I spent a year in Shanghai and without a doubt this city is freaking amazing! so here are my tips for first time travellers 🙂
The best time to visit Shanghai is early fall around september-november. It’s still warm and it doesn’t rain a lot. Summer is very hot, humid and rainy and from my experience spring was a very wet and hot too.
Where to stay?
Although a lot of well know hotels are in Pudong; the modern district of Shanghai, I would recommend you stay somewhere around Najing Road or The Bund. It’s easier in terms of transportation; if you live in Pudong, the only way to cross the river in the city center is by car or metro, which is also less convenient. Staying around Nanjing Road/ The Bund area will give you a better taste of the real Shanghai and both modern and traditional aspects of the city. The Hotel I can recommend you is Grand Central Hotel located right on the Nanjing Road (ask for the Najing Road view).
Before the arrival?
Make sure to have your hotel name written down in Chinese characters.
Download Pleco. It’s a free app/dictionary for smartphones and in China it’s a lifesaver.
Remember that not all web sides will work (eg Facebook).
see my tips for traveling to China for the first time HERE
Transportation in Shanghai?
Taxis in Shanghai are not very pricy and they are literally everywhere. They ones that can be most trusted (fair price) are the light blue and light green. Remember that taxi drivers usually don’t speak English, so the best option is to have the names of the places you want to go to written down in Chinese.
The easies way to get around Shanghai is metro. Shanghai’s metro is the longest in the world, very modern, clean, super cheap and everything is translated to English.
What to see?
To see my 10 top things to do in Shanghai see my article HERE.
Must sees in Shanghai are: The Bund, view from top of the World Financial Center (The tallest building in Shangahi), Yuan garden, Nanshi, Nanjing Road, Jade Buddha and Jing’an Temple, Tianzifang and marriage market in People’s Square Park.
Where to eat?
Lost Heaven (near The Bund), Grandmas Kitchen, street food (around Yu Garden area)
What to eat?
Xiaolongbao (tradition Shanghainese dumplings), Jiaozi (another kind of dumplings), Baozi (Chinese bun), fried rice, fried rice noodles, grilled tofu, mushrooms (I could go like this forever…)
Where to shop?
Nanjing Road and French Concession.
Where to party/ grab a drink?
Bar Rouge (amazing view), bar on top of World Financial Center (again, amazing view), Geisha, Apartment, Zapata’s, Muse at the Bund, Myst