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The Ultimate Guide To Shanghai
The Ultimate Guide To Shanghai

Located on China’s central coast and on the estuary of the Yangtze River, Shanghai is the largest city in China. Shanghai perfectly blends traditional Chinese culture with modernity; the city is a global financial hub with towering skyscrapers, but still has plenty of traditional Chinese influences, temples and villages nearby. The city is a great place to visit year-round, but now we’re approaching the warmer months there is no better time to visit ‘The Pearl of Asia’.

Travelling to Shanghai

Shanghai has two major international airports, Shanghai Pudong International and Shanghai Hongqiao International. Both airports are within a short distance to the city.

Shanghai Pudong is around an hour’s taxi drive from the city, while Shanghai Hongqiao International takes around 45 minutes. There are also shuttle buses from the airports into the city centre.

Getting around the city

Shanghai is China’s largest city, however getting around is quite easy.

Although you can sometimes walk from destination to destination, you will need to take some form of public transport if you want to see all Shanghai has to offer. Taxis in Shanghai are relatively cheap, and they operate all over the city so it’s easy to flag one down. Buses are also a popular option – there are around 1000 bus routes in the city and they’re affordable too. However, the most popular, and fast, way to get around the city is the Metro.

We’d recommend the Shanghai Jiaotong Card, as you can use it across the Shanghai metro, bus, ferry and even some taxi routes, and it works out at a much cheaper rate than buying them all separately.

Best things to do in Shanghai

With a city as big as Shanghai, there’s plenty of things to do and see here. Our pick of the top things to do in Shanghai are:

Walk along The Bund

The Bund is a famous waterfront development area in the city located alongside the Huangpu River. There are sculptures along the waterfront, and locals and tourists alike come here for the incredible views across the city, especially at night.  You can watch the sunset on the Waibaidu Bridge or even take a river cruise along the Huangpu – The Bund is always a great place to visit when in Shanghai.

Explore the Jade Buddha Temple

The Jade Buddha Temple is one of Shanghai’s only active Buddhist monasteries. First built in 1882, the original temple was destroyed in the Chinese revolution but was rebuilt in 1928. The temple is famous for its two Jade Buddha structures - one is the sitting Jade Buddha and the other is the smaller reclining Jade Buddha. The Temple even has its own vegetarian restaurant on site too.

Spend an afternoon at Yu Garden

A must-see in Shanghai, Yu Garden is an ancient classical garden that was believed to have been built in the Ming Dynasty over 400 years ago. It is a beautiful garden filled with freshwater pools, flowers, traditional Chinese architecture, pavilions and bridges. It’s best to visit in the springtime when the flowers and trees are blossoming, but the garden will be beautiful any time of year.

See the metropolitan sights

Shanghai is home to some of the world’s tallest skyscrapers and impressive buildings, which are a must-see when visiting the city.

The Shanghai Tower is the tallest tower in the city, and the second tallest in the world, standing at 632 metres. Following closely behind, Shanghai World Financial Centre and the Jin Mao Tower are the second and third tallest buildings in the city and are both impressive works of modern Chinese architecture. The Oriental Pearl TV Tower is perhaps the most distinct landmark in Shanghai, and even has shops restaurants and bars at the top.

All these buildings are located in Lujiazui, Pudong – Shanghai’s glitzy financial district.

Take a day trip

Although there is plenty of things to do and see in Shanghai, the city is also a great base to explore the beautiful surrounding areas in China. Xitang Ancient Water Town is one of China’s famous water towns, built around a series of canals. With cobbled streets, old buildings and bridges, the town is incredibly peaceful and a great place to unwind away from the hustle and bustle of the city. It takes just 30 minutes from Shanghai by bullet train too.

Suzhou is a traditional city that is the epitome of traditional China. Famed for its classic waterside architecture and beautiful water towns, Suzhou is also home to four UNESCO world heritage site listed gardens. Again, it takes just 30 minutes by bullet train.

Chongming Island is another peaceful escape from the city, and home to the Xisha Wetland Park and Migratory Bird reserve, as well as Dongping National Forest Park – the largest man made forest in East China. You can take either the Metro or ferry from Shanghai.

Stay at Grand Kempinski Hotel Shanghai

Looking for the perfect base to stay while in Shanghai? Then choose Grand Kempinski Hotel Shanghai. Located in the heart of the upmarket financial district overlooking the Huangpu River, Grand Kempinski Hotel Shanghai offers stunning views of the city’s glittering skyline.

With luxury rooms and suites, an indoor swimming pool, restaurants, bars and a spa on site, it’s the perfect place to relax after exploring the busy streets of Shanghai.

So, if you are planning a city break to Shanghai, or looking at somewhere else, there is sure to be a Kempinski hotel location for you. Click here to browse all our locations and begin your trip of a lifetime.

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