Shanghai is located on the coast of the East China Sea beside the estuary of the Yangtze River. It is the largest metropolis in China and a famous cosmopolitan city in the world. It is China’s largest port, as well as an important center of finance and commerce.
It has a sub-tropical maritime monsoon climate with warm springs, hot summers, cool autumns and chilly winters. Yearly rainfall is moderate, with the Meiyu period (rainy season) in June and July and a typhoon season in August and September.
It is a city with a rich historical and cultural heritage. In 1843, it became a concession territory for many countries. From that time on, the city rapidly developed into the most prosperous one in Asia, earning the nickname “Glamorous Shanghai”.
Modem Shanghai has seen incredibly rapid growth, with the Lujiazui Financial & Trade Area and Shanghai Free Trade Zone, in particular, seeing the most dynamic economic development in China. In Lujiazui, one can see the many skyscrapers, such as the Oriental Pearl Tower, Jin Mao Tower and the World Financial Center, which are now famous sightseeing destinations. In 2010, Shanghai successfully hosted the World Expo bringing new attention to locations such as the Palace of Chinese Culture & Art, now an important feature of Shanghai’s cultural landscape.
Area & Population
About 6,340 square kilometers
By the end of 2012, the permanent population was 23.80 million.
Shanghai comprises 16 municipal districts and 1 county, and the City Hall is located in Huangpu District.
Yuyuan Garden and Old City God Temple
Yuyuan Garden and Old City God Temple boast traditional Shanghai products and snacks, traditional Chinese brands, as well as exclusive one-of-a-kind shops not available anywhere else. With shoppers coming and going, these locations are constantly bustling with excitement and entertainment.
Long recognized as the center of modern Chinese literature, Duolun Road is a small street in Shanghai where one can take in a rich cultural atmosphere amongst the former residences of famous Chinese authors and intellectuals including Lu Xun, Mao Dun, Guo Moruo, and Ye Shengtao.
Walking on Tianzifang, one can see many featured shops and art workshops. There are also teahouses, outdoor restaurants and cafes, art galleries and many famous studios.
Moller Villa was owned by Mr. Moller, a British Jew, who built the villa after getting rich betting on horses in Shanghai. Built in typical Norwegian style, this villa looks like a castle right out of the fairytales.
Ding Xiang Garden
Ding Xiang Garden is one of the most famous and best-preserved old townhouses in Shanghai. Formerly the private garden of Li Hongzhang, famous chancellor of the late Qing Dynasty, this area also contains a unique American-style townhouse, the former residence of Qing official Li Hongzhang and his concubine Ding Xiang.
Sir Elly Kadoorie's Residence
Sir Elly Kadoorie’s Residence is magnificent with a large lawn and evenly arrayed marble columns. Its large ballroom, dining hall and long but narrow balcony gives this townhouse the appearance of an imperial palace.
Shanghai New World
Shanghai New World, now an international mall containing numerous food, shopping and performance venues, designed in traditional Shikumen architecture, still retains its original brick walls and roofing tiles.
CPC First National Congress
CPC First National Congress is an exemplary model Shanghai architecture in the Shikumen style, with an external wall built with blue and red bricks, decorated with white lime lines, red carved patterns on the lintel, a black painted gate with copper rings and a door frame wrapped with beige stone stripes.
When visiting Huaihaifang, one must visit the former residences of Ba Jin and Xu Guangping. Huaihaifang No. 33 is also where the famous movie star Hu Die once lived for some time.
Established in 1952, Shanghai Museum is a large museum of ancient Chinese art. It houses 120.000 valuable antiques and has earned international recognition for its diverse and high-quality collections.
China Art Museum
The an works housed and displayed in die China An Museum represent the highest level of achievement of Chinese art. The museum also displays art works from other parts of the world. The most important exhibit at the Shanghai World Expo, the Riverside Scene at Qingming Festival, is now displayed in China Art Museum in multimedia format.
Shanghai Madame Tussaud's
Shanghai’s Madame Tussaud’s is the sixth Madame Tussaud’s in the world, and displays the highest number of science and technology exhibits of any Madame Tussaud’s in the world. Some of the notable figures found in this museum include Yao Ming, Liu Xiang, Lin Dan, Jackie Chan, Marilyn Monroe, Jay Chou, Fan Bingbing and other celebrities.
The Bund, on the western bank of the Huangpu River, provides Shanghai’s beautiful skyline. The Bund’s exotic Gothic, Roman, Baroque, and Chinese-western style buildings make it widely recognized as a unique melting pot for international and multi-cultural architecture.
In 2006, the Bund 18 was recognized with the UNESCO Asia-Pacific Heritage Award for Cultural Heritage Conservation with special recognition given to its classical Roman and Greek architectural style and art.
Shanghai Customs House
Shanghai’s Customs House is the Bund’s most distinguished architectural feature. It is most famous for its immense bell tower and huge clock, which is the largest clock in Asia and one of the most famous in the world.
Waibaidu Bridge is one of the landmark buildings of old Shanghai. As a traditional steel structure, it seems to take one back to the 19th century. It has also been featured in the backdrops of many films shot in Shanghai.
Lujiazui is Shanghai’s major financial and trading zone and one of the three major CBDs in the world. Its many skyscrapers and office buildings offer an incredibly dazzling urban atmosphere, while the largest open lawn in Shanghai provides a place for lively activities and great entertainment.
Oriental Pearl Tower
The Oriental Pearl Tower is a landmark building in Shanghai. Its designers combined 11 spherical structures of different sizes to produce a truly distinct work of architecture. One can ascend to the 267-meter-high revolving restaurant above the spherical structures to enjoy the fascinating scenery of the Huangpu River.
