The best times: March – May, September – October
The inconvenient and high-price periods: Chinese New Year (usually in January or February) and the week-long holidays beginning on International Labor Day (May 1) and National Day (Oct 1). Be prepared for huge crowds at the airports, tourist sites, shopping areas, restaurants, and hotels during these periods.
Spring (March to May) and autumn (September to November): light clothes like a jacket and a woolen sweater.
Summer (June to August): It is very hot, so prepare extra-light clothing, such as skirts, shorts and T-shirts. Sunglasses, hat, and sunscreen are also recommended to protect yourself from sunburn.
Winter (December to February): Heavy coats are necessary to keep out the cold.
Since there is much rain during spring and summer, bring rain gear.
Generally speaking, foreigners need to apply for a Chinese visa before travel to China. The overseas Chinese visa authorities are Chinese embassies, consulates, and Visa Aplication Centers (VACs). You should apply in your own country, or ask your travel agency or visa agency for help getting a Chinese visa.
Shanghai is one of nine cities in China (Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Chongqing, Chengdu, Dalian, Shenyang and Guilin) that have a visa-free transit policy. The policy allows foreign tourists to go shopping, do business, or travel around Shanghai for up to72 hours without a visa.
For individuals: A correctly filled out L visa form, passport (with at least 6 months validity and at least one blank visa page), and a 2 inch passport style photo.
For tour groups: A visa notification form issued by authorized travel agencies in China, a name list of the members of the tour group, passports (see note above) of each group member and a photocopy of the information page of each passport, and a letter (including the total number of group members, contact person, and the itinerary of the tour) issued by the tour’s travel agency.
If you want to extend your visa in Shanghai, you should go to Shanghai's Entry & Exit Bureau in Pudong. You should prepare all of the documents needed, including passport with current visa or residence registration certificate in Shanghai, and a recent 2-inch photo with pale blue background.
Chinese name: 上海市出入境管理局.
Address: 1500 Minsheng Road, Pudong New District 浦东新区民生路1500号
Working hours: Monday to Saturday 9am–5pm.
Shanghai is the only city in China which has two international airports: Pudong International Airport and Hongqiao International Airport.
Shanghai Pudong International Airport is the primary International airport serving Shanghai. It is located in Pudong New District, about 30 kilometers (18 miles) from downtown Shanghai.
Chinese name: 上海浦东国际机场
Airport Code: PVG
Address: 900 Qihang Road, Pudong New District
Airport Website: http://shanghaiairport.com/en
Hongqiao International Airport is the main domestic airport serving Shanghai, with limited international flights. It is situated in the western suburbs of Shanghai, about 13 kilometers (8 miles) from the city center.
Chinese name: 上海虹桥机场
Airport Code: SHA
Address: Shanghai Hongqiao Airport, Changning District
Airport Website: www.shanghaiairport.com
More on Shanghai Transportation
As the largest city in China, Shanghai is one of the top economic, finance, trade, and shopping centers in China and Asia. There are numerous accommodation options in Shanghai, but the accommodation fee is generally higher than that in other cities of China.
When choosing a hotel, travelers should consider the hotel’s rating, price, and location. First choosing where you want to stay, then compare the hotels and prices there.
China Highlights offers the best hotel booking service. Below are some recommended hotels in Shanghai.
88 Xintiandi, Shanghai Ranked #8 on Trip Advisor
Shanghai's home stay option, in the well-developed Caoyang Village, offers you the opportunity to interact with local people. There will be a welcome party organized by the local people at the Neighborhood Community Services Center. Then your host will show you to their house, where you will stay in a twin-bed bedroom.
You will have the opportunity to learn how to make dumplings and enjoy dinner with the family. On the second day, you can have Chinese breakfast with this family and join in local people's morning exercises. You can also visit a local food market with the host and get to know how the host prepares for lunch.
China Highlights offers the home stay if you book a China tour with us.
There are plenty of attractions in Shanghai, including museums, colonial architecture, religious buildings, theaters, gardens, parks and shopping areas. The most famous attractions in and around Shanghai are the Bund, Yuyuan Garden, Jade Buddha Temple, Shanghai World Financial Center, Oriental Pearl TV Tower, Shanghai Museum, Jinmao Tower, Shanghai Century Park, Nanjing Road, The French Concession, Zhujiajiao Water Town and so on.
Day 1: Walk on the Bund, see a bird's eye view of Shanghai from the TV Tower, appreciate classic Chinese landscaping in Yu Garden, and visit the Temple of the City God and Shanghai Museum.
Day 2: Enjoy Hangzhou’s beauty, visiting Hangzhou’s oldest temple — Lingyin Temple, and enjoying the beautiful scenery of West Lake by boat.
Day 3: Discover one of the most famous ancient water towns in China — Wuzhen.
If you want to discover more in and around Shanghai, you will need one or two days more. China highlights’ travel experts are glad to tailor-make a Shanghai tour according to your interests and requirements, or see more of our Shanghai tours.
