Choosing where to stay in Shanghai can be challenging especially if it’s your first time. Having lived there myself, studied there, and visited on a semi-regular basis, I can help!
Growing up, I would make periodic trips to Shanghai but it wasn’t until 2012 when I got a chance to stay in this metropolis for a month to study Mandarin. While I was there, I was able to truly live like a local and explore the different parts of the city on my own.
What you’ll find about Shanghai is that each neighbourhood is unique, has its own character, and offers something different whether it be cuisine, the people that live there, the sights, the architecture, or influences.
This guide is a breakdown of all the main neighbourhoods in Shanghai and what the main highlights are of each one, what to see, and of course recommendations of where are good places to stay.
At 1,020 square miles of dense urban sprawl, the city as a whole is massive and can feel overwhelming at first but as a traveller, there are only a few main neighbourhoods that you’ll want to stick to as a launching pad for exploration. Depending on your travel style, you’ll be able to pick one that suits you. Whether it’s trendy bars or quiet parks, discover where you want to stay while in Shanghai.
Read more about China
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- Top 10 things to do in Shanghai
- How the 144-hour in-transit visa works
- Shanghai in 24 hours or less
- How to get free wifi at PVG airport
How can you save money on accommodations?
- Booking’s Genius loyalty program isn’t well promoted but once you’re at level 2, you can find stays at 15% off.
Table of Contents
Looking for something specific in this Shanghai neighborhood guide? Jump to the neighbourhood or topic you’re interested in.
Here's what we're covering:
- Where to Stay in Shanghai
- The Main Shanghai Neighbourhoods
- Shanghai Quick Tips
- #1 The Bund and People’s Square Neighbourhood
- #2 Old Town Neighbourhood
- #3 French Concession Neighbourhood
- #4 Jing’an Neighbourhood
- #5 Pudong Neighbourhood
- #6 Hongkou and North Shanghai Neighbourhood
- #7 Xujiahui and South Shanghai Neighbourhood
- #8 West Shanghai Neighbourhood
Where to Stay in Shanghai
Let me help you figure out where to stay in the city with a breakdown of the various neighbourhoods that suit your travel style, your needs, and budget.
The Main Shanghai Neighbourhoods
Jump directly to the neighbourhood you’re interested or if you’re just browsing, keep scrolling down!
- The Bund and People’s Square – If there’s a downtown to Shanghai, this is it. It’s the all-in-one package for Shanghai’s iconic spots.
- Old Town – A place to catch a glimpse of “traditional” Shanghai.
- French Concession – A cultural experience where colonial architecture meets modern trendy.
- Jing’an – Vibrant expat community that has international vibes.
- Pudong – The brand new Shanghai with high rises and skyscrapers.
- Hongkou and North Shanghai – Starts along the northern part of the Bund and has a more local Chinese neighbourhood feel.
- Xujiahui and South Shanghai – A hub for shopping and where more locals live and hang out.
- West Shanghai – The taste of Japan and Korea in this international community.
Shanghai Quick Tips
How to Get Around
Shanghai has one of the most extensive subway networks in the world. It can get you anywhere you need to go. Anytime that doesn’t work out or if you need to a go door to door, there’s always the taxis which are ridiculously affordable.
Get a Shanghai Public Transportation Card
One of the first things you’ll want to do when you land in Shanghai is pick up a transportation card (similar to the Oyster Card in Hong Kong or EasyCard in Taiwan) which is good for the subway, busses and cabs.
- New card: To get a new card, it costs 100 RMB which comes with 80 RMB credit and 20 RMB deposit. Reloads are easy to do at any subway station or at convenient stores like 7-Eleven.
- Pay per use fare: The cost to ride the subway is distance based and there’s a complicated chart for it but on average you’re essentially paying 2-4 RMB per ride. That comes out to $0.30 to $0.60 USD.
- 1 and 3 day passes: If you’re going to take a lot of public transit over the course of a day or three days, it may be worth it to buy one of these passes. It’s 18 RMB for a day pass or 45 RMB for 3 days of unlimited usage.
Unlike Paris that has its arrondissements and Beijing with breaks down its neighbourhoods by rings, Shanghai doesn’t have an official breakdown of neighbourhoods as I’ve done it but the below is a look at the areas that matter for most travellers coming to the city.
Plan Your Trip
As you prepare for your trip to Shanghai, here are few things to think about to make sure you’re ready to go.
Dress for the weather – The temperatures in Shanghai can be quite extreme especially in the summer when it’s insanely hot. I was there in July and it was the kind of thing where the sweating started once you went out the door and your clothes would be soaked after only a few hours. Check the forecast while you’re out there and make sure you pack accordingly. My top tip would be to wear quick-dry and breathable clothes. In the winter, it can get quite cold, again because of the humidity so layer up.
So many things to do – Make sure you read our top 10 favourite things to do in Shanghai
Lost in translation – The two must-have apps you’ll want to download are Google Translate and Pleco. Google’s new on-the-fly translation via the camera is super handy. Pleco is essentially a giant Chinese dictionary on your phone that can be really handy.
Plug adaptors – China uses the slanted 3-prong electrical outlet (same as Australia and New Zealand) so make sure you pack a cheap universal travel adapter.
Currency – China’s currency is the Renminbi (RMB) which is also known as the Chinese Yuan (CNY). The rate is roughly $1 USD to 6 RMB. Download the xCurrency app for up to date conversions.
International Roaming – For hassle free and affordable roaming, check out KnowRoaming which offers 20GB of data in Asia Pacific (including China) for $90 USD (valid for 90 days).
#1 The Bund and People’s Square Neighbourhood
What’s There And Why Visit
It doesn’t get any more central than this neighbourhood in Shanghai and is a great place to stay whether it’s your first time or a regular because it’s conveniently located to many of the main sights and is in the heart of action.
People’s Square is the primary interchange for many of the subway lines so going anywhere in the city is stupid easy. You’re also putting yourself within walking distance to pedestrian street of Nanjing Road East and also the famous Bund.
In this neighbourhood of Shanghai, you’ll find the Bund, Nanjing East Road, People’s Square, Shanghai Museum, and Shanghai History Museum
If you’re looking for somewhere central, nothing beats being by People’s Square
Suggested Hotels Near The Bund and People’s Square
This is a 5-star luxury property that offers free wi-fi in spacious rooms and has amenities such as mini-golf, indoor pool and day spa. Location can’t be beat as it’s directly across People’s Square.
This hotel is right along Nanjing Road East which makes it desirable in terms of location. Now since it’s a budget property, it’s quite no frills but since you’ll be out and about all day, it won’t matter.
Things to see near The Bund and People’s Square
The Bund – If there’s one iconic shot for Shanghai, it’d be the Bund. With Huangpu River slicing through, this is the giant boardwalk along the river that offers up panoramic views of the towering skyscrapers on the modern Pudong side of the city. It’s a great place to people watch and marvel at the dazzling of lights at night from the buildings that just keep getting taller and taller. Turn around and then you also have the beautiful colonial architecture that lines the street.
Nanjing East Road – This is the famous pedestrian-only shopping street. Flanked by shops on both sides, this is the hub for locals and tourists alike to buy anything from fashion, electronics, appliances, books, medicine, and snacks. They say you haven’t been to Shanghai unless you’ve walked through Nanjing East Road.
People’s Square – This is a large open public space that is literally the heart of the city. Consider this to be a massive park where you’ll find locals taking a stroll, doing tai chi, or using it as a gathering place. Inside this park you’ll find cafes, a mini amusement park and also the giant buildings of the Shanghai Grand Theater, Urban Planning Exhibition Hall, and Shanghai Museum.
Shanghai Museum – A free museum that features Chinese artifacts, art, currency, and 130,000 national treasures from over the ages. The exterior of this museum was designed to resemble a Chinese cooking pot.
Shanghai History Museum – An interactive museum that features life-size dioramas and holograms that walks you through the history of this dynamic metropolis. This museum is highly engaging and not your typical boring museum.
Half-Day Tour: Shanghai Museum and Xintiandi District – Guided tour of the Shanghai Museum followed by visits to Shanghai’s Xintiandi district and the former residence of Sun Yat-sen.
Shanghai: Full-Day Private Customized Tour – Fully customizable 8 hour private tour that can be tailored to your interests including sightseeing in the People’s Square neighbourhood.
Shanghai: Like a Local Customized Guided Tour – A 2-6 hour customized tour of Shanghai based on your interests.
The Bund – There’s no subway stop at the Bund so the fastest way to get there is to get off at East Nanjing Rd. on Line 2 or 10 and walk towards the skyscrapers.
Nanjing East Road – The pedestrian street has its own subway stop but I’d recommend starting from People’s Square and walking towards the Bund as the best way to explore it.
