Shanghai (上海) is mainland China's largest economic, financial and trade center. It is well-known for its mix of east and west. Shanghai was once divided up into different "Concessions" (租界) or districts, and the boundaries of these areas still remain today. There are many different styles of architecture and design throughout the city. Today's Shanghai is a modern and fashionable city undergoing a stunning pace of development, and changing at a rate incomparable to anywhere else in the world. Shanghai covers an area of 6,340.5 sq km.
Shanghai's top attractions include Nanjing Road (南京路) (the top shopping street), the Bund (外滩) (French Colonial structures), Oriental Pearl TV Tower (东方明珠电视塔) (highest TV Tower in Asia), Pujiang Cruise (浦江游) (for the views of the Bund and the cityscape of Pudong), and Yuyuan Garden (豫园) (classical Chinese garden).
Shanghai began as a fishing village in the 11th century, but in the 13th century, it became a cotton production and manufacturing center. By the 1800s it was becoming the largest city in China, and then reached an economic peak in the early 19th century. In the mid 1800s, the industrialization in Great Britain and the cotton production in the United States essentially destroyed the cotton industry of Shanghai.
Shanghai was opened to foreign trade by the Treaty of Nanjing in 1842, and became a divided city until World War II. Foreign powers (Britain, France, US, Japan, etc.) occupied the different part of Shanghai as concessions (租界) from 1844 to 1937.
In 1937, Japan attacked and occupied Shanghai along with the foreign zones until Japan's surrender in 1945.
Today Shanghai has a population of more than 18.7 million, and is China’s largest, greatest and most developed commercial and industrial city.
|Weather averages for Shanghai|
|Avg high °C (°F)||8 (46)||8 (46)||13 (55)||19 (66)||25 (77)||28 (82)||32 (90)||32 (90)||28 (82)||23 (73)||17 (63)||17 (63)|
|Avg low °C (°F)||1 (34)||1 (34)||4 (39)||10 (50)||15 (59)||19 (66)||23 (73)||23 (73)||19 (66)||14 (57)||7 (45)||2 (36)|
|Rain mm (inches)||48 (1.9)||58 (2.3)||84 (3.3)||94 (3.7)||94 (3.7)||180 (7.1)||147 (5.8)||142 (5.6)||130 (5.1)||71 (2.8)||51 (2)||36 (1.4)|
|Source: Average Conditions Shanghai per BBC 2008|
 Getting in & Getting out
 By Air
Shanghai has two airports, Pudong International Airport (浦东国际机场) and Hongqiao Airport (虹桥机场). The former mainly handles the international flights, while the latter takes care of domestic flights. The two airports are about 50 minutes apart, and are connected by the ‘guest road’ (a1 road) and the beltway (a20 road) of shanghai.
Shanghai is about a 12-hour flights from Los Angeles, two-hour flight from Hong Kong, one and half-hour from Beijing, and two and half hour from Tokyo. It has direct international flights to many cities in Europe, Asia, North America, etc. Refer to International Airlines to China for a list of major airlines flying to and from Shanghai.
- Pudong Flight Information: (21) 9608-1388
- Hongqiao Flight Information: (21) 5260-4620
Pudong International Airport (浦东国际机场) is Shanghai's newer airport, and it services all of its international flights including regional flights to Hong Kong and Macau (except for flights to Tokyo International Airport (Haneda) and flights to Gimpo International Airport in Seoul).
Terminal #2 at Pudong Airport has just opened on Mar. 26, 2008. A total of 15 airlines (Air India, Shanghai Airlines, Northwest Airlines, Qatar Airways, Alitalia, British Airways, Qantas Airways, Virgin Atlantic Airways, Philippine Airlines, Malaysia Airlines, Transaero Airlines, Cebu Pacific, Aerosvit Airlines, Garuda Indonesia and Royal Nepal Airlines) have have been relocated to Terminal #2.
Refer to Pudong International Airport for details.
