Well I don’t want to tell too much about Shanghai because there are enough professional sites in the Net available.
I will only give a short list of Must Does and then some personal hints of my favourite places.
Where to stay?
I would recommend to get one of the “standard” Hotel chains, like Novotel, Ramada Inn or Holiday Inn. But the standards are comparable like everywhere else.
You don’t need a Hotel too close to the city because the Taxis are such cheap that you can save some money here.
In general I would recommend to stay between the Pudong Area and the River, which is the modern Shanghai.
Here also a nice link for Shanghai Hotels:
Walking Tour 1 - The Bund & Beyond
Walking Tour 2 - Nanjing Lu ( Shanghai Center )
Walking Tour 3 - Nanshi (Shanghai's Old Chinese City)
Walking Tour 4 - French Concession
PUDONG and The BUND
This famous waterfront has been Shanghai’s centre since the mid-1800’s. It offers a taste of the past with the colonial structures along the promenade and a view of the future across the river in Pudong. The city’s historical landmarks as well as new 21st century structures can all be seen along the 1 mile walk. It can get extremely crowded during the day, so try to see it in the early mornings along with the locals doing tai-chi or at night under the glow of all the buildings.
The Oriental Pearl Tower
The most popular attraction in Shanghai, but really not the best. I cannot recommend to drive up this tower, if a lot of people are there.
Shanghai World Financial Center
For a good overview of the city, there is no better spot than the here in Pudong. Special when it’s getting dark
Jin Mao Tower
Home to the Shanghai Hyatt, it is a wonderful place to stay a few nights or just to visit for the spectacular view. The appropriately named Cloud 9 restaurant and bar sits on the top floor and lays claim to the title of highest bar in the world.
This magnificent hotel was built in 1929 and remained as one of the finest hotels in the world through the 1930’s. Take a walk through the lobby, eighth-floor ballroom and up to the rooftop for a great view of the Bund and Nanjing Lu.
Nanjing Road is by far the most popular shopping street in Shanghai. Crowds jam the pedestrian walkway for shopping and sightseeing every day of the week. At night the neon lights shine like the Las Vegas strip. With hundreds of shops and restaurants there is something for everyone. It runs west to east from People’s Park all the way to the Bund.
-> Personally I hated this place
World Expo 2010 Shanghai
Map of the Expo Area
Jing an Temple
For me the most interesting temple in Shanghai. Jing an temple is a famous Buddhist temple with a long history.
Jade Buddha Temple
Shanghai’s most famous temple is known for it’s white jade Buddhas carved from a single slab of Burmese jade. Brought to Shanghai in 1881, the statues are housed in separate houses amongst beautiful jewels and stones. In addition there are also ancient carvings, paintings and precious
Longhua Pagoda & Longhua Temple
The third big famous temple – well if you have not enough from the first temples you can go here.
My Personal Highlights
Old Town of Shanghai
an time travel back to the original Shanghai. The best thing to visit. Just stroll around the small street and try the fantastic dumplings or noodles.
Yu Yuan Garden
In the centre of Old Town, just southwest of the Bund, the Garden of Peace and Comfort offers an escape from the fast pace of the surrounding city. With 30 pavilions and over 5 acres, this 16th century garden can be explored for days. Of the many temples and halls, the Grand Rockery is the most popular. Two thousand tons of rare yellow stones are combined with rice glue to form a massive sculpture that stands 46 feet high.
Shanghai Xin Tian Di
Modern Shanghai with a lot of restaurants and Bars. Very nice place for the evening if you want to have some Western World feeling
Zhujiajiao Ancient Town
Old bridges, old town, old Teahouses – everything just like you expect it
M50: The SoHo of Shanghai
If you are intersecting in Arts then this living and working area of various artists is really interesting. All exhibitions are for free and sometimes you have a really funny talk to some Chinese who wants to sell some pictures - why funny well the only speak Chinese and me only English
Since the French established it as their park in 1909, it has been known locally as French Park, and it is still one of Shanghai's loveliest urban green spots, famous for its rose gardens. Around the park you have excellent restaurants and nice renovated streets.
Where to Eat – my Favorites
Wujiang lu - THE street to get some finger food fresh from the grill
Very nice area to have diner or some drink - also with a possibility to sit outside- Dongping Road
-> Simply Thai - excellent food for a very good price
-> The Blarney - nice Irish Pub
-> and many more
-> nice Irish Pub also in this area
Chinese Restaurants link
What about safety?
we didn’t had any negative experiences, nor problems.
What about smog?
after Olympia the smog problem is much less and “normal” for a capital city. A lot of electro vehicles are used now.
TAXI or Metro?
both are incredible cheap, but the Subway really is. Always use TAXI with a TAXI sign! Specially at the airport a lot of private people want to rip you off here. Never answer the question if you need a Taxi. Just go to the Taxi stand and get in.
- What about English? I had the impression that no one is able to speak English. In the Hotel a little bit but not in the Taxi or somewhere in the Restaurants. So Always have a card from the Hotel in Chinese language with you to show the Taxi driver.