People’s Square – To do People’s Square park and the museums, just pop out of the People’s Square subway station and you’re right there!
#2 Old Town Neighbourhood
What’s There And Why Visit
This part of the city is the original city’s core that dates back to before the 1900s. Today, it’s an interesting mix of the old and the new with older housing and temples intertwined with modern apartments blocks.
I love this part of the city because you get a real look into a “traditional” China in the big city. It’s where charm meets history and modern development.
In this neighbourhood of Shanghai, you’ll find Yu Garden and City God Temple (Cheng Huang Miao)
Get a glimpse of “traditional” China
Suggested Hotels Near Old Town
Located 100 meters from the Yu Garden subway station (Line 10), this Marriott property offers luxurious accommodations and amenities such as 6 dining options and 24-hour fitness centre. Rooms are spacious, clean, and modern.
Right above the Xiaonanmen Subway Station (Line 9), this hotel is conveniently located 15 minutes walk from Yu Garden. This is a very affordable unique property where every single room is furnished a little differently. Great staff and clean rooms.
Things to see near Old Town
City God Temple – The primary attraction in Old Town is the traditional temple city that gives a glimpse of the architecture in Shanghai from an ancient time. While yes, there is a Taoist temple here as a shrine to the spirit of Jinshan, today this is much more a tourist market for traditional goods, art, performances, and food. The architecture here is fascinating to walk through especially the koi pond and floating pavilions. While you’re here, you must have the xiao long bao from Nanxiang Small Steamed Buns.
Yu Garden – Adjacent to the temple is the famous classical garden completed in the Ming Dynasty. Occupying 20,000 square meters, you’ll find pavilions, halls, rockeries, ponds, and cloisters here that all have unique characteristics. There’s a entry fee of 40 RMB during high season (April 1- June 30 and September 1 – November 30) and 30 RMB during low season.
Shanghai Half Day Tour: Yu Yuan Gardens and Bund Waterway – A half day guided tour of the Bund, Yu Yuan Garden, and Xintiandi.
Shanghai: 3-Hour Local Food Tasting Tour – Sample more than 15 traditional dishes from Shanghai on a 3-hour food tasting tour of the Yunnan Road. Try some of the best dumpling soup in the city and indulge your sweet tooth at a dessert store.
Half-Day Old Shanghai Bike Tour – This bike tour lets you explore culture-rich areas such as the French Concession, Cite Bourgogne, Zhou Enlai’s Residence, Tianzifang, the Antique Market, and Shanghai Old Street in Yu Yuan Garden area.
City God Temple and Yu Garden – Both of these spots are more or less in the same area. The good news is that there’s a Yu Garden station thanks to Line 10. Once you pop up, you’re right in the action.
#3 French Concession Neighbourhood
What’s There And Why Visit
Also known as the Former French Concession (FFC), this is easily one of the hippest and coolest spots to live and explore in Shanghai. Streets are flanked with parasol trees and are dotted with quiet cafes, bars, restaurants and quaint European architecture.
Today, it’s part of Luwan and Xuhui Districts and is blessed with a few of the top destinations to explore in the city including my favourites, Xintiandi and Tian Zi Fang.
The history behind it is when Shanghai was divided into various foreign concessions where territory was conceded to the French government for settlement in 1849.
It’s perhaps the city’s most fashionably stylish and up and coming side. It’s where people come to spend their money and ex-pats hang out. While many of the old houses and buildings have been maintained and restored, new low-rises and villas have been built geared towards shopping, dining, and entertainment. One of the neatest restaurants I found here is People 7 which requires a bit of sleuthing to figure out how to get inside.
In this neighbourhood of Shanghai, you’ll find Xintiandi, Tian Zi Fang, Fuxing Park, and Shanghai Propaganda Poster Art Centre
It’s the Paris of the East.
Suggested Hotels Near French Concession
INTERCONTINENTAL SHANGHAI RUIJIN
An oasis in the middle of a bustling city, this 5-star property spreads over 100 acres of landscaped gardens and is a French provincial-style villa that also includes 4 historical buildings. All luxurious guestrooms combine the glamour of Old Shanghai updated with a fresh, contemporary design.
WU TONG TAO YAUN FANG HOMESTAY
This homestay, while incredibly affordable, puts you right by the main artery of the French Concession which is Huaihai Middle Road which is one of the main shopping streets. It is exceptionally rated, modern, clean, comfortable, and the host is fabulous for this split-studio.
