Travel Planning
Travel Planning

Shanghai at a Glance

Bustling Shanghai's clamor, noise and activity is enough to fill anyone's senses. Get the feel of this Chinese powerhouse by walking through the historic neighborhoods as well as the mushrooming skyscrapers. 

Nineteenth century Shanghai was a collection of foreign concessions or territories owned and administered by foreign powers. The Europeans who build the concessions designed them to look like cities back home. With colonialism behind it, Shanghai has reclaimed these areas and the result is a fascinating mixture of East and West.

Across the river from the traditional city is an area called Pudong. Twenty-five years ago the Pudong was farmland, but now it is at the heart of Shanghai's skyscraper district.

Whichever side of the river you explore, you'll have an exciting time. Gaze at the skyscrapers at nighttime from a vantage point along the Bund. During the day, cross the river to one of the highest observation towers in the world and get a panorama of Shanghai old and new. Don't forget to explore Shanghai's museums, restaurants and shopping. You'll be intoxicated by all this city has to offer. 

What to Expect
High Season
May - October
Low Season
November - April
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Language: Mandarin Chinese, Cantonese
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      Getting There
      Major Airports
      • Major Airport Shanghai Pudong International Airport

      Passport / Visa Requirements

      Visitors to China need a passport with at least six months of validity remaining and a visa appropriate to the type of visit they are making. Travelers will need to visit the website of the Embassy of the People's Republic of China to learn their exact requirements and to prepare the appropriate documents. The process is a bit complicated and the requirements must be met in full in order to enter and exit the country successfully. Once in China, all visitors must register with the state.  American citizens can find out more about the process through the U.S State Department's website. 

      Getting Around
      Public Transportation
      • Bus Shanghai Buses
      Need to Know

      Severe Weather and Seismic ActivityChina has earthquakes so be aware of earthquake safety when traveling. Summer in China can be blisteringly hot. The southern coast experiences typhoons during the summer as well. During intense heat, stay cool and drink enough water to reduce the risk of heat related illness. 

      Safety ConcernsPetty criminals and pickpockets target foreigners. Keep your money and valuables out of sight while on the street and consider putting little used valuables in a safe at your hotel, or in a money belt. Shanghai's traffic is heavy and its drivers aggressive. Pedestrians need to be careful because car related deaths are a serious problem.

      Health ConcernsSmog is a concern in China and many residents wear face masks when out in the streets. Check air-quality ratings before you go out and plan accordingly. Visitors to China should drink bottled water or boil or purify the local water. Only eat fruits and vegetables that can be peeled and be sure to wash food using the purified water.