Shanghai has a wide range of restaurants, which not only serve local cuisine, but also dishes from all over China and all over the world. So you can easily find a restaurant in Shanghai to fit your tastes. Below are some recommended restaurants in Shanghai.
Chinese name: 鼎泰丰 (正大广场店)
Address: 3/F, 168 Lujiazui West Road, Pudong ( 浦东新区陆家嘴西路168号正大广场3楼)
Tel: (86)021-50478882/ 50478883
Chinese name: 鼎泰丰 (新天地店)
Address: 123 Xingye Road, Luwan District (卢湾区兴业路123弄)
Tel: (86) 021-63858378
Chinese name: 海底捞火锅 (张杨路店)
Address: 6F, 588 Zhangyang Road ( 张杨路588号百脑汇6层)
Tel: (86) 021-38713936, (086) 021-38713937
Chinese name: 小杨生煎 (宁波路店)
Address: 178 Ningbo Lu, Huangpu District ( 黄浦区 宁波路178号)
Tel: (86) 021-63229763
Address: 18 The Bund (外滩18号)
Tel: (86) 018621862309
Chinese name: 卡萨诺瓦意大利餐厅
Open: 11:30am–2:30pm; 6pm–10:30pm
Address: 913 Julu Road, Jing'an District (静安区巨鹿路913号)
Tel: (86) 021-54034528
Chinese name: 和平饭店
Open: 12pm–2:30pm; 6pm–10:30pm
Address: 9F, Fairmont Peace Hotel, 20 Nanjing Road East (南京东路20号费尔蒙和平饭店9楼)
Tel: (86) 021-61386881
Chinese name: 枣子树 (江宁店)
Address: 258 Fengxian Road, Jingan District (上海静安区奉贤路258号)
Tel: (86) 021-52280693
Chinese name: 枣子树 (淮海店)
Address: 77 Songshan Road, Luwan District (卢湾区嵩山路77号)
Tel: (86) 021-63848000, 63855986
Chinese name: 外滩美素馆
Address: 4F, 22 East Zhongshan Second Road (中山东二路22号四楼)
Tel: (86) 021-63752861
More Shanghai Restaurants.
Shanghai, hailed as a "Shopping paradise", is one of the most prosperous cities in the world. There are many shopping centers, malls, department stores, markets, and shopping streets. Shopping in Shanghai is very convenient. You can purchase anything you want there.
Address: Dong Tai Road, near Xizang Nan Road
Open: Daily. Morning (in full swing by 9:30–10am) till sundown.
Address: 399 Lujiabang Road, 陆家浜399号
Open: Daily. 9am–6pm.
Address: Science and Technology Museum Metro Stop (Metro Line 2), Pudong
Open: Daily. 10am–6pm.
Address: Lane 123, Xingye Lu, near Danshui Lu, Huangpu District
Open: Daily. 12am–12pm.
More on Shanghai Shopping.
Shanghai, called "Paris of the Orient", is one of the most famous tourist destinations in China and very beautiful at night. Shanghai has mainland China’s most colorful nightlife with popular bars, clubs, cinemas, theaters, restaurants, cafes and so on. If you stay in Shanghai, one thing you can not miss is the nighttime beauty of the Bund.
When the lights on the Bund go out for the evening, the city's partiers emerge to begin the night. Many clubs and bars usually stay open until 4am and later. Below are some of the best clubs and bars in Shanghai.
Address: 58th Floor, Ritz-Carlton Pudong, 8 Century Avenue, near Lujiazui Ring Road, Pudong
Chinese address: 浦东世纪大道8号58楼, 近陆家嘴环路
Open: 5pm–2am daily
Tel: (86) 021 2020 1778
Address: Fifth Floor, Captain's Hostel, 37 Fuzhou Lu, near Sichuan Zhong Lu, Huangpu District
Chinese address: 黄浦区福州路37 号5楼, 近四川中路
Open: 5pm–late daily
Tel: (86) 021 6323 5053
Address: 98 Wuyuan Lu, near Wulumuqi Zhong Lu, Xuhui District
Chinese address: 徐汇区五原路98号, 近乌鲁木齐中路
Open: 5pm-late daily
Tel: (86) 021 5423 1330
Address: First Floor, Fairmont Peace Hotel, 20 Nanjing Dong Lu, near Zhongshan Dong Yi Lu, Huangpu District
Chinese address: 黄浦区南京东路20号, 近中山东一路
Open: Midday–2am daily
Tel: (86) 021 6321 6888
More on Shanghai Nightlife
Public Transportation in Shanghai
Shanghai has developed a convenient and extensive public transport system, including buses, trolley buses, taxis, and subways. You can go anywhere by taxi, bus, and subway.
Bus: In shanghai there are one thousand bus lines. Most attractions can be reached by bus. Bus fares are usually 1 yuan, 1.5 yuan, or 2 yuan. Sometimes it is higher, depending on the distance.
Trolleybus: Shanghai’s trolley bus system is the oldest continually operating one in the world. All trolleybuses are now air-conditioned.