Hongqiao International Airport (虹桥机场) is Shanghai's older airport, and it now only services domestic flights and two international flights with "city-to-city" service to central Tokyo's Haneda Airport (HND) (羽田空港) (started on September 29th 2007), and to central Seoul's Gimpo International Airport (started on October 28th, 2007) as well as flights to Taipei, Hong Kong, and Macau. After the renovation, all domestic flights (apart from budget carrier Spring Airlines) departs from the new Terminal 2, while all international flights leave from the older Terminal 1. For moving between the two terminals, there is a free shuttle bus running every half-hour as well as metro line 10. Refer to Hongqiao International Airport for details.
 By Train
Shanghai Railway Station (上海站) is located at Zhabei District(闸北区), and can be reached through Metro Line 1, Line 3 or Line 4. It is the terminus of the main Beijing-Shanghai railway line, and mostly serves north and west bound trains (South Railway Station takes care of the trains to South China).
Shanghai Railway Station serves Z (non stop, deluxe) (准高速), T trains (high speed trains that only stop at main stations) (特快), K trains (快车) to all major cities in China. There are eight Z trains to Beijing each day. T trains serve Dalian (大连), Beijing (北京), Urumqi (乌鲁木齐), Nanjing (南京), Yangzhou (扬州), Hangzhou (杭州), Xi'an(西安), Lanzhou (兰州), Jinan (济南), Tongling, Tianjin (天津), Taizhou and Ningbo (宁波), and K trains serve Guiyang (贵阳), Changsha (长沙), Guangzhou (广州), Kunming (昆明), Wuhan (武汉), Yinchuan (银川), Xining (西宁), Nanchang (南昌), Zhanjiang (湛江), Fuzhou (福州), Xiamen (厦门), Yichang (宜昌), Chongqing (重庆), Fuyang, Shenyang (沈阳), Shijiazhuang (石家庄), Baotou (包头), Qingdao (青岛), Tianjin (天津), Taiyuan (太原), Harbin (哈尔滨), and Jilin City (吉林市).
The typical fare for a regular normal sleeper between Beijing (北京) and Shanghai is around 200-300 Yuan with no food. For the night-sleep trains (leaving at 7pm-8pm every 10 minutes and arriving at 7am-8am in Beijing), the fare is around 500 Yuan for a soft sleeper, and 250 Yuan for a normal hard seater.
Shanghai South Railway Station (上海南站) is a newly expanded terminal opened in July 2006. Many trains to South China and cities of the Yangtze River Delta depart from here. This station is on Metro lines 1 and 3.
You can buy the train tickets directly at the train stations. Shanghai Railway Station even has an English counter. In addition, train tickets can also be booked at hotels, travel service agencies, etc.
 By Bus
Long-distance bus is the second most popular transport system (after train) for people in China. In and around Shanghai, there are about 1,680 long-distance bus routes from over 40 long-distance bus stations connecting Shanghai to 17 other provinces in China. Most of these long-distance bus stations are strategically located in the area near Shanghai Railway Station.
The following is a list of main long-distance bus stations in Shanghai
- Shanghai South Long-Distance General Bus Station (上海长途客运南站)
- Address: 1662 Zhongxing Road, Zhabei District (Shanghai Railway Station North Square)
- Tel: (21)-6605 0000, (21)-5672 0594
- Opened in January, 2006, this station is the largest passenger long-distance bus station in Shanghai. It mainly serves cities in six provinces (Anhui (安徽), Fujian (福建), Jiangsu (江苏), Jiangxi (江西), Shandong (山东) and Zhejiang (浙江)) of East China (华东). In addition, it also sends buses to cities in the provinces of Guangdong (广东), Hebei (河北), Henan (河南), Hubei (湖北), Liaoning (辽宁), Shaanxi (陕西), Shanxi (山西), Sichuan (四川), and Yunnan (云南). There are about 420 buses departing from the station following over 150 routes every day.