Things to see near French Concession
Tian Zi Fang – This is a gentrified and revitalized entertainment complex of traditional alleyways. There’s a genuine charm and energetic vibrancy that I love about Tian Zi Fang every time I visit. Sure it’s catered to tourists with souvenir stalls, network of studios, cafes, bars, and boutiques but it’s the perfect getaway from Shanghai’s modern megaplexes and skyscrapers.
Xintiandi – In some ways Xintiandi is similar to Tian Zi Fang as it’s also based on the principle of converting old buildings (shikumen in this case) into modern arcade of boutiques, cafes, and restaurants. This area is a bit more upscale but equally lovely to stroll through, shop, and people watch.
Fuxing Park – I’ve stayed close to this area before and Fuxing Park is the perfect refuge to the speed of the city. Here you’ll find elderly practising tai chi, locals playing intense matches of Chinese chess, and itinerant musicians putting on a show.
Shanghai Propaganda Poster Art Centre – This is a small gallery that boasts an impressive collection of original posters from the 50s to the 70s that were the prime of Maoist propaganda. The centre has a showroom and shop that sells replica posters and postcards. Well-worth a visit if you’re in the area.
Shanghai Soft Spinning Fabric Market – One of the must-do’s if you’re into clothes is to make a visit to this fabric market. Most of the suits in my closet are all made custom from here and it’s definitely worth it if you can swing it.
Shanghai By Bike: Full-Day Classic Tour – Explore Shanghai by bike on a full day tour that takes in the best parts of the city, from the French Concession to the Nanjing Road. You will cycle past well-known sites and uncover hidden corners.
Half Day Old Shanghai Small Bike Tour – In this 3 hour biking tour, you’ll see Cite Bourgogne and Zhou Enlai’s residence and learn about the restored Shanghai Old Street. Maximum of 5 in each group.
Yu Yuan, French Concession, Tianzifang and the Bund Bus Tour – This is a bus tour that will take you to see the Shanghai’s classic highlights including Shanghai Old Street, Yu Yuan Garden, the Bund, Old Shanghai Wax Museum, Tian Zi Fang, the French Concession, and shopping at the Pearl City.
Tian Zi Fang – The easiest way to get here is to get off at the subway stop Dapuqiao on Line 9 and walk north towards Tian Zi Fang. If you get lost, just ask a local and they’ll be able to point you to the right direction.
Xintiandi – This used to be difficult to get to but now there’s Line 10 and 13 that have a station here in its namesake.
Fuxing Park – This large green lawn is south of the main Huaihai Middle Road but without a direct stop, your best bet is to just walk here from Xintiandi or catch a cab.
Shanghai Propaganda Poster Art Centre – This one is a bit more difficult to get to as you’ll have to walk from either Changshu Road (Line 1,7) or Shanghai Library (Line 10). The most direct way would be to take a taxi.
Shanghai Soft Spinning Fabric Market – Take the subway to the Nanpu Bridge station and walk north once you get out. You should see signs that direct you there. If not, ask a local.
#4 Jing’an Neighbourhood
What’s There And Why Visit
This neighbourhood is named for its iconic temple but if you look closer you’ll unveil a region of the city that has a large expat community, young professionals, art influences, and happening night scene.
It’s kind of a in-between point for those that don’t want to pay for the high prices of the French Concession or People’s Square but still want to be in a Western influence colonial neighbourhood but retains a few key historic sites.
In this neighbourhood of Shanghai, you’ll find Jing’an Temple, Natural History Museum and Jing’an Sculpture Park
Jing’an is on the up and up that is international and fashionably stylish.
Suggested Hotels Near Jing’an
Elegant, comteporary, spacious rooms define the rooms of the Shangri-La located in the heart of Jing’an. 5-star through and through with its spa and wellness centre, pool, and gourmet restaurants and bars.
CAMPANILE SHANGHAI NATURAL HISTORY MUSEUM HOTEL
Recently renovated, this property offers views of Suzho River and also has meeting rooms, all-day-dining bar & lounge availble. Rooms come with free wifi and while not large, has everything that you need for your stay in Shanghai.
Things to see near Jing’an
Jing’an Temple – In the middle of a very busy intersection is this beautiful temple that dates back to AD 1216. Much of it has been restored and is dwarfed by the surrounding skyscrapers. There is an admission fee of 50 RMB but it’s well worth it to go inside and explore this Buddhist temple.
