Situated on the Huangpu River, roughly equidistant from Beijing and Hong Kong, Shaghai is the powerhouse of the Chinese economy. Bold, futuristic and in a continual state of development, it is the country's biggest metropolis, with a collection of skyscrapers in the Pudong district that combine to create one of the world's most recognisable skylines. Nowhere are they better appreciated than from the Bund waterfont, lined with grand historic banks, hotels and offices on one side and with sweeping views across the river to the gleaming forest of towers on the other. It is most spectacular after dark when the dramatic neon lights set the scene ablaze with colour.

Standing in the immense People's Square, it is difficult to visualize how this huge public space was once a thriving oval-shaped racetrack, a social focal point in early 20th century Shanghai. The square today encompasses the immaculately manicured People's Park, the sleek Grand theatre and a collection of world-class museums. In the square alone you can chart the urban development of this mega-city, survey modern and traditional art and journey through over 5,000 years of cultural development.

In its heyday Shanghai enjoyed the nickname "Paris of the East", traces of which remain in the French Concession, a charming area of tree-lined streets filled with pretty European-style villas, fashionable boutiques, antique street markets and local cafes. The wonderful Yu Gardens are equally impressive, with a large rockery, magnificent tea house, temple and traditional bazaar. 

In Shanghai you'll find some of China's best food and nightlife and, although historical attractions are somewhat thin on the ground, the world's most populous city merits a good look around, so that you can fully appreciate the extent of the economic miracle.

See below for options to escape the hustle and bustle of the city for a day, or to continue your journey onwards to two of China's prettiest cities, both within an easy drive.

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Suggested Tours


PuLi Hotel and Spa

A multi-award winning urban retreat, providing a haven of tranquillity in a bustling metropolis, with a Michelin star res…

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Shanghai Grand Central

This renowned 5 star hotel is ideally located close to the Bund and the People's Square. It offers a choice of spacious a…

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Shanghai Central

A well-appointed 4 star hotel located in the heart of downtown Shanghai, offering modern facilities and a choice of dinin…

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Courtyard by Marriott

This contemporary 4 star hotel is conveniently located close to the railway station in downtown Shanghai.

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