It is the world's second most populous city, with a population of 24 million people, and is, as you would expect, very different from the Western world.
Despite the sprawling skyscrapers, sleek buildings, and many of the same brands and shops as other cities, Shanghai is nothing like you would expect, and it can take some getting used to.
That isn't to suggest you shouldn't go to Shanghai; far from it. This East China city is a breathtaking sight that must be seen to be believed.
Shanghai, China's biggest and wealthiest capital, exudes a sense of self-assurance and vitality. It's worth a visit just for those reasons. Shanghai, unlike other cities with ancient, colonial, or scenic attractions, has its own special and spectacular collection of modern highlights.
Are you planning a trip to one of the world's most beautiful cities? You've come to the right place. Before you confirm your plans, we've assembled a list of the most important things you should remember. Our list contains a number of Shanghai travel tips to help you get the most out of your visit.
Shanghai is the world's most populous city.
Shanghai, China's most populous city, is perhaps the best example of this. In 2014, Shanghai's city proper had a population of 24 million people, and it continues to grow. Shanghai's comprehensive metro system is needed to serve the city's many districts and keep the city going on a daily basis.
When the Chinese government set out to make Shanghai the Asia's New York, the slogan "city that never sleeps" was definitely taken to heart.
Shanghai is the most populous city in the world by population within an administrative region (city proper), and it is also the most populous commuter zone in the world (metropolitan area pop.: 35 million).
Shanghai is a world finance and cultural center.
China's aspiration for the city to become an international financial and cultural hub has fueled its growth over the last two decades. Many companies are flourishing in Shanghai, providing new opportunities for China's rising middle class as well as foreigners seeking to enter the Chinese market.
The city has experienced consistent growth and is the hub for many foreign companies doing business in China. It has also become a cultural hotspot with a reputation for fashion, art, and architecture. Shanghai is also renowned for being the birthplace of Chinese cinema, which is gaining worldwide popularity.
The best time to visit Shanghai
Shanghai has all four seasons, from the sweltering heat of summer to the stunning beauty of spring, autumn, and a chilly, often snowy winter with a steady dose of rain.
Spring (March–May) and autumn (September–November) are unquestionably the best times to visit Shanghai. The days are warm and sunny in the spring, and the evenings are cool to chilly. Autumn, on the other hand, has its own allure as the weather begins to cool and people begin to enjoy the city more.
If you prefer the colder months, however, Shanghai is also lovely in December and February. There'll be plenty of mulled wine to keep you toasty and festive.
Shanghai is near some lovely water towns.
Several ancient towns located between 20 and 100 kilometers west of Shanghai use waterways as highways. Locals and visitors alike ride around on canal boats in these picturesque cities. A day trip from Shanghai to one of these towns is perfect.
What Great Sights to See in Shanghai
Shanghai is a busy place and has activities that runs 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Naturally, there is plenty to do and see that will appeal to a wide range of interests, especially if you are travelling in a large group. You can immerse yourself in a variety of activities in Shanghai. There is theatre and sculpture, as well as numerous museums, parks, famous sights such as the Bund and the Pudong skyline, old water towns such as Zhujiajiao, ancient temples such as Jing'an Temple and the Jade Buddha Temple, tea houses, and a plethora of food and shopping options.
Shanghai is a wonderful mix of history and modernity.
Shanghai was divided into British, American, and French concessions, as well as a Chinese walled city, when it was a colonial territory in the mid-nineteenth century. Many Chinese lived in the foreign concessions, resulting in a cultural fusion that gave Shanghai its distinct architectural styles and fascinating history.
Shanghai, as a vibrant metropolis, has a very modern feel to it. The city's modernity is most visible as night falls along the Huangpu River, where tourists can see a spectacular light show and take in panoramic views of the city's skyscrapers.
Shanghai's foreign concessions are now foreigner attractions.
Of the former international concessions, the French Concession is the best preserved and most well-known. The French Concession, with its European architecture and art-deco styles, is a popular tourist and local destination.
Foreign designers and architects inspired many areas in the city centre, giving the city its distinct international feel. Areas such as the Concession and the Bund continue to be popular with expats who call Shanghai home.
Shanghai is now visa-free for 144 hours
Shanghai and the neighboring areas of Jiangsu and Zhejiang offer a 144-hour (6-day) Visa-Free option for citizens of the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, and other countries.
This choice is available to travelers who want to avoid the hassle of applying for a visa and are willing to restrict their transit to these areas.
Admire the classic skyline at the Bund
The Bund is unquestionably the most famous attraction in Shanghai. Along the 500-meter Huangpu River, which divides Shanghai into two halves, the Bund shows Shanghai's classic skyline views of colonial architecture and skyscrapers.
You will admire the city skyline by strolling along the Bund or taking a Huangpu River cruise. The Bund Sightseeing Tunnel is a one-of-a-kind, but expensive, way to cross the river.