City Guide Shanghai, China

Visiting Shanghai

With its breathtaking skyline, fast-paced lifestyle, and endless attractions, Shanghai is one of Asia's most exciting cities. With a population of approximately 20 million people, it is China's largest city. This is quite something for a town that began its existence as a fishing and textiles town. And as modern as it looks, it is still a city which is steeped in history.

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Shanghai Podcasts

Only in Shanghai...

Hostelworld.com's Selina Tan speaks to different people in the Chinese city of Shanghai about things you can only find there, such as an area with many architectural styles known as 'The Bund' and more.

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Shanghai Videos

Voice of the Chinese backpackers

Hostelworld.com asks a bunch of Chinese backpackers from Shanghai whether or not the recession is affecting them along with othe

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China Pocket Guides

China Pocket Guides

Download our free pocket guides for cities all over the world that are packed with money-saving tips and more.

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Shanghai City Reviews

  • 80%


    An Adventure to Shanghai

    I decided to visit Shanghai on my way out of China and enjoyed everything about it! The foods, the sceneries, the foods, the culture, and did I mention the foods??? Seriously, if I had a really high metabolism and a thick wallet of red Chinese money, I'd eat everything from the traditional Shanghai street foods to the high end restaurants in exquisite locations - from the top of Pearl Tower to the historic European buildings of the French Concession. You will never grow bored in Shanghai.

    Insider Tip:Highly suggest bringing a face mask that can filter out PM2.5 particles as I had some episodes where breathing was difficult and even broke out with a skin rash at one point. And I'm not even allergic to anything! Definitely visit the French Concession and even dish out several 100 yuans to eat at some of the finest restaurants and clubs there. The money is really worth the atmosphere. Ohhh! One more thing! Be sure to dress a little better than casual when visiting! Tennis shoes are a no no.

  • 90%


    Not the Rest of China

    Shanghai is a huge cosmopolitan city, dont go expecting to experience the real China. That being said, Shanghai is pretty amazing in all its superficiality and head down growth.

    Insider Tip:Most of the tourist sites, such as the old city and water towns like Qibao, are, like most tourist places in China, overrun by commercialization. Find a cool area that you like and just experience the atmosphere of Shanghai (well, not literally, thats pretty dirty too)

  • 70%


    City Review: Shanghai, China

    The people of Shanghai are very capitalistic and concerned about making money. However, I was surprised that the city does still offer chinese culture. The city can be as asian or western as you want it to be. I wasn't impressed with the back alleys of Nanjing road (Chinatown in NYC is better). There is a lack of tourist things to do and see. The night life is great with free drinks and entry to most westerners (they give you a table and grey goose for free). Watch out for tea shop scams.

    Insider Tip:-If someone seems too friendly and says you should check out a tea festival or tea shop be CAUTIOUS. They are trying to take you somewhere, order a tea, and make you pay a ridiculously overpriced amount. -Get to the clubs before 11:30 if your a guy and want to get in for free. -Barter at lest 30%-40% lower with the back alley shops. Their beginning negotiating price is extremely high.

  • 60%


    Spend no more than two days.

    You will enjoy Shanghai if you are a (luxury) shopping lover. Otherwise one and a half days can be enough to discover the most interesting places (basically the Bund and Pudong district). This is an expensive city in chinese terms.

    Insider Tip:Make a one day trip to any surrounding town.

  • 90%


    Wish I had spent more time there.

    Shanghai is an exciting city, but I went during Spring Festival, so it seemed like a lot of people had gone home. Nevertheless, I was able to spend a good night out at Perry's a mixed Chinese-expat bar that had decent music, very friendly people, and ok beers. Sight-seeing was excellent, museums world-class, and it is superbly easy to get around.

    Insider Tip:Don't go during spring festival. Do some research beforehand to find good spots to go out at night if you want to party. Otherwise, you can wing it and just go where ever, there's always something to see in every corner.

China: Itinerary

Asian cities, and particularly Asian capitals, are wonderfully fascinating. The continent’s love affair with technology is evident in every city you go to, yet they all manage to maintain many of the characteristics which make them some of the most historical cities on the planet. Beijing is no different.

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