Taxi: Taking a taxi is most convenient for a newcomer to Shanghai, but it is recommended to avoid taking a taxi during rush hours, because roads are congested.
Subway: 12 subway lines have connections all over the city. Most attractions and commercial areas are connected by them. It is an excellent option for getting around.
More on Shanghai Transportation.
It is a good idea to take a large quantity of business cards with you, and if possible have the text translated into Chinese on the reverse. When you are introduced to a local, take out your card, bow slightly, and present it with both hands. They will probably reciprocate in a similar manner, most likely holding their card English version uppermost. It is at this point considered good manners to pass a polite comment on the appearance of the other's card, whilst tucking it carefully within the confines of your wallet.
Don't get flustered if, when meeting a group of people, they start clapping when you arrive. This is simply a form of greeting and you may respond by clapping also.
When in Shanghai, it’s quite helpful and practical to learn some usful Chinese phrases, since English is not widely spoken. More on learning Chinese.
Chinese government stipulates a five-day workweek, from Monday to Friday, with no more than 8 hours a day. The normal business hours are generally from 8am to 6pm, with a break from 12pm to 2pm.
Restaurants: 11am–2pm, 6–9pm, in general
Tipping used to be very rare in China, but now, no doubt through Western influence, the idea is catching on. In restaurants a 3% tip is standard, bellboys and room service staff expect roughly $1 or $2. You can tip in U.S. dollars.
Toilets in China are normally of the squatting type. Now airports and hotels all have Western toilets, and many public toilets have both Western style and squat style. Always carry tissues with you, just in case you need to go to the toilet (because most public toilets don't provide toilet paper).
More on How to Use a Squat Toilet in China.
Electricity in China is 240 Volts, alternating at 50 cycles per second. A transformer may be necessary if you bring electric devices. It can be bought in China. As the shape of a socket varies between countries, a portable plug adaptor may also be necessary. Some hotels can provide adaptors for guests, but we suggest visitors bring one. Adaptors can also be purchased from electronics stores in China.
Internet: Most hotel rooms in China offer internet cables and Wi-Fi for laptops. Some public areas like airports, Starbucks, SPR, and a number of cafes and restaurants also provide free Wi-Fi. China Highlights offers Portable Wi-fi Rental so that you can surf the internet anytime and anywhere while traveling in China.
Telephone: China's country code is 86 and Shanghai’s code is 021.
First you must dial "00" (international prefix), then dial the country code, then the area code and local number. E.g. if you want to call 434-5678 in California (area code 760) in the USA (country code 1), you need to dial 00-1-760-434-5678.
Landline: first dial the area code, and then dial the local phone number. E.g., if you call the number 123-4567 in Guilin (area code is 0773), you need to dial 0773-123-4567
Cell call: First dial 0 (national prefix), then the cell phone number. China Highlights offers Cell Phone Rental to help you keep in touch (and save money on local offers).
Transportation in Shanghai is very convenient, and you can travel like most locals do by taking the subway, trains, buses, taxi, biking, walking, etc., but you may encounter many unforeseen troubles. If you want no hassles, we recommend you travel with a professional travel company, who will take care of your trip. Then you can enjoy a comfortable and relaxing tour.
China Highlights has been specializing in tailor-making China tour for sixteen years. If you want to travel in Shanghai, contact us, and our travel experts will be glad to help you arrange your tour based on your requirements.
In Shanghai there are a number of International hospitals and clinics with modern medical facilities and English speaking staff. They can offer medical services to foreigners.
Address: 20F, 966 Huaihai Zhong Road (by Shanxi Nan Lu)
Tel: 5403 9133
Add: Units 2907-2901, 2 Grand Gateway, 3 Hongqiao Road, Xuhui District
24 Hour Emergency Service
Add: 14F, Complex Building, Huashan Hospital, 12 Middle Urumqi Road (near Changle Road)
Add: 12 Middle Urumqi Road (Out-patient Clinic: 8F, Building 1; Night Emergency: 15F, Building 6)
Headquartered in Melbourne, Australia, Bioscor now has 20 branches in 12 countries. Bioscor Shanghai Clinic has Australian, American, and Chinese doctors specializing in plastic/cosmetic surgery, medical skin treatment and cosmetic dentistry.
Add: 5, Lane 89, Xingguo Road
Address: 1139 Xianxia Road (General and Cosmetic Dental Center)
Emergency call: 5133 1999
Address: Lane 555, Jinfeng Road, Huacao Town, West Suburbs
Address: Suite 203 West, Shanghai Center, 1376, West Nanjing Road
Tel: 62797668/ appointments: 62798678
Address: Unit 30, Mandarine City, 788 Hongxu Road
Tel: 6405 5788
Fax: 6405 3587
Address: 1111 Xian Xia Road (near Bei Hong Road), Changning District
Address: Room 1376, Nanjing Road West
Currency exchange service is available at most hotels, and all large banks. Credit card is widely acceptable as a means of payment in hotels, department stores, and boutiques. The credit cards commonly accepted in China are Visa, MasterCard, and American Express.