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Travel Guide

Oriental Pearl Tower featuring a city, skyline and night scenes

Visit this bustling eastern province to explore glitzy shopping malls, marvel at historic temples and climb to the top of towering skyscrapers.

The province of Shanghai is dominated by its eponymous metropolis, one of China’s major economic and cultural hubs. Here, modern skyscrapers sit near Buddhist temples and art deco buildings, while sleek museums stand alongside manicured gardens and cramped alleys. Shop for local crafts, slurp freshly made noodles, visit historic museums and enjoy a rare moment of peace in a tucked-away monastery.

Situated on the mouth of the Yangtze River, the city of Shanghai blends modern and historic elements, as well as drawing inspiration from both Eastern and Western cultures. At the Shanghai History Museum, find out more about the city’s origins as a small fishing and textiles town that transitioned into a popular destination for foreigners to establish homes and businesses.

To see the city from different perspectives, walk along the riverfront promenade known as the Bund. Marvel at the various architectural styles visible from the walkway. For a bird’s-eye view, head for the observation deck at the Shanghai Tower.

When the weather is nice, visitors and locals converge on the Yùyuán Gardens to stroll, sit in the shade and watch colorful fish swimming around in the pools. Soak up the sun with a boat trip in Zhujiajiao, a historic water town in the suburbs, known for its Ming- and Qing-era bridges. If it’s raining, consider taking shelter in Xīntiāndì, a shopping and entertainment complex packed with boutique shops and restaurants.

Explore the city’s religious past at the Buddhist Jìng’ān Temple. Smell the burning incense and inspect the ornate statues that decorate the halls. Other notable Buddhist sites include the Jade Buddha Temple, one of the only active monasteries remaining in Shanghai.

Book your vacation in the spring or fall for the best weather or visit in the first week of October during the National Day holiday when crowds flock to the city for celebrations. Fly into one of two international airports, Hongqiao or Pudong, to start your journey through the region.

Upscale shopping complexes, ancient temples and relaxing gardens make Shanghai a top destination for travelers looking to experience modern-day China.

Where to stay in Shanghai

Courtyard by Marriott Shanghai Central
Courtyard by Marriott Shanghai Central
4 out of 5
338 Heng Feng Road, Shanghai, Shanghai
Free cancellationReserve now, pay when you stay
The price is £67 per night from 21 May to 21 May
Located in Jing'an, this hotel is 1.1 mi (1.7 km) from Shanghai Natural History Museum, and within 3 mi (5 km) of Nanjing Road Shopping District and Jing'an ...
4.5/5Wonderful! (679 reviews)
"Very clean well appointed rooms, nice amenities and courteous staff."

Reviewed on 6 Jan 2021

Courtyard by Marriott Shanghai Central
Ramada Plaza Shanghai Pudong Airport
Ramada Plaza Shanghai Pudong Airport
4 out of 5
1100 Qi Hang Road, Pudong International Airport, Shanghai, Shanghai
The price is £76 per night from 18 May to 18 May
Located in Pudong, this hotel is within 20 miles (32 km) of Shanghai Disneyland©, Shanghai New International Expo Centre and Century Park. Shanghai Zhangjiang ...
4/5Very Good! (999 reviews)
"Initially I had a single night’s stay, and didn’t arrive until after midnight with a need to take the five a.m. shuttle in the morning, so not much to comment on! the flight was canceled and I went back and stayed an extra night. I loved to room, the room service food was amazing, and I was fully ..."

Reviewed on 2 Jul 2020

Ramada Plaza Shanghai Pudong Airport
Intercontinental Shanghai Wonderland, an IHG Hotel
Intercontinental Shanghai Wonderland, an IHG Hotel
4 out of 5
5888 Chenhua Road, Songjiang District, Shanghai
The price is £277 per night from 17 May to 17 May
This family-friendly Shanghai hotel is located on the waterfront, within 3 mi (5 km) of Tian Ma Country Club and Shanghai Chenshan Botanic Gardens. Sheshan Observatory ...
4.3/5Excellent! (37 reviews)
"Did a two-day staycation in light of not being able to travel during covid and chose this hotel because it it’s unique design. Property is beautiful and excellently maintained. Staff are very kind. Did buffet breakfast at the G floor restaurant, room service for lunch, and dinner at the B15 restaurant ..."

