Shanghai is China’s biggest city, a global financial hub and one of China’s cultural centres. The city is located on China’s central coast at the heart of the city is the Bund, a famed waterfront promenade lined with colonial-era buildings. Located on the Yangtze River, Shanghai has a long history as the gateway to China. Shanghai is a mix of modern and ancient, home to some of the world's biggest buildings with observation deck yet still keeping its water towns, traditional gardens and ancient sites. Shanghai is not only a unique city to see, but with its own cuisines, operas and dialects, Shanghai is also a city to experience.
The Shanghai Pudong International Airport is one of the two international airports in Shanghai. Shanghai Pudong International Airport has located approximately 30 km from the Shanghai city centre and serves international flights compared to the Shanghai Hongqiao International airport which mainly serves domestic and regional flights. The most common ways to get to and from the airport are by car, train and bus. There are 2 train lines serving the airport, being the Maglev train, connecting the airport to the Longyang Road Metro Station and the Shanghai Metro Line 2 connecting to the People’s Square in the city centre. The 30 km ride using the Maglev train will only take 8 minutes. Via the Shanghai Metro Line, train rides will take you approximately an hour to the city centre.
The second international airport in Shanghai is the Shanghai Hongqiao International Airport, located only 13 km from downtown Shanghai. Hongqiao International airport serves mainly domestic flights and regional flights. Access to and from the airport is fairly easy as travellers can choose to take the airport shuttle bus which offers seven different lines to the city centre. Alternatively, travellers can choose to take Metro Line 2 and Line 10 direct to the downtown area or the Pudong Airport.
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Shanghai experiences four distinct seasons – a pleasant and warm spring, hot and rainy summer, comfortable and cool autumn and an overcast cold winter. July and August are the hottest months in Shanghai with temperatures reaching up to 35 degrees Celsius. The coldest months are January and February. The best time to visit Shanghai would be from March to May, during the spring, or from October to November during the pleasant autumn climate. Try avoiding Shanghai during June, July and August as this is the peak travel season, with travel crowds everywhere, scorching summer weather and frequent summer showers.
For visitors that are in Shanghai during the year-end, don't miss out on catching the New Year Bell Striking ceremony which happens at midnight every New Year, at the Longhua Temple. Many locals and foreign visitors gather at the Longhua temple to wait for the bell to be struck 108 times, welcoming in the New Year. The striking bell ceremony is considered sacred and is believed to dispel unhappiness and bring good luck to the attendants in the coming year. Visitors can also savor New Year noodles at the temple while taking part in the dances and watch the firework displays.
The sprawling city of Shanghai will surely have something for everyone, no matter if you are looking for something modern or something traditional.
1. The Bund Promenade – Locally known as Waitan, the Bund promenade is home to the colonial history in Shanghai. The promenade is lined with colonial buildings and skyscraper views with various architectural styles including Gothic, baroque and neoclassical styles. The best way to appreciate the buildings is to take a slow leisurely walk along the kilometer-long river bank.
2. Zhujiaojiao Water Town– Though slightly far from the Bund in downtown Shanghai (50 km away), Zhujiaojiao is where travellers can get a feel of an ancient town. The water town is well endowed with waterways, 36 ancient bridges and traditional Chinese-style residences. Visitors can stroll along the narrow streets of the north street which is filled with cafes, bars and restaurants or enjoy a Zhujiaojiao cruise which will take you up and down the main canals giving you a different view of the town.
3. River Cruise – The Hangpu River, the “mother river of Shanghai” is the largest river passing through the city of Shanghai. Travellers can try the night cruise and enjoy the river as it is veiled in sparkling neon lights. The 50-minute cruise only costs around SGD25. For an extra charge, travelers can also enjoy the cruise while being served dinner.