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Home Travel in Shanghai Travel Guide in Shanghai
Travel Guide in Shanghai
Travel in Shanghai
Shanghai (上海 Shànghǎi), with a population of more than 18 million (and over 5.8 million migrants), is one of the most populous and most developed cities in the People's Republic of China.

Shanghai was the largest and most prosperous city in the Far East during the 1930s, and remained the most developed city in Communist China. In the 1990s Shanghai again became an attractive spot for tourists worldwide.


Where in Shanghai to go depends largely on your time period of interest. See Shanghai for the first-timer for a sample itinerary.

For a feel of the China of yesteryear, check out Yuyuan Gardens, which is loaded with classical Chinese architecture. A lot of history resides in this little garden and temple. They were commissioned in 1559, built over the course of 19 years, destroyed in 1842
during the first Opium War, and later rebuilt and reopened to the public in their current incarnation in 1961. Pathways wind through rock gardens and bamboo stands, and stone bridges cross pools filled with bright carp. The word "yu" translates to "peace and health"—and the park was certainly designed with tranquility in mind

For 1920s Shanghai, head for the stately old buildings of the Bund. Or pay a visit to The French Concession, in Xuhui District (徐汇区), generally bound by Shan Xi Road to the East, Jian Guo Road to the South, Hua Shan Road to the West and Chang Le Road (长乐路) to the North. Some of the best sections are along Hu Nan Road (湖南路), Fu Xing Road (复兴路), Shao Xing Road (绍兴路) and Heng Shan Road (衡山路). The area is fast becoming famous for boutique shopping along Xin Le Lu, Chang Le Lu and An Fu Lu (安福路), all of which also have interesting restaurants.

For 21st-century Shanghai, cross the river to gawk at the skyscrapers of Pudong. The area surrounding People's Square is also great for skyscrapers, as well as Nanjing West Road (南京西路).

To find some peace, you should visit the Longhua Temple. It takes a while to get there but it's not as busy as the Jade Buddha Temple and the experience is fulfilling. You can also have a nice vegetarian Buddhist meal in both Temples.

For Shanghai's modern cultural innovations and a look into the hot contemporary art scene head to the Tai Kang Road creative enclave. People from all walks of life converge amongst the traditional Shikumen thats home to design stores, fashion boutiques and cafes representing the best of Shanghai creativity. Unique local brands such as Verviaare amongst the most interesting, combining eastern and western influences to be at the forefront of modern Shanghai design.


Walk Along the Fuxing Rd (复兴路) to see the old buildings and enjoy the neatness of the road

Take an elevator to the top of the Oriental Pearl TV Tower (东方明珠), the tallest TV tower in Asia with the height of 468 meters, and on a good day the sprawling views are spectacular!

Enter Shanghai Xintiandi (新天地), Lane 181, Taicang Road. A small pedestrianised area of the city featuring rebuilt traditional shikumen [stone gate] houses. Housing a cinema complex,mall, numerous bars, cafés and art galleries marketed towards foreign visitors and the more affluent locals. Close to where the communist party headquarters were located.

Enter Shanghai International Convention Center Shanghai International Convention Center was opened for business in August 1999. The '99 Fortune Global Forum was held here. It is located in the southwest of the Oriental Pearl TV Tower in Pudong. It covers an area of 45,000 square meters with a landscaped square of 30,000 square meters. It consists of several modernized halls including a 42,000-sq.m. Multi-functional hall, a 25,000-sq.m. Exhibition hall, an 11,000-sq.m. Underground exhibition hall and 20 meeting rooms of different sizes. There are 259 guest rooms, including presidential suites, executive suites, standard rooms, Chinese and Western restaurants, a coffee room, a nightclub, a show room, a gym, a swimming pool, a bowling room, a billiard room, a sauna bath and a shopping arcade.

See the giant panda and many more exotic animals at the Shanghai Zoo. Located nearby Hongqiao airport, this is a spacious and modern zoo that's for the most part a far cry from the concrete animal prison in Beijing. Open daily from 6:30 to 17:00 (16:30 in winter), tickets are ¥30, or ¥40 including an elephant show. One kid not taller than 1.2m gets in for free together with one paying adult. Take bus 925 from Renmin Square (¥3) for about 45 minutes. Please follow the signs (even if the locals do not) and do not feed or tease the animals.

Walk along Nanjing Dong Lu (南京东路) in the evening. Start at People Square (人民广场) and enjoy the bright neons and lights of this pedestrian road. For a longer walk, continue your way to the Bund and enjoy the bright lights of Pudong. Be careful of pick-pockets and and people that come up to you for a chat. Usually, they have something to sell or a service to offer that is not in your best interest.
Take a ride on the Maglev train either to or from the Pudong Airport. 300K/hr is a cool ride. Taxi's are plentiful at the Maglev station.


Shanghainese cuisine is one of the lesser-known types of Chinese food, generally characterized as sweet and oily. The name "Shanghai" means "upper harbour"/"above the sea", so unsurprisingly seafood predominates, the usual style of preparation being steaming. Some Shanghainese dishes to look out for:

xiao long baozi (小籠包子, lit. buns from the little steaming cage, or little dragon buns), probably the most famous Shanghai dish: small steamed dumplings full of tasty (and boiling hot!) broth and a dab of meat. The connoisseur bites a little hole into them first, sips the broth, then dips them in rice vinegar (醋 cu) to season the meat inside.

dazha xie (hairy crabs), best eaten in the winter months (Oct-Dec) and paired with Shaoxing wine to balance out your yin and yang xiefen shizitou (蟹粉狮子头, lit. crab powder lion heads), actually pork meatballs containing crab meat

zui ji (醉鸡, lit. drunken chicken), chicken steamed then marinated in rice wine, usually served cold

"You Tiao" (油条, lit. oil stick) , are a long, deep-fried donut one kind of breakfast that is very popular in Shanghai. typically consumed in the morning with soy milk (dou jiang 豆浆)
For cheap Chinese eats, head for the alley known as Wujiang Road. For fancier food in nicer surroundings, try the upmarket restaurants of Xintiandi.

Vegetarians should not miss Vegetarian Life Style (258, Fengxian Road and 77, Songshan Road) where you can experience nice, affordable and organic vegetarian food resembling real meat or fish dishes in a fancy atmosphere.