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

  • 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.

  • 90%


    Ancient vs. modern

    This city is in 1 word: marvelous! It has the beauty of an old city and adapt to the modern world beautifully.

  • 80%


    Busy, Unique, Smoggy

    What a wild place. I got off the subway from the airport and was in the middle of peoples square with palm trees, buildings towering around the outskirts of the park obscured by fog. You can find almost anything in this place! Old chinese architecture, fantastic markets, modern restaurants, cheap eats, and european architecture.

    Insider Tip:Around the Yuyuan Garden there is a very touristy "old town". At busy times you can barely move. Its hard to bargain and get good prices for souvenirs but if you head west a few blocks you'll find a fantastic antique street where bargaining is easier and there are way less tourists. Don't go in the middle of summer as the smog is very bad!

  • 90%


    Getting Shanghai-ed

    Really loved this city, such a good mix of Western and Chinese traditions, and the people are relatively friendly, so much to see as well! The temperature is good (well, good for China, as in humid and hot and sticky - I had been in China for two weeks by this point so was used to the temperature), and the transport is great for getting around the city.

    Insider Tip:If using a tour bus, try and get an inside seat, bit of a bother leaning over a local to get your earphones working properly (and really the information about the city wasn't even that great). Definitely do the night boat tour of The Bund, the skyline is absolutely stunning - ARRIVE WELL BEFORE IT NEEDS TO GO, they serve drinks on the boat but some of my party got left behind for being late. According to travel guides it is 3x the size of New York, so expect a lot of long taxi journeys. Try Muse 2!

  • 90%


    my favorite city in asia

    Hands down. To me someone who has grown up and lived in massive metropolitan cities my whole life it was perfect. A great mix of brand new elegance and luxury, while still having the old school street food and markets everywhere. The people were nice, and most spoke english enough to help out. Finally, the polution level compared to other Chinese cities was very good. I could see myself living here for sure.

    Insider Tip:Soup dumplings everywhere

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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