Shanghai has it all.

Shanghai is a perfect blend of East and the West, the ancient and the modern. The city is offering visitors a chance to experience the past, present, and future all at one.

Why should you travel to Shanghai?

You want to know what to see and where to go in Shanghai? Stay with me. I spent about 10 days there, a nice amount of time to explore many Shanghai attractions and sights.

Shanghai, literally 'Above the Sea', is a port city on the Huangpu River, where the Yangtze River empties into the East China Sea.

Millions of visitors come to Shanghai every year, Shanghai is China's financial capital and international metropolis, with a population of more than 24 million people, Shanghai has been one of the fastest developing cities in the world.

Shanghai is a cosmopolitan city of contrasts. On one side this large city can offer you places for luxury shopping, amazing nightlife, perfect dining and on another side you will find traditional Chinese historical places. Shanghai has a rich collection of buildings and structures of various architectural styles.

Shanghai is the center of business, finance, and enterprise where fortune is made and spent. This is an international city with foreign national from countries all around the world.

Shanghai is safe, fun and stimulation city. This city knows how to play.

Let's get started! If this is your first trip to Shanghai, you might find this list helpful.


AIR- Shanghai is the only Chinese city that has two main airports - Pudong International Airport for International flights and Hongqiao Airport for domestic flights.

Every day, about 1,000 flights travel through the two airports, linked with many domestic and international cities such as London, Paris, Hong Kong, New York...

MAGLEV- this is the coolest airport transportation ever. Shanghai maglev train is suggested if you are just arriving at Pudong International Airport of the city. Maglev is a transport method that uses magnetic levitation to move vehicles without making contact with the ground. A train can reach 350 km/h (217 mph) in 2 minutes, with the maximum normal operation speed of 431 km/h

SUBWAY - subway system covers almost every area in Shanghai, which makes this metro the largest metro system in the world, 10 million people use metro every day, metro is fast, cheap, air conditioned and really easy to use. Subway is marked with colors and numbers. If you planning to stay longer and take public transportation every day  my advice is to rent

Public transportation card, you can use the card for paying metro, buses, boats, Maglev, ferries even taxis.

TAXI - are plentiful in Shanghai. it is not very hard to hail a cab along the street. RMB cash and Shanghai Public Transportation Card are accepted for payment on all cars.

The base fare is currently ¥14 (inclusive of a ¥1 fuel surcharge; ¥18 between 11:00 pm and 5:00 am) which covers the first 3 km (2 mi). Additional km cost ¥2.4 each.

TRAIN -  It is better to book the tickets in advance, especially during the peak travel time, such as May Day, National Day, and Chinese New Year. Because there is a great possibility that they will be sold out in minutes once available. That happens to us so we end up in the train from the nightmare. It has four main railway stations: Shanghai Railway Station, South Railway Station, West Railway Station and Hongqiao Railway Station. Remember to bring your valid certificate such as passport, as real-name ticket policy is strictly implemented.

Top Things to do in Shanghai


              Yu Garden, Yu Yuan Bazaar, God's Temple

This is the perfect place to relax.  The exquisite layout, beautiful scenery, and the artistic style of the garden architecture have made the garden one of the highlights of Shanghai.

Yuyuan Garden is a famous classical garden located in Anren Jie, Shanghai. Yu Garden was first built in 1559 during the Ming Dynasty by Pan Yunduan as a comfort for his father, the minister Pan En, in his old age. Located beside the City God Temple in the northeast of the Old City of Shanghai, China.

Yuyuan Bazaar is right next to Yu Garden. It has a great number of small streets and lanes where you can find many restaurants, tea houses, and shops. It is a good place to sample some local snacks and buy some souvenirs.

God's Temple is located in the tourist belt center of Shanghai and adjoins Yuyuan Garden and surrounded by numbers of the shopping center and snack streets. there are a lot of activities and local delicacies to experience. The town God temple is open to the public for free however there is a fee for entering Yu Yuan Garden. City God Temple is an important part of Chinese folk religion. It is believed that the god would keep the order among the ghosts and thus be able to protect the people in the district.

The temple has evolved into the center of local people's life, and then a tourist spot. You can find different shops and snack stalls around.

03 |Best karaoke ever              K Party

K party is located on the third Floor, SML Centre, 618 Xujiahui Lu, near Rujin Er Lu (entrance on Taikang Lu), Huangpu district.

The center is massive, but extremely well organized. The floors are marble and the microphones are the retro standing kind that will make you feel like a 1940s jazz singer.

The first on any list, K Party is a favorite for good reason. The extensive song selection can’t be beaten, the rooms are glamorous, and the prices are reasonable.
I can not find words to describe this place.

