Local Information

Shanghai is known as the city by the sea. We invite you to explore the beauty, culture and amazing cuisine that you will not forget. With its beautiful skyscrapers and art deco buildings, Shanghai is the perfect blend of vintage meets modern.

Called by some as the “Paris of the east” Shanghai is the largest city in China and eighth largest city in the world. Did you know Shanghai is home to the longest metro system in the world? With 400 miles of tunnels and tracks, Shanghai is easily accessible for tourists to view the wonders of the city.

Shanghai has amazing notoriety in fashion, art, and design. Your adventure awaits. We are eager to have you explore the wonder and delight of Shanghai.

Climate

In July, the climate in Shanghai is hot and humid. June through to September are also the rainy months. It is best to always bring an umbrella to aide in the changing weather conditions. During the summer you can expect an average high of 32°C (90 °F). Average daylight during July is about 12 hours. The hottest time of the day is between 12:00 – 3:00 p.m.

Currency

Chinese currency is called Renminbi (translation= people's currency). It is often abbreviated as RMB synonymous with CNY. The unit for Renminbi is Yuan, Jiao and Fen. Money can be exchanged at almost every hotel and at many department stores and large banks. Credit cards are readily accepted in Shanghai. Plan to carry enough cash for buying train tickets and for emergencies.

Art in Shanghai

There are many museums you can visit in Shanghai. Some recommendations are the Shanghai Museum, China Art Museum, Shanghai Museum of Natural History and the Arts and Crafts Museum

Shanghai Museum walks you through the pages of Chinese history. It’s spacious four floors are home to eleven galleries filled with pottery, ceramics, bronze and jade. Be sure to take time to view the impressive Ming and Quing Dynasty furniture. There is a limited number of daily visitors, so be sure to get there early!

Looking to view modern and traditional art? Be sure to plan a visit at The China Art Museum. The beautiful, bright red amazing structure is impossible to miss and worth a photo opportunity alone.

The Shanghai Natural History Museum has an extensive dinosaur display that will not disappoint. The butterfly and bee house is amazing!
Calling all arts and crafts lovers! Shanghai even has an Arts and Crafts Museum. Carved jade, porcelain and needlepoint are on display for your viewing. There are even studios where you can watch artists work.

Culture

Immerse yourself in East meets West culture in Shanghai. One of the traditional Chinese gardens that you must visit is the Yu Gardens. Declared as a national monument in 1982 the Yu Gardens was first built in 1559 during the Ming Dynasty by Pan Yunduan as a comfort for his father, the minister Pan En, in his elder age. Yu Garden spans over 5 acres and features the Grand Rockery, Chamber of 10,000 flowers (Wanhua Chamber) and amazing dragon sculptures. While you are there, be sure to stop at The City of God Temple and the Yuyuan Tourist Mart nearby.

The architectural beauty of the Longhua Temple is one of the most treasured and ancient locations in Shanghai. The Longhua Temple is a Buddhist temple whose design dates to Song Dynasty (960-1279) monastery of the Chan school. Longhua Temple spans more than 215,000 square ft. The main axis of the compound is 636 ft long. The tallest structure is the Longhua Pagoda which is132 ft 7 in high. Inside, the temple holds Buddha statues from the Ming, Qing Dynasties Tang, and Five Dynasties.

Shopping

Shanghai is well known as the, “Shopper’s Paradise.” From high end designer clothes, to food, toys and electronics, there is something for everyone. Most shops are open from 10 a.m. – 10 p.m. daily. Many government run stores often close at 6 p.m.. Be prepared to haggle over prices as it is a standard practice in the Shanghai open air markets and independent shops and boutiques. If you are visiting a big department store, chain supermarket, convenience store or restaurant then you will only have the listed price to pay.

Visitors who have bought products at tax free stores in China can withdraw value added tax (VAT) before leaving. Usually, there is a ‘Tax Free’ sign hanging in plain view of these stores.

Here are few great spots to visit:

Nanjing Road is the main shopping district of Shanghai. Covering 5.5 kilometers, it is home to more than 600 businesses including movie theaters, hotels and impressive shopping malls. There is also an electric train that runs the length of the road. If you come during the day, be sure to make a trip back to the Nanjing Road at night to see the glowing lights, bars and street musicians.

Looking for custom made one of a kind garments? Head over to South Bund Market. Bring cash as credit is not likely to be accepted. The South Bund Market place is home to 300 + tailors and seamstresses who can create custom shirts, suites, dresses and accessories. The turnaround time is 24 – 72 hours for most stores and they can ship back to your home for an additional cost.

Florentia Village is a Shanghai Luxury Outlet Mall. Embracing designs of classic European culture, Florentia Village is modeled after an Italian city with gondolas and canals. With more than 200+ American, European and Asian designers, be prepared to do some serious shopping!

 

Communication

Using Skype and Viber is an affordable option for communication depending on your phone and wi-fi zone. The WeChat app is also very popular for communication in China.

Useful phone numbers:

Country Code: 86
City Code: 21
Police: 110
Fire: 119
Ambulance: 120
Weather Forecast: 12121

Additional Valuable Apps: 
Baidu Maps – GPS map with turn by turn instructions.
City Weekend – Shows an updated database of Shanghai restaurants, clubs and bars
Shanghai Toilet Guide