taoism, Counfucianism or worship natural deities. Among organised religions, Buddhism is the most popular.

The Chinese culture, as compared to the western world, is very different. Though some features are common as well. Meetings are sufficed by a handshake and in a group the social hierarchy always goes from the oldest to the youngest. Chinese people in general avoid conflict, so being too honest might be considered rude at times and so is using fingers to point at someone in public. Avoid using your feet to move things. Shanghai is a global city, so dressing doesn't really conform to any norms since it hosts people from all walks of life. Tipping too is rare in Shanghai, though nobody will ever mind if you leave a little change if you're pleased with the service.

The Chinses cuisine is probably the single most famous cuisine all over the world. The number of dishes on offer globally are extensive, imagine what all you can have in Shanghai! You just have to try the original dumplings here, since you've probably had them every where. Seafood and poultry are also popular. Try the steamed crab and the pepper duck as well. Shanghai has limitless fast food joints, including all international giants like KFC, McDonald's, Domino's, Pizza Hut and so on. Many restaurants all over China and in many of the hotels also serve many international cuisines. So you'll be spoilt for choice in terms of food here.

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