Except there's like 1000 private rooms and there's a full blown Karaoke party in all of them! The food here is pretty excellent and the room service is on point.

If you're not a chain smoker, however, you may have a hard time breathing through the thick cloud of tobacco smoke allowed in the rooms and hallways.

The best part of this whole experience is that they actually play all the original music videos for the latest songs here. It's pretty spectacular. There's also a small stage in each room with a nice stand-up Mike for that exhibitionist amongst us (ahem!). lastly, a private bathroom for each separate Karaoke room with automatic plastic toilet seat covers! Too awesome!

04 |Shopping/ Fake market

  AP Plaza is Pudong's biggest  "fake market", located underground in Metro Line 2's Science & Technology Museum station

This market is massive. It covers an insane amount of territory below ground, just one floor above the metro line. There are hundred of shops and stalls offering clothes, designer handbags and watches, toys, and traditional Chinese souvenirs. There is also a jewelry section that has beautiful jade and pearls. Some of these items are real, some are great quality replicas, and some are cheap knock offs. Handbags and watches are hot ticket items, and people will try to pull you in “secret rooms” hidden away from the police. These items are usually much more expensive but are top quality. It is also possible to find decent quality bags out in the open. You can go in with any budget and dig around to find exactly what you are looking for.

The place is huge. It is very easy to reach because it is located just at the exit of the Science Museum Metro in Pudong. Hundreds of stores. Don't loose your time checking the authenticity, everything is fake.The final price of the goods depends on your patience to bargain. I know - a shopping mall in a museum? Well, it's actually not in the museum but right at the museum metro stop. If you're not sure if you're getting a good deal, it's easy to find another vendor to price compare but we found the shopping to be just about the best and it's indoors with lots of booth vendors so you can find virtually any brand you seek. my sister got her prescription glasses done there too. It did take overnight for progressive sunglasses with a faded tint - Tom Ford for $ 65.00?!! But many can be had within an hour - and they are truly the best prescription glasses she had ever owned.

Prices are low, but you must learn to bargain lower if you know how. Bargaining can be fun and yet be a menace when you do not agree with the price. The seller will shout on top of their voice. If you are not planning to buy, "DO NOT BARGAIN". else will turn ugly with unpleasant words hurling.

photo: https://nihaofornow.wordpress.com/tag/fake-markets/

   05 |Visit some of the highest buildings in Shanghai


Shanghai WFC  (SWFC) was completed on August 28, 2008, is the second tallest skyscraper in mainland China. Having 101 floors with a height of 492 meters (about 1,614 feet), it ranked the top in the heights of roof and usable floor
Shanghai tower-  Tallest building in China
2nd tallest building in the world
Tallest building with a twist of 90° The Shanghai Tower, reaching 632 meters, is the third “supertall” tower on the city’s iconic skyline. Looking out from the 119th floor, the city lies below like a toy model, a densely packed mass of streets and high-rise buildings.


The Oriental Pearl TV Tower is located in Pudong Park in Lujiazui, Shanghai. Surrounded by the Yangpu Bridge in the northeast and the Nanpu Bridge in the southwest, it creates a picture of 'twin dragons playing with pearls'. The entire scene is a photographic jewel that excites the imagination and attracts thousands of visitors year-round.

This 468 meters (1,536 feet) high tower is the world's sixth and China's second tallest TV and radio tower. However, even more, alluring than its height is the unique architectural design that makes it one of the most attractive places anywhere. Its base is supported by three seven-meter wide slanting stanchions. Surrounding the eleven steel spheres that are 'strung' vertically through the center are three nine-meter wide columns.

There are three large spheres including the top sphere, known as the space module. Then there are five smaller spheres and three decorative spheres on the base. The entire structure rests on rich green grassland and gives the appearance of pearls shining on a jade plate.

Visitors travel up and down the tower in double-decker elevators that can hold up to fifty people at the rate of seven meters per second. The elevator attendants recite an introduction to the TV Tower in English and Chinese during the rapid 1/4-mile ascent. Once you reach your destination, you will be amazed at the variety of activities available as the various spheres and columns actually house places of interest, commerce, and recreation.
The inner is a recreational palace, while the Municipal History Museum is located in the tower's pedestal. The large lower sphere has a futuristic space city and a fabulous sightseeing hall. From here, on a clear day, a visitor can see all the way to the Yangtze River. The base is home to a science fantasy city. The five smaller spheres are a hotel that contains twenty-five elegant rooms and lounges. The pearl at the very top contains shops, restaurants, (including a rotating restaurant) and a sightseeing floor. The view of the city from this height fills you with wonder at the beauty that surrounds you. When viewed from the Bund at night, the three-dimensional lighting makes it a delight of brilliant color.

