Shanghai – one of the most developed and largest metropolitan areas in China.
English name: Shanghai, name in Chinese: 上海 (shànghǎi). The name translates as: “city on the sea”, 上 – up, on, over; 海 – sea. Population of Shanghai: 24,870,900 (As of 2021) Zip code: 200,000 Airports: Pudong international airport, Hongqiao international airport. Main events: East China Import and Export Fair.
Shanghai is a central city in eastern China located on the coast of the East China Sea and borders Zhejiang and Jiangsu provinces.
Shanghai In the 1930s Shanghai was the biggest and fastest growing city in China and in the past 20 years it has become one of the most attractive tourist destinations for visitors from all over the world. Contributing to this was the holding of the World Expo 2010, which registered the highest number of visitors in the history of the event. In addition, Shanghai is often at the top of the rankings of cities in China and the world.
Shanghai is the most unusual and the most European city in China.
Shanghai is an amazing mix of East and West. You can see here a lot of buildings in the style of Shikuemen (石库门) so called Shanghai architectural style which combines elements of both Chinese and European styles, as well as a huge number of buildings in the Art Deco style. And since by the beginning of the 20th century in the city there were many foreign concessions, the city looks very cosmopolitan. Here you can find buildings of different styles, from classic Parisian to English and American, and some of them are very reminiscent of New York or Chicago 30th century.
There is a saying, “Shanghai is paradise for the rich and hell for the poor. People from all over China flock to Shanghai in search of a better life, from job-seeking farmers to graduates of top universities seeking a career in major international companies or simply wanting to live at the pace of the big city. However, even the wealthy complain about the impossibility of buying a house, as the real estate prices in Shanghai are currently considered the highest in China.
Shanghai is one of the main industrial centers in China, playing a key role in China’s heavy industry. This is due to the large number of industrial areas adjacent to Shanghai.
Climate and Weather in Shanghai
Shanghai has a humid and mild subtropical climate. Summer temperatures often reach 35-36 degrees with very high humidity. There are often torrential tropical rains during the summer – so it is recommended that you bring an umbrella or buy one on arrival just in case. Between July and September, typhoons are not uncommon in the city.
In winter, daytime temperatures rarely rise above 10° and often drop below freezing at night. It rarely snows, but in the event of a sudden snowfall, all public transportation tends to stop working. Despite the fact that winter temperatures in Shanghai are not too low, the chilly wind coupled with high humidity makes it very unpleasant to be in the city even compared to the northern regions. Also one of the disadvantages of winter in Shanghai is the lack of central heating – even in cafes sometimes you have to sit in outerwear.
Spring is characterized by cloudy and more often rainy weather while autumn in Shanghai is usually mild, warm and sunny.
What to Taste in Shanghai – Shanghai Cuisine
The cuisine of Shanghai as well as its culture was formed under the influence of the surrounding region Jiangnan (Jiangsu and Zhejiang provinces). Most Shanghai dishes have a sweetish taste – and they are prepared in such a way as to emphasize the freshness and balance of the ingredients with the obligatory addition of sweet and sour notes in almost every dish. Pork and seafood are used as the main ingredients. Rice and wheat flour products dominate here as well: pampushki, huntong dumplings, baozzi, various types of noodles.
One of the characteristic features of Shanghai cuisine is that they are cooked from fresh ingredients and have bright colors and original flavors. It should be noted that fish and seafood in good restaurants must be cooked alive. The most popular dishes include boiled eel (锅烧河鳗), the dish “three yellow chicken” (三黄鸡), fried shrimp (油爆河虾), Shanghai drunken crab (上海醉蟹) and others.
The name “Shanghai” itself means “over the sea,” but paradoxically, locals prefer to eat fish from fresh water bodies, which is due to the city’s location at the mouth of China’s longest river, the Yangtze. Nevertheless, seafood is notably popular and is often cooked in stews (fish), steamed (fish and shellfish) or fried (shellfish). If you decide to try any of the fried dishes, it is advisable to keep an eye on their preparation, as sometimes chefs use week-old stocks.
