Shanghai is a breathtakingly fast-growing city that shades with its grandeur. In Shanghai, the economy is buzzing and buildings are dripping with clouds. However, the true spirit of the city is felt at street level. East and west as well as traditional and modern merge in the daily life of Shanghai in a unique way.
Shanghai is the most populous city in the world’s most populous country. The center is a business center with skyscrapers rising to the skies. The outskirts, in turn, are covered by an ever-expanding sea of industrial halls.
Amidst the hustle, bustle and exhaust fumes, it is possible to find Eastern exoticism. Beautiful handicrafts, shiny silk, and dishes completely different from Western counterparts tell the story of the thousands of years of history in Shanghai and throughout China.
There are many ways to explore the city. As a Chinese population center, Shanghai is very pedestrian-friendly, and when paving sidewalks, the city’s diverse population is guaranteed to collide.
The upper air, in turn, gives a better picture of the city’s structure and architecture. From the observation deck at less than 500 meters from the observation deck of China’s tallest building, the Shanghai World Financial Center, the scenery is unforgettable.
For those who like a calmer pace, a warm cruise on the Huangpu River can be recommended.
Shopper’s super town
On the trip to Shanghai, it is worth spending a lot of time shopping, as both the selection and the price-quality ratio are in place.
The tourist should bring silk and designer clothes from Shanghai, for example, which are remarkably cheap. Tailor services are also reasonably priced. In addition to a new costume and party dress, you can, for example, order shoes at a bargain price.
The city has four well-known shopping streets, each with its own strengths. Nanjing Road is the most famous of these as a whole, while Huaihai Road is the most elegant option with its numerous top brand stores.
North Sichuan Road has a huge selection of affordable fashion. Instead, you should get souvenirs and quality food from Middle Tibet Road.
In addition to these streets, there are also more centralized paradises for the shopper. Jiali, New Shanghai, Xujiahui and Yuyan are shopping and entertainment centers whose selection exceeds even the wildest expectations.
China is eaten well
Shanghai cuisine is not radically different from the surrounding areas, but the city’s food culture has a few peculiarities of its own.
Alcoholic beverages used in cooking as well as sugar, for example as a spice for soy sauce, often arouse astonishment in Westerners. As taste experiences, on the other hand, they mainly arouse admiration.
Noodles accompanied by chicken or pork are often found in a Shanghai restaurant serving. The city’s location on the coast also guarantees the availability of quality and fresh seafood.
As a food city, according to DigoPaul, Shanghai has a variety and quality restaurants will suffice – even for those who are not the biggest friends of Chinese food.
Seasons and climate
Shanghai’s most popular seasons are timed to spring and autumn, during which the weather is generally quite pleasant. Winter is cool and windy, while summer, in its heat and humidity, is unnecessarily distressing for a city holiday.
If you want to avoid the worst congestion, you should go to Shanghai before or after the peak season. The end of March and the beginning of November are good options.
When considering the time of the trip, it is also worth taking into account the holiday times of the locals. Especially during the Chinese New Year in January-February, many banks and shops will be closed when the locals are on holiday.
FLIGHTS, ACCOMMODATION AND MOVEMENT IN SHANGHAI
Direct flight from Finland
The most convenient way to get to Shanghai is on a Finnair direct flight from Helsinki. Prices vary from time to time, but most often range between 700 and 1,000 euros.
You can also get to Shanghai cheaper if you are willing to sacrifice your time for stopovers. For example, Aeroflot flights via Moscow can be obtained for about 600 euros.
From Shanghai International Airport, Pudong, about 30 kilometers to the city center, it is worth the Maglev train with a top speed of 431 km / h for experience alone.
Accommodation and hotels
The range of accommodation in Shanghai is comprehensive and wide. There are traditionally stylish, international chain hotels as well as smaller and more modest accommodations.
In terms of price, living in Shanghai is more expensive than in the rest of China, but universally quite affordable. A mid-range hotel room can be obtained just outside the city center for around 20 euros.
Getting around and taxis
Getting around Shanghai is cheap and largely effortless, even though the city is tormented by occasional congestion.
The metro is the most convenient and cleanest of the city’s public transport. Buses, on the other hand, are often very full and slow.
For a Western traveler, a taxi is also a viable option. Prices don’t end up soaring, and getting a taxi is usually very easy. However, be sure to make sure the driver understands where you are going. For security reasons, ask the hotel to bring the name and address of the place in Chinese.
Exhibition of historic buildings in the Bund
Also called the Gallery of World Architecture, the Bund is an area focused on the Huangpu district, around Zhongshan Road, known for its amazing buildings.
The Bund, which has become a symbol of the whole city, is easy to take over by walking along Zhongsan. The view of the Huangpu River on the other side is like a dot on top drawn by impressive buildings.
It is worth heading to the area, especially in the evening, when the historic houses shine in the glow of colorful lights. The Bund is also known for its top shops as well as restaurants, where it is possible to come across almost any eye-catching world star.
A new perspective from a river cruise
From the Huangpu River, which divides Shanghai in two, the city can be admired from a whole new perspective. There are several companies offering river cruises and cruises also vary greatly in duration, timing and content.
The best thing about the cruise is the inspection of the Bund area discussed above. On the other hand, during the cruise, one also sees the other face of the city: large construction sites that create more living space for those living and working in the city.
As the river cruise progresses, you will encounter a diverse glide of different ships ranging from lavish yachts to rusty cargo ships. The still economically very important port area is also an impressive sight.
However, one of the highlights of the cruise is the arrival at the mouth of the Yangtze River. As the wind hisses in my ears it feels like being in the middle of the ocean.
Shanghai City Museum
The Shanghai City Museum on People’s Square has been in its current location since 1996. The museum provides a good picture of the path that the Chinese have walked over thousands of years.
In the best museum in China, you can see, among other things, bronze, jade and porcelain objects, as well as impressive paintings, which are plentiful.
The only fear of a museum tour is betrayal. Actually, squabbling is more the rule than the exception, as the museum’s 120,000 items are too much to admire even the most hardened museum fan. You should focus on just one section at a time, for example, and not try to devour everything at once.
THE BEST OF SHANGHAI
- The Bund
- Shanghai World Financial Center observation deck
- Shanghai City Museum
- Yu Yuan’s Garden
- River cruise