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These are my carefully selected best places, things to do and secret tips for the biggest city in China. This travel guide of Shanghai won’t disappoint.
I stayed here for quite a bit to bring you places like Flair, Yu Garden, French Concession, Pudong, Xintiandi, Shanghai Nightlife and how to cheat China’s internet ban. Featuring all must-see locations!
Map, Photos & details on my blog:
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Shanghai literally means ‘on top of the sea’ in Chinese and with 23 million people it is currently the biggest city in China. The map below has a list of all the best places in Shanghai of which some have a dedicated article and video.
Prices in Shanghai are very affordable, a large bowl of delicious noodles with braised pork and vegetables will cost you less than $2 thus you can comfortably live on $10 budget per day.
The skyline of Shanghai was shaped in less than 26 years, and even holds landmarks like the Jin Mao tower, World Financial Center and Shanghai Tower, world’s second tallest building at 632 meters.
Watch the breathtaking view of Shanghai’s business district (Pudong) while standing on the Bund, especially at night when all the neon lights come on. For a great observatory view I recommend Flair restaurant on top of the Ritz-Carlton which is FREE to enter.
My favorite way to explore Shanghai was during my daily jogs. I recommend starting on Nanjing Road and make your way to People’s Park, especially during the weekend since you may find yourself running into the Shanghai Wedding Market. At which Parents of unmarried adults go to the park every weekend, from noon to 5pm, to trade information on their kids.
China, being a communist country, I’ve never seen such a large gap between rich and poor. This was one of the last places, after North-Korea, where I would expect to see such a huge income gap. Senior ladies were selling vegetables on the sidewalk while rich teenagers parked their Lamborghini’s next door, quite the eye-opener.
I made a few Chinese friends during my stay in Shanghai, we all went for duck feet dinner on Nanjing Road and a few drinks at Sir Elly’s on top of the Peninsula hotel which honestly is the most incredible rooftop bar in Shanghai. A must-see if you ever decide to visit Shanghai!
Shanghai has a strong French influence which you can explore at the French Concession area in the Xintiandi district, one of the most luxury areas of the city. Surprisingly, I visited Shanghai during fashion week and Octoberfest, if there is on time to go it is visiting Shanghai around this time due to all the events being thrown around the city.
Now my most important tip is ExpressVPN, China has a very strict internet policy, because they cannot control information on Google, Facebook, Gmail, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram, thus they decided to ban it altogether. The ExpressVPN app has a 30-day free trial and allows you to establish a secure private connection with an offshore server so you can still access the apps and sites you want while staying in China. This is extremely helpful if you relay on Google Maps to navigate you around, even without – don’t be discouraged to visit Shanghai, it was one of the most amazing experiences I’ve had. Have a safe journey!
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