A must-try dish in Shanghai:
Xiaolongbao (小笼包, xiǎolóngbāo), “Shanghai-style steamed dumplings”. Perhaps the most famous Shanghai dish: it is similar to the usual dumplings or manty, but the difference is that it contains not only meat but also a scalding but very tasty broth. Experienced gourmets make a hole in each of the dumplings, drink the broth, and then dip them in dark vinegar (醋 cù) to spice up the filling.
Fried stuffed pampushki ( 生煎包, Shengqian Bao). Unlike steamed dumplings, this dish is made with rice flour dough and pan-fried until crispy on the bottom. It is not as common around the world, yet it is one of the most popular breakfast foods among Shanghainese. We recommend eating it with vinegar and being on the lookout, as the hot broth they contain can splatter with any careless movement.
Shanghai hairy crab (上海毛蟹; Shànghǎi máo xiè ). It is best consumed during the fall and winter months (October through December) along with Shaoxing wine to balance the yin and yang in the body.
Crab and pork meatballs (蟹粉狮子头; xièfěn shīzitóu).
What to do in Shanghai
Depending on the time of year, Shanghai offers different activities. In summer, it can be a water park or biking in the mountains. In winter, you can go skiing on the Seven Silver Stars/Qinyinxing track, but keep in mind that the track is paid, but quite large and can accommodate about 1,000 skiers at a time. If you want to relax with the whole family, Suzhou Amusement Park is great here. But don’t think that there is only an amusement park. There is a water park, and there are a lot of areas that have a great view. Great for those who do not know what place to choose for a photo shoot. You can also visit the newly opened Shanghai Disneyland. For tourists who plan to visit Shanghai for only a few days, the main activity will be to visit the sights, on them we will stop in more detail.
One of the most crowded places in Shanghai – to the point where there are police officers on the street regulating the traffic of crowds of tourists, businessmen and just passers-by. It’s a paradise for those who love shopping – lots of malls, boutiques, foreign and Chinese labels, famous brands. Also just an unimaginable number of restaurants with European and Asian cuisine, fast food, pubs and coffee shops. But even if you are not planning to buy anything, you can still enjoy the architecture, the views of skyscrapers and the atmosphere of the metropolis. The place is especially beautiful in the evening – the streetlamps and signboards are lit everywhere and groups of dancers, singers and musicians appear.
Address : Nanjing Road pedestrian street, Huangpu District / Chinese: 黄浦区南京路步行街 Getting there by subway: Station – “East Nanjing Rd” or “West Nanjing Rd”, Metro Line 2.
Shanghai Waterfront – Weitang
The Weitang Waterfront is the most popular view throughout Shanghai. No person who comes to Shanghai will leave without a photo in front of the Weitang. You can visit the waterfront at any time of the day and night for free. Usually the waterfront is crowded even on weekdays, not to mention weekends and holidays. Not surprisingly, on Waitan you can enjoy not only the view of the skyscrapers on the other side, but also the ancient architecture of the waterfront itself. It’s especially beautiful in the evening when the lights come on and the other side of the river is illuminated by the lights.
Address: Zhongshan East 1st Road, Huangpu District, Shanghai (near Huangpu River) / Address in Chinese: 上海外滩 黄浦区中山东一路 Getting there by subway: The station is East Nanjing Rd, lines 2 and 10.
Shanghai TV Tower “Pearl of the East”.
The “Oriental Pearl” TV Tower is a symbol and the main attraction of the city, which also has the name: “Oriental Pearl Tower”. The tower is the fifth tallest TV tower in the world and the second tallest in China (468 meters). Also in the TV Tower is a rotating restaurant that offers a view of the whole Shanghai. Lunch at the restaurant will cost an average of 300 yuan per person, dinner will cost more. In the evening, the lights come on, so you can take lots of beautiful pictures against the backdrop of the Pearl.
