Shanghai travel guide

Share travel guide:

Table of contents:

Shanghai Travel Guide

Imagine yourself strolling through the vibrant streets of Shanghai, like a hummingbird flitting from one captivating attraction to another. This bustling metropolis beckons you with its rich history, modern skyscrapers, and mouthwatering cuisine.

In this Shanghai travel guide, we’ll reveal the best time to visit, top attractions that will leave you spellbound, where to stay for utmost comfort, must-try local delicacies that will tantalize your taste buds, and how to navigate the city like a true insider.

Prepare for an unforgettable adventure in this city of boundless freedom.

Best Time to Visit Shanghai

The best time to visit Shanghai is during the spring or fall seasons. These seasons offer the perfect weather conditions for exploring this vibrant city, without the crowds that come with peak tourist season. If you’re looking for a more peaceful and relaxed experience, off-season travel is ideal.

In spring, Shanghai comes alive with blossoming flowers and mild temperatures ranging from 15-25 degrees Celsius. It’s a great time to stroll along the Bund or explore the picturesque Yu Garden. The city is filled with colorful cherry blossoms and tulips, creating a magical atmosphere.

Fall in Shanghai brings cooler temperatures between 10-20 degrees Celsius, making it pleasant for outdoor activities like visiting Zhujiajiao Water Town or taking a scenic boat ride on Huangpu River. The autumn foliage adds an extra layer of beauty to the already stunning cityscape.

By avoiding peak season, you’ll have more freedom to explore at your own pace without feeling overwhelmed by large crowds. Plus, you might even find better deals on accommodations and attractions during these times.

Top Attractions in Shanghai

You can’t miss visiting the Bund when exploring Shanghai’s top attractions. This iconic waterfront promenade offers a mesmerizing view of the city’s skyline and is a symbol of Shanghai’s rich history and international influence.

As you stroll along the Bund, you’ll be captivated by the blend of architectural styles, from elegant neoclassical buildings to futuristic skyscrapers.

Another must-visit attraction in Shanghai is the Yu Garden. Step into this tranquil oasis and immerse yourself in traditional Chinese architecture, beautiful pavilions, and serene ponds filled with colorful koi fish. Don’t forget to explore the hidden corners of the garden, where you’ll find quaint tea houses and narrow alleyways brimming with local vendors selling unique souvenirs.

For a taste of local life, head to Tianzifang. Located in the French Concession area, this maze-like complex of alleyways is home to art galleries, boutique shops, trendy cafes, and lively bars. Stroll through its narrow streets and discover hidden gems like small art studios or cozy courtyards where locals gather for a chat.

As you explore these top attractions in Shanghai, remember to embrace your freedom and delve into the city’s vibrant culture. Don’t be afraid to venture off the beaten path and uncover more hidden local gems that will make your visit truly unforgettable.

Where to Stay in Shanghai

When planning your stay in Shanghai, consider booking a hotel in the vibrant and bustling neighborhood of Jing’an. Located in the heart of the city, Jing’an offers a range of luxury accommodations and budget hotels to suit every traveler’s needs.

Here are four reasons why staying in this neighborhood will enhance your Shanghai experience:

  1. Convenience: With its central location, staying in Jing’an puts you within easy reach of popular attractions like The Bund and Nanjing Road. You’ll also have access to an extensive transportation network, making it convenient to explore other parts of the city.
  2. Vibrant Atmosphere: Jing’an is known for its energetic vibe, with countless shops, restaurants, and entertainment venues lining its streets. You can immerse yourself in the local culture by strolling through lively markets or enjoying a traditional tea ceremony at one of the many teahouses.
  3. Cultural Landmarks: This neighborhood is home to several significant cultural landmarks, such as Jing’an Temple and Zhongshan Park. These sites provide insight into Shanghai’s rich history and offer peaceful retreats from the hustle and bustle of the city.
  4. Dining Options: From upscale fine dining establishments to street food stalls, Jing’an has something for every palate. Indulge in authentic Chinese cuisine or sample international flavors at one of the many trendy restaurants that dot the area.

Whether you’re looking for luxury accommodations or budget-friendly options, choosing to stay in Jing’an will ensure a memorable and enjoyable visit to Shanghai.

Must-Try Food in Shanghai

Indulge in the must-try food options available in Shanghai, as they will tantalize your taste buds and offer a unique culinary experience. Shanghai’s food scene is renowned for its diverse range of traditional dishes that reflect the city’s rich history and cultural heritage.