Natural History Museum – An entertaining and informative museum that contains taxidermied animals, dinosaurs and interactive exhibits.
Jing’an Sculpture Park – Next to the Natural History Museum is this attractive park that consists of a mix of permanent and temporary pieces created by mostly international artists. A great place to walk around and look at these abstract and provoking pieces.
Chinese Cooking Class in a Family Home – Class to learn how to cook authentic Chinese dishes in the intimate environment of a local Shanghai home. Visit a wet market to learn how to purchase produce, then prepare 2 or 3 dishes.
Shanghai Calligraphy Class Experience – In this experience, create your very own seal script and learn the techniques of Chinese calligraphy.
Soup Dumpling Cooking Class – Spend time with a chef and learn to prepare traditional Chinese soup dumplings.
Jing’an Temple – Pop up from Jing’an Temple Station (Line 2,7), look up and you’ll see it right there.
Natural History Museum and Jing’an Sculpture Park – Adjacent to each other, this is in a different part of Jing’an. It’s easiest to hop on the subway to Xinzha Station (Line 1) or Nanjing West Station (Line 2, 12, 13) and walk a block over.
#5 Pudong Neighbourhood
What’s There And Why Visit
East of the Huangpu River is Pudong, what you see from the Bund where infinitely high skyscrapers dominate the sky. If everything West of the river is old Shanghai, this is certainly the new Shanghai.
What’s incredible about Shanghai’s growth and development is that in the 1990’s, all of this was farmland. Fast forward two decades and it’s now been transformed into a financial core powerhouse that’s abound with modernity and consumerism.
In this neighbourhood of Shanghai, you’ll find Jin Mao Tower, Shanghai World Financial Center, Shanghai Tower, Oriental Pearl Tower, and Disneyland
Pudong has lots to offer beyond just the skyline.
Suggested Hotels Near Pudong
Extremely convenient but also not exuberantly expensive for a high-end hotel in Pudong, this iconic building in the Lujiazui financial district means you’re minutes away from all of the towers of Pudong and if you’re facing West, you get incredible views of the Bund. Each suite a kitchen with a stove, a microwave, and a dish washer.
Located right by the Dongchan Road Station on Line 2, this is a relatively new apartment rental that is only 10 minutes walk to Jin Mao Tower. What’s nice about this apartment is that there’s good wifi and there’s a washing machine as well. I’ve seen prices for under $75 here.
Things to see near Pudong
Jin Mao Tower – The first super skyscraper in Shanghai that on the exterior is an art deco take on a pagoda. The 88th-floor has the observation deck which has fantastic views of the city. Alternatively, head up to the Grand Hyatt Cloud 9 on the 87th floor to grab a drink and get similar views.
Shanghai World Financial Center (SWFC) – This used to be the tallest building in the city until it was eclipsed by the even-taller Shanghai Tower. This skyscraper is quite the astonishing sight, resembling a bottle opener. There are 3 observation decks here and personally like the views here even better than at Jin Mao.
Shanghai Tower – Currently the tallest building in Shanghai at 121 storeys and is in a corkscrewing shape and second in the world (for now). The observation deck is in the 118th floor.
Oriental Pearl Tower – While this isn’t the tallest tower, this is an iconic building in the city that stands in the forefront of the skyline. There’s an observatory with a glass-bottomed walkway but I think it’s better to view the tower from the escalated walkway in Lujiazui.
Disneyland – The world-famous theme park is now on mainland China and located in the country-side of Pudong towards the airport. It features six themed lands – Mickey Avenue, Tomorrowland, Adventure Isle, Garden of Imagination, Fantasyland and the corporation’s inaugural pirate themed land called Treasure Trove.
Science and Tech Market – This is my go-to market in Shanghai for either knock-off things like sports jerseys or just cheap electronics. This one is easy to get to since it’s connected to the subway station and is also easy to navigate.
Shanghai Disneyland Park 1-Day Admission Ticket – Buy your Disneyland ticket here.
Half Day Private Tour: Shanghai World Financial Center – Guided private tour with a local that includes the entrance fee for SWFC and you’ll also get to explore Xintiandi and French Concession.
Jin Mao Tower, SWFC, Shanghai Tower, Oriental Pearl Tower – All of these are located in Lujiazui where all you have to do is get off at the Lujiazui subway stop (Line 2) and from there you’ll be able to walk to whichever tower you’re interested in seeing. There’s also an elevated pedestrian walkway to connects a lot of buildings together which is convenient.
