Shanghai Tourism

Often abbreviated as Hu or Shen in the traditional Chinese slang, Shanghai is one of the most popular cities in China and is also the second most populous city in the country with a population of over 24 million people as of 2015. Located on the estuary of the Yangtze River, Shanghai is a popular tourist destination in China and attracts visitors from all over the world. It further serves as a hub for global, economic, financial, and cultural exchanges in the East Asia.

What makes Shanghai a popular destination is its ability to retain the cultural and the traditional essence of its colonial past even after so many years of modernization resulting in a perfect blend of the traditional and the modern influences. A combination of the Western and the Chinese customs together form the base for the excellent culture of Shanghai. Visit this pulsating, prosperous, and historic city of Shanghai which is also called the 'Paris of the East' to relive the nostalgic days of the classical Chinese era.

International travelers traveling to Shanghai have an advantage. There is a 144-hour visa-free travel transit that is available for passengers from 51 different countries which allows the visitors from these countries to transit within the regions of Shanghai, Jiangsu and Zhejiang without a visa for a maximum of 144 hours.

From gorgeous night scenes to sky-high buildings to spectacular neon lights to oriental spots, there is a wide array of attractions and things to do in Shanghai. Take a stroll across the waterfront area of The Bund to watch the ships drift along the waters and admire the architectural beauty of the buildings that decorate the area. Unleash your love for shopping in Nanjing Road which is considered as one of the busiest shopping streets not just in Shanghai but in the whole world and soak in every ounce of Shanghai by exploring the city to its fullest.

Essential travel information and Shanghai tips for your visit

  • Time Zone - China Standard Time (CST). UTC/GMT +8hours.
  • Currency - Chinese Yuan (CNY). It is also known as Renminbi (RMB).
  • Electricity - The electrical voltage in Shanghai is 220 Volts 50 Hertz Alternating Current. Most hotels and households have 3 pronged UK style sockets or Indian style sockets. Check your electrical devices for their voltage consumption and use adapters if necessary.
  • Internet - Almost all the hotels in Shanghai provide free WI-FI connectivity and there are plenty of free Wi-Fi hotspots throughout the city, especially in the major public spots. But due to Internet censorship, you may not be able to visit major social media sites.
  • Languages - Mandarin is the widely spoken language in Shanghai. Although, you will find the locals speaking Shanghainese.
  • Security - Police: 110, Fire Department: 119, Ambulance: 120.
  • Off-beaten Path - Skip the fancy restaurants and eat in the roadside eateries.
  • Tipping - There is no tipping culture in Shanghai and it is not mandatory too. But if you are interested in tipping, you can. It is not frowned upon.
  • Tourist Traps - Be wary of the strangers who are overwhelmingly kind towards you and are fluent in English. There is a huge probability for them to be scammers.
  • Customs - Greet people with a handshake and maintain eye contact. Also, receiving and exchanging gifts are a big part of the Chinese culture.
  • Avoid shopping in the malls, they are too pricey. Instead, try shopping in the streets and don't forget to bargain.
  • Do not spit in the public. You might be fined with a hefty amount.
  • Taxis registration numbers that start with BX or DX are best avoided. They are run privately and can be very difficult to trace if you lose anything inside the cab.
  • It is advisable to buy the electronic appliances from authorized shops.

The best tours and activities in the city, guided by experts to give you a local insight to the best of Shanghai

  • Know the pollution level of Shanghai before you plan your visit.

    • Air Pollution 79.64 (High)
    • Water Pollution 71.88 (High)
    • Noise and Light Pollution 63.32 (High)
    • Unattended dirt and garbage 49.18 (Moderate)
    • Drinking Water Pollution and Inaccessibility 64.56 (High)
    • Dissatisfaction with Garbage Disposal 48.56 (Moderate)
    • Dissatisfaction to Spend Time in the City 68.95 (High)
    • Dissatisfaction with Green zones and parks 52.84 (Moderate)
  • How safe is Shanghai for tourists? Understand risks and safety concerns that can hamper your travel experience in Shanghai.

    • Burglary and Theft 53.18 (Moderate)
    • Mugging and Robbery 52.66 (Moderate)
    • Assault and Armed Robbery 50.1 (Moderate)
    • Corruption and Bribery 70.71 (High)
    • Car Stealing 51.65 (Moderate)
    • Robbery of Car belongings 54.46 (Moderate)
    • Attacks 49.69 (Moderate)
    • Drug offense 51.84 (Moderate)
    • Safety walking alone during daylight 55.35 (Moderate)
    • Safety walking alone during night 48.37 (Moderate)
    • Insulting and offensive behaviour 52.86 (Moderate)
    • Hate crime due to Racism, Religion, ethnic origin 50.21 (Moderate)
    • Property crimes and Vandalism 57.79 (Moderate)
  • Quality of Life Index of Shanghai is 70.2 (Moderate)

    • Safety Index 46.44 (Moderate)
    • Climate Index 83.64 (Very High)
    • Pollution Index 81.53 (Very High)
    • Traffic Commute Time Index 50.51 (High)
    • Cost of Living Index 50.11 (Low)
    • Health Care Index 61.2 (High)
    • Property Price to Income Ratio 45.78 (Very High)
    • Purchasing Power Index 62.53 (Low)
    • Indices such as Quality of life, Climate & Healthcare index are good to be high whereas others such as Property price, Traffic & Cost of living Index are good to be low.

  • Here's how much it will cost to shop in Shanghai

    • Local calling per minute on Prepaid mobile 0.03 USD
    • International Movie per seat 8.73 USD
    • Summer clothing in a chain store 35.1 USD
    • Pair of Basic Nike Shoes 90.76 USD
    • Pair of Basic Levis Jeans 77.79 USD

*Stats and figures mentioned are crowd-sourced ‚Äčand subjected to change without notice.

* Some of the data on this page is powered by Numbeo