Start your gastronomic adventure with xiaolongbao, steamed dumplings filled with juicy meat or savory soup. These delicate parcels burst with flavor and are a true delight to savor. For a more hearty meal, try shengjianbao, pan-fried pork buns with crispy bottoms and tender fillings – an absolute favorite among locals.

If you’re feeling adventurous, don’t miss out on stinky tofu. Despite its pungent aroma, this fermented snack has a surprisingly delicious taste that will leave you craving for more. Another must-try dish is jianbing, a popular breakfast crepe made from batter and stuffed with various fillings like egg, scallions, and crispy wonton skin.

For seafood lovers, head to Zhujiajiao Water Town where you can feast on fresh river fish served in mouthwatering sauces. The combination of flavors will transport you to culinary heaven.

Immerse yourself in the vibrant Shanghai food scene and explore these traditional dishes that have captivated locals and visitors alike for generations. Your taste buds will thank you for the unforgettable experience!

Transportation in Shanghai

Getting around in Shanghai is easy and convenient thanks to its efficient transportation system. Here are four reasons why you’ll love getting around the city:

  1. Extensive Metro Network: Shanghai boasts one of the world’s largest metro systems, with 16 lines covering almost every corner of the city. Hop on a train and zip past traffic congestion, reaching your destination quickly and hassle-free.
  2. Buses for Every Route: If you prefer exploring above ground, Shanghai’s bus network has got you covered. With over 1,500 routes, buses can take you anywhere from popular attractions to local neighborhoods. Enjoy the freedom of hopping on and off as you please.
  3. Convenient Taxis: Need a quick ride? Taxis are abundant in Shanghai and offer a convenient way to travel door-to-door. Just flag one down or use a ride-hailing app like DiDi to get where you need to go. Sit back, relax, and enjoy the view as your driver navigates through the bustling streets.
  4. Public Bike Sharing: For an eco-friendly option that allows you to explore at your own pace, try Shanghai’s public bike sharing system. With thousands of bikes stationed throughout the city, simply unlock one with your phone and pedal away amidst vibrant streetscapes.

Don’t let traffic congestion put a damper on your exploration of this incredible city—Shanghai’s efficient public transportation options ensure that freedom is always within reach!

Insider Tips for Exploring Shanghai

Are you ready to explore the hidden gems of Shanghai?

Get ready to embark on a culinary adventure as we introduce you to the must-try street food that will tantalize your taste buds.

And don’t worry about getting around, because we’ll also share some efficient transportation options that will make navigating this vibrant city a breeze.

Hidden Local Gems

There’s a variety of hidden local gems in Shanghai that you won’t want to miss. From bustling hidden markets to traditional crafts, there’s something for everyone looking to explore the city’s authentic side.

  1. Tianzifang: Nestled in the French Concession area, this labyrinthine neighborhood is filled with narrow alleyways and boutique shops selling unique handicrafts. Lose yourself in the vibrant atmosphere and discover one-of-a-kind treasures.
  2. Dongtai Road Antique Market: This market is a treasure trove for antique lovers. Browse through stalls filled with vintage furniture, retro clothing, and rare collectibles from China’s rich history.
  3. Shanghai Propaganda Poster Art Centre: Dive into Chinese history through a collection of propaganda posters from the mid-20th century. The center showcases how art played a role in shaping public opinion during that time.
  4. Shouning Road Fabric Market: Get custom-made clothing at affordable prices at this hidden gem known only to locals. Choose your fabric and have it tailored to perfection by skilled craftsmen.

Uncover these hidden gems and experience the true essence of Shanghai while immersing yourself in its vibrant culture and traditions.

Must-Try Street Food

Indulge your taste buds in the must-try street food of Shanghai and savor the flavors of local delicacies like xiaolongbao, jianbing, and stinky tofu.

The city is renowned for its vibrant food scene, offering a plethora of options to tantalize your palate. Food festivals are a common occurrence here, where you can experience the culinary wonders that Shanghai has to offer.

Wander through bustling streets lined with street vendors, their sizzling grills wafting enticing aromas into the air. Bite into a piping hot xiaolongbao, filled with juicy pork and bursting with flavor. Try a crispy jianbing, a savory pancake stuffed with fillings like egg, scallions, and chili sauce. And if you’re feeling adventurous, brave the pungent stinky tofu – its unique smell masks a surprisingly delicious taste.