- Hutai Road Long-Distance Bus Station (沪太路长途汽车站)
- Address: 1015 North Zhongshan Road, Zhabei District (near Hutai Road)
- Tel: (21)-5652 8400
- Buses in this station go to Qingdao (青岛) and Rizhao (日照) (Shandong (山东)), Lianyungang (连云港), Nanjing (南京), and Yangzhou (扬州) (Jiangsu (江苏)), Hangzhou (杭州) and Shaoxing (绍兴) (Zhejiang (浙江)), Wuhan (Hubei (湖北)), and Ma'anshan(马鞍山) of Anhui (Anhui (安徽)). Tourist buses to Mt. Huangshan (黄山), Mt. Jiuhuashan and Wuzhen (乌镇) can also be found here.
 By Ship
There are weekly ferry services from Shanghai to Nagasaki (Japan), Cheju (South Korea), Mokpo (South Korea), Kobe (Japan), Osaka (Japan) and Hong Kong.
- Shanghai Port International Cruise Terminal (for international passenger ships) is at 800 East Daming Road (Tel: 6595-2299).
- Wusong Passenger Transport Center (for domestic ships) is at 251 Songbao Rd. (Tel: 5657-5500).
- The Gongping Road Passenger Terminal is at 60 Gongping Road (Tel. 65418829).
 Getting Around
 By Public Bus
Shanghai's public buses are incredibly crowded. Either numbers or alphabets are used to specify the bus lines. The numbering scheme is not always uniform, but most downtown lines use numbers, while suburban buses and a few downtown bus lines use alphabets.
- Numbered Lines
- 1 (01) - 200: Downtown Conventional Lines (常规线). Lines under 30 (except those starting with 0) are trolleybuses (except 18, 21).
- 201 - 299: Rush Hour Lines (But some buses within the range are conventional buses).
- 301 - 399: Night Lines.
- 401 - 499: Cross-River Lines (the new cross-river lines) (But some cross-river bus lines do not start with number 4).
- 504 - 599: special-line buses (专线车)
- 600 - 699: special-line buses in Pudong.
- 700 - 799: suburban conventional lines. Most 7xx buses have at least one terminal beyond Outer Ring Road (A20 Road).
- 800 - 899: special-line buses. Most of them are mid-size buses, but now they are being replaced with air-conditioned large buses.
- 900 - 999: special-line buses. Most of them are full-size and air-conditioned.
- Alphabet Lines
- Bridge Lines: Bridge Lines 1 to 6 run across the bridges over Huangpu River (as 4xx buses do). There are other buses that cross the bridge but not named as the bridge line.
- Tunnel Lines: Tunnel Line 1 to 9 (except Tunnel Line 5) runs through the tunnel under Huangpu River (as 4xx buses do). There are other buses that cross the bridge but not named as the bridge line.
- Airport Lines: Airport Lines 1 to 7 (8 coming soon) connect Pudong Airport to downtown, while Airport Special Line (机场专线) connects Hongqiao Airport to downtown.
- Other Lines: Some lines are named as "XY Line", where X and Y indicate the two terminals of this line. For example, Xin Ji Line (莘纪线) is a bus line between Xinzhuang (莘庄) and Jiwang (纪王).
- Fare varies depending on the category of the bus line. But the conventional line generally is 1 Yuan per person for the first 13 kilometers (about 8 miles), and 1.5 Yuan thereafter. Air-conditioned buses are 2 Yuan per person. The fare for children is 1 Yuan. The fare for other lines differs slightly.
 By Tour Bus
 By Metro
Shanghai metro system now has 8 lines in operation for a total length of 227 km, with 161 stations. Another 4 lines are expected to complete in the next several years. The metro network is one of the most rapidly expanding in the world. Most stations and trains have the signs in English.