Address: No. 1 Century Avenue, Pudong New District / Chinese address: 东方明珠 世纪大道 1 号 How to get there by subway: Lujiazui Station, Line 2, Exit 1 (from there you can immediately see the TV Tower). Opening hours are from 8:00 to 21:30 daily. Admission costs from 160 to 260 yuan (the ticket price depends on which viewpoint you choose).
In the Shanghai Zoo, the Chinese did not put the animals in cages, but equipped pavilions with good conditions suitable for animals. Of course, you can also see the symbol of China – the panda.
Address: 2381 Hongqiao road, Changning District / 2381. The address in Chinese is 上海动物园 虹桥路 2381 号 How to get there by subway: Shanghai Zoo Station, Line 10. Opening hours – in winter time from 8:30 to 16:30, in all other seasons from 8:00 to 17:00. Tickets cost 130 yuan for adults and 65 yuan for children. To visit the pavilions with some of the animals, you will have to buy additional tickets.
Shanghai Changfeng Oceanarium: Shanghai Changfeng Ocean World
The Shanghai Changfeng Oceanarium is a great place to visit with children as well as on your own. Considered one of the largest aquariums in the Asian Territory, it has a 155-meter long underwater glass tunnel (more than 20,000 square meters). In total, the Oceanarium has 4 underwater glass-walled tunnels with a total length of 168 meters. You can watch how they feed the various fish and marine animals every day at a strictly scheduled time.
Address: 451 Daduhe Lu, by Yunling Dong Lu / 451. Address in Chinese: 上海长风海洋世界 大渡河路 451 号长风公园 Opening hours are from 8:30 am to 5 pm daily. The ticket price is 160 yuan for an adult ticket, 110 yuan for a children’s ticket, 90 yuan for a senior citizen ticket. You can also buy an annual pass for 388 yuan.
Shanghai Old Town Xintiandi
A place with incredible European architecture and skyscrapers. Here you will see European-style restaurants, pubs, coffee shops, boutiques, stores and much more. All in all, Xintiandi is a great place for those who like to take pictures of historic architecture and walk around beautiful places.
Address: XintianDi, Huangpu District. Address in Chinese: 新天地 How to get there by subway: The station is “Xintiandi”, intersection of lines 10 and 13.
Shanghai People’s Square is the most popular place among tourists, from where you can easily get to many other attractions in Shanghai. You can also rest from the hustle and bustle of Nanjing Street and other nearby noisy, crowded places in the parks located there.
Address: No.120, People’s Avenue, Huangpu District / Address in Chinese: 人民大道 120 号 人民广场 Getting there by subway: The subway station is People’s Square , lines 1,2 and 8.
M50 Creative Park Art Zone
If you are interested in art, this is the place for you. Art Zone M50 is a set of individual pavilions gathered in one place. Here you can find anything you like – paintings, figurines, furniture, clothes, antiques, photographs, art installations and much more. There are also restaurants, coffee shops, and tea shops in the area. Entrance to all the pavilions is usually free, and if you like a particular piece of art, you can negotiate a purchase with the owner of the pavilion. During Chinese holidays some pavilions may charge an admission fee.
Address: No. 50 Moganshan road, Putuo District /50. The address in Chinese is m50 创意园 普陀区莫干山路 20 号 Opening hours are from 10:00 to 18:00 daily.
Interesting cities near Shanghai
There are several major Chinese cities not far from Shanghai which can be reached by high-speed trains (over 300 km/h). The ticket price on all days, except holidays, is quite reasonable, and the trains themselves are very comfortable. Tickets for these trains can be purchased on the website trip.com or at the ticket office of the station.
Chinese Shanghai is a unique metropolis. In China Shanghai is the largest city in terms of population. It is also one of the largest cities in the world in terms of the number of inhabitants there. In addition, this megalopolis is famous for its technological beauty and corners of ancient history among the stone jungle. What to see in Shanghai? Today we have prepared for you the top 22 attractions of Shanghai, which will be of interest to any tourist.
