The best area to stay in Shanghai

The best area to stay in Shanghai

How about a trip to the pearl of the Orient? Find out where to stay in Shanghai!

Bordered by the East China Sea, Shanghai is China’s most populous megalopolis and is one of the world’s largest cities. With 30.15 million inhabitants in the urban area, and 70.5 million people throughout the entire metropolitan, area – imagine a conurbation the size of the United Kingdom’s population – Shanghai is China’s economic, financial, cultural and cosmopolitan hub. Thanks to the high-paced development of accommodation infrastructure, you shouldn’t have too much trouble finding a place to stay in Shanghai.

The city attracts millions of Chinese and international tourists all year round. It is divided into two main areas by the Huangpu River: Pudong and Puxi. Here is our overview of the best places to stay in Shanghai.

Xuhui

Xuhui, best area to stay in Shanghai

Photo credit: Flickr – Gary Stevens

Shanghai’s European-styled historic center, the district of Xuihui encompasses the former French colonial concession and attracts many expatriates. It is a quiet, residential area, far from the hustle and bustle of the city center, but it is also an expensive place to stay in Shanghai. Its soil – devoid of private property – is a palimpsest: the new continuously succeeds to the old. The rapidly-evolving urban space produces singular contrasts. Xuhui is a lively neighborhood, packed with a plethora of cheap restaurants, and a variety of shops and boutiques of all kinds. The area has something for everyone: Guangqi Park, museums, cinemas, food courts and delicatessens, restaurants, yoga centers, and public parks. An attractive and lively area to stay in Shanghai.

Jing’An

Jing-An, best area to stay in Shanghai

Photo credit: Flickr – Remko Tanis

Taking its name from the famous Buddhist temple, Jing’an is the most central quarter of the district of Puxi. It is also Shanghai’s richest and most expensive area, attracting a wealth of entrepreneurs, executives, and businessmen. In fact, Jing’an is filled with high-end residential areas. Here too, the old stands alongside the modern: the Jing An temple, for example, sits amidst towering skyscrapers, symbols of a liberal society open to the market economy. Enjoy the neighborhood’s many restaurants, large shopping centers and plenty of green-filled public parks such as the Jing’An Sculpture Park. Jing’an is a great place to stay in Shanghai if you have the budget.

Huangpu

Huangpu, best area to stay in Shanghai

Photo credit: Flickr – Eric Pesik

Here, 430,000 people – the equivalent of the population of Miami – live on an area of only 4.5 km², which makes this district one of the densest in the world. Bordered by the river of the same name, the Huangpu district is prized for its activities and cultural sites. It’s definitely one of Shanghai most touristic destination. Huangpu is home to the Bund – a historic boulevard lined with gorgeous European-style buildings -, the People’s Square theatre, numerous museums, and green spaces. Centrally located, Huangpu is a convenient place to stay in Shanghai.

Pudong

Pudong, best area to stay in Shanghai

Photo credit: Flickr – Andy Enero

Shanghai’s business district, Pudong is particularly prized by tourists for its towering skyscrapers composing the skyline, reminiscent of Manhattan. To stay in Shanghai, head for the other side of the Huangpu river. 5 million people populate this 523-km² area, favored by most companies and multinational firms (banks, high-tech firms, industrialists, etc.). In Pudong, you can visit Shanghai’s emblematic edifices: the Oriental Pearl Tower (468 meters high), the Park of the Century, the Jinmao Tower or the Shanghai World Financial Center. Unsurprisingly, the area is packed with countless shopping centers and large, high-end stores. At dusk, admire the buildings’ dizzying array of sparkling lights.

Main photo credit : Flickr – xiquinhosilva

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I grant myself at least 3 to 4 trips each year to the four corners of the world, whether it is very close to my home, as in South America, Europe or Southeast Asia. A question about a destination, a visit, a deal? I answer them in the comments.

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