- Line 1 - every 3-3.5 minutes (during rush hours)
- Line 2 - every 3.2-3.5 minutes (during rush hours)
- Line 3 - every 4.5-5 minutes (during rush hours)
- Line 4 - every 10-12 minutes (during rush hours)
- Line 5 - every 5-5.5 minutes (during rush hours)
3-8 RMB for a single ride depending on distance. 3 RMB for the first 10 km, and 1 RMB per 10 km thereafter. Can be paid using smartcards available in the denomination of from 10 Yuan to 1000 Yuan. Smartcards can also be used for buses, taxis.
 By Taxi & Rental Car
Taxi is a good choice for transportation in the city, especially during off-peak hours. It is affordable (¥11 for the first 3km, 2.1RMB/km up to 10km, and 3.2RMB/km after) and saves you time, but try to get your destination in Chinese characters or available on a map as communication can be an issue (translate Shanghai addresses from English to Chinese characters). As Shanghai is a huge city, try to get the nearest intersection to your destination as well since even addresses in Chinese are often useless. Drivers, while generally honest, are sometimes genuinely clueless and occasionally out to take you for a ride. The drivers are very good about using the meter but in case they forget, remind them. It's also the law to provide a receipt for the rider but if your fare seems out of line, be sure to obtain one as it's necessary to receive any compensation. If you feel you have been cheated or mistreated by the driver, you (or a Chinese-speaking friend) can use the information on the printed receipt to raise a complaint to the taxi company about that particular driver. The driver will be required to pay 3x the fare if ordered by the taxi company so normally they're very good about taking the appropriate route. The printed receipt is also useful to contact the driver in case you have forgotten something in the taxi and need to get it back.
If you come across a row of parked taxis and have a choice of which one to get in to, you may wish to check the driver's taxi ID card that is posted next to or near the meter on the dash in front of the front passenger seat. The higher the number, the newer the driver, thus the likelihood that your driver will not know where he or she is going. Taxi driver ID numbers between 10XXXX and 12XXXX are likely to be the most experienced drivers (just make sure to match the picture on the ID card with that of the driver). A number of 27XXXX to 29XXXX is probably going to get you lost somewhere. Another way is to check the number of stars the driver has. These are displayed below the driver's photograph on the dashboard in front of the passenger seat. The amount of stars indicates the length of time the driver has been in the taxi business and the level of positive feedback received from customers, and range from zero stars to five. Drivers with one star or more should know all major locations in Shanghai, and those with three stars should be able to recognize even lesser-known addresses. Remember that it takes time to build up these stars, and so don't panic if you find yourself with a driver who doesn't have any - just have them assure you that they know where they are going and you should be fine.
If you need to cross from one side of the Huangpu River to the other by taxi, especially from Pudong (浦东) to Puxi (浦西), you may want to make sure your driver will make the trip, and knows where he or she is going. Some drivers only know their side of the town and will be as lost as you are once they leave their side of town. Taxis are notoriously difficult to get on rainy days and during peak traffic hours, so plan your journeys accordingly. As the crossings between Pudong (浦东) and Puxi (浦西) are often jammed with traffic, taking a taxi may be a more expensive and less time-efficient alternative to using the Metro to cross. It may be better to take the Metro between both sides, and then catch a taxi on the side that your final destination is on.
Taxi colors in Shanghai are strictly controlled and indicate the company the taxi belongs to. Turquoise taxis operated by Dazhong (大众), the largest group, are often judged the best of the bunch. Another good taxi company, "Qiangsheng" (强生), uses gold-colored taxis. Watch out for dark red/maroon taxis, since this is the 'default' color of small taxi companies and includes more than its fair share of bad apples. Also private owned taxis (You can recognize them easily as they have an 'x' in their number plate and may not be the standard Volkswagen Santana used by most taxi companies) are among them. The dark red/maroon taxis will also go "off the meter" at times and charge rates 4x-5x the normal rate - especially around the tourist areas of the Yuyuan Gardens. Bright red taxis, on the other hand, are unionized and quite OK, furthermore there are more 3-star and above taxi drivers working for this company. The dark-green taxis cover suburban areas only and are not allowed within the "city" area, but their meters start at ¥9 so they're somewhat cheaper if you're not trying to get downtown (rule of thumb- if you're trying to go somewhere within the Outer Ring highway, don't get one, but if your journey ends just within it you may be able to find a driver willing to bend the rules).
