Shanghai is the biggest and perhaps the most prosperous city in China. It is considered the cultural and economic wellspring of the country and has everything that you can expect a megacity to possess.
With all that Shanghai offers, from the modern skylines that seem to touch the sky to the historical landmarks, it’s only natural that the city can become a hub for tourists during certain times of the year.
- A Visit To Shanghai Can Be Very Convenient
Being a metropolitan, Shanghai is one of the most accessible cities in China. In simple terms, tourists could either fly into Shanghai or reach it by ship, bus, train, or essentially whatever suits their tastes.
Furthermore, you can also get 144-hours of visa-free transit in the city. This essentially means that if you plan to visit Shanghai from Frankfurt while flying Cathay Pacific, you get to transit throughout the city without a valid visa for a period of up to 144 hours, which makes it very convenient for business travelers and visitors from abroad.
- You’ll Always Find Something New In Shanghai
One fact about Shanghai that most recurring travelers love is that the city is constantly changing. Even tourists who frequent the city once every year can only describe the city to be dynamic. Shanghai is continually evolving, and every month you might find old buildings and rundown shops fully restored to their original glory or completely overhauled for new motels or restaurants.
In fact, you might even find luxury shopping malls instead of the crumbling streets you frequented last year; recurring travelers like to describe the city as “alive and constantly working to improve itself.” While such frequent changes can sometimes be overwhelming, they also mean that there’s always somewhere new to explore whenever you revisit Shanghai.
- Shanghai Offers Something For Every Type of Budget
Shanghai isn’t all full of glamor and glitz; it has its own share of rural areas and cheap amenities that give it a more local vibe. The most exciting part about Shanghai is that you almost always save money, or you can almost always spend more. In other words, whether the city turns out to be cheap or expensive depends on the choices you make.
For example, you can find a full meal to fill yourself up at a local restaurant for as low as 10-12¥ (about 1.55-1.86 USD), or you can also find a popular restaurant that offers 20-course meals for around 5-6000¥ ( about 776-932 USD), the choice is entirely yours.
Coming on to the city’s structure, you’ll find stunning contrasts all over the place (mainly due to the differences between Old Shanghai and New Shanghai). You’ll discover rundown, demolished, or half-intact houses in front of tall, beautiful skyscrapers and art spaces made from factories dating to the industrial era.
- A Culmination Of The West and East
Shanghai has its own kind of oriental charm. It has long since attracted reputable foreigners such as Albert Einstein and Bernard Shaw to live and experience said appeal for themselves. For most tourists, the city has its own unique Asian or, to be more specific Chinese charm, whereas, for the native Chinese, the city has steered more towards a western flavor. In truth, Shanghai combines the distinct flavors of both cultures to present a perfect blend that is unique to Shanghai.
- Shopping Utopia
Shanghai is a utopia for shopping. The experience you get while shopping in the city is something you won’t be able to find in many other places in the world.
Whether you’re a shopaholic or not, after visiting the shopping districts of Shanghai, you’ll be sure to find something to pique your interest.
For instance, the central shopping streets, Huaihai and Nanjing Road always have the latest selection while you’ll find traditional markets in the city offer the perfect flavor of old Shanghai.
- Radiant Nightlife
Shanghai can quite easily give New York a run for its money when it comes to being “the city that doesn’t sleep.” The city has a vibrant and enriching nightlife. It is full of bars, restaurants and nightlife that will be sure to keep you entertained during your stay.
Furthermore, you’ll also find cinemas showing local and foreign films all night long and theaters featuring dance, drama, acrobatics, and opera all night. Once you’re finished with sightseeing and touring around the city, there are a variety of nightclubs and other cultural attractions on offer in the city that will keep you busy.
- Architecture And Food
One of the main attractions that a megacity like Shanghai offers is its architecture and food scene. Skyscrapers that seem to touch the sky, towns modeled after other countries (Spain, Britain, etc.), and additional water surrounding towns, you name it, Shanghai has it.
Furthermore, within the central city itself, you’ll find a distinct style of architecture made by combining the English and Chinese techniques called “shikumen,” which is unique to Shanghai.
Furthermore, Shanghai has excellent food up to international standards to complement the beautiful architecture. Back in 2016, a total of 31 Michelin stars were awarded to restaurants throughout the city when the Michelin Guide came to visit.
The city has a variety of flavors from around the world, and you’ll find yourself enjoying your meal no matter the restaurant you choose.
- Shanghai is a Great Base To Visit Other Parts of China
Once you’re done with your Shanghai experience, it is pretty easy to visit other parts of the country from the city. The city has many means of transportation, including two international airports, buses and trains (high or slow speed), and ships.
Shanghai is also conveniently located close to a wide variety of other destinations worth visiting. For example, Shanghai is only a 40-minute drive from Zhujiajiao Water Town, another well known tourist destination, whereas other cities such as Wuxi and Nanjing can be reached within three hours if you travel through the express bus or bullet train.