Shanghai holidays open the door to a Chinese super-city where the best of the old and new world’s combine to magical effect.
This is a truly 21st-century metropolis, home to a stunning skyline of high-rise buildings, including the Shanghai Tower and the Shimao International Plaza. Children, film and theme park lovers are sure to enjoy a day spent at Shanghai Disney Resort. There are also sprawling malls to explore across Shanghai, as well as modern museums, like the mesmerising Museum of Glass.
Shanghai is a historic city too, full of charm. The famous Bund waterfront boasts a mile-long promenade of interesting buildings, with a mix of architectural styles. You can choose to take a cruise along the Huangpu River too – at night the Bund is particularly spectacular. The longtangs (lanes) of the Tianzifang and Xintiandi districts are also enchanting places to get lost in for an afternoon.
Discover your perfect Shanghai holiday package and prepare for a trip like no other.
China’s most populous city is a wonderful combination of stunning innovation and traditional charm, meaning holidays in Shanghai have lots to offer each and every visitor.
Head to the 128-storey Shanghai Tower and enjoy breathtaking views from the world’s second tallest building. Whizz upwards in a high-speed elevator and gaze out at the city from 1,844 feet up in the sky.
Shanghai’s other skyscrapers are by no means small, but many of them will still seem tiny as you look down upon them. There’s also an arts space on the 126th floor of the tower where more than 200 speakers play music created by acclaimed composer Simon Franglen.
Make your way to the tranquil Yuyuan Garden (also known as Yu Garden) for a gentler pace and to find time for contemplation. Sparkling ornamental lakes filled with colourful fish, intricately-designed pavilions and striking pine trees make this a perfect place to wander and relax.
Dating back to the 16th century, the gardens are a wonderful example of Ming dynasty style and are particularly beautiful in spring and summer when the magnolia blossom is in full bloom.
The Bund waterfront area on the west bank of the Huangpu River offers an intriguing architectural reminder of Shanghai’s colonial past.
The buildings here are a neat contrast to the shimmering glass and steel structures found in other parts of the city, including the Pudong district on the opposite side of the river.
Some of Shanghai’s finest restaurants are located in the Bund, with Wujie, Sir Elly’s, L’Atelier de Joel Robuchon and Ultraviolet having all won global acclaim for their dishes.
Pick up some special souvenirs at Tianzifang, one of the most charming and creative shopping areas in Shanghai. Its twisting, historic longtangs (or connecting alleyways) house all manner of boutiques, cafes and restaurants. Many families have lived in the neighbourhood for decades and have turned it into a widely recognised stronghold for independent businesses and entrepreneurial spirit.
Away from Tianzifang, Nanjing Road is the most-popular place to shop. This street runs from the Bund to Jing’an Temple and boasts big brand names and modern malls.
Explore Shanghai’s first-rate cultural offering with visits to a selection of its impressive museums. The Natural History Museum is a sleek space filled with exhibits dedicated to native species as well as interactive displays that will keep children entertained.
The Shanghai Museum is also a must-see, thanks in part to one of the best collections of Chinese arts and crafts in the country. For something a little edgier, M50 is a creative hub in a former textile district which shows exhibits by contemporary artists.
You’ll be spoilt for choice on a family holiday in Shanghai.
Base yourself in Pudong for easy access to top attractions such as the Oriental Pearl Tower, Shanghai Circus World and Disneyland Shanghai.
The Sheraton Grand Shanghai Pudong Hotel & Residences is great for families, with a free children’s club on offer.
Holidaymakers looking for a little bit of luxury have plenty of hotels to pick from in our Shanghai packages in the Putuo district.
The Jumeirah Himalayas Hotel Shanghai is an excellent five-star option, boasting an indoor pool, gardens, fitness suite and on-site shopping.
Other five-star hotels here include the Hyatt Regency Shanghai Global Harbour, and Renaissance Shanghai Putuo Hotel.
If you’re planning a city break to Shanghai and want to be in the heart of the action, the Huangpu neighbourhood, close by to the banks of the River Huangpu and the Bund is a brilliant choice.
The five-star Les Suites Orient is a sleek, modern choice, with many studios boasting river views. Meanwhile the Yangtze Boutique Shanghai is an art deco hotel, an easy walk away from People’s Square and Shanghai Museum.
China’s currency is the renminbi (RMB), more commonly known as the yuan. ATMs are readily available across the city. Haggling is commonplace in markets.
Shanghai has an excellent transport system, with an extensive network of trains, subways, buses and river ferries. English features in many signs, maps and announcements.
China’s official language is Mandarin but many people in Shanghai speak a dialect called Shanghainese. English is widely used in the city’s main tourist areas.
Key dates in the Shanghai calendar include International Labour Day (1 May) and National Day (1 October, although the celebrations can last a week).
Shanghai is the home of ‘Hu cuisine’ and has a well-developed, complex culinary heritage. The food here is heavily influenced by Shanghai’s coastal location, with seafood specialities like crab, Mandarin fish and stewed carp highlights on the local menus.
Shanghai is a truly cosmopolitan city and visitors will find that its Haipai (literally meaning ‘all-embracing’) meals reflect significant Western influences. Look out for hot pot across the city, a perennially popular dish. Here you’ll be served raw slices of pork, beef and lamb along with a selection of vegetables. Using your chopsticks, you’ll cook it yourself in the hot pots placed in the centre of the table.
Shanghai’s history can be traced back more than 1,000 years. Originally a small and sleepy agricultural village, Shanghai developed in size and stature during the Ming and early Qing dynasties as its cotton and textile industries began to thrive.
British, American and French settlers flocked to Shanghai during the 19th century, attracted in part by its commerce-friendly location on the shores of the East China Sea. Today the city is home to the world’s busiest container port and boasts one of the largest expat populations in the country.
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