Reviewed on 24 Feb 2021

Intercontinental Shanghai Wonderland, an IHG Hotel
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.
Citadines Xinghai Suzhou
Citadines Xinghai Suzhou
4 out of 5
58 Xinghai Street , Jiacheng Garden, Building 27, Industrial Park, Suzhou, Jiangsu
The price is £45 per night from 16 May to 16 May
Located in Wuzhong, this aparthotel is 1.1 mi (1.7 km) from Gate to the East and 1.4 mi (2.3 km) from Jinji Lake. In City Shopping Mall and Suzhou City Moat ...
4.2/5Excellent! (145 reviews)
Nice location
"Nice location, situated near shopping mall"

Reviewed on 5 Jan 2021

Citadines Xinghai Suzhou
Ascott Midtown Suzhou
Ascott Midtown Suzhou
4.5 out of 5
No. 229, Zhongxin West Avenue, Suzhou Industrial Park, Suzhou, Jiangsu
Located in the heart of Suzhou, this luxury aparthotel is 0.3 mi (0.5 km) from Suzhou City Moat and 2.5 mi (3.9 km) from Jinji Lake. Couple's Retreat Garden ...
4.6/5Exceptional! (85 reviews)
Great service and nightly views!
"The stay was amazing. Hotel service was timely and cleaning was immaculate. Breakfast buffet wasn't huge but had a variety and was enjoyable. I also had a minor issue with my room booked which was quickly resolved to my satisfaction. Overall, a great stay and I had a very enjoyed time staying in ..."

Reviewed on 24 Dec 2019

Ascott Midtown Suzhou
Tongli Three Bridge Villa
Tongli Three Bridge Villa
3 out of 5
No.17 Fuguan Street, Tongli Ancient Town, Wujiang District, Suzhou, Jiangsu
Located in Wujiang, this villa is steps away from Tongli Pearl Tower and Retreat & Reflection Garden. Tongli Ancient Town and Jingsi Garden are also within 3 ...
4.5/5Wonderful! (4 reviews)
"The host was very friendly, warm and goes all out to take care of their guests. The host even helped us get discounted tickets into tongli and getting us a driver when we leave. Some small things that they can consider to improve on: providing complimentary water and towels for the guests, and nets ..."

Reviewed on 4 Nov 2019

Tongli Three Bridge Villa
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.

Popular places to visit in Shanghai

Top things to do in Shanghai

Reviews of Shanghai


Top Destination

5 - Excellent
5 - Excellent 48.167539267015705%
4 - Good
4 - Good 46.07329842931937%
3 - Okay
3 - Okay 5.2356020942408374%
2 - Disappointing
2 - Disappointing 0.5235602094240838%
1 - Terrible
1 - Terrible 0%

4/5 - Good


3 Feb 2020

Be aware that not much Chinese people can speak English, prepare yourself with Chinese instruction/ information to give local people for help. Taxi is not easy to get, especially in short distances travel

4/5 - Good

Verified traveller

22 Jan 2020

A busy and clean city, with the traditional and new features stand together. Food varieties are plenty and at very reasonable prices. Getting around is easy on Metro. People in general are helpful and considerate.

4/5 - Good


18 Jan 2020

Excellent public transport, plenty to see and do for a stopover. It's easier to travel independently here than in other parts of China.

4/5 - Good

Verified traveller

6 Jan 2020

Not easy to shopping or take taxi if you don't have wechat or alipay.

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveller

6 Jan 2020

Amazing city especially on evening when all the lights are on, really recommend the acrobatic show if you the time.

4/5 - Good

Verified traveller

2 Jan 2020

Love all about Shanghai

Cities near Shanghai