World Financial Center
A huge high-rise in Shanghai appeared in 2008. The height of the building is almost 492 meters. The unusual shape of the building was an impetus for the fact that the building was quickly dubbed the “opener”. In fact, such a roof was used to reduce the effect of wind on the high-rise.
The 100th floor of the skyscraper has the highest observation deck in the world. Tourists can get there in a jiffy with a high-speed elevator.
The building itself is filled with offices, restaurants and similar institutions. The elevator is accessible by subway and stops at the Lujiazui station. The cost to visit the observation deck varies from about 200 yuan. The grounds are open from 8:30 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Shanghai Disneyland, unlike other franchises, makes extensive use of Chinese motifs in its decoration. This fabulous amusement park has the biggest castle, the most extensive pirate zone, and a developed infrastructure, including bars, restaurants, themed hotels and stores. It is quite easy to get to Disneyland by subway. You just need to get off at the same stop. The amusement park is open from 9 am to 8 pm. A ticket on weekends will cost a tourist 575 yuan, on weekdays the ticket will cost a little cheaper.
The second largest zoo in China is located in Shanghai. The zoo is home to more than 600 species of animals, amphibians and birds. This zoo is an important part of the city’s National Park. In this place, in addition to viewing the enclosures with animals you can visit the extreme shows: cockfighting and bullfighting. It is in the Shanghai zoo is a show of dancing elephants. The main “stars” of the zoo are pandas. Walking through the lands of the park is very pleasant. Everything around is fragrant with delicate floral fragrances, and the paths are interspersed with shady alleys and recreation areas. It is possible to take the subway to the Shanghai Zoo station. It is located near the airport. The institution is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. An adult ticket there costs 130 yuan.
Museum of Natural History
The Museum of Natural History is enjoyed by adults and children alike. The Shanghai Museum tells visitors about the development of the biosphere, the secrets of the origins of the universe, and many other things related to our world. The artifacts in the museum are various fossils, skeletons of sharks and whales. There is also a real skeleton of a dinosaur found by archaeologists in China. One of the other halls displays works by taxidermists. The impressive and lifelike stuffed animals look just like the living ones. The Shanghai Natural History Museum is a subway station across from the museum building. The museum is closed on Mondays and is otherwise open from 9 a.m. to 5:15 p.m. Adults can enter for 30 yuan, children can visit exhibitions for free.
“The Pearl of the East TV Tower
In the business district of Pudong in the city towers a grandiose TV tower, dubbed the “Pearl of the East”. The tower is 468 meters high, making it the highest TV tower in China and the third highest in the world. At the top of the tower there is a module with a panoramic platform. All this splendor was built in the 90s. Since then, there has been a museum of the city’s history on the first floor of the tower. In the basement of the tower is an entertainment center, and in the middle part of the structure functions a hotel. The Pearl of the East even has its own club, as well as a concert hall. The tower’s infrastructure is open from 8:30 to 21:30. The nearest subway station is Lujiazui station. A ticket to all levels will cost 220 yuan and to the museum 35 yuan.
Since 1849, an entire block in Shanghai has been inhabited by the French. Therefore, the architecture of the exquisite and elegant quarter makes it look like “Little Paris”. The quarter with its beautiful houses is worth looking for between Juilu and Huaihai Streets. Some of the buildings in the neighborhood are beautifully preserved from the 1930s. For a long time, the neighborhood was known as a center for Catholicism. That’s why there are so many Catholic cathedrals in the French Quarter. The subway station Shaanxi Road is situated opposite one of the streets of the district.
Jin Mao Tower
The construction of another Chinese skyscraper Jin Mao consists of octagonal elements. The number “8” is considered lucky in China. The tower was built in 1998. Since then, it is a hallmark of the city. The height of the skyscraper is 421 meters. It has 88 floors.
