Shanghai was once a very small agriculture village that was founded in 1644. By 1912 it became one of the main trading ports in all of China. It now is one of the major financial centers in all of Asia and boost an amazing skyline. One of my favorite parts of Shanghai is its diversity. Its known as the “richer” part of China and some argue that it’s not “real China”. I 100% disagree with this, although a new city it has rural parts, affordable parts and expensive areas just like any big city. There is so much to explore and do here! Especially if you love Disney like your girl, then you have to visit Disneyland Shanghai (its one of the best in the world)! A pro tip though visiting China is not like visiting other destinations. You will need to obtain a visa just to leave the airport. Also some social media apps are restricted you will want to do plenty of research before heading out to lessen any unscheduled incidents.
Mandarin is the official language in China, but there are hundreds of variations used in different regions. It’s important that you have an app that can translate as not everyone will speak English.
nǐ hǎo – Hello
xiè xiè – Thank you
bú yào – Do not want
nǐ huì (shuō) yīngwén ma? – Do you speak English?
Located within a ten-minute walk of the Bund this hotel is a great location on a budget. With over 620 rooms you can find inexpensive rates and not sacrifice comfort or style! It also is home to Xindalu restaurant which the locals rave about!
The average rate starts at ¥903 per night.
While this hotel is usually occupied by business travelers its great for tourist as well. Not as central as some of the other hotels, but the service here is unbelievable and the rooms are ultra-luxurious! It’s also more cost effective for the price you are paying for the accommodation you will get.
The average rate starts at ¥1790 per night.
This hotel made its debut in 2009 and has won best hotel in Shanghai for seven years straight! It’s an extremely luxurious accommodation that sits right on the riverfront. Known for its amazing service and art deco inspired rooms. It even has iPad room controls!
The average rate starts at ¥2260 per night.
I will admit my specialty in history lies in Europe specifically 14th to 16th century. Asian history isn’t something I have extensively studied but Xu Guangqi stood out! Born in 1562 he was a famous Chinese agronomist, astronomer, mathematician and writer. He rose to fame for being a pioneer in introducing Western science and technology into China. He also became one of “The Three Pillars" of the Catholic Religion in China during the 17th century!
All this information is available to download so you can take it with you offline!
Shanghai is known for their soup dumplings or Xiaolongbao! Remember that Disney short Bao that’s exactly what a soup dumpling looks like. They are so yummy, and you can fine vegetarian options!
One of the best parts of the city is exploring local street vendors! If you explore South Yunnan Road you can find great food such as dumplings and noodles. Being street food it’s also extremely CHEAP so if you ball on a budget this is a great place to eat at.
Located in the French Concession this restaurant specializes in cuisines from the Yunnan Province. It’s an extremely popular place and they have opened two other locations!
Average cost is ¥516 per person.
This restaurant is in a fantastic location that sits right on the Bund. It was one of the first fine dining locations in the area, and sparked others to follow suit. Known for its eclectic menu that takes traditional Chinese dishes with European, Australian and North African influences.
Average cost is ¥775 per person.
Shanghai is on the type A and I socket. It is a standard voltage of 220V and standard frequency is 50Hz. To avoid issues, you will need an adapter AND convertor! I would recommend BESTEK Universal it works in multiple destinations and has USB ports. I have been using it for a while and love it! Now all my ladies out there you will need a DIFFERENT adapter for your curling irons and straighteners. I know its extra money but trust me! I have blown out a few curling irons, it’s worth the extra money and luggage space. Conair has the best adapter for pretty much every country. Check it out here.
That all Chinese language is the same. That’s a big misconception there is no blanket mandarin dialect. Most regions have their own unique languages and Shanghai is no different.
The overall safety is good, but pickpockets are high here! Remember China is VERY crowded making it easy for someone to get into your bag without you realizing it. Public transportation can be very crammed so keep your belongings on your front. For more information click here.
October and November are the best time to visit as the temperature is ideal! I visited in the summer and its hot and really humid. With all the smog it can get a little unbearable, so cooler months are best.
You will need a Visa just to leave the airport! I was very unprepared for my first trip to China and didn’t know I would need a Visa. Now you can obtain one in the airport for a day as long as you are coming back to the airport. If you aren’t coming right back to the airport you will need a longer visa and that must be processed BEFORE you arrive in China. It’s important to stay up to date on any changing rules regarding the entry and exit visas! Things like you must have the Visa and your passport with you at ALL times. They do enforce these rules and you can be deported or detained, so DON’T risk it! You can visit the US travel government site for current information.
The Yuan is used in Shangahi or what is called the Chinese currency. Being a larger city, most locations will accept cards or have ATM’s, but having cash is important because some locations will be cash only.
Public transportation is really the best way to go. Its quick and cost effective just be prepared ALL signs are in Mandarin. Have the google translate and you will be good to go.
Wifi is available at most locations for free but it will be limited. Depending on the length of your trip either add international to your plan or invest in a portable wifi. A company I use often is SkyRoam, they have very affordable rates!
If you aren’t afraid of heights you should go visit the Oriental Pearl Tower. You can walk across their glass bottom that looks down 900 feet! I HATE heights so that’s a no for me but people say it’s so amazing!
I have made tons of travel mistakes that were easily avoidable. Forgetting convertors, not packing properly, the list goes on. To make sure you avoid the same mistakes I have made I have complied a list of travel must haves.
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