Olwen Maness

Olwen Maness

Modified & Updated: 09 Sep 2023

Source: Travelandleisureasia.com

Shanghai, the bustling metropolis of China, is a city steeped in history and brimming with modernity. From breathtaking skylines to captivating cultural heritage, Shanghai has a lot to offer to both locals and tourists. With its towering skyscrapers, vibrant nightlife, and rich culinary scene, the city has become a global hub of finance, commerce, and entertainment.

In this article, we will delve into 38 fascinating facts about Shanghai that will give you a deeper understanding of its past, present, and future. From its origins as a small fishing village to its transformation into a dynamic global city, Shanghai has undergone a remarkable journey of evolution and growth.

So, whether you are planning a trip to Shanghai, curious about its culture and history, or simply have a penchant for interesting facts, get ready to delve into the enigmatic allure of this remarkable city.

Table of Contents

Shanghai is one of the largest cities in the world.

With a population of over 26 million people, Shanghai is not only the largest city in China but also one of the most populous cities in the world.

The meaning behind the name “Shanghai”.

The name “Shanghai” literally means “above the sea” in Mandarin Chinese, reflecting its location on the coast of the East China Sea.

Shanghai is a global financial hub.

As one of the leading financial centers in the world, Shanghai is home to the Shanghai Stock Exchange and numerous multinational corporations.

The iconic Oriental Pearl Tower.

The Oriental Pearl Tower is one of the most recognizable landmarks in Shanghai. Standing at a height of 468 meters, it offers stunning panoramic views of the city.

Shanghai is a melting pot of cultures.

Over the years, Shanghai has attracted people from all over the world, resulting in a diverse and vibrant cultural scene.

The Bund showcases Shanghai’s architectural heritage.

The Bund is a famous waterfront area along the Huangpu River, lined with well-preserved buildings that represent various architectural styles from different periods.

Shanghai Disneyland is a must-visit attraction.

Opened in 2016, Shanghai Disneyland is the first Disney theme park in mainland China, offering magical experiences for visitors of all ages.

Shanghai is known for its impressive skyline.

The city’s skyline is a stunning display of modern architecture, with skyscrapers like the Shanghai Tower, Jin Mao Tower, and Shanghai World Financial Center.

Shanghai is a food lover’s paradise.

From traditional Chinese cuisine to international flavors, Shanghai offers a wide array of culinary delights to satisfy every palate.

The Shanghai Maglev Train.

The Shanghai Maglev Train is the first commercially operated maglev (magnetic levitation) train in the world, reaching speeds of up to 431 km/h.

Shanghai has a rich art scene.

The city is home to numerous art galleries, museums, and cultural centers, showcasing both traditional and contemporary works.

The Shanghai World Expo.

In 2010, Shanghai hosted the World Expo, attracting exhibitors and visitors from all around the globe.

Shanghai’s vibrant nightlife.

The city comes alive at night with a plethora of bars, clubs, and entertainment venues offering a variety of experiences.

Shanghai is a shopper’s paradise.

From luxury brands to bustling markets, Shanghai offers endless shopping opportunities for fashion enthusiasts and bargain hunters.

The Yu Garden is a tranquil oasis in the city.

With its beautiful traditional Chinese architecture and serene atmosphere, the Yu Garden is a peaceful escape from the bustling city streets.

Shanghai has hosted major sporting events.

The city has hosted events such as the Shanghai International Marathon, Formula 1 Chinese Grand Prix, and the ATP World Tour Finals.

Shanghai’s fast-paced development.

In just a few decades, Shanghai has transformed from a fishing village to a global metropolis, showcasing its rapid economic growth and urban development.

The Shanghai French Concession.

The Shanghai French Concession is a charming neighborhood known for its tree-lined streets, European-style architecture, and vibrant atmosphere.

Shanghai is a major transportation hub.

With its extensive metro system, airports, and seaports, Shanghai serves as a crucial transportation hub for both domestic and international travel.

The Shanghai Museum.

The Shanghai Museum is renowned for its vast collection of ancient Chinese art, including paintings, calligraphy, ceramics, and jade artifacts.

Shanghai’s modern infrastructure.

The city boasts efficient transportation systems, modern skyscrapers, and well-developed urban planning, contributing to its status as a global city.

The Shanghai Acrobatic Troupe.

Known for its breathtaking performances, the Shanghai Acrobatic Troupe showcases incredible acrobatic skills and gravity-defying stunts.

Shanghai has a thriving fashion industry.

The city is a fashion capital in China, attracting renowned designers and hosting major fashion events like the Shanghai Fashion Week.

The Longhua Temple is a historical gem.