Disneyland – Of course they built a subway stop right at Disney called Shanghai Disney Resort on Line 11.
Science and Technology Market – Take the subway to the Shanghai Science station on Line 2 and once you take the turnstiles to exit, the market entrance should be right there in front of you in the underground.
#6 Hongkou and North Shanghai Neighbourhood
What’s There And Why Visit
While not typically on the tourist radar, Hongkou and the northern part of the city is much more local but at the same time has quite a number of interesting places to visit.
The first is the 1933 Slaughterhouse which sounds more gruesome than what it really is now. It’s an Art Deco building that’s been turned into a performance and cafe space. This is also an area where Jewish refugees fled to during World War 2 and so you’ll find a rare synagogue in China here. Lastly, it’s also home to a museum based on famed Chinese writer, Lu Xun.
In this neighbourhood of Shanghai, you’ll find Lu Xun Museum, 1933 Millfun, Ohel Moshe Synagogue (Shanghai Jewish Ghetto), and Shanghai Postal Museum.
A juxtaposition of old and new in this dynamic part of the city
Suggested Hotels Near Hongkou
While Hongkou expands to quite a large area, most of the quality properties will be closer to the Bund but on the northern side.
Stunning views of the Huangpu River is just the start. The W also has both an indoor and outdoor pool for your enjoyment. Being a W, you know the quality standards are high with that youthful and modern twist. Conveniently located to The Bund.
JI HOTEL SHANGHAI TIANTONG ROAD
A cozy property on Tiantong Road that isn’t too expensive for its location when you consider the fact that the W is nearby and also the Hyatt. Conveniently located near the subway stop and modernly furnished.
Things to see near Hongkou
Lu Xun Museum – Lu Xun is a famous writer and considered to be a figurehead of modern Chinese literature. This museum charts the life and works. English captions are available throughout.
1933 Millfun – This is the slaughterhouse that was mentioned earlier. The building started off as the Shanghai Industry Bureau Slaughter House designed by famous British architect, Balfours. Today, it’s an urban space that’s used for events but also to house modern art. I love how it’s this complex intertwining of concrete to create spirals, mazes and unsymmetrical shapes.
Ohel Moshe Synagogue – This is now the site of the Shanghai Jewish Refugees Museum in memory of all the WWII refugees that sought sanctuary here. The museum holds many scrolls and other cultural relics.
Shanghai Postal Museum – Learn about the history of the post in China in the museum that’s inside the even more impressive Baroque-style building that’s walking distance from the Bund with its regal ceilings, staircase, clock tower and rooftop garden. Definitely make your way up to the rooftop though as it’s bit of a secret spot to get elevated views of the Bund. Entrance is free.
Zhujiajiao: Water Town Half Day Tour with Boat Ride – Staying in Shanghai doesn’t mean you can’t explore outside of the city. Zhujiajiao is one of the famous water towns nearby so take advantage of tours like this to get you out there.
City Lights and Huangpu River Cruise Night Tour – There are cruise boats that go up and down the river alongside the Bund in the evening that are definitely a must-do activity. Join a tour like this to marvel at the night lights and go on one of these cruises as buying tickets on your own can be somewhat tricky.
Lu Xun Museum – Take the subway and get off at Hongkou Football Stadium (Line 3 and 8) and get out at Exit 1.
1933 Millfun – Take subway Line 4 and get off at Hailun Lu Station.
Ohel Moshe Synagogue – Take subway Line 4 or 12 and get off at Dalian Road Station. Get out from Exit 3 to Changyang Road and then walk to the museum from there.
Shanghai Postal Museum – The museum is right along Taintong Road so get out at Tiantong Road station on Line 10 or 12 and start heading towards the Bund.
#7 Xujiahui and South Shanghai Neighbourhood
What’s There And Why Visit
If there’s somewhere that I know really well, it would be the Xujiahui area as Jiao Tong University had a campus right there so I would end up spending almost all of my time in this neighbourhood. I always found this area to be much more approachable and laid back then the hectic core.
I guess you could call the Xujiahui area “central” Shanghai. It’s developed to become this insane intersection of roads but also of shopping malls, restaurants, parks, stadiums, schools, and local businesses.
Sure it’s a little bit further out from People’s Square but with the subway, it really isn’t all that bad which makes it a good option for where to base yourself out of.