It is amazing that this ultra-modern tower combines ancient concepts such as the spherical pearls, with 21st Century technology, commerce, recreation, educational and conference facilities. All of this and it really is a TV and radio tower that services the city with more than nine television channels and upwards of ten FM radio channels. 

06 |Shanghai Science and Technology Museum

Awesome at all levels! One of the largest, newest, and most sophisticated science, technology, and industry museums on the globe. The museum has great informative and interactive displays. There are free lockers with electronic locks in case you need to bring your luggage with you, or you have bags that you don't want to lug around the museum. Wow is how I would like to describe this museum.

Right from the entry into the Animal section, to the world of robotics, solar system, the human body, automotive, this museum is for people of all ages and background.

It's huge and located right on the subway station of its own name and one cannot and must not miss it.

07| Chinese Teas

Tea was and remains a central piece in the Asian cultures, especially in China where it first originated. Discover the wonderful atmosphere of a traditional Chinese tea ceremony and find out what does the art of drinking tea really means.

The way tea culture and tea ceremonies evolved in the Chinese society mirrors the importance of this wonderful beverage which was first discovered and enjoyed in China. Tea was cultivated in the beginning mainly as herbal medicine and mostly within temples. Monks began to use tea for its peace and calming effects and as a sign of humility and respect for nature.
Chinese tea ceremony was born as a result of the respect for nature and need for peace which the religious ceremonies involved. 

 Best free (or nearly free) things to do in Shanghai

    08| BUND

    Bund is a famous water-front regarded as the symbol of Shanghai for hundreds of years. Bund has been called a museum of international architecture and indeed it was and it still is. This is must see place when you visit Shanghai.

    Take a Huangpu river cruise, and you will be impressed by the night views of Shanghai. The historical buildings along the Bund are magnificent.

    Walk along the Bund, and enjoy stunning views of the towers across the river, especially at night.

    Along the walkway, you get great views of Pudong, the financial area with includes the highest buildings in Shanghai. The ferry across the river is very cheap, and a night time crossing gives fabulous illuminated vistas.

     You can take metro line 2 or Line 10 to East Nanjing Road and then walk 10 minutes that is the easiest way. The Bund: The first port of call for most visitors to Shanghai is roaming along the curve of The Bund promenade, with heritage architectural landmarks on one side and some of the city’s best panoramas across the Huangpu River to skyscraper-filled Pudong on the other. The best time to take a wander is in the early morning haze when you’ll catch locals enthusiastically engaging in an exercise like no one’s watching, from Taichi and kite-flying to walking backward.


09| Watch the locals doing their morning exercises or even better exercises with them.

     The extensive public park system in Shanghai offers the citizens some reprieve from the urban jungle. By the year 2012, the city had 157 parks, with 138 of them free of charge. This is the way to experience the real lifestyle of local people. in the morning you can see local people doing Tai Chi and yoga. In the evening you can see them dancing and singing in almost every park in this huge city. Dance with them.I tried and it was great.

    Fuxing Park is located in the former French Concession of Shanghai, the ChinaThe park was laid out by the French in 1909.[1][2] The park, about 10 ha. in size, is designed in the French style, with a lake, fountains, covered pavilions, and flower beds. Early morning, the park fills with dancers, card players, mahjong enthusiasts, and tai chi solo and group artists.[3] According to Time magazine's Hannah Beech, it is one of the must-see sights in Shanghai.

    Parks are great places to get a close look at and take part in Chinese culture, especially the lifestyle of Shanghai people. In the morning they are doing Tai chi and in the evening you can find them dancing.

Photo: CNN travel

    10 | Shanghai Natural History Museum

     Very interesting, large exhibits with the latest animation and 4D shows. I enjoyed the showcasing of Shanghai environs, dinosaur exhibits, trees, and fossils.

    This place is truly amazing and just when you think you've seen it all, you stumble upon another giant display. There are so many great exhibits to just staring at, but so much more interactive displays. Some incredible exhibits including real & cast huge dinosaurs. A must do in Shanghai.A great museum to visit for lovers of natural history and dinosaurs Located in the Jing'An Sculpture garden, which is a destination in and of itself, the museum stands out architecturally. Large and open spaces with excellent natural and artificial lighting. The dinosaur and animals exhibits are fantastic.


“A little piece of Europe in the middle of Shanghai”

    A visit to Shanghai is not complete without a visit and stroll around the French Concession.

    This is one of the best places to visit in Shanghai, for walking, eating, fun, drinks its almost everything, The French Concession is a must see in Shanghai. Start your time here with a small coffee and croissant and spend your time walking around and seeing the sights. There are numerous small traditional streets to go shopping and to be ready to bargain. Most have mostly touristy souvenirs, but some shops have real items for sale.