With a history dating back over a thousand years, the Longhua Temple is one of the oldest and largest Buddhist temples in Shanghai.

The Huangpu River divides Shanghai.

The Huangpu River splits the city into two parts: Puxi (west of the river) and Pudong (east of the river), each offering a distinct skyline and atmosphere.

Shanghai’s interconnected network of tunnels.

Underneath the city, there is an extensive network of tunnels used for transportation, utilities, and defense purposes.

Shanghai’s tea culture.

Tea plays a significant role in Shanghai’s culture, with teahouses being popular gathering places for locals and tourists alike.

Shanghai’s role in Chinese cinema.

Shanghai has been a major center for the Chinese film industry, producing acclaimed directors, actors, and films throughout history.

The Shanghai Circus World.

This grand circus arena hosts spectacular performances featuring acrobatics, aerial acts, and traditional Chinese circus arts.

Shanghai’s unique blend of old and new.

The city seamlessly combines its rich historical heritage with modern architecture and urban development, creating a captivating juxtaposition.

Shanghai’s colorful spring blossom.

During spring, the city is adorned with beautiful cherry blossoms, creating a stunning visual spectacle for residents and visitors.

The Shanghai International Film Festival.

As one of the prominent film festivals in Asia, the Shanghai International Film Festival attracts filmmakers from around the world.

Shanghai’s love for karaoke.

Karaoke is a popular form of entertainment in Shanghai, with numerous karaoke bars offering private singing rooms for groups to enjoy.

The Shanghai Natural History Museum.

Located in the Jing’an Sculpture Park, the Shanghai Natural History Museum features impressive displays of fossils, dinosaur skeletons, and biodiversity.

The vibrant Nanjing Road.

Nanjing Road is one of the world’s busiest shopping streets, renowned for its endless array of shops, boutiques, and department stores.

Shanghai’s love for art deco architecture.

The city boasts numerous art deco buildings, a testament to its cosmopolitan character and architectural diversity.

The Zhujiajiao Water Town.

Just outside of Shanghai, Zhujiajiao is a charming water town with picturesque canals, stone bridges, and traditional Chinese architecture.

Shanghai’s dynamic and ever-changing nature.

Shanghai is a city that constantly evolves, always embracing new ideas, trends, and innovation, making it an exciting destination to explore.

These 38 facts about Shanghai only scratch the surface of what this incredible city has to offer. From its rich history and culture to its modern skyline and vibrant atmosphere, Shanghai is a city that continuously captivates visitors with its unique blend of old and new.

Whether you’re exploring the historic Bund area, indulging in Shanghai’s culinary delights, or immersing yourself in its thriving art scene, there’s no shortage of experiences to be had in this cosmopolitan metropolis.

So, what are you waiting for? Start planning your trip to Shanghai and discover the wonders of this fascinating city for yourself!


Shanghai is a vibrant and dynamic city that never fails to captivate visitors with its rich history, modern skyscrapers, and diverse cultural offerings. With its bustling streets, dazzling architecture, and mouthwatering cuisine, Shanghai truly has something for everyone.

From the iconic waterfront promenade known as the Bund to the tranquil beauty of Yu Garden, Shanghai offers a perfect blend of tradition and modernity. Whether you’re interested in exploring the city’s art scene, indulging in delicious street food, or immersing yourself in its fascinating history, Shanghai promises an unforgettable experience.

With its efficient transportation system, impressive infrastructure, and welcoming locals, getting around and discovering all that Shanghai has to offer is a breeze. So pack your bags and get ready to be enchanted by the charms of this incredible city.


1. What is the best time to visit Shanghai?

The best time to visit Shanghai is during the spring and autumn seasons when the weather is mild and comfortable. Avoid the summer months as it can get hot and humid.

2. How do I get around in Shanghai?

Shanghai has an extensive public transportation system, including a well-connected metro network, buses, and taxis. The metro is the most convenient and efficient way to get around the city.

3. Is it safe to drink tap water in Shanghai?

It is generally safe to drink tap water in Shanghai, but many locals and visitors prefer to drink bottled water for peace of mind.

4. What are some must-visit attractions in Shanghai?

Some must-visit attractions in Shanghai include the Bund, Oriental Pearl Tower, Yu Garden, and Tianzifang. These places offer a glimpse into the city’s history, culture, and architecture.

5. What is the local currency in Shanghai?

The local currency in Shanghai is the Chinese yuan (CNY). It is advisable to have some cash on hand, as not all places accept credit cards, especially in smaller establishments.

6. Are there any local customs or etiquette I should be aware of?

When visiting Shanghai, it is important to be mindful of local customs and etiquette. It is considered polite to remove your shoes before entering someone’s home and to use both hands when giving or receiving items.