On the 57th floor of the unusual building operates a swimming pool, but it is made not only for the amusement of the public. The designers of the building endowed the basin with a shock absorber function. The Jin Mao observation deck is open from 8:30 to 22:00. The entrance fee is 120 yuan. The Lujiazui station is accessible by subway.
This wonderful mountain covered with bamboo thickets is located in the southwest of Shanghai. It has many natural attractions, parks, and cultural monuments. On the mountain She (Sheshan) often hold local festivals. In the tourist areas of the mountain you can buy souvenirs or relax in a country house in the lap of nature. Entrance to the mountain is free. The excursion program depends on which park on the mountain you decide to visit. The long way to the mountain with several transfers is compensated by its beauty. If you are going to Mount She for the first time, it is best to book a guided tour.
Museum of Traditional Chinese Medicine
What the world calls “non-conventional medicine” is considered quite traditional in China. In honor of medicine based on herbs, massage and acupuncture, a museum was opened in Shanghai. Five thousand years of development of this branch are shown with the help of different exhibits in the museum. The museum building itself is built according to all the rules of feng shui. In the museum building to take pictures is strictly prohibited, but you can see with his own eyes the first anesthesia or acupuncture devices. Admission costs 10 yuan. The museum should be sought in the building of the Shanghai University of Medicine. The exhibitions are closed on Mondays; on other days they are open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
The Huangpu River in Shanghai has an embankment, the main part of which is 1.5 km long. In the 19th century foreign companies built in the port of Weitang Quay, so it looks quite European. Locals love this place for leisurely strolls. There are stores, restaurants, and nightclubs along the promenade. Here are some of the most expensive hotels in town. You can get to Weitang from the Nanjing East Road subway station.
The mysterious and forbidding Longhua Pagoda in Shanghai is part of the city’s temple complex. The structure is, as of today, 2,000 years old. It is under constant restoration and can therefore only be viewed from the outside. At the height of the pagoda is 40 meters. Temple of it is allowed to visit, and allowed to admire the Longhua from afar. At this attraction is a unique statue of the reclining Buddha. Nearby is laid out a nice park. Take the subway to the Longcao Road station.
Monument to Pushkin
Unexpectedly, there is a monument to the great Russian poet Pushkin in Shanghai. This monument was placed in the French Quarter on the initiative of the Russian community of China. The monument is the only monument of its kind erected in honor of a foreigner in the country. During its history, the Pushkin sculpture has been destroyed twice due to political unrest in the state. To see this wonder in the middle of China, you have to take bus 49 to the Xuhui district.
Valley of Happiness Amusement Park
On 864 thousand square kilometers is a huge park with beautiful natural sights and attractions. Water slides, theaters, space pavilions and rides for children create an unforgettable atmosphere in the “Valley of Happiness”. By the way, the prices in this park are slightly lower than in similar establishments in China. This park is interesting just to walk around, because its landscape design worked out to the smallest detail. The roller coaster and 40 other rides will keep kids and adults entertained. A free shuttle bus stops at Sheshan Station on the opposite side of the road to take tourists to the park. The average ticket costs 200 Yuan.
The Intercontinental Shimao Wonderland Shanghai is 30 km from Shanghai. The nontrivial structure is created inside an artificial canyon. The canyon itself is filled with clear water. On the edges of the reservoir towers a building consisting of 380 rooms. The hotel’s excellent service makes it one of the best of its kind. The main “feature” of the hotel is rooms, which are located directly under the water in the basement of the building. A day in this room costs about 400 euros. The hotel complex has a concept “closer to nature” and is incredibly popular among the Chinese and foreigners.
The main post office of the city was opened in 1922. Now its building is home to a museum with a very interesting excursion program. The exhibitions of the museum complex tell about the development of the post office in China since 1400. In the museum you can learn about the drums, as well as postal lights that were used for communication and messaging.
