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15 Secrets & Best Places in Shanghai, China

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These are my carefully selected best places and personal tips for the biggest city in China. I stayed here for quite a bit to bring you places like Flair, Yu Garden, French Concession and how to cheat China's internet ban.

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french concession in Shanghai in Shanghai, China having a Chinese feast with my Chinese friends in Shanghai in Shanghai, China chinese dumplings in Shanghai in Shanghai, China insane view of Shanghai with a large crowd in Shanghai, China

Shanghai literally means 'on top of the sea' in Chinese and with 23 million people it is currently the biggest city in China. The map below has a list of all the best places in Shanghai of which some have a dedicated article and video.

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Best Places for Travel in Shanghai

  • 1. Nanjing Road

    One of the largest shopping streets in the world!

  • 2. French Concession

    A historic area that was designated to the French, it has a very European feel.

  • 3. Yangs Dumpling

    Absolutely the best dumplings in Shanghai.

  • 4. Drunken Shrimp

    Be adventurous and try eating living shrimp sanitized in red alcohol.

  • 5. Yu Garden

    Most peaceful Chinese garden amidst the busy Shanghai life.

  • 6. Pudong

    The financial district of Shanghai with world's second tallest tower.

central Pudong, business district in Shanghai, China oriental pearl tower in Shanghai in Shanghai, China braised pork and noodles in Shanghai for $2 in Shanghai, China famous Shanghai skyline of the bund with the national flag of China in Shanghai, China

Prices in Shanghai are very affordable, a large bowl of delicious noodles with braised pork and vegetables will cost you less than $2 thus you can comfortably live on $10 budget per day. Make sure to stop by the Chinese Family Mart to shop for some strange Chinese Snacks! Above all, the Chinese street foods were mouth-watering and for incredible prices as well.

  • 7. Flair Observatory

    On top of the Ritz-Carlton hotel for the best view of Shanghai and the Bund.

  • 8. The Bund

    Busiest tourist attraction of Shanghai to view the most epic skyline in the world called Pudong. Tip: go at night!

  • 9. Duck Feet

    Try the Chinese duck feet for a culinary adventure!

  • 10. Shanghai Nightlife

    People in Shanghai are very outgoing, enjoy an eve with expats and locals at places such as: Mint, Muse, Bar Rouge, Linx, Fusion and Sir Elly's!

  • 11. Chinese Street Food

    Blow your taste-buds! Chinese street food can be found on Sichuan Middle St, near the Bund.

  • 12. Jogging

    Explore Shanghai in-style by going for a jog thru narrow alley ways you otherwise would never discover.

gorgeous skyline of Shanghai during day time in Shanghai, China gorgeous skyline of Shanghai during day time

The skyline of Shanghai was shaped in less than 26 years, and even holds landmarks like the Jin Mao tower, World Financial Center and Shanghai Tower, world's second tallest building at 632 meters.

  • 13. Shanghai Wedding Market

    Parents of unmarried adults flock to People's Park to exchange details on their children.

  • 14. ExpressVPN

    China prohibits the use of Google, Facebook & Twitter but with ExpressVPN you can work around the ban.

  • 15. Fish Inn Hotel

    Fantastic hotel with great rates located on the Bund and next to the subway. Most ideal location!

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Watch the breathtaking view of Shanghai's business district (Pudong) while standing on the Bund, especially at night when all the neon lights come on. For a great observatory view I recommend Flair restaurant on top of the Ritz-Carlton which is FREE to enter.

m&m's are popular in Shanghai in Shanghai, China m&m's are popular in Shanghai

My favorite way to explore Shanghai was during my daily jogs. I recommend starting on Nanjing Road and make your way to People's Park, especially during the weekend since you may find yourself running into the Shanghai Wedding Market. At which Parents of unmarried adults go to the park every weekend, from noon to 5pm, to trade information on their kids.

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China, being a communist country, I've never seen such a large gap between rich and poor. This was one of the last places, after North-Korea, where I would expect to see such a huge income gap. Senior ladies were selling vegetables on the sidewalk while rich teenagers parked their Lamborghini's next door, quite the eye-opener.

my new Chinese friends in Shanghai in Shanghai, China my new Chinese friends in Shanghai

I made a few Chinese friends during my stay in Shanghai, we all went for duck feet dinner on Nanjing Road and a few drinks at Sir Elly's on top of the Peninsula hotel which honestly is the most incredible rooftop bar in Shanghai. A must-see if you ever decide to visit Shanghai!

going for drinks at the Peninsula rooftop bar, best view of Pudong at night in Shanghai, China Pudong by Night in Shanghai, China matt with Pudong at night in Shanghai, China lots of mopeds and scooters in Shanghai in Shanghai, China healthy veggies shakes in Shanghai in Shanghai, China Pearl Tower in Shanghai in Shanghai, China pearl tower and giant roud-a-bout in Shanghai in Shanghai, China Sunday at People's Square, parents marrying out their children with Umbrellas in Shanghai, China

Shanghai has a strong French influence which you can explore at the French Concession area in the Xintiandi district, one of the most luxury areas of the city. Surprisingly, I visited Shanghai during fashion week and Octoberfest, if there is on time to go it is visiting Shanghai around this time due to all the events being thrown around the city.

french concession in Shanghai in Shanghai, China french concession in Shanghai

Now my most important tip is ExpressVPN, China has a very strict internet policy, because they cannot control information on Google, Facebook, Gmail, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram, thus they decided to ban it altogether. The ExpressVPN app has a 30-day free trial and allows you to establish a secure private connection with an offshore server so you can still access the apps and sites you want while staying in China. This is extremely helpful if you relay on Google Maps to navigate you around, even without - don't be discouraged to visit Shanghai, it was one of the most amazing experiences I've had. Have a safe journey!

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