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Shanghai is the largest commercial and financial center in China, with a fascinating fusion of Eastern and Western cultures. It’s a vibrant megacity where you’ll find an endless range of delicious food, modern architecture, cultural sites, and shopping at every corner. From the glitzy skyscrapers of Lujiazui to hipster microbreweries in the Former French Concession, its many central neighborhoods are wonderfully diverse and offer a new Shanghai experience for every day.

What to Eat

Your visit to Shanghai isn’t complete without trying the most famous local dish, xiaolongbao. It is a delicate but wonderfully flavorful soup dumpling, typically made with ground pork inside a near translucent dough that then creates the most delicious broth, or “the soup,” inside when steamed. These little drops of heaven can be found throughout the city in simple hole-in-the-wall establishments, high-end restaurants, and everything in between.

Souvenir to Take Home

Shanghai is an excellent destination for having clothes tailored affordably. Head over to the South Bund Fabric Market for an endless choice of tailor shops and seamstresses ready to whip you up a coat, suit, dress, or pretty much anything you can think of for your wardrobe. For best results, bring pictures and be as specific as possible when describing what you want. If you have a favorite piece you’d like to duplicate, lend it to the tailor while they create the new garment.

Sustainable Travel Tip

Shanghai’s Metro network is extensive, affordable, and easy to use, even for foreigners. All signage is translated to English and there are multiple free Metro apps for your smartphone to make navigating easier. For shorter distances, walking and biking is recommended, as it’s the best way of taking in the unique atmosphere of Shanghai’s many neighborhoods. But do bring a map; the winding streets and alleys can easily get confusing, even for those with the best sense of direction.

Instagram-Worthy View 

Visit Shanghai’s landmark riverside promenade, The Bund, for a spectacular view of the Pudong skyline, as well as the beautiful architecture along Zhongshan Road. For the most impressive shot, get to The Bund at sunrise to see the sky light up behind Lujiazui’s famous skyscrapers on the other side of the Huangpu River. Most mornings you’ll also find masters practicing tai chi, which makes for amazing images with the city as their backdrop.