The exhibitions cover 8,000 square meters. The building is made in Baroque and classicist styles. In the main hall of the museum is a sculpture of China’s first minister of communications Xuefang .
In another room is a detailed diagram of all the post offices in the city. Exhibitions can be seen on Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday from 9.00 to 17.00. Admission is free.
Yu Yuan Bazaar and Garden
“The Garden of Happiness” was built for his parents by a Shanghai resident in the 16th century. He didn’t finish the work, the garden was not finished until 1709. Since then, this place has become an oasis where you can rest from the hustle and bustle of the stone jungle. Stones, arches, columns and whimsical plants adjoin the local bazaar, where it is not difficult to buy souvenirs. Buses 11, 45 and 126 go directly to the garden. A visit to the attraction costs 40 yuan. You can see the area until 5 p.m.
St. Ignatius Cathedral
The planet’s first Catholic worship service in China took place precisely in St. Ignatius Cathedral. The Jesuits built the cathedral in 1905. Today the church belongs to the Shanghai Diocese. During the Cultural Revolution, the church was severely damaged, its restoration is being carried out today. The red granite facade is decorated with two gothic towers of 60 meters each. On Sundays, the church holds services in Chinese and English. It is free to enter the temple. Its doors are open until 6 pm. The Xujiahui subway station is not far from the shrine.
In 1294, at the height of the Yuan dynasty, Shanghai ceased to be a simple village and gradually began to turn into a commercial city. To commemorate this event, the locals erected a temple. Confucius is the only temple in the city dedicated to him. For a long time, not only were services held there, but they were also engaged in educational activities. Tourists in the temple are invited to see statues of Buddha and Confucius and are invited to take part in a tea ceremony. Admission to the temple costs 10 yuan. Visitors are welcome between 9am and 4:30pm. Buses 24, 715, and 789 can be taken to the temple.
Jade Buddha Temple
The walls of the Jade Buddha Temple are covered in beautiful Chinese ochre. The statue of Buddha in the shrine is carved from large, solid pieces of jade. The statue is 192 cm high. The sculpture is inlaid with gold and precious stones. There are tea rooms on the grounds of the temple. There are several Buddha statues on the temple grounds and they are all worth the journey to the temple, get off at the Jiangning Road subway station, and see them for yourself. Admission to the shrine costs 20 yuan.
A grandiose aquarium opened in the city in 2002. The oceanarium is divided into 28 zones. Most of them are occupied by the inhabitants of the water area of China, the rest represent the underwater world of all the continents of the planet. The aquarium tunnel extends for 155 meters. For more spectacular, some of the underwater animals are fed right in front of the tourists. Opposite the aquarium is the Lujiatsui subway station. Orientation should be given to the TV tower. The underwater splendor can be viewed for 160 yuan. The Aquarium receives visitors every day from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., in summer the facility is open until 9 p.m.
The circus in Shanghai delights people of all ages. The program is conventionally divided into acrobatic numbers and numbers with animals. All performances in the circus are accompanied by excellent illumination and musical accompaniment. Many of the shows contain elements unique to Chinese art. It is possible to take the first subway line to the station bearing the name of Shanghai Circus World. Depending on the sector in the auditorium, circus tickets are priced between 100 and 600 yuan.
City on the Water
Zhujiajiao is an incredible city on the water called the “Venice of China” located 50 km from Shanghai. The water artery of the city is the Dianshanhu Lake. In the city built 36 bridges. The streets in the city are replaced by numerous canals.
The history of the settlement on the lake is estimated at 1700 years. It was in Zhujiajiao atmosphere of ancient China impregnated every street and every stone in the facades of buildings. Tourist infrastructure in the city is also well developed. You can get to this place from the Shanghai Stadium station. From there, buses depart towards the city on the water. The bus fare includes a ticket to the historic center of the city. All together costs 85 yuan. A boat tour is paid separately and costs 60 yuan. There are 5 to 6 people on the boat tours. The sightseeing tour brings tourists a lot of new impressions and positive emotions.