Shanghai
Shanghai

Shanghai is a non-stop megacity where pockets of its old spirit and colonial history are mixed with futuristic skyscrapers, glitzy nightlife and a progressive art scene. This densely populated city is popular with history buffs and futurists alike. Plus, with bamboo forests and nature reserves just a train ride away, you can get the best of both.

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Places to stay

Whether you’re after a modern stay or a taste of the tradition, Shanghai has a variety of accommodation options. To sleep like you’re floating on clouds stay in a luxury hotel surrounded by Shanghai’s newest skyscrapers in the Pǔdōng area.

To be located close to Shanghai’s iconic spots, The Bund and People’s Square top places to stay in the middle of all action. There are plenty of oasis buried amongst busy neighbourhoods, like The Puli hidden right in the heart of the Jing’an – an area with a vibrant community of expats. In the historic former French Concession, you’ll find one-of-a-kind B&Bs nestled alongside the distinct architecture of the neighbourhood's mansions. For traditional stay in Shanghai, the Old City is a picturesque area filled with well-preserved buildings offering accommodation.

Things to do

Before exploring Shanghai’s streets, start your day by scoping out the city’s layout from the 360-degree viewing floor of the Oriental Pearl. Dongtai Road is bursting with antique finds or visit the Wan Shang Flower and Bird Market to see the prized crickets behind China’s secret national sport. To shop, visit the artsy Tianzifang area in the former French Concession. Enjoy the slower pace of this area by wandering along its tree-lined avenues, and popping in and out of the one-of-a-kind shops, trendy cafes and mansions turned museums. To find a source of fragrant fresh air, pay a visit to the bonsai gardens and springtime blooms of the Shanghai Botanical Garden.

A great way to tour the city is by sidecar - Shanghai Insider offer customised rides around the city. A visit to Pǔdōng will have you craning your neck to take in the dazzling and dizzying architecture or zip to the top of towers, like Shànghǎi Tower and Jīnmào Tower, to put your love of heights to the test. Prefer views that come with a drink or two? Flair at The Ritz-Carlton is the highest rooftop bar in all of China, so it’s sure to be a night out you’ll never forget. From the streets to the skies, Shanghai has a staggering array of adventures to be had.

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Where to go

Read more on visiting Shanghai for the first time The bund promenade at night

The Bund

This famous promenade along the bank of the Huangpu River contains dozens of well preserved historic buildings that were previously foreign banks and trading houses, including the famous art deco Peace Hotel, Sassoon House and the neoclassical HSBC Building. Stroll along the Bund and visit some of the gorgeous high-end bars and boutiques within the stone walls.

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Food and drink

Visit the suburb of Nanxiang to find the Guyi Garden which has dozens of xiaolongbao (soup dumplings) restaurants alongside its famed lily pond.
Try Szechuan in the glamorous surrounds of The Peacock Room or dine amongst antiques at the elegant Fu 1088.

For a less contemporary take on Chinese classics, streets like Chenghuangmiao Old Street and Wujiang Road Food Street serve up delicious street fare or join a food tour to discover the best local foods.

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Getting around

From the airport: flights to Shanghai on Qantas arrive at Shanghai Pudong International Airport Terminal 1 where you can get into town on the subway, taxi or private transfer.

In and around the city: the best way to get around Shanghai is on the clean and simple subway system or a hop-on hop-off tour bus which will take you around to all the major sights. Taxis are available though be sure to get your destination address written out for you in Mandarin before you go.

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