Jin Mao Tower
Jin Mao Tower is a skyscraper integrating Oriental and Occidental architectural arts. Its special feature is China’s largest observation deck on the 88th floor, where one can take in the scenery from a height of 340.1 m.
World Financial Center
The highlight of the World Financial Center, which is the tallest building in Shanghai, is its observation deck located on 100th floor, which is 474m high and is considered the highest in the world.
Chongming Island is located at the mouth of the Yangtze River. As the third largest island in China and the world’s largest river estuary alluvial island, it is known as the Door to the Yangtze.
Dongping National Forest Park
Dongping National Forest Park, famous for its peaceful and beautiful atmosphere, includes forest restaurants, outdoor tents, forest hammocks and a youth camp for activities such as forest grass skiing, rock climbing, beach volleyball, forest strop ropeways, paintball and outdoor barbecues.
Chongming Scholastic Palace
Dongtan Wetland Park
Appreciated for its beautiful view of the sunrise, Dongtan Wetland Park is also a central location for the yearly winter migration of millions of water fowls, making it an excellent site for bird watching.
Dianshan Lake’s clean water surrounded by charming trees reminds one of the coastal villages of Southern China. Situated near Taihu Lake in the west and Huangpu River in the east, Dianshan Lake is the site of many historical relics, and has become a very popular tourist destination.
Shanghai Grand View Garden
Shanghai Grand View Garden is a large landscape garden duplicating the one depicted in the Chinese novel A Dream of Red Mansions. With exquisite design and architecture, it is a typical Southern China landscape garden with running waters, buildings, hills and other natural landscapes.
Zhujiajiao Ancient Town
Zhujiajiao, known as the Venice of Shanghai, is full of water and bridges and an ancient atmosphere. The boat race, held every year on the 27th day of the seventh month of the Lunar Calendar from the Fangsheng Bridge, is the most attractive and exciting event in this ancient town.
Recommended Tourist Itineraties
Shanghai Night Scene Tour
Route: Jing’an Temple 一 Nanjing Road 一 The Bund – Lujiazui
Sight: This modern historical route from Jing’an Temple to the Bund is renowned for capturing the glamour of Shanghai’s Golden Age during the first half of the 20th century. Today, its dazzling night atmosphere makes it one of the liveliest and most exciting parts of the city.
Shopping and Leisure Tour in Shanghai
Route: Nanjing Road 一 Huaihai Road 一 Shanghai New World 一 City God Temple 一 Yuyan Garden
Sight: Nanjing Road, nicknamed “China’s Main Street”, is home to numerous boutiques where you can find time-honored brands alongside the latest international products. The City God Temple and Yuyuan Garden arc not only bustling shopping venues, but also must-see locations for enjoying traditional Chinese snacks.
Featured Neighborhood Tour in Shanghai
Route: Duolun Road 一 Fuzhou Road 一 Tianzifang 一 Hengshan Road 一 Wukang Road
Sight: Along this route, you can find the former residences of many famous people as well as the Culture Street lined with many bookstores, the narrow and tranquil Art Neighborhood, and the bar and cafe street, all providing a rich atmosphere for art and literature lovers.
Shanghai has two international airports, Shanghai Hongqiao International Airport and Shanghai Pudong International Airport.
After years of expansion, Shanghai Hongqiao International Airport is now one of the largest international airports in China.
Shanghai Pudong International Airport is one of the three largest international airports in China with flights to more than 90 international cities (regions) and 62 Chinese cities.
There are three major railway stations in Shanghai: Shanghai South Railway Station, Shanghai Railway Station and Shanghai Hongqiao Railway Station.
Shanghai Hongqiao Railway Station is the largest and most modem passenger railway station in the city.
Almost all large and medium-sized cities in China have trains reaching Shanghai, with major high-speed railways including the Beijing-Shanghai High-speed Railway, Shanghai-Hangzhou High-speed Railway and Shanghai-Nanjing High-speed Railway.
Shanghai’s highly developed metro system consists of 13 lines, and is one of the busiest in the world, covering the city’s sprawling downtown and suburban areas. Shanghai also has a magnetic levitation rail making up the Shanghai Pudong Airport route, which connects Longyang Road Metro Station and Shanghai Pudong International Airport.
Culinary delicacies from all over the world can be found in Shanghai. The local cuisine is famous for its use of fresh ingredients, including many favorite local snacks such as Shengjian mantou, Nanxiang steamed dumplings and meat moon cakes.
Shengjian mantou is a local Shanghai snack. Locals prefer fresh pork and pork skin stuffing, but many other kinds of stuffing, such as chicken and shrimp, are also used. Its crispy base, thin wrap and fragrant meat stuffing make for a delicious snack. Finished in one bite, the mantou’s juicy pork stuffing and sesame ingredients burst in your mouth, providing a wonderful flavor experience.
Duck Stuffed with “Eight-treasures”
“Eight Treasures Duck” is a famous Shanghai dish that can be found around the City God Temple. The original flavor of the plump duck is maintained in the process of cooking. Fresh out of the steamer, this dish, served with shrimp and green beans cooked in steamed duck gravy, fills the whole room with its fragrance.
Shanghai, the commercial center of China, is known as a Shopping Paradise where you can find the most fashionable luxury brands from all over the world. Its most famous local products arc spiced beans and the City God Temple’s Ligao candy.
Shanghai’s Nanjing Road is one of the most lively commercial streets in the city and is known as a paradise for merchants and shoppers. The Nanjing East Road Pedestrian Street is called the First Commercial Street in China, and enjoys the same fame as Fifth Avenue in New York City and the Avenue des Champs Elysees in Paris.
Huaihai Road is one of the most prosperous commercial streets in Shanghai. It is recognized as the most beautiful, modern, exotic and romantic street in the city.