The vast city of Shanghai sits on China’s eastern coast, along the banks of the iconic Yangtze River. A global hub for finance and commerce, Shanghai is best known for its glittering skyline of modern skyscrapers, fantastic shopping, and high-end restaurants and hotels. Luxury holidays to Shanghai offer so much more than your standard city break.
Shanghai's beating heart lies to the west of the Huangpu River, in the districts of Huangpu, Jing’an and Hongkou. This vibrant urban core is a hotspot for luxury hotels, international restaurants and shopping. There are also key historic attractions here, like the lovely Yu Garden. You'll also find many of Shanghai’s most opulent hotels and rooftop bars lie along a waterfront stretch contained within Huangpu, known as the Bund.
Then there is Pudong, the impressive and contemporary face of Shanghai. Stretching out along the seafront, this region is the city’s financial centre, home to an assortment of futuristic skyscrapers and modern attractions such as Century Park, the Oriental Pearl Tower and the New International Expo Center. Where Pudong hugs the river, just across from Huangpu, you’ll find a cluster of museums, galleries and shopping centres.
In the residential district of Yangpu, north of the bustling centre, the vibe is quieter and offers a more authentic glimpse into the Shanghai way of life. This district is also home to a vast forest park called Gongqing, where you can rock climb and toboggan. West of the centre, the districts of Minhang and Qingpu boast preserved historic towns offering windows into China's past. Qingpu is also home to Lake Dianshan – a hub for golfing, hiking, rowing and sailing.
Shanghai is warm year-round, with the exception of the cool winter months. If you’re seeking the hottest weather, visit between June and September, when temperatures can push into the thirties. At this time of year there can be heavy rains, which can occasionally cause minor travel disruption.
In spring and autumn the weather tends to be warm, pleasant and dry, making these seasons ideal for sightseeing. Temperatures dip during the winter months, and particularly in January and February – but you can stay warm celebrating Chinese New Year!
Shanghai is a true haven for foodies – a place where you can sample Michelin-starred Chinese cuisine and all kinds of fantastic international cooking. The city’s luxury hotels are typically equipped with Asian and Western eateries, where you can order everything from Cantonese noodles to pizza and steaks.
Favoured local dishes to try when you’re out and about include xiaolongbao (steamed dumplings dipped in vinegar), dazhaxie (hairy crab), drunken chicken and crystal shrimp. For the most authentic eating experience, dive into the city’s street food scene.
British passport holders usually require a visa to enter China – find out more by checking the entry requirements at GOV.UK. While you are in China, it’s a good idea to carry identification on your person.