If possible, try to avoid using ¥100-bills to pay for short rides. Taxi drivers are not keen on giving away their change, and it is not uncommon to get counterfeit smaller notes for change. Taxis are very hard to come by during peak hours and when it's raining so be prepared to wait for a while or walk to a busy pick-up location. Non-Chinese might be disgusted at the "lack" of courtesy or lines while waiting for a taxi, so don't be afraid to "jump in" and get one.
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Search on this web site for hotels in Shanghai.
Shanghai's cuisine, like its people and culture, is primarily a fusion of the forms of the surrounding Jiangnan region, with influences sprinkled in more recently from the farther reaches of China and elsewhere. Characterized by some as sweet and oily, the method of preparation used in Shanghai, it emphasizes freshness and balance, with particular attention to the richness that sweet and sour characteristics can often bring to dishes that are otherwise generally savoury.
The name "Shanghai" means "upper harbour"/"above the sea", but paradoxically, the local preference for fish often tends toward the freshwater variety due to the city's location at the mouth of China's longest river. Seafood, nonetheless, retains great popularity and is often braised (fish), steamed (fish and shellfish), or stir-fried (shellfish). Watch out for any seafood that is fried, as these dishes rely far less on freshness and are often the remains of weeks' old purchases.
Shanghai's preference for meat is unquestionably pork. Pork is ubiquitous in the style of Chinese cooking, and in general if a mention refers to something as "meat" (肉) without any modifiers, the safe assumption is that it is pork. Ground pork is used for dumpling and bun fillings, whereas strips and slices of pork are promulgated in a variety of soups and stir-fries. The old standby of Shanghainese cooking is "red-cooked [braised/stewed] pork" (红烧肉), a traditional dish throughout Southern China with the added flair of anise and sweetness provided by the chefs of Shanghai.
Chicken takes the honorable mention in the meat category, and the only way to savor chicken in the Chinese way is to eat it whole (as opposed to smaller pieces in a stir-fry). Shanghai's chickens were once organic and grass-fed, yielding smaller birds offering more tender and flavorful meat than its hormone-injected Western counterparts. Unfortunately, these hormones have found their way to China, and today most chickens are little different from what can be found elsewhere. Still, the unforgettable preparations (drunken, salt-water, plain-boiled with dipping sauce, etc.) of whole chickens chopped up and brought to the table will serve as a reminder that while the industrialization of agriculture has arrived from the West, the preservation of flavor is still an essential element of the local cooking.
Those looking for less cholesterol-laden options need not fret. Shanghai lies at the heart of a region of China that produces and consumes a disproportionately large amount of soy. Thinking tofu? There's the stinky version that when deep-fried, permeates entire blocks with its earthy, often offensive aroma. Of course there are also tofu skins, soy milk (both sweet and savory), firm tofu, soft tofu, tofu custard (generally sweet and served from a road-side cart), dried tofu, oiled tofu, and every kind of tofu imaginable with the exception of tofurkey. There's also vegetarian duck, vegetarian chicken, and vegetarian goose, each of which looks and tastes nothing like the fowl after which it is named but is rather just a soy-dish where the bean curd is expected to approximate the meat's texture. Look out also for gluten-based foods at vegetarian restaurants, which unlike tofu, do not come with the phyto-estrogens that have recently made soy controversial within American vegetarian circles. If you are vegetarian, do be conscious that tofu in China is often regarded not as a substitute for meat (except by the vegetarian Buddhist monks) but rather as an accompaniment to it. As such, take extra care to ensure that your dish isn't served with peas and shrimp or stuffed with ground pork before you order it.