    Lunch can be very nice but also expensive, so check in and get a solid recommendation from a local - before you go. But definitely, go for a long visit.Charming area with beautiful trees and water fountains with an Old European feel and many pedestrian streets to look at boutiques, bakeries, art galleries or enjoy one of the many terraces and outdoor cafes

    12| Ferry ride

    We had a nice walk along the walkway for a little while and decided to cross the river. There were a few river cruises to choose from. Prices around Ymb150 and take quite a long time. So we thought we could try the ferry first and if we liked it we would come back earlier the next evening to have the full work. The ferry cost ymb2 per person each way and took about 5 to 10 minutes.

    Once abroad we could get close to the railings and were in good position to take photos. We did the same on our return journey and had quite a few decent shots. One thing though, the smell of the fuel was very over powering. I was glad that the whole thing took under half an hour and wasn't sure that I could take a longer cruise. So we settled for another short walk and gave the idea of a cruise a miss.

13| Nanjing road

Nanjing Road is always the synonym of flourish. There's a saying that goes 'you have not ever been to Shanghai unless you go to the Nanjing Road'. Nanjing Road - China's premier shopping street - extends westwards from the Bund to the junction of Jing'a Temple and the West Yan'an Road. The 3.4-mile-long road has two sections of East Nanjing Road and West Nanjing Road being separated by the Middle Xizang Road. The west part of East Nanjing Road, from Middle Henan Road to Middle Xizang Road, has been set up as a pedestrian street in 1999.

Today East Nanjing Road becomes the first choice for many fashion-seeking shoppers. A great many large shopping malls, time-honored stores, famous stores and specialty shops cluster along both sides of the road. You can find whatever you want - commodities, home appliances,  communication equipment, photographic equipment, fitness equipment, clothing, shoes, fabrics, cosmetics, jewelry, watches, glasses, books, food, medicine and children's needs.

  | Food

Chinese food has a profound history and culture. Due to the large area and multiple ethnic groups which the country has, different regions have their own cuisines and featured food. Dishes of different cuisines are varied in cooking method, appearance, and taste.

Chinese cuisine is an important part of Chinese culture, which includes cuisine originating from the diverse regions of China, as well as from Chinese people in other parts of the world.

    15| Best time to visit:

    To avoid the heat of summer and the cold of winter, spring (March to May) and autumn (September to November) are the best times for traveling in Shanghai.


If you prefer to stay near the center of the city it would be close to People square.
Some nice hotels along Nanjing Lu are like Radisson New World, JW Marriott Tomorrow square, Jia hotel, Ritz Carlton, Pei Mansions, Four Seasons.

Some prefer to stay in the thick of actions like at Nanjing Dong Lu. Nanjing Dong Lu is a place either u like it or hate it but it's very lively so much so are the scams. But if you are careful and aware of it it will b a great place to stay. Good hotels near here are the LeMeridien, Langham Xintiandi, Grand Central, Sofitel, Westin.

All the above hotels are close to metro stations.

Some prefer a river Huangpu view but a distance to walk to the metro like along the Bund are Peace hotel, Peninsula, Les Suite Orient, Indigo,Waldorf.
Huangpu view is beautiful if you want to stay looking at the view of Pudong at night and also looking at the ships and barges sailing along.
Actually, it all depends on your preference as each area is unique and nice. If I am given a choice I want to stay in all of them.

   - Tips -

 Traveling in China on its holidays can be a nightmare.

Even if it's green light you need to be careful while crossing the road. In China red means go.

 You can not use Google, Google maps, Facebook, Instagram in China they are blocked but if you have VPN you will be fine.

You have to have the passport with valid Chinese visa to check into the hotel.

Unlicensed black cabs / fake Taxi meters: The scams that run in China include black cab drivers, who will sit around major transport hubs such as Airports & Train stations. They are not licensed and will rip you off. 

Taxi in Shanghai

Colors of taxi represent different taxi companies in the city. Service can be varied among providers:

 Blue: Da Zhong Taxi ( recommended)

 White: Jinjiang Taxi ( recommend, many 5 stars hotel use them)

 Yellow/green: Qiangsheng Taxi ( recommended, one of the good reputation company)

 Navy Blue: Hai Bo Taxi ( not too bad, some navy blue colors are not from the same company)

Shanghai Useful Phone Numbers

    Area Code: 021
    Fire Emergency: 119
    Police: 110

I hope you found this travel guide helpful and I wish you an unforgettable trip to Shanghai.

Happy travels!