Furthermore, the neighborhood is also home to China’s third largest football stadium, a multi-use space that’s used by Shanghai SIPG football club but also big events like concerts.
In this neighbourhood of Shanghai, you’ll find lots of shopping including Metro City and TaipingYang Suma Plaza which are great for electronics. In each of the malls there are also many places to grab great meals although most are chained restaurants.
Xujiahui is in effect an extension of the French Concession area.
Suggested Hotels Near Xujiahui and South Shanghai
Standing tall in Xujiahui, this Courtyard by Marriott is 500 m from Xujiahui (Line 1 and 11) Station and is an exceptional choice for comfort and convenience. You’ll find that there aren’t a lot of brand name hotels in this area so this is one of the few.
HANTING EXPRESS SHANGHAI NANDAN ROAD
A no-frills, budget accommodation that is in a convenient location being only 10 minutes walk from Shanghai Stadium Station (Line 4). Free wifi is included.
Things to see near Xujiahui and South Shanghai
Metro City and TaipingYang Suma Plaza – In both of these shopping malls, you’ll find an array of stores that are either fully legitimate or more of the grey market variety. Make sure to do price shopping here and always bargain. This is a fun place to shop if you’re looking for something computer or camera related.
Shanghai Acrobatic Show Tickets and Evening Tour – Watch a performance by the Shanghai Acrobatics School & Troupe
4–Hour Morning Bike Ride Experience – Looking to do something active? Bike like a local, far from the crowds and immerse yourself in the fascinating Chinese everyday life.
Metro City and TaipingYang Suma Plaza – Almost everything in Xujajui starts from the underground once you get to the Xujiahui Station. Look for signs to where you want to go and pop out of those exits.
#8 West Shanghai Neighbourhood
What’s There And Why Visit
Chances are you probably won’t make it out here unless you’re spending a lot of time in Shanghai or if you need to make it out to Hongqiao International Airport.
This neighbourhood also encapsulates the area called Gubei which is known for its large Korean and Japanese expats. Why this matters is that this is the best part of the city to get Korean BBQ and fresh sushi.
There is also a few big malls here including L’AVENUE, The Place and Arch Shanghai.
Gubei in West Shanghai has earned the unofficial reputation as the city’s Koreatown and Little Tokyo.
Suggested Hotels Near West Shanghai
RENAISSANCE SHANGHAI YANGTZE HOTEL
As a Marriott property, this one is one of the finest in this neighbourhood. Location wise, it is minutes away from Shanghai Mart and Intex Shanghai. It is also walking distance to shopping places like L’AVENUE, The Place and Arch Shanghai.
HOME INN SHANGHAI HONGQIAO AIRPORT
A basic hotel that boasts air-conditioned rooms with free wifi. Breakfast here is only $3 USD. The property is walking distance from Shuicheng Road subway station on Line 10 and is located in a quieter local neighbourhood.
Things to see near Xujiahui and South Shanghai
These are closer to the Changning area but here are a few nearby sights you can take in
Zhongshan Park – A picturesque park that covers a large green space. When you go there, you’ll find a lot of things going on including tai chi, dancing, and Chinese chess. There’s a lake here as well where you can rent these fun bumper pedal boats. Certainly a family friendly park that also has food and drink stalls. Entry is free.
Shanghai Zoo – This zoo covers 743,000 square meters and has over 400 species of animals on display. It’s the second largest in China and is one of the top zoos in the country.
Shanghai Essence and Water Village Small Group Day Tour – Start off by skipping the lines to the top of SWFC and then head over to Zhujiajiao Water Village.
Hangzhou and West Lake Full-Day Tour via Bullet Train – Day trip to the beautiful city of Hangzhou where you’ll be able to cruise the West Lake and walk under the willows at Su Causeway.
Su Zhou and Zhou Zhuang Water Village Day Tour – Full-day tour of two charming traditional towns from Shanghai. Escape the rush life from city and see how daily life has remained unchanged in these quaint and ancient towns. Roundtrip hotel transfers included.
Zhongshan Park – Take the subway to Zhongshan Park station on Line 2 or 3. Exit 4 will pop you up right in front of the park.
Shanghai Zoo – Take subway Line 10 and get off at the Shanghai Zoo Station. Exit from No. 1 or 2.
So there you have it. These are my choices for where to stay in Shanghai. What about you? Do you have suggestions from your experience? Drop a comment below. The more ideas the better!
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