Some other Shanghainese dishes to look out for:
- xiao long bao (小籠包, lit. buns from the little steaming cage, or little dragon buns). Probably the most famous Shanghai dish: small steamed buns - often confused for dumplings - come full of tasty (and boiling hot!) broth inside with a dab of meat to boot. The connoisseur bites a little hole into them first, sips the broth, then dips them in dark vinegar (醋 cu) to season the meat inside.
- sheng jian bao (生煎包, lit. raw fried buns). Unlike xiao long bao, these larger buns come with dough from raised flour, are pan-fried until the bottoms reach a deliciously crispy brown, and have not made their way to Chinese menus around the world (or even around China). Still popular with Shanghainese for breakfast and best accompanied by vinegar, eat these with particular care, as the broth inside will squirt out just as easily as their steamed cousins.
- dazha xie (hairy crabs). Best eaten in the winter months (Oct-Dec) and paired with Shaoxing wine to balance out your yin and yang.
- xiefen shizitou (蟹粉狮子头, lit. crab powder lion heads). Actually pork meatballs containing crab meat.
- You Tiao (油条, lit. oil stick). Long, deep-fried donut. One kind of breakfast that is very popular in Shanghai. Typically consumed in the morning with soy milk (dou jiang 豆浆).
Vegetarians should not miss Vegetarian Life Style  (258, Fengxian Road and 77, Songshan Road) where you can experience nice, affordable and organic vegetarian food resembling real meat or fish dishes in a fancy atmosphere.
 boutique shops
Nanjing Road (南京路) West near Jing'an Temple. Plaza 66 (or Henglong Plaza), Citic Plaza, Meilongzhen Plaza, and No. 3 on the Bund are among the high-end shopping centers bearing most famous fashion names.
- Nanjing Road Pedestrian shopping area. A 1-km long world famous shopping street packed with busy shops.
- Huaihai Road shopping district.
 budget market
- The underground Yatai Shenghui Shopping Square in Pudong. Close to the Shanghai Science and Technology Metro station on metro line 2. You can find many knock-off products.
- Dongjiadu Lu (董家渡路市场) Fabric Market. Address: 142 Dongjiadu Lu.
Material market: nice choice of silk, cotton, linen, cashmere... Materials for men suits. The most famous fabric market you have to visit when in Shanghai.
- Puan Lu Market Children Market (普安儿童市场) Address: 10 Puan Lu, Jinlin Lu (普安路10号,金陵路)
The Children Market is located underground under a newly planted park. Take the Puan Lu Street, facing the Yan'an elevated way, until its end and then you will find on your left side a park with two entrances (like subway's entrances). Nice choice of shoes and clothes for young children.
 Night Life & Entertainment
 Sports & Recreation
 Excursions & Day Trips
 Area and Postal Codes
|City||Area Code||Postal Code||City||Area Code||Postal Code|
|Anting New Town (安亭新镇)||21||201805||Baoshan District (宝山区)||21||201900|
|Changning District (长宁区)||21||200000||Chongming County (崇明区)||21||202150|
|Fengxian District (奉贤区)||21||201400||Hongkou District (虹口区)||21||200000|
|Huangpu District (黄浦区)||21||200000||Huinan Town District (惠南镇)||21||201300|
|Jiading District (嘉定区)||21||201800||Jing'an District (静安区)||21||200000|
|Jinshan (金山区)||21||201500||Luwan District (卢湾区)||21||200000|
|Minhang District (闵行区)||21||201100||Nanhui District (南汇区)||21||201300|
|Pudong District (浦东区)||21||200120||Putuo District (普陀区)||21||200000|
|Qingpu District (青浦区)||21||201700||Shanghai (上海)||21||200000|
|Songjiang District (松江区)||21||201600||Xuhui District (徐汇区)||21||200000|
|Yangpu District (杨浦区)||21||200000||Zhabei District (闸北区)||21||200000|