Postcard Press Picks:
For Traveling to Shanghai
Shanghai. The City by the Sea. It’s the most populous city in China and the second most populous city proper in the world, and Postcard Press will be there in November! Well, not all of Postcard Press, but I will be representing Postcard Press as I travel with a friend to Shanghai (for the first time) and back to Hong Kong. So, for this week’s Postcard Press Pick, we’re taking a closer look at where to go in Shanghai.
As we always note, print travel guides are an excellent resource to have while planning your trip and to have with you while you’re traveling. I’ve already purchased my favorite, Lonely Planet. However, just because it’s my favorite doesn’t mean you shouldn’t explore the options that are out there. Head to the local bookstore and check out the travel guides for your destination. You’ll find the perfect one for your preferences to help build your itinerary.
Then, as always, it’s time to turn to the wealth of information on the internet. But where should you start? With so many options, they all start to blend together. We’ve done some of the research into this complex and diverse city for you! I’ll be using these sites as I plan my adventure. If you’re planning a trip to this metropolis too, then this guide is the place to start.
The major attractions are usually a must-see; after all, it’s why you’re visiting the city. But not all must-see attractions are created equal. And some may even be the dreaded tourist traps, where you spend time and money to wade through the crowds for a brief glimpse at some underwhelming site. Everyone’s interests are different, but your research can help you find those quality must-see sites. And when you see something listed in multiple places, then you know it’s worth checking out.
- To start, check out Fodor’s curated list of 25 Ultimate Things To Do In Shanghai: https://www.fodors.com/world/asia/china/shanghai/experiences/news/photos/25-ultimate-things-to-do-in-shanghai
- World traveler David, from the travel site David’s Been Here, first visited Shanghai in 2015. He’s offered his own list of 20 Things You Must Do in Shanghai: http://davidsbeenhere.com/2017/04/24/20-things-you-must-do-in-shanghai/
- Saving money is always a good thing; mostly so that you can use that money on something else during your trip! Lonely Planet wants to help you experience more of the city with these Top 10 Free (and Almost Free) Things to Do in Shanghai: https://www.lonelyplanet.com/china/shanghai/travel-tips-and-articles/top-10-free-and-almost-free-things-to-do-in-shanghai/40625c8c-8a11-5710-a052-1479d276ee04
- If you want to get a sense of how much time to budget for different sites and how to experience the culture of this cosmopolitan city, check out A 4 Day Shanghai Itinerary for Culture Lovers on Where in the World is Nina: https://whereintheworldisnina.com/4-day-shanghai-itinerary/
As always, you have to look beyond the surface and go deeper than the tourist sites. While they are great, and usually a must-see for a reason, to truly learn about a place and embrace the culture, you have to get off the beaten path.
- Ex-pat and Culture Trip writer Rachel Deason offers 10 Non Touristy Things to Do in Shanghai: https://theculturetrip.com/asia/china/articles/10-non-touristy-things-to-do-in-shanghai/
- Atlas Obscura is known for finding those unusual attractions you’ll still be talking about once you get home; so, check out their 17 Cool, Hidden, and Unusual Things to Do in Shanghai, China: https://www.atlasobscura.com/things-to-do/shanghai-china
- A long-time resident of China, Furio Fu has his own list of 6 Lesser Know Places in Shanghai Worth Visiting: https://www.yoyochinese.com/blog/learn-mandarin-chinese-attractions-in-shanghai-6-lesser-known-places-in-shanghai-worth-visiting
My travel buddy and I have already talked about how food will be a central component of our adventure. This is usually a draw for many travelers, and for a city with diverse cultural influences, Shanghai is an exciting destination for culinary travelers.
- Clarissa Wei of Munchies guides travelers through 14 of the Most Iconic Foods in Shanghai: https://munchies.vice.com/en_us/article/d75yyq/a-guide-to-14-of-the-most-iconic-foods-in-shanghai
- Serious Eats wants to make sure travelers take advantage of China’s “street food epicenter” with Essential Shanghai Street Food: 14 Must-Eat Dishes: https://www.seriouseats.com/2015/05/essential-shanghai-china-street-food-dishes.html
- Don’t let the size of this list overwhelm you! If you’re serious about eating as much Shanghai food as you can, look to CNN’s list of 40 Great Dishes You Can Get in Shanghai as a worthy challenge: https://www.cnn.com/travel/article/shanghai-best-dishes/index.html
When the focus of your trip is on one or two cities as opposed to the whole country, you may want to look at the surrounding areas to find exciting day trip options. These are a great way to experience more of the country and local cultures.
- Culture Trip ex-pat Rachel Deason is back with her Top 12 Day Trips from Shanghai: https://theculturetrip.com/asia/china/articles/top-12-day-trips-from-shanghai/
- CNN’s travel staff offers 11 Great Day Trips Out of Shanghai: https://www.cnn.com/travel/article/shanghai-day-trips-getaways/index.html
- Nanjing is the former capital of China and not far from Shanghai, making it a perfect destination for a day trip. Condé Nast’s Traveler’s article The Shanghai Day Trip You Don’t Need a Tour Guide For will help you successfully see this historic city: https://www.cntraveler.com/stories/2013-08-07/nanjing-china-shanghai-day-trip
While cosmopolitan, traveling to Shanghai will be a very different experience than traveling around North America or even Western Europe. It’s important to research travel tips and practical information beyond where to go and what to eat so that you’ll be able to get around town more smoothly and without looking like too much of a tourist.
- China Highlights wants to help you get around with its 10 Things to Know Before You Travel to Shanghai: https://www.chinahighlights.com/shanghai/travel-tips.htm
- Lifehacker asked its readers for their top tips for travelers visiting Shanghai. Check out The Best Shanghai Travel Tips From Our Readers: https://lifehacker.com/the-best-shanghai-travel-tips-from-our-readers-1826455220
- Fodor’s has “everything you need to know” on one page. See their Shanghai Travel Tips here: https://www.fodors.com/world/asia/china/shanghai/travel-tips
Have you been to Shanghai? Share your must-dos with your fellow travelers in the comments!
Are you preparing for an upcoming trip? Let us know where you’re going or want to go, and maybe you’ll see your destination in our next guide!
Check out our past travel guides: