Spring and autumn are the most pleasant times to visit the city as the weather during these seasons is cool and comfortable. There are also many exciting annual events hosted in Shanghai that you might enjoy. During April, Shanghai hosts the Shanghai International Tea Culture Festival; in May, the International Dragon Boat Races are held in Shanghai's Qingpu District; in September and October it 's the Shanghai Tourism Festival. These are wonderful times to visit Shanghai and witness a large variety of celebrations and activities.
What's the best way to get around?
The most convenient choice is normally the Metro. Signs pointing to the various stations can be seen scattered across the city. There are now 11 metro lines. It is cheap and fast, and though it is crowded there are no traffic jams. Tickets cost from 3 to 10 Yuan depending on whether you need to change lines. There are ticket vending machines but they usually only take coins so make sure you're carrying plenty of them if you don't have a transportation card. The real con to this mode of transport is the large number of people using the service during rush hour. On the other hand, rush hour is crowded no matter which way you try.
What are some of the local specialties?
Shanghai 's local cuisine is usually sweet. Seafood is one of the main ingredients since the sea is nearby. Unique Shanghai dishes include: Xiaolongbao, a stuffed bun filled with meat and steamed in a small bamboo cage, Shanghai Crawfish, particularly popular in the hot summer months, and Shengjian and Guotie, known in the west as steamed bread, and pot stickers.
Where should I go to eat?
A huge variety of restaurants are centered in Shanghai's buzzing Bund district. The best restaurants lie around the food streets of both City God Temple Snack Square, and also around Nanjing Rd.(E). The Yuyuan Bazaar area of Shanghai also features more than its fair share of dining opportunities, as does the Old French Concession area/Huaihai Rd, Nanjing Rd.(W), and Pudong New Area, where you will even find an Irish pub and a number of top hotel restaurants.
What are Shanghai's accommodations like?
Accommodation in Shanghai is generally more expensive than other cities in China, since the living standard here is much higher, but this means that the services and facilities in the hotels are also of the highest level. There is a large range of hotels available, ensuring that you can find one to fit your specific needs and budget.
Will the language barrier be a problem?
No. Visitor's tour guides will be able to speak English, and act as translators. Most of Shanghai's hotels staff members can speak English, and a few major restaurants and stores will have at least one employee who is able to speak English. Many signs and announcements contain English. If you do get confused it is easy to find someone on the road who can speak English.
What are the currency and banking services in Shanghai like?
It is highly recommended that visitors to China use the Chinese Yuan (RMB) wherever they go to avoid any unnecessary problems. In Shanghai, the banking services are highly advanced so visitors should have no problem exchanging money. Visitors can exchange any amount of money at Pudong Development Bank, the Pudong Airport, or at any of the Bank of China locations. There are a large number of ATM machines located throughout the city, and most major ATM cards can be used in them.