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Shanghai
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

Novotel Shanghai Hongqiao Hotel
Novotel Shanghai Hongqiao Hotel
4 out of 5
1102 Xiehe Road, Changning District, Shanghai, Shanghai
The price is $67 per night from Jul 3 to Jul 3
Located in Changning, this eco-friendly hotel is within 9 mi (15 km) of Zhongshan Park, Jing'an Temple, and National Exhibition and Convention Center. Beixinjing ...
4.3/5Excellent! (172 reviews)
"This was second time i stayed in this hotel, and was again not disappointed. The staff members were friendly and helpful, checkin and checkout was very efficient. Yes, there is construction around the hotel but this did not impact my stay. Well done and thank for a pleasant stay."

Reviewed on Jan 11, 2021

Novotel Shanghai Hongqiao Hotel
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 $300 per night from Jun 22 to Jun 22
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! (39 reviews)
Ilove it
"Excellent trip"

Reviewed on Mar 15, 2021

Intercontinental Shanghai Wonderland, an IHG Hotel
Okura Garden Hotel Shanghai
Okura Garden Hotel Shanghai
5 out of 5
58 Mao Ming Nan Road, Shanghai, Shanghai
Free Cancellation
The price is $101 per night from Jul 12 to Jul 12
Located in the heart of Shanghai, this luxury hotel is within a 15-minute walk of Huai Hai Road Shopping District and Shanghai International Trade Plaza. Jing'an ...
4.4/5Wonderful! (994 reviews)
"It was a great stay, only the breakfast is kind of beyond my imagination which was a bad experience."

Reviewed on May 16, 2021

Okura Garden Hotel Shanghai
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 $65 per night from Jun 25 to Jun 25
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 Center are ...
4.2/5Excellent! (145 reviews)
Nice location
"Nice location, situated near shopping mall"

Reviewed on Jan 5, 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 Dec 24, 2019

Ascott Midtown Suzhou
Kunshan Youshe Service Apartment
Kunshan Youshe Service Apartment
3 out of 5
No.2 Kunbei Road, Near Tongxin Road, Suzhou, Jiangsu
Located in Kunshan, this apartment building is 2.1 mi (3.4 km) from Wanda Plaza Kunshan and 3.1 mi (4.9 km) from Tinglin Park. Xi Lu Garden and Yangcheng Lake ...
Kunshan Youshe Service Apartment
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.

Getting around Shanghai

The Shanghai Metro is a fantastic network that connects all the major sightseeing, shopping and business areas of this vast city. The station names are written in both English and Mandarin, making the system easy to navigate. The public bus network is also comprehensive, though less tourist-friendly. Taxis are affordable and are easy to hail on the streets, but renting a car of your own is not advised. Visit the The Ministry of Transport of the People's Republic of China website.Browse Shanghai rental cars.

Best time to visit

Most tourists visit Shanghai in the summer months. While this time of year has its charms, with lively streets and bouts of sun, it also brings sudden rains and intense humidity. Go for September, October or early November instead, when the weather is warm and the streets and parks will still be buzzing with energy. Good, affordable accommodations will be easier to find in fall, too.

Popular places to visit in Shanghai

Top things to do in Shanghai

Read travel guides and advice on visiting Shanghai

Best places to stay in Shanghai

Best places to stay in Shanghai

Best places to stay in Shanghai
Expedia Enters Marketing Partnership With Jin Jiang, China’s Largest Hotel Group

Expedia Enters Marketing Partnership With Jin Jiang, China’s Largest Hotel Group

Expedia Enters Marketing Partnership With Jin Jiang, China’s Largest Hotel Group

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