Introducing the city

£1.00 | ¥8.79


Gasoline £0.72 | ¥6.29

One-way ticket £0.34 | ¥3.00

Beer £1.71 | ¥15.00

Main Course £3.41 | ¥30.00

About Shanghai

Reigning supreme as China's biggest city with a population of over 24 million people, Shanghai is a financial hub boasting dozens of diverse attractions.

Entering one of the world's most populated cities, with the glare of overwhelming skyscrapers peering over you, will make you feel like you're five-years old wandering the aisles of a supermarket after you've lost your Mum - utterly daunting. But once you've realised how many isles there are to explore, you'll worry less about feeling lost and more about finding the time to discover them all.

Attracting over 6 million international tourists a year, there's more to Shanghai than it's big-city economic status. The looping Huangpu River splits the city in half with Pudong to the south displaying an array of world-class restaurants, museums and colonial architecture and Old town (Nanshi), which sits north of the river, encompassing quaint streets, traditionally-Chinese buildings and cultural attractions such as Huxinting Teahouse. Ultimately this is a city that still values its historic past but isn't afraid to show off the contemporary flair and energy that keeps it ticking towards the future.

Lucky for us, Shanghai's shelf-life won't be expiring any time soon.

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When should you visit?

The best time to visit is during Spring, particularly in the month of May when temperatures are warm and flowers bloom.

The climate in Shanghai is humid subtropical. In summer, temperatures can reach around 35 degrees Celsius and the high humidity can make it uncomfortable. Thunderstorms are also common at this time of year with June and August receiving the most rainfall. In contrast, winters can be cold with temperatures rarely reaching above 10 degrees in the months of January and February. Spring and Autumn are mild on the whole.

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Travioor top tips

Metro Card

Insider Info

  • Areas such as Xintiandi, Nanjing Road and The Bund must be visited when in Shanghai, but they are tourist hotspots and it's best to explore them during a week day to avoid mass crowds. Shanghai is a big city with many amazing places that aren't on the general tourist tracks so research well and explore these areas on a weekend for a quieter experience.
  • If you're in the city for more than a couple of days, purchase a Shanghai jiatong card (metro card) at metro/subway stations across the city which allows you to load a set amount (much like an Oyster). You can also use it for buses, taxis, ferries and more.
  • The city of Shanghai can be overwhelming for first-timers. Consider a day-trip out of the city if you have time. Trips to the water villages in Zhouzhuang and Suzhou are popular offering a alternative insight into cultural China.

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Food and drink

Main Course £3.41 | ¥30.00

3-Course Meal £22.75 | ¥200.00

Cappuccino £3.26 | ¥28.69

Beer £1.71 | ¥15.00

The Scene

Shanghai offers a variety of restaurants with both affordable and expensive fine-dining options available. The food culture is regarded by some as the most sought after in China. Some excellent street food vendors can be found in Shanghai, providing the quintessentially Chinese flavours that define dishes in Southeast Asia. The meat of choice in most meals is pork with xiao long bao (soup dumplings usually stuffed with pork) being one of the more traditional options, although Shanghai is also known for its selection of eel dishes such as shansi leng mian (eel noodles). The city is also arguably one of the best places in China for sweet-savoury options such as you dunzi (radish fritters) and gui hua lian'ou (lotus root with osmanthus blossom syrup).

You'll find a variety of different types of tea in cafes and a wide selection of beverages, both alcoholic and non-alcoholic in bars. As for the nightlife, Shanghai certainly delivers with a mix of high-end establishments, budget bars and lively nightclubs.

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Shanghai’s Story

By the 18th century, Shanghai had established itself as a prosperous port but it wasn't until 1842, after the British declared the city open to foreign involvement, that it really took off. In the next ten years, British, American and French settlements were all formed in the city and Shanghai prospered greatly with exports including tea, silks and porcelain in high demand.

As Shanghai entered the 20th century, it erected many significant buildings and by the 1930's was considered one of the world's most important trading and industrial centres. It attracted both wealthy foreigners who wished to indulge in it's extravagance and Chinese workers who were looking for jobs due to the amazing architecture, art and business - all said to be the best in Asia.

The Japanese invaded in 1937 during WWII which caused many foreigners to flee, including the British and American settlers who signed over their settlements. As a result, Shanghai was no longer a treaty port. The decades to follow would mark a period of famine, drought, reform and suppression, although it still remained an important industrial centre.

By the early 80's the city's population was around 13 million and the 90's saw the city thrive again. In the 21st century the population continued to grow and Shanghai's adventurous architecture reminded the rest of the world that, despite it's previous turmoil, Shanghai is now a city to be reckoned with.


Nǐ hǎo | Hello
Xìe xìe | Thank you


The official language here is Mandarin although you can expect to hear the dialect known as Shangainese which derives from the Wu Chinese language group. Locals prefer to use this when talking to each other but will use Mandarin with most foreigners if they don't speak English. However, you can get by knowing only English in Shanghai as many people also speak or understand it, particularly the younger generation in the main tourist areas. It is good practice to have your destination address written down in Chinese for taxi drivers. Here are some basic Mandarin examples:

  • How are you?: Nǐ hǎo ma?
  • Goodbye: Zài jiàn
  • Please: Qing

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Need to know

+ 86 Dialling Code
110 | 120 Emergency Services

Get The Low-Down

  • In restaurants, a tip of around 3-5% is usually given.
  • Shanghai is considered a relatively safe city.
  • The metro is extremely busy during rush hour.
  • Don't drink the tap water.
  • You usually need to provide evidence of a return ticket out of the country before boarding the plane to China.


Find out about the visa requirements for China here.


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Travioor Recommends

1. The Bund

Stroll Shanghai's iconic promenade which comes to life in the evening when the lights reflect brightly off the Huangpu River.

2. Yu Garden

Also known as the Garden of Happiness, Yu Garden is a place of tranquility and beauty, especially in the evening when its colourful lights are on show.

3. Pearl Tower

An impressive structure, the Oriental Pearl radio and TV Tower is the centerpiece of the Shanghai skyline and offers breath-taking views from the top.

4. Temple

The Jade Buddha Temple is one of the city's most significant buildings and features the Hall of the Kings of Heaven.

5. Shanghai Museum

View the collection of rare cultural pieces at Shanghai Museum home to over 120,000 historical relics.

See What's On In Shanghai  

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