Efficient Transportation Options

Hop on the efficient subway system to easily navigate through the bustling city streets of Shanghai. Here are four transportation options that will give you the freedom to explore this vibrant city at your own pace:

  1. Subway: With its extensive network and frequent service, the subway is a convenient and reliable way to travel around Shanghai. You can reach most popular attractions and neighborhoods with ease.
  2. Bike Sharing: Shanghai has a well-developed bike sharing system, allowing you to pedal your way through the city’s charming streets. Grab a bike from one of the numerous docking stations and enjoy the freedom of exploring at your own leisure.
  3. Public Buses: If you prefer a more traditional mode of transportation, hop on one of Shanghai’s public buses. They cover almost every corner of the city and offer an affordable option for getting around.
  4. Taxis: For those who value comfort and convenience, taxis are readily available throughout Shanghai. Flag down a taxi or use ride-hailing apps like Didi Chuxing to reach your destination hassle-free.

No matter which transportation option you choose, Shanghai offers plenty of ways for you to experience its dynamic energy while enjoying the freedom to explore at your own pace.

Why you should visit Shanghai

So there you have it, fellow traveler! Shanghai holds a myriad of wonders that are just waiting to be explored, just like the capital city of Beijing.

From the breathtaking views of The Bund to the tranquil gardens of Yu Yuan, this vibrant city has something for everyone.

Don’t forget to indulge in the local delicacies like xiaolongbao and scallion oil noodles – your taste buds will thank you!

And with an efficient transportation system, getting around Shanghai is a breeze.

Whether you’re wandering through ancient alleyways or marveling at modern skyscrapers, Shanghai is sure to leave you awestruck at every turn.

So pack your bags and get ready for an unforgettable adventure in this mesmerizing metropolis!

China Tourist Guide Zhang Wei
Introducing Zhang Wei, your trusted companion to the wonders of China. With a profound passion for sharing the rich tapestry of Chinese history, culture, and natural beauty, Zhang Wei has dedicated over a decade to perfecting the art of guiding. Born and raised in the heart of Beijing, Zhang Wei possesses an intimate knowledge of China’s hidden gems and iconic landmarks alike. Their personalized tours are an immersive journey through time, offering unique insights into ancient dynasties, culinary traditions, and the vibrant tapestry of modern China. Whether you’re exploring the majestic Great Wall, savoring local delicacies in bustling markets, or navigating the serene waterways of Suzhou, Zhang Wei’s expertise ensures every step of your adventure is infused with authenticity and tailored to your interests. Join Zhang Wei on an unforgettable voyage through China’s enchanting landscapes and let history come alive before your eyes.

Image Gallery of Shanghai

Official tourism websites of Shanghai

The official tourism board website(s) of Shanghai:

Share Shanghai travel guide:

Shanghai is a city in China

Video of Shanghai

Vacation packages for your holidays in Shanghai

Sightseeing in Shanghai

Check out the best things to do in Shanghai on and enjoy skip-the-line tickets and tours with expert guides.

Book accommodation in hotels in Shanghai

Compare worldwide hotel prices from 70+ of the biggest platforms and discover amazing offers for hotels in Shanghai on

Book flight tickets for Shanghai

Search for amazing offers for flight tickets to Shanghai on

Buy travel insurance for Shanghai

Stay safe and worry-free in Shanghai with the appropriate travel insurance. Cover your health, luggage, tickets and more with Ekta Travel Insurance.

Car rentals in Shanghai

Rent any car you like in Shanghai and take advantage of the active deals on or, the biggest car rental providers in the world.
Compare prices from 500+ trusted providers worldwide and benefit from low prices in 145+ countries.

Book taxi for Shanghai

Have a taxi waiting for you at the airport in Shanghai by

Book motorcycles, bicycles or ATVs in Shanghai

Rent a motorcycle, bicycle, scooter or ATV in Shanghai on Compare 900+ rental companies worldwide and book with Price Match Guarantee.

Buy an eSIM card for Shanghai

Stay connected 24/7 in Shanghai with an eSIM card from or

Plan your trip with our affiliate links for exclusive offers frequently available only through our partnerships.
Your support helps us enhance your travel experience. Thank you for choosing us and have safe travels.