My Travel Guide to Shanghai
This is my guide to Shanghai, I was going to do one big post of helping you travel through China but I had too many recommendations and wanted to be thorough for you guys, so here we are: part 1 of my guide to China in a three part series.
Note: Shanghai weather during the Spring when I was there was fairly cold, I was wearing my puffy coat the whole time, and at one point it snowed on us so bundle up! It does get more humid in other times of the year however, so definitely check before packing and know when to go.
For a quick reference, here is my small guide for you:
June - September = rainy months (late August to early September is typhoon season so be aware before heading over during that time)
October - November = ranked the best time to visit Shanghai. The autumn season is gorgeous in the gardens and has a nice crisp temperature but nothing too severe.
January = Coldest month, average low of about 34 degrees. (Which is when I was there.)
First stop? Shanghai. A beautiful city, with lots of architecture to see, and plenty of foggy weather. The obvious must sees here would be:
1. The Bund - walk along the water, and get a stunning view of the center of Shanghai. I would spend about a half day here, there are some great coffee shops in this area so perhaps a morning stroll might do it justice? Plus once you're here, its easy to go to the other must sees as they are very close by.
2. The Oriental Pearl Tower - In the distance you'll see a tall building with a ball at the top, it reminded me of some sort of futuristic movie. It's a great photo opportunity and kind of cool to go see if you're into radio or television, as it is the main thing for just that. As an added bonus its ranked the 6th tallest building in the world. So mind as well right?
3. Nanjing Road - Shopping at its finest. I will say I did probably the most shopping here and in the ladies market in Hong Kong, two of the best (and cheapest) in my opinion. On this road they have everything from Chinese herbs and old vintage stores to the high end department stores. I also recommend something I didn't get the chance to do here - which is seeing the artistic side of this area, the Shanghai Theatre, Jing'an Temple & the Shanghai Museum.
*Get to Nanjing Road: You can start from the Bund and walk down Nanjing East Road.
Alternatively, take metro line 2 or 10 to Nanjing East Road.
Alternatively, take metro Line 1, Line 2 or Line 8 and get off at People’s Square, where you end up right in the center where you then can walk toward pedestrian street to get to the Bund or in the other direction head to the department stores!
4. Financial District - Much like the financial districts in other areas of the world, its something to see but I wouldn't put it high on the list unless you're into that. It's cool to see however, and its conveniently located right across the water from the bund. I will say also, the Yu Garden, is in this area as well and that is a beautiful sight to see, with a beautiful temple build in the Ming Dynasty (thats the 1500s guys, crazy right?)
1. People's Square Marriage Market: So crazy, but its interesting if you're interested in the cultural aspect of how traditional marriage is in this area. Parents of unmarried children flock to the square Saturday & Sunday from noon until 5 pm to discuss and present on their children, from there arranged marriages are decided.
2. Gongqing Forest Park: If there is one area I would go back to see its this beautiful park, you need to go if you're heading to Shanghai, that is going to be my best advice to you. First off, at any time of the season it is GORGEOUS. At any time. Second, theres a roller coaster, so thats a thing. And third, the water, the temples and the trees will have you loving life and all its beauty.
3. Zhujiajiao Water Town: This beautiful town is on the water, go figure right? But the fun part is to take a little boat, much like in Venice, Italy and explore the area, grab some local cuisine and enjoy the ride. Located on the outskirts of Shanghai so this would be a great day trip for sure!
1. FREE glass elevator ride in the Financial Tower
2. Bungee jumping (one of the world's highest) from Macau Tower (near Shanghai)
For all you foodies out there, I've conducted some of the top eats for Shanghai and most are fairly cheap (because I travel on a budget). Enjoy xx
1. Muslim Market (every Friday 11 am - 3 pm) Get some halal and enjoy a feast of options for a cheap price.
2.Yang's Fried Dumplings - Every list says to try this one, and its at a really good price so you can't really go wrong with this one.
3. Shen DaCheng
4. Jia Jia Tang Bao (Huanghe Road)
6. Din Tai Fung (of course)
7. Sichuan Citizen
8. Lost Heaven
* Side note: a fun game to play is ordering all the different beers from different countries, blindfolding yourself and going in a circle of guessing which country is which beer. My friends and I got creative...
1. The Grand Hyatt Shanghai, drink above the clouds! (our ears popped in one of the 3 elevators we had to take...seriously so cool.)
2.The Roof at Waterhouse
3. Zapata's (They also have a Tuesday Taco night...Just saying)
4. Vue Bar
5. Aura Lounge & Jazz Bar (a little more fancy, but a great vibe to try out)
7. Flair Rooftop (can you tell I like rooftops?)
A special shout out to my incredible friends I got to spend my time in Shanghai with,
I miss all you amazing souls. Also fun fact for everyone who looks even remotely blonde or "exotic" in any way, you will be stopped for pictures like this constantly. At one point a group of 5 or 6 ladies stopped my friend (also blonde) and I for a good 20 minutes to take